Meet Aysha, beauty blogger/vlogger and content creator who is passionate about all things glam.
As a junior in high school, Aysha began her Youtube career with humble beginnings, but it wasn’t until 2015 – and mid-way through her university degree, might we add – that she decided to start taking her content seriously. Like a true positive mentor for young women, Aysha is all about self-empowerment and shining a light on diversity in the Youtube beauty community. In many ways, she’s more like a big sister, providing advice and positive vibes for all of her viewers.
Name: Aysha Harun
Location: Toronto, Canada
Current title | Company: YouTube Content Creator | Aysha Abdul
Education: Honors Bachelor of Business Administration with Marketing
Website / social media pages: www.youtube.com/ayshaabdul, @AyshaHarun on all socials (IG & Twitter)
How did you get into beauty blogging?
I started my beauty channel back in high school when I was 16 years old. I enjoyed watching other beauty channels and wanted to give it a try myself. It was never anything I imagined doing full-time, I just genuinely love making videos so I kept doing it as a hobby. The passion kept growing year by year and here I am.
What were your struggles starting out as a beauty blogger?
I didn’t have any struggles starting out, only because I never expected anything out of it. I just wanted to post videos for the fun of it and didn’t think it would get to the point it is now. I used an old JVC camcorder for the first 3 years of starting my channel and I was totally happy with it until I decided I wanted to take my channel a little more seriously. Which at that point I upgraded. I am very grateful it happened this way because had I started out for any other reason I would have quit a long time ago because it is quite hard to grow a channel – especially as a black, Muslim woman.
How have you managed to grow your cult following?
I think just by staying authentic to myself. At no point was I trying to be anyone else but myself and I think people naturally gravitate towards authenticity. However, what I credit the majority of my growth to is my consistency. When I decided I wanted to take this seriously and grow my channel, I consistently made videos and put all my energy into my channel. I also gradually improved the quality of my videos by upgrading my production equipment. I always make it a point to reply to as many comments as I can to maintain that connection with my loyal subscribers.
What has been the best brand partnership you have worked on?
It definitely has to be Bobbi Brown. To be recognized by such an internationally known beauty brand that makes the highest quality products for all women, including women of colour, was an honour. They gave me a lot of freedom in the video I created with them, and they’re just amazing overall. I have a good relationship with the brand, I love that they are interested in working with me more long-term.
What social media platform really triggered your growth and how do you advise other bloggers use it?
To be completely honest, I didn’t really use any social media to supplement my growth. It wasn’t until recently that I started putting more effort into my Instagram page. So the majority of my growth was just organically through YouTube. Many people that follow me on YouTube don’t even know I use Instagram consistently and I find it a bit harder to grow through Instagram.
The reason behind this is purely because making long-form video content is my thing, I live and breathe it. Taking good photos and making Instagram videos is not my forte and it sometimes feels like a task I have to do rather than something I enjoy and want to do. I do it anyway because I think Instagram is a huge market to reach more people and also get noticed by brands. I love being able to tag brands in both my photos and Insta stories. I’ve gotten into quite a few PR lists by simply doing that. Now I do use Instagram & Twitter to promote my content, but it’s not really my main focus like YouTube is.
Why has being a beauty blogger become more than just beauty for you?
Starting my channel all those years ago, there were very very few people doing what I was doing: A black Muslim hijabi sharing her favourite makeup looks and products and just living her authentic life. As I grew I started noticing comments from other girls who looked like me saying that they’re so happy to feel represented on YouTube. My channel gives a voice to such a large under-represented audience of women of colour and women who wear the hijab.
Yes, I love beauty and makeup and fashion, but I understand that I am also providing the representation I always wished I had growing up. Young girls (and even older women) in my comments are saying that they feel inspired and motivated to achieve their dreams simply because of what I do. I do not take that lightly and I try to be the best role model or figure I can be so that I don’t disappoint them.
What is your definition of success?
My definition of success is being truly happy and proud of whatever it is you’re doing. I don’t attribute money to success. I believe that if you’re putting your energy into something you are passionate about then naturally you will be successful at it.
If you could go back and make any changes, what would they be?
I don’t think I would make any changes to be completely honest. I think everything happens for a reason and although I grew relatively slow, it made me appreciate all my small milestones and be grateful for what I now have.
Can you share a recent success story that makes you feel happy and grateful?
I was recently recognized by YouTube in their Women To Watch campaign. I was flown out to New York City and had a 3-day shoot to create this gorgeous campaign video among some other top women creators in Canada. To be recognized by the YouTube platform itself was such a huge accomplishment, and especially as a black hijabi YouTuber. I feel like it was a win for all of us and an experience I’ll be forever grateful for.
Can you share three important tips for becoming a successful beauty blogger?
• Consistency – Don’t be hung up on the numbers. If you make good, quality content, the people will come. Consistency doesn’t mean uploading every single day for an entire month and expecting to have 1 million subscribers. It could mean upload 2 videos a week that offer something of value to people while also growing consistently. Have faith in the process. You only get what you put in.
• Honesty – Do not sacrifice your honesty and integrity for a quick check. It will only taint your credibility and you will not build a loyal following in the long-run. Work with brands you love, and don’t be afraid to say no to ones you don’t – regardless of how much they offer to pay you.
• Stop The Comparisons – Just stop. Comparing yourself to others will not only make you go crazy, but it will take the passion out of what you do. Everyone is on their own journey, and if you are putting in the work, your time will come. Instead of comparing yourself and getting bitter off someone’s success, think to yourself; what are they doing that I’m not doing, how did they get to where they are now, what can I do today to improve my content tomorrow.
Use their success as motivation to achieve your goals. Also remember, that life is not fair, especially for a woman of colour. Sometimes we do have to put in 10x the amount of work as our counterparts just to be recognized. However, you can either feel sorry for yourself or put that frustration into building a better brand for yourself.
What is the future for you as an influencer/beauty blogger?
Right now it has been about just over a year since I became a full-time content creator. So I’ve been focusing a lot of my efforts into growing my YouTube channel and building a name for myself in YouTube. I hope to continue being able to work with brands I’ve used and loved for a long time and create some amazing content with them. In the future, I would like to expand into more off-platform work. I am currently working on my website which will be officially launched very soon and from there I hope to create some merch for my following.
Words of encouragement?
Believe in yourself or nobody else will!