Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The MakeUp Gurus - More than Just "Pretty Asian Girls"


written by: Mr. APA 

So when I brought it up in our last meeting that I wanted to write about the make up gurus.  My editor was less than pleased.  Here's what happened.

Editor: "Wait wait wait wait, you want to write an article about the Make Up Gurus?  How can you! You're our best writer "  (He may or may not have said the last part)

Editor: Are you sure you're just not trying to get people to read your posts because you filled it with pictures of pretty Asian girls? 

And that's why I wrote this.  Last week, I was watching one of the Bravo dating shows and they had this grimey white dude telling the matchmaker (the matchmaker  girls for him) that he wants Asian Girls cuz they're pretty and know who's boss.  WHAT THE FUCK! Who SAYS DAT SHIT!

So when my editor referred to the MakeUp Gurus as just pretty Asian Girls, I knew then that HE TOO had stereotyped them AND HE RUNS THIS BLOG!! (hopefully not for long)  And here's my point, the Asian American MAKE UP GURUS are a very important part of the Asian American Movement because they're our best tool in the fight against yellow fever, making asian girls "real people" and finally, bringing in a new audience for our movement.  (Yes, I'm writing this like an academic high school essay)

But wait, you're not familiar with the MakeUp Gurus?  How is that possible?!  But it doesn't matter, let me give you a quick rundown of some of my favorites.  Favorites is a weird word. Pretty much, these are all the makeup gurus I know because Social Media Master and blogger Benny Luo (check his site here) likes to hang out in their BlogTV chats.  If you're already familiar with these girls.  SKIP AHEAD! 
Steve Terada from Quest Crew, man I wish I could dance too

HollyAnn-Aeree (YouTube Channel) is probably the most popular of the three I'm going to talk about. With over 128k subscribers, she has a lot of people who anxiously wait for her MakeUp videos. She's Korean with adopted parents.  She has lots of twitters, blogs and also has a shopping blog!  I think the best part about Holly is the fact that she's dating an Asian Guy or at least this photo I found makes it seem like she is because it says, "my GF" in the caption.   However, Holly, if you're newly single (God forbid) my talent of writing half witty blogs may not be as COOL as dancing on America's Best Dance Crew but it does mean I have more time to hang out (cuz I'm not travelling) and it also means I have a nicer house (because I live with my mom).

FrmHeadtoToe (Youtube Channel) Jen is a designer and freelance make up artist when she's not making videos.  She's also Korean (man, these Koreans are good at makeup... I must marry one) She also has a really good outlook on what make up should be for.  A quote from her page. 
       "Makeup should be used as a tool to express and to feel good about yourself, not as a mask to hide what you are afraid of."  

I honestly thought FrmHeadToToe was better looking

That's a really positive message for all the little girls who watch her.  My favorite part about her videos (some of her most popular ones) are when she takes Korean Pop Stars and recreates their look.  Pretty much showing me that those Korean Pop girls I seem to love so much are actually creations of make up.  Not only does this help young girls with their own image (knowing that these things they idolize are only creations) It also MAKES ME feel better about my life because it gives me hope that I can find a "normal" Korean girl in LA and then hire FrmHeadToToe to put a ton of make up on her so she can look like BOA.   Sounds like a plan! 

However, sadly, (for us as asian guys, not her, good for her for being happily married)  Jen is married to a white guy.  Here's the proof. (edit, picture removed)

This is not FrmHeadtoToe and is not meant as a joke, just a filler
(NONE OF THE ABOVE WAS SARCASM) [<--- Including that]
(I'm serious about all of this, the article still has to make sense ok))
Sigh.  C'mon Asian guys, we dropped the ball on this one and let a good one get away.  I'm going to find all of FrmHeadtoToe's asian ex-bfs and yell at them for not treating her better.  But Good for you JEN because that White dude looks tall and you two can make very beautiful children.
MSZJACKIECHU (Youtube Channel) is my favorite MakeUp Guru because I was in her BlogTV chats once and then she tweeted me the next day!  See here for the evidence.

You can see why I'm in love.   MszJackieChu,
I'd like to marry you and fill that purse with
cash so you can buy all the make up you want.
SEE THAT!! "It was nice meeting you!!" and she added a FACE TOO (i tried to type the face out but I couldn't figure it out how) But basically this means that MszJackiechu and me are like best friends, practically dating if not for the fact that she already has a boyfriend and I respect relationships.  Sorry Jackie.  She's a 21yr old So-Cal girl who really likes to mix it up and is more than just a make up guru.  She does lots of random vids too.   If you look at her most viewed videos, none of them have to do with her make up, they're about her room, diet tips, her jean collection.  Basically, MszJackieChu's viewers just like getting to know her.  I'm also a super fan of MszJackieChu because I really like it when girls let their hair cover their face and this is exactly how MszJackieChu does her hair.  Evidence in the picture..

Alright, enough about me writing creepily to these girls so here it is.  THE THREE REASONS why the MAKEUP GURUS are important to the Asian AMERICAN MOVEMENT!


First off, don't get me wrong.  If a white guy actually likes Asian culture and actually underSTANDS Asian culture, he should date an Asian girl.  When I say Yellow Fever, I'm really referring to the guys who know nothing about ASIAN GIRLS ( *cough* Ronnie from Jersey Shore *end cough*)  But anyways, back to why these make up gurus are our best tool in the fight against Yellow Fever.

Have you ever heard of the magician's code?  Pretty much, a magician goes up on stage and he does all these tricks and everybody just claps.  The Magician's greatest trick is that he makes these tricks look effortless.

Mr. APA (me) in the morning.
When a guy (who sees Asian Women as just really pretty things) checks out an Asian Girl, he's like...  "Damn.  She fine."  And that's the point.  It's almost like a MAGIC TRICK.  When we see an Asian Girl that we think is hot, we don't say, "damn, she's fine, I wonder how much time she spends everyday putting on make up, I wonder what kind of base liner eye thing (i made that up) she uses to look this fine"  No, we just assume girls wake up like that because I (me) wake up this good looking.

How do these videos break stereotypes?  They show the amount of work that these poor asian girls put into looking good for us (or themselves). It's no longer a secret.  A guy (perhaps white, probably white, sorry, I've lost too many GFs to white guys [I'm from the Midwest] so I'm biased) who may have preconceived notions of Asian Girls might have his mind blown.  He'll be like, wow, these girls just don't wake up like this.  This takes real effort. 

I think the best example of this is FrmHeadtoToe's "2NE1 Can't Nobody youtube video". You can watch it but I took some screenshots to make my point.  Now you'll see, the video starts off with the makeup already on. And WOW, boy does FrmHeadToToe look amazing.

FrmHeadtoToe-Unavailable-But Jessica Alba was
But then the video continues and we go to the part without make up.
FrmHeadtoToe without make up > Jessica Alba without make up
Now to be honest, FrmHeadtoToe still looks PRETTY DAMN GOOD without the make up. She actually doesn't need it at all, but that "WOW, CHECK THAT OUT I MUST LEAVE MY WIFE, CROSS THE STREET AND RISK GETTING HIT BY A CAR IN ORDER TO LOOK CLOSER AT THAT GIRL" feeling is gone.

You can tell FrmHeadtoToe has A LOT of self confidence because she's not scared to show her face without the make up.  (once again, she looks beautiful with the minimum amount on) but I know it makes most girls NERVOUS to be seen without the make up.  But FrmHeadtoToe isn't scared.  This is how she's breaking stereotypes - she's showing all the "guys" watching these videos that c'mon boys, we don't wake up like this, we put effort into it this... and thus revealing to the world that they are more than just pretty things that walk around. There's a whole other dimension than just the pretty face.  Once you know how the magician does his trick, he's no longer just a magician, he's a person.  The way that Asian Women are objectified in media and in the world is thus lessened by these make up guru vids because this is one of the few times in media where we get to see these gorgeous Asian girls without their make up.  Any girl who feels she's not pretty enough because she sees all these well "made up girls" on TV should feel better because these make up gurus are showing that nobody looks like the girls on TV without some help.  If I had a daughter, I'd make her watch make up videos non stop.

2) They're making ASIAN WOMEN real people.

Jackie told a touching story about this bird. I was
so touched, I wanted to go comfort her with a kiss
Many of my readers are Asian so we take it for granted that we see Asian Women as full people.  When I was in Grad School, I was the only Asian Guy in the program and I'll be honest, it was one of the first times I had a whole group of white guy friends in my life.  When we'd talk about women of other races, I was always surprised to see their perception of Asian Women.  For most of them, not having had deep relationships with a lot of Asian Girls, they simply saw Asians girls as something they'd really WANT TO SMASH - because "they are so tiny."  And that was it.  It wasn't entirely their fault, many of them came from parts of the country that didn't have Asian people so all they had their entire life was what the media told them about Asian women.  (I was like this with a irrational fear of Black Guys as a child since Canada didn't have a lot of black people).  So for the first time, these vlogs are attaching an actual voice and personality to these "smashable tiny asian girls" 

You can't objectify a young picture of a girl and her grandma
Even though all of these girls are makeup gurus.  MszJackieChu is actually more a vlog/youtuber as well.   By doing this, guys with Asian Fetish who watch these make up videos because they like Asian Girls and not for make up tips actually start to see a fully rounded person.  Instead of just seeing a hot object that they objectify and check out at the mall, they see girls full of life, laughter, friends.  Guys that are creeping out on these videos (yes like me - BUT IT WAS RESEARCH, I SWEAR MOM!) unintentionally get to know an Asian girl's personality. A really cool example of this is MszJackieCHU's "Room Tour" video (check it here) we can see her genuine love for her friends, her family, her passion.  Yes, it's not super deep but that's not the point, we get to know MszJackieChu a little better and for some high school boy with Asian Fetish in a part of the country that has no Asian people, this might be his only POSITIVE image of an Asian girl portrayed in the media.  GO JACKIE! (Holly also has a 2nd channel that is just vlogs as well so same deal).

3) They are bringing in a wider audience to the Asian American movement.

HollyAnnaERee has a HUGE subscriber base.  With over 20,000 twitter followers and over a 120k Youtube subscribers, it is safe to say that Holly has fans who AREN'T ASIAN.  That's right, she's crossed over and her fans include people who aren't Asian.

First off, this is a good thing because it means more benefits of the things seen above.  As well as, it's created a new type of Asian American celebrity.  HollyAnnaeRhee has people all around the world who follow her and are fans of what she's doing.

Holly, it's for the movement, now cuddle closer to me
What this means that she can use "her fame" to promote other YouTube artists.  If you watch the new JASON CHEN video (click here) it features HOLLY!  Now when Holly told all of her followers on Youtube about the video.  She introduced Jason Chen's music to a whole subscriber base that Jason might not usually be privy too (likewise Jason does the same for her) and this is why the MAKE UP GURUS are most important.  Somebody who loves music has a good chance of eventually finding Jason Chen's music but somebody who's not that into music but LOVES make up tutorials may have NEVER found Jason Chen's music.  When Holly promotes Jason, she's EXPANDING the amount of people who watch Asian American content and are thus growing the movement.
JASON is smiling beccause he's thinking about how "collabing" with Holly was important to the Asian American Movement
When the Makeup gurus start collaborating with non make up gurus, they are introducing other Asian American Artists to their viewers.  These new viewers will include NON ASIAN AMERICANS.  This is how a Movement grows because as artists promote for each other, they grow their fan base together.  There are a lot of Holly fans who may have NEVER been exposed to Jason's music if not for Holly.  That is so IMPORTANT to the Asian-American movement. If an Asian American singer like Jason Chen is going to become a huge star, he's going to need as many supporters as possible and Holly helped him do that!  I'm PRETTY SURE Jason Chen had no reservations about working with Holly.  I'm now considering a singing career so I can start
flying out Make Up gurus to be in my music videos too!


The make up gurus have found another way to attract viewers and they are just as important as the filmmakers (Ryan higa, Wong Fu, JK Films) and Musicians (Jason Chen, Kinna Grannis, Clara Chung).  They're giving a voice and a personality to the "pretty Asian girl" and making themselves real people to the people who just stare at Asian Girls.  They're expanding the Asian American audience and they've tapped into an audience that can't be found with traditional media (make up lovers).  Thus, the MakeUp Gurus are an important part of our Asian American future.

So next time you see a make up guru and someone says " *scoff* who watches this crap." Grab them by the neck and make them read this article to remind them that a lot of people watch this and they are an important part of our growing community.  Music and films have always existed, but makeup guru videos, this is a brand new ball game and thus a brand new audience to bring into the fold.

Hmm.  Perhaps I should start the first MALE Make up Guru channel.  How does that sound?

(this article was also written with contributions from JIMMY who said he did a lot of research into this)


  1. Just wanted to point out you forgot MichellePhan!! #1 most subscribed guru on youtube. But it was an entertaining read nonetheless

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. agreed! Don't forget Michelle Phan! Her youtube celebrity status helped her become a spokesperson for Lancome and has been mentioned in news broadcasts! very cool :D

    and is also a makeup guru! yay!

    awesome post!!!

  4. It's funny that you didn't mention Michelle Phan aka ricebunny because your third image is a photo of her

  5. ya daniel. there's kind of a reason for that... it's a long story...

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