Type “Johnreyslife” in the YouTube search engine, and you’ll find a list of your favorite local makeup brands next to her name. It’s no surprise, after all, Johnrey is the rising Pinay beauty vlogger. We can all turn to her for brutally honest reviews, makeup tips, and most importantly, morena beauty advice.
Only three years into the YouTube game, Johnrey has already amassed a following of over 170,000 subscribers, or “curls,” as she fondly calls them. Her cheeky, conversational, no BS vlogging style has earned her the admiration of her viewers.
Johnrey is best known for her reliable videos that address concerns a lot of us morenas have—dark lips, dark skin, dark circles—without necessarily treating them like flaws. It’s quite the opposite, actually: Johnrey’s unapologetic approach empowers her morena viewers to accept and love their natural beauty through makeup.
In this interview with Cosmopolitan Philippines, Johnrey talked about her journey as a YouTuber, her top morena makeup products, and Filipino beauty standards.
Why did you start your own YouTube channel?
Johnrey: it was just for fun. I’m always fascinated by the internet and I just literally want to have fun—nothing crazy, nothing planned. I wish I had an interesting answer, but I just started this for fun.
When did you know you were ready to make vlogging your full-time job?
Johnrey: I never planned on quitting my job because YouTube is a scary world. It would be like diving into the unknown. But, I just had this connection with my subscribers (or my sweet curls), ya know, they made me feel that everything is gonna be okay. At the same time, the demand for working on my YouTube channel was way out of hand that I couldn’t balance my work and vlogging. I had to quit my job.
Is there a story behind your iconic intro, "It's ya girl, the internet hoe, Johnrey?"
Johnrey: I was drunk! And I just kept saying that phrase over and over until I passed out. Haha!
You create a lot of videos for morena skin and dark lips—topics not a lot of beauty vloggers talk about. What kind of reactions have you gotten from your viewers?
Johnrey: Urgh! THE BEST! I feel so happy whenever I get comments that I was able to help them pick the right shade of makeup. I love it when they say they never wear makeup or never had an interest in beauty because they have dark skin but they are now more confident to experiment with makeup.
What are your favorite beauty products that bring out your morena skin?
Johnrey: Colourette Velvetints, L'Oreal Les Chocolats in Volupto Choco and... OMG, a loooot! Haha! (Here's a video where Johnrey discussed her favorites.)
You're now at 170k+ subscribers! Do you remember the video that kickstarted your channel's growth?
Johnrey: It's crazy to think I couldn't remember—a lot has happened. But honestly, my curls kickstarted this channel. If it wasn't for them, I wouldn't be doing what I’m doing today.
As a morena influencer, what do you think about colorism in the Philippines?
Johnrey: It still happens! It’s really disgusting, to be honest. But I think it’s not worth the energy. I have a platform to spread self-love... and not changing who you are. People who still practice colorism are narrow-minded. Even if you try to explain or teach them, they don't want to learn. I prefer to focus on helping out my viewers.
In your opinion, what role does social media play in today's beauty standards?
Johnrey: It plays a HUGE role! Social media is like seeing the world on your phone. That's why I always say that you should be careful about choosing the people you follow. The behavior of the person you always watch can be passed on to you without you noticing it—even your perception of beauty! Be mindful about your follow list.
What's your message for other morenas like you, who are just learning to love their skin color?
Johnrey: Life is too short for self-loathing. You are your own beauty standard.
If you could be famously known on Youtube for only one thing, what would it be?
Johnrey: Beauty guru for morenas and dark lips and being Johnrey! Periodt, point, BLANK!
What's next for Johnrey?
Johnrey: There's a LOT in store for 2020, but issa secret! I also just want to keep doing my thing and continue the thing that made me Johnrey.
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