Sailor J via YouTube screenshot

Sailor J thinks she knows my life. My entire insecure, aggressively honest (or just aggressive), disorganized and easily distracted Aries life.

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She also does one hell of a bronzed cat eye.

The increasingly popular YouTuber—more than 120,000 subscribers and rising—first hit my radar in October with “Getting a Man 101”— a hilarious yet poignant take on how women often contort (and distort) ourselves for male approval. In the less-than-five-minute clip, she also manages to address colorism, “pick me” culture, and the beauty industry’s continued dismissal and undervaluing of black women.

Sailor J via YouTube screenshot

Contouring 101” swiftly followed, a bitingly feminist tutorial that used one of makeup’s most overused trends to address unrealistic beauty standards—while actually demonstrating it. At more than a half-million views to date, it’s obviously resonating with viewers, as is Sailor J’s recent holiday-themed video, “How to Do Thanksgiving Makeup That Has Nothing to Do With the 566 Federally Recognized Tribes.”

Sailor J via YouTube screenshot

In a space overrun with beauty tutorials that all seem to result in the same version of contoured, strong-arched and highlighted beauty (albeit in different hues), Sailor J’s irreverent approach is a welcome departure. With each beauty-fueled rant, she simultaneously reminds us to stay woke and to stop taking ourselves so damned seriously. And though things are definitely serious out here, that’s a reminder we could all use.

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Her latest series—which I’m affectionately calling “Astrology for Assholes”—is less social commentary, more insane reading of the not-so-ideal traits of each sign. It’s also eerily accurate. I mean, I’m not saying that my eye shadow game is more organized than my leadership skills, but ...

I’m just saying. Do you wanna fight?

Maiysha Kai is Managing Editor of The Glow Up, an avid eyeshadow enthusiast and always her own muse. Minneapolis born, Chicago bred, New York built. Nuance is her superpower.

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