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Photo finish: 10 of the best Instagram beauty accounts

The many beauty aficionados of Instagram get a bad rap for creating outlandish looks that attract “likes” online but veer beyond anything that works in real life. But the world of Instagram beauty is not all unicorn-horn eyeliner, sushi lip-art and extreme contouring. The scene has become a space for alternative voices to flourish – from teens testing bronzers in their bedrooms to women of colour giving tips on makeup for dark skin, something all too often left out of the mainstream beauty narrative.

Here are some of the best beauty accounts to follow for tips on achieving the best brows, dewy skin and bold eyes.

For new trends

Will u be my honey 🍯? Eyes: @toofaced “peanut butter honey palette” #toofaced #bbhoodz

A post shared by 🏁🔥K A R E N Y E U N G 🔥🏁 (@iamkareno) on Jun 5, 2017 at 6:44pm PDT

YouTuber Karen Yeung’s bold, colourful and on-trend beauty looks have her 544,000 followers tuning into her feed time and again. From “foiled freckles”, which puts Nars Interstellar Eye Paint to innovative use, dotted on her cheeks, to pink eyeshadow inspired by strawberry milk bought on a recent trip to a Korean supermarket, she’s not afraid to play with colours and frequently reinvents her look.

For dark skin

Patricia Bright is a beauty and fashion YouTube personality with more than 1 million followers. From dealing with hyperpigmentation to picking the right foundation for dark skin, she is a great source of beauty and skincare knowledge for people of colour. She might be UK-based but her feed is filled with shots of her trips to rooftop pools and white sandy beaches, for those seeking aspirational holiday inspiration.

For a boy’s take

Miguel’s Instagram feed offers the perfect mix of subtle and full- coverage makeup looks. The Florida-based makeup artist is part of the growing group of beauty boys, celebrating makeup for men.

Some of Miguel’s strongest looks include a colourful mismatched eyeshadow – where he paints one eye metallic blue, the other red – and one that he dubbed the “Swarovski gaze”, which comes complete with under-eye gemstones.

For an older woman’s perspective

Unfortunately, beauty bloggers for older skin are in short supply, which seems like a huge gap in the market. But there is plenty of inspiration out there for those looking for lipstick lessons from older women. Once a stylist for US Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue, beauty entrepreneur and style icon Linda Rodin offers ingenuity in abundance. While her account may not have tips and DIY tutorials, it is full of photos to inspire colourful makeup for a life lived vividly – from fuschia to postbox red lipstick worn with an all-white outfit. Besides shots of her low-maintenance, upmarket vintage look, her account is also worth a visit for the multiple pictures of her poodle, Winks.

For full-on glamour

Jaclyn Hill is an American online beauty personality whose highlighter collaboration with makeup brand Becca, and in particular the champagne pop shimmering skin perfector, quickly achieved cult status among beauty lovers. She even recently made a video in which she schools Kim Kardashian in the ways of eyeshadow; and is counter-schooled by Kim in the ways of contouring. Jaclyn’s Instagram is perfect for those who like their beauty on the glittery side.

For minimal looks

Cecilia does not dedicate her Instagram account solely to beauty – the American student uses her gram to share life updates, photography of flowers and fruit, as well as showing her followers which products she uses to create her soft, beautiful looks. Come for the arty selfies and still lifes, stay for the tips on visible brows, sheer lip stains, dewy highlighters and skincare.

For the blemish-prone

Retired model Em Ford’s online beauty career surged when she released a video showing her severe acne alongside some of the negative messages she had received because of it. The video caught the eye of many, including Kylie Jenner. Since then her social media following has flourished. Ford shares wearable makeup looks – and she uses her platform to encourage others to use makeup to highlight their natural skin rather than to simply conceal their flaws.

For the beginner

Lily Pebbles and The Anna Edit are part of the approachable beauty blogger generation, and among the best accounts for those seeking quality beauty advice for the everyday. Their recommendations are always genuine. Both share easy, wearable looks, as well as using products for all budgets.

For makeup as art

World famous makeup artist Pat McGrath is a major influencer in the beauty world, receiving an MBE in 2013 for her services to the fashion and beauty industry. The British-born creative’s Instagram account is a moodboard of her personal and professional beauty inspiration, as well as a showcase for her iconic editorial and runway work with the likes of Bella Hadid and Nicki Minaj. A favourite look has to be the one she created for the Maison Margiela Paris fashion week Autumn/Winter 2017 show – the multidimensional lips are entrancing. For serious makeup envy, look no further.

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