Jackie Aina, the American- Nigerian Youtube sensation has added another impressive notch to her belt by being featured on the June 2019 digital cover of the black American magazine, Essence.
Taking to Instagram to announce the iconic cover, Jackie writes:
Trying to maintain composure but also internally screaming from keeping this a secret for so long! thank you @essence for this game changer career moment the June digital cover! to any girl who’s ever dreamed of the impossible, it’s possible! I’m living proof of it
Jackie is a picture of metallic beauty as she sports a series of ‘blinged out’ look complete with ice grey hair, metallic lips, and serious bedazzled stiletto nails. In one image, the beautiful Youtube wears a Marilyn Monroe-esque wig and turns up the heat with a sultry pose.
She speaks to ex-Vogue writer Marjon Carlos about how she got started in Youtube and why it means so much to her to champion POC causes in the beauty industry. She also gives fans an insight into her future plans.
Jackie Aina, who has become one the most watched influencers on Youtube recalls when she first fell in love with makeup and how it provided a form of escape for Jackie who was, at the time, trapped in an unhappy marriage. Essence writes, “The self-taught makeup artist explains that she found herself stuck in an unhappy marriage, living in Hawaii, isolated from friends and family and working in the Army as a reservist. A fascination with beauty, makeup and social media offered her a “creative outlet” that came along at the perfect time—an escape route from her current situation.”
Jackie, a vocal advocate for women of colour in the beauty industry, also explains that she was driven to know more about makeup after encountering her own setbacks when it came to finding her shade. Essence writes, “But in that same breath, she says she was propelled to make YouTube videos as a way to directly confront the inequities that she and other Black women faced when shopping for beauty products. “I couldn’t go to makeup counters and get the help that I needed. I would ask them like, ‘Oh, how do I apply concealer?’ Or, ‘How do I contour?’ And it was always like my skin tone was a deterrent to everything,” she recalls. “According to them, it was like, ‘Well, you’re dark. So you can’t really do that.’ It was just like, ‘Okay, I’m sure there’s a way around it. You just have to know what you’re doing.”
Using her platform, Jackie has done incredible work for POC and even created foundation range extensions that champion diversity and inclusion. Jackie explains that she’s very particular about the types of brand that she chooses to partner with in these endeavors. ‘‘Are you employing disenfranchised people? Are you employing black people on your social teams? Are you making it holistically from the ground up so your brand represents the very products you’re trying to sell on shelves?’” she probes. “I love when I see a team that’s just got everybody, that there are voices from every community because that tells me that behind the scenes you’re also walking the walk and you’re not just trying to capitalize and cash in on the movement.”
Art Director: @inrashidasworld
Global Beauty Director: @missjulee
Prop Stylist: @mz.icar