5 Makeup Tutorials That Proved Beauty is More Than Skin Deep

Photo: Michael Buckner/Getty

Most of the makeup tutorials that you find on YouTube have a similar aim – teaching how to perfectly apply red lipstick, making contouring seem like less of a mystery, ensuring that on fleek eyebrows are always within reach – but some brave women are using the format to raise awareness for important issues facing women around the world, from domestic violence to bullying.

Armed with a camera, they proved that beauty is more than skin deep.

Beauty Tips by Reshma
Reshma Quereshi was just 17 when her face was permanently scarred after her brother-in-law enlisted two men to attack Quereshi and her sister with acid. After the Indian government refused assistance to help her cover the cost of corrective surgery Quereshi reached out to Make Love Not Scars, an organization that supports acid attack victims and works towards eradicating acid attacks completely, who helped her raise the money she needed. In return, Quereshi began filming YouTube tutorials with the aim of raising awareness for her fellow acid attack survivors, by teaching viewers how to apply the perfect red lip or nail their winged liner while also sharing shocking information about the epidemic of acid attacks in India. “We felt that this video could change people’s hearts and make them feel that survivors are as normal as they are,” Make Love Not Scars founder Ria Scharma told PEOPLE.

Lauren Luke
In 2012, UK beauty guru Lauren Luke – also known as Panacea81 – partnered with the anti-domestic violence foundation Refuge as part of their “Don’t Cover It Up” campaign to encourage women in abusive relationships to seek help by making a YouTube PSA in which she “taught” her viewers how to cover up black eyes, bruises and scrapes. Though her injuries in the video were fake, Luke’s emotion came from a very real place: “I had a bad experience in the past with a previous boyfriend. He never physically hurt me but I did sometimes fear what would happen next if I said the wrong thing. He could be overprotective and embarrass me in front of my work colleagues or friends because of his aggressive behavior,” she told AdWeek. “Back then I knew the whole situation wasn’t normal, but I didn’t know about the help that is out there. And that is why I wanted to work with Refuge – to get the message out to anyone who may need help and support that it’s time to stop covering it up.”

Lizzie Velasquez
Though the content of her “Everyday Makeup Routine” video seems like your standard makeup tutorial, the girl who created it is nothing but extraordinary. Lizzie Velasquez has a rare condition that prevents her from gaining weight, rose to prominence after she came across a YouTube video that called her the “world’s ugliest woman” when she was just 17. Though she was initially crushed, the incident inspired Velasquez to dedicate her life to helping others cope with bullying – and she has, using her YouTube channel, motivational speaking career and recently-released documentary A Brave Heart to inspire others to fight back against bullying and find the beauty and confidence within themselves.

Cheri Lindsay
The volleyball coach uses her YouTube channel to make videos talking about her vitiligo – which began spreading when she in college, and has since continued spreading around her body – and to reach out to other people who have the condition in order to encourage them to love themselves and to give them tips and tricks if they want to cover it up with foundation. Since then, Lindsay has actually stopped wearing makeup, although she continues to encourage and support other people with vitiligo.

Em Ford
Beauty guru Em Ford, of My Pale Skin began posting pictures of her face, sans makeup on social media about a year ago, and was inundated by rude comments about her skin and acne – comments that differed greatly from the ones she received when she posted pictures of herself with a full face of makeup. In response to the double standard, and to encourage other people who suffer from acne to embrace their flaws, Ford posted a powerful video of herself without makeup, applying makeup, and afterwards, featuring the comments on the screen. “I wanted to create a film that showed how social media can set unrealistic expectations on both women and men,” Ford wrote about the video. “One challenge many face today, is that as a society, we’re so used to seeing false images of perfection, and comparing ourselves to unrealistic beauty standards that It can be hard to remember the most important thing – You ARE beautiful.”

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