For The Pastels, a women of colour YouTube makeup trio, makeup is political. Clara is from Timor-Leste, Anabelleis from Ghana and Chanel, from the Philippines. As Anabelle points out, despite Australia’s multicultural population, women of colour beauty products are surprisingly scarce. “If you step into Priceline or Kmart, it is three shades of cream and then maybe a dark tan”.
The Pastels YouTube channel was given its name after a mint-coloured playsuit that Chanel, one of the three girls behind the channel, was wearing at the time of the projects conception. For fellow Sydney-siders Anabelle and Clara it was a reminder of the 1960’s girlhood ideals that they wanted their channel to capture, with some significant modifications.
This inclusivity and acknowledgement of a skin colour other than white is what separates The Pastels from the rest of Australia’s Youtube beauty scene, where white dominates with the likes of Lauren Curtis, Danielle Mansuttiand Brittney Lee Saunders .
“We look up to a lot of beauty YouTubers in the UK and the US but there’s no one in Australia that’s really telling us what store to go to as women of colour”, says Annabelle. “I like to know how things look on my own skin.”
The Pastels have just reached their second birthday and have almost hit 8000 subscribers. Throughout the process of creating and producing their artful videos, for the girls, the best part of the channel has been reading the comments. “There are some that are like a paragraph and they say omg I’m Latina or I’m from the Philippines too and I can’t wait to try this out”.