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What Hyram really thinks about clean beauty

We sat down with the popular skincare creator to discuss his thoughts on the trend.

As you’ve probably heard, YouTube is hosting its first-ever Beauty Festival on May 14. It’ll be available to watch, live(!), on at 1 p.m. PT.

We’re pretty excited to have Hyram -- one of our top 10 breakout creators in 2020 -- join me and Miranda Kerr (Founder and CEO of Kora Organics) on a panel about clean beauty. Hyram’s skincare reviews and reaction videos probably popped to the top of all your feeds because of his infectious enthusiasm for products.

So I asked this busy skincare specialist to give us a quick preview of what he’ll be discussing at #BeautyFest. Because, in all honesty, waiting until May 14 is hard.

Derek: YouTube just celebrated its 16-year anniversary. On one hand, that’s young. But in the tech world, it might as well be a zillion years! When did you start first looking at beauty videos on YouTube?

Hyram: I started with Nikkietutorials and Manny MUA. That was about 6, 7 years ago. Wow, that is crazy to say that it was that long ago. It does not feel like that! 

Derek: Do you remember any early favorites? 

Hyram: In high school, I remember seeing a video from Nikkietutorials when she started “The Power of Makeup” series. She did half of her face with a full makeup look and half of it without. And I just thought it was fascinating. Then I started watching Manny MUA and fell into the whole scene. Within two months, that's all I consumed. It's all I watched, every day. I was just obsessed!

Derek: You'll be happy to know that both Nikkie and Manny are participating in #BeautyFest.

Hyram: Oh, really? That’s awesome.

Derek: This year’s festival will look at the past 16 years, but also the future. This brings me to the conversation I’m moderating between you and Miranda Kerr on your journeys in the beauty industry. Have you met Miranda before?

Hyram: We've never met! I had one conversation via Instagram DM with her, where I freaked out and was fan-girling. She was very kind. She sent me all her products and that's the only interaction we've had. Overall, she just seems like such a nice person. I've been told by multiple people that she's just such a sweet, kind person.

Derek: I can attest that she is as sweet as she seems to be.

Hyram: It’s really refreshing, considering her impressive list of experiences throughout her life.

Derek: One issue I want to flesh out with you guys is the idea of “clean beauty,” which I know is a tricky term for you both. She calls her brand the “first certified organic skincare company.” Why are you apprehensive to apply that term, "clean beauty," to products?

Hyram: Clean beauty, as a term, has absolutely no regulation. It can mean anything, depending on who's saying it, and oftentimes it’ll mislead the consumer to believe that just because it says “clean” it's okay to use, or that it's perfect for their skin. I hesitate to say I support all clean beauty because that’s not all a consumer needs to do to make a conscious step when taking care of their skin. At the same time, there are elements that I like to talk about. I think clean beauty certainly helped the industry address what is in its products. But I take a very critical stance on what ingredients are in clean beauty. 

Derek: The other thing I'm excited to talk to you and Miranda about is the sense of community on YouTube, which I know that you have experienced.

Hyram: That's my favorite thing about YouTube! It's become such a powerful thing in my life, and something I never anticipated making my life so amazing and so filled with joy. Navigating the difficulties, challenges and the mental strength needed to go through any community -- no matter where it is or what platform it is -- is a topic that I love to talk about. It's fascinating.

Derek: What's the number-one tip you would give a young person who wants to work in the beauty space?

Hyram: The most important thing is to find what makes you different, and focus on that. Sometimes, people feel that they have to mimic or replicate the art or the way someone else expresses themself. To me, I think there's so much power and individuality in focusing on the best aspects of yourself and being unapologetic. When I first started on YouTube, I was trying to balance this fear and pressure of [knowing that] everyone's watching. In reality, no one was watching. I just started! And that's the most amazing part of starting out. Just be yourself and just do what you love, and express your individuality. That's what people are attracted to.

Derek: What's the best piece of advice you've ever gotten, and who gave it to you?

Hyram: My mom always said this phrase when I was growing up: “Balance in all things.” It never struck me until I started experiencing what it was like to be on YouTube, because it's tempting to just dive into work and be online all the time and have no exposure to the world, no social life. It’s because you're so passionate about creating content but it’s not the best situation. Take time to relax, connect with nature, focus on you and your mental health, and your social life. Every single thing is so important to make sure that you balance it. 

Derek: Sometimes, I think I have “unbalance” in all things. Ha!

Hyram: For me, too! It’s a lifelong struggle.

Derek: But it’s a good piece of advice, and I hope we both learn a lot more at #BeautyFest.

Hyram: I'm excited, too. It's going to be so much fun.