For #WCW Raye Boyce, beauty vlogging is defiant empowerment

Illustration by Danielle Bostic

From contouring tutorials to talking about anxiety, Raye isn’t your run-of-the-mill beauty pro.

The Daily Dot is celebrating Woman Crush Wednesday, better known as #WCW on Twitter and Instagram, by highlighting female creators on YouTube whose work we admire.

Growing up a tomboy, Raye Boyce (ItsMyRayeRaye) didn’t dabble in makeup until her senior year of high school. Over the past five years, she’s turned her hobby into a full-time business.

Boyce moved from Boston to New York City after high school to live closer to her then-boyfriend, now-husband. The move wasn’t an easy one. At times, anxiety and depression kept Boyce from going outside. But within the safety of her apartment, she began watching beauty videos. After posting pictures of lipstick on Facebook, she was encouraged by a fellow YouTuber to make a videos.

In many of her tutorials, Boyce makes a point of including products of all price ranges. She makes beauty accessible to viewers of all economic statuses. In her more personal vlogs, Boyce talks candidly about her battles with acne, periods, and last year, opened up for the first time about dealing with depression and anxiety.

“[Being in the public can] trigger it,” Boyce told XONecole. “And that’s why anxiety, it’s like a funny little thing. Because sometimes you’ll think you’re fine, until months and months pass, and time passes, and then you realize you were suppressing your feelings. And that whole time you thought you were fine, you were actually ignoring [depression] while still dealing with it.”

Since opening her channel in 2012, Boyce has gained an audience of over 1.5 million YouTube subscribers, making her one of the most followed black beauty gurus on the platform. Her library archive ranges from bold makeup and hair looks to chats, pranks on her husband, and product reviews.

Boyce credits prayer, music, and the support of her husband Eric for helping her manage stress on a daily basis. Now her manager, Boyce first met her husband on Myspace as a teenager and after eight years of dating, the pair married in 2012.

Nick McBurney

Her honesty and humor is what makes Boyce a fan favorite. Her content is a celebration of both the perfect selfie, and the acne scars that plague our complexion. She empowers women, especially black women, to be creative and confident with their dreams. Even when naysayers in the comments want nothing more than for you to quit.

Boyce has shown that by staying true to yourself and putting in the hard work, even the boldest dreams are possible. Pair that message with some red lipstick, and you’ve just nailed the Raye Boyce look.

Carly Lanning

Carly Lanning

Carly Lanning is a journalist who covers social media. Her work has been published by Psychology Today, NBC, Thrillist, and Ms. Magazine.