In the world of makeup and beauty, more and more brands are embracing and promoting inclusivity. For many years, makeup brands only offered limited shade ranges and products, which didn’t perform well for people of color. Now, things are changing. Traditional beauty standards continue to be broken and things are evolving in the best ways possible. The YouTube beauty community served as key players in helping create diversity and inclusivity in the beauty world.
One YouTuber that encourages the breaking of stereotypes and beauty standards is Darcei Giles, known as MissDarcei on YouTube. With over 900,000 subscribers, Darcei creates fun lifestyle and beauty videos that range from makeup try ons, to clothing hauls, to hair tutorials. We got the chance to speak with Darcei about her journey on YouTube, from where she started, to where she is now, to where she is headed.
Video Views: 52,374,935
Channel Type: Beauty/How to
User created: Aug 26th, 2010
MissDarcei challenges stereotypes and beauty barriers, particularly those placed on black people. When speaking with her, it was resoundingly clear that she believes there should be no limitations in beauty. She told us, “My videos show people that just because you’re black doesn’t mean you can’t try new things.” In her videos, she tries various makeup and hairstyles to encourage this idea, which we will touch more on later.
Through her humor and wit, Darcei creates fun and engaging videos, all while promoting a positive message to her subscribers. What’s not to love? Let’s take a look at this Toronto based YouTuber and her journey on the platform.
MissDarcei’s start on YouTube
Darcei started MissDarcei 10 years ago this month — at least there’s one thing she can celebrate in 2020 — which she says went by super fast. When she first started her channel, it was all for fun. She was inspired by YouTubers such as Bethany Mota and Blair, or the OG beauty girls, as Darcei called them. Both started their YouTube channels as teenagers.
“I was a teen at the time, too, and it just looked like a fun hobby. At that time, no one was making money off YouTube. It was just for fun.”
In her 10 years on the platform, Darcei’s channel has gone through phases, which is to be expected. “I went through a lot of phases on YouTube depending on what was trending at the time,” says Darcei.
During the earlier years, she started with “cute teen beauty videos,” which is what she wanted to do. Then, she then began focusing her energy on making natural hair tutorials after a big resurgence in the natural hair movement which started in 2008. She was also sucked into viral Instagram beauty trends, such as crazy contouring and highlighting.
Breaking away from the trends
Eventually, Darcei realized she enjoyed creating her own unique content, even if the topic wasn’t trending. She is particularly influenced and inspired by Korean culture, which she started implementing into her videos.
“I’ve been into Korean culture since I was in high school, so about 15 years now. Back then, no one knew what K-pop was, but it was all I listened to and I loved watching Korean dramas as well. Since I consume so much Korean media, I’m definitely influenced by it when it comes to my own clothing and makeup style.”
Once she started creating content she really enjoyed, people started to take notice of her channel.
Currently, Darcei enjoys following the makeup and beauty routines of different people. One example is a video she created of her following Madelaine Petsch’s 38 step skincare routine (who has time for 38 steps?!). “It’s so interesting to see how the same makeup routine ends up on different people. And a lot of times I end up finding good beauty tips or products from these videos, too,” she said.
Challenging beauty standards and limitations
In her inspiration of Korean beauty, Darcei began her journey in questioning and pushing back against beauty standards placed on black people. She has a running series on her channel called “Black Girl Tries,” which Darcei says is all about breaking stereotypes.
“It started with my love for Korean culture as well, because the first video [in the series] was ‘Black Girl Tries Following a Korean Makeup Tutorial.’ Korean makeup tutorials obviously aren’t made for black people, so I wanted to see what the style would look like on me,” said Darcei.
That first video transformed into the Black Girl Tries series, where Darcei tries on different styles of makeup and beauty that black people don’t typically try. Some examples of videos from the series include her trying goth, e-girl, and korean inspired makeup looks. The series encourages black people to try whatever styles and looks they wish, regardless of what other people have told them.
“A lot of black people grow up hearing that they can’t do something because they’re black [such as] ‘You can’t do this or that because it’s only for white people or only for Asian people. You’re too dark, you’re too black, etc.'”
Darcei’s videos promote inclusivity for black people. “My videos show people that just because you’re black doesn’t mean you can’t try new things. Black girls can try anything,” she stated.
“Black girls can try anything.”
We asked Darcei if she was inspired by any other creators on YouTube.
“Someone who really inspires me is Jackie Aina. I love how she is 100% authentic. She is one of the people who really inspired me to be myself on camera.”
Jackie Aina is known for her no holds barred attitude and blunt honesty. She challenges beauty limitations placed on black people, and speaks out against issues such as skin bleaching and racism. Aina cut ties with major makeup brand Morphe this year, as she stated she refuses to work with brands that promote “antiblack racist beauty brands.” It’s no wonder that Darcei is inspired by Aina.
Before COVID-19 hit the U.S. earlier this year, Darcei got the chance to meet Aina. “She is such a wonderful and genuine person,” she stated.
MissDarcei has over 900K subscribers on her YouTube channel. When we asked her what other platforms she likes to spend her time on, she said Instagram because she can engage more with her fans.
As far as her fans go, Darcei loves engaging with them one on one. “I love my Instagram because I get to talk to fans personally one on one and I love building relationships with them.”
Darcei refers to her community as “The Potato Gang.”
What’s the key to success?
Darcei has been on the platform for almost ten years, but this is her first year as a full-time YouTuber. “Before I worked a series of part-time retail jobs that I wasn’t happy in, so I’m really glad I get to do YouTube full time now,” she said.
But what is the answer is MissDarcei’s success? To sum it up, the answer is to have fun and be yourself.
“I think when I started to show my personality and making videos about my personal interests, instead of following what I thought was popular or trending, that’s when people took notice of me. Being yourself really is the key to success.”
Darcei also emphasized the importance of having fun on the platform. As she put it, many YouTubers get caught up in having the perfect setup or having large subscriber count.
“If you’re not having fun then what’s the point? Don’t worry about being perfect or getting a million subscribers. If you are enjoying yourself, your videos will be good and the right people will come.”
“If you’re not having fun then what’s the point? Don’t worry about being perfect or getting a million subscribers. If you are enjoying yourself, your videos will be good and the right people will come
With all that said, it still takes a great deal of work and dedication to run a channel. Darcei runs MissDarcei by herself. “I don’t have days off or take breaks when I’m working. Sometimes I forget to eat or drink water, so I’m trying to work on that. I also still make videos by myself. I don’t have a crew or an editor or writers. It’s all me,” she said.
We respect the grind, Darcei.
MissDarcei is right on the way to hitting 1 million subscribers on her channel, and with that, she plans to launch her own merch line, which she is quite excited about. “I will be releasing a new merch line very soon. The designs are going to be really fun and colorful. I think my fans are going to love it,” she said.
Darcei plans to continue on the path she is on by creating content that she enjoys, whatever that may be at the time. Between creating fun content and sending out a positive message to her subscribers, MissDarcei is doing something right. In a world that has discouraged her from trying different makeup styles, Darcei continues to thrive and break those barriers.