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Nyma Tang Takes on the Beauty Industry One Drugstore Shelf at a Time

The beauty influencer is doing her most to help women with darker skin tones find products in stores everywhere

After not being able to find makeup for her skin tone, content creator and beauty influencer Nyma Tang decided to take things into her own hands. While working two jobs – one to pay her bills and the other to support the YouTube channel she launched in 2016 – she put her ambition of becoming a nurse aside and set out to expose brands for their lack of diversity. “When I first started my channel, I could count on one hand the [number] of foundations that I could find that would fit my skin tone,” she says. “And now, the last time I checked I had 20.”

In just a few short years, Tang, who has amassed almost two million followers across social media platforms and won a Shorty Award in 2018 for Best in Beauty, is amazed at how much impact she has had by simply revealing the harsh reality of this billion-dollar industry. Most of the time, the darker shades of brands sold in drugstores are only sold online and are not carried on shelves. “It's just frustrating to go in and know that you are specifically excluded from this genre of beauty,” the Ethiopian-born influencer notes. “Drugstores are my worst place to shop because drugstores need so much work. It genuinely hurts and it makes you feel like there is something wrong with you and there is something wrong with your skin tone.”

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It seems that her message was heard loud and clear. Her first brand partnership came from MAC Cosmetics when she created a red lipstick for darker skin tones that sold out. She also has collaborated with Dose of Colors, with which she launched two different lip kits. In 2019, CVS reached out and enlisted her to become their brand ambassador. Now, Tang is their diversity consultant. “It’s literally a full circle moment and a big milestone in my career,” she says. “My goal for this entire life journey is to make the beauty industry as diverse as I can make it in my lifetime. The worst thing about life is living unhappy in your skin. I don’t want that for young girls. I want to make sure I have done my part and then after that we can all rest easy – at least I can rest easy and feel like I’ve fulfilled this purpose all my life.”