South Africa is one of the most popular countries in the African continent. Despite having a tumultuous peculiar colonization history, present day south Africans have risen above the painful apartheid memories and have metamorphosed into amazingly talented individuals who always stand out in their field, locally and internationally. Be it in dance, music, movies, beauty industry, South Africans are very good in their craft. This article is centered on the beauty industry and highlights the 10 South African beauty influencers you should be following.
Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Tiktok and Social media in general is full of talented individuals, from lifestyle, health, beauty, sport, art and so much more. When it comes to beauty, social media is one of the best place you can find inspiration especially when it comes to makeup. A lot of South African Beauty influencers have leveraged on social media to push their brand forward.
However, the kind of content on makeup inspiration can become overwhelming if you’re not familiar with the industry. But there are a few key individuals that stand out from the crowd with their skill and passion for makeup.
Our list of ten South African beauty influencers below are not ranked in any particular order. If you aren’t already following them, give them a follow to be continuously inspired by their creativity! To further ensure authentic information, not all of them have massive following because massive followership does not translate to perfection of skills.
Ten South African Beauty Influencers You Should Follow
1. Nuzah Jacobs
Nuzhah Jacobs started fashion blogging while she was still at school. During her university days, she discovered her love for beauty and makeup and after her graduation,she decided to take a chance on herself and do make up/beauty content creation full-time.
Since her break into the beauty industry, her brand has witnessed steady growth with her Halloween makeup looks gaining the most engagement. Being involved in the Essence Cosmetics campaign where she was chosen as one of the faces for #TEAMFLAWLESS was one of the proudest and biggest moments for Nuzah.
As one of the ten south African beauty influencers you should follow, Nuzah Jacobs says; “I try to create meaningful content that adds value to those who follow me and enjoy my content. That can be through learning something new, informing, storytelling or even just providing a smile.”
2. Sive Ngcelwane
For 26 years old Sive, makeup is both a side hustle, a passion and a project. In a female dominated industry, this young man dedicates most of his time learning and coming up with ideas to share with his YouTube followers.
Speaking about his craft, sive says; “I’m a firm believer that being independent and entrepreneurial at a young age will definitely have its benefits in the future. As a side-gig, it has definitely brought me experiences money cannot buy —This may sound a bit cliché but makeup in Africa is a female-dominated industry, males are often shoved under the rug and most of them just don’t get the recognition they deserve. My style of makeup and the fact that I’m a male in this industry is definitely my differentiating factor.”
With a dream of one day owning his own make up and skincare brand, Sive has witnessed very gradual growth on his personal brand over the last three years, but it however peaked when he began working for Afternoon Express as Bonnie Mbuli’s makeup artist.
One of his career highlights was being a part of the Bonnie Mbuli x Yardley London collaboration in 2019 where his make-up looks were shown in stores nationwide.
3. Katlego Lekalakala
A 28 years old full-time doctor and makeup goddess, Katlego is based in Johannesburg, and already has a load on her plate. She became known from a young age for her passion for makeup and when she stumbled upon the opportunity to make money from it, she took it.
Katlego started posting regularly In 2016 on social media and that’s when her brand slowly started to grow to the 10k Instagram following she now has. People also love the beauty projects Kefilwe Mabote and Katlego do together, and Katlego believes it’s because of Kefilwe’s willingness to allow her to be creative on her face. Katlego’s style is to not try and transform the person with makeup, but rather emulate what their natural beauty already portrays and allow the make-up to highlight it.
For Katlego, “My biggest dream is to have a makeup line that is a household name, as well as be well known for the work that I do as a doctor. Most importantly, as a makeup artist, I want to change people’s lives and empower more people to do more and gain more with makeup.” Her skills in combining her work as a doctor and her content creation on beauty, sets her aside as one of the south African beauty influencers you should follow.
4. Xola Ntlokwana
At only 24 years old, Xola is already killing it in the South African beauty industry. Her makeup account started as a passion project at first before it organically became a side hustle.
“I started out quite young, and I’ve already been able to build a name for myself and had the pleasure of working with quite a few big names in the industry. My work definitely speaks for itself.”
When Xola did Mihlali Ndamase’s makeup for an international campaign, the project gained a lot of attention and people were really interested in what it felt like to do her makeup since she’s also a make-up artist. She is one of the south African beauty influencers you should follow.
Xola dreams of being a beauty director, in the future growing from being a makeup artist. She also has big goals of running her own beauty academy.
5. Mihlali Ndamase
An award-winning content creator, who has featured on the formidable Forbes 30 Under 30 list, is one of the South African beauty influencers you really need to follow. With a whooping 1.6 million followers on Instagram, 369 thousand subscribers to her YouTube channel and almost 90k followers on TikTok, Mihlahi is a proven professional loved far and wide.
She is the founder of the beauty platform called Malakyt and is known for her speedy and practical make-up demos on Youtube. Mihlali also possesses endless imaginative beauty looks and hacks that will motivate you to be more creative.
6. Kay Ngonyama
Kay’s exceptional variety and talent in content creation makes her one of the most knowledgeable and useful South African beauty influencers out there. Kay has beauty knowledge on everything from affordable drugstores items to Chanel products, including fragrances to haircare.
Kay is noteworthy for her endless makeup and hair inspiration. Her Instagram beauty feed is a positive place that’s also a testament to her fun personality.
7. Cynthia Gwebu
Cynthia is a South African beauty influencer and blogger who’s on the rise. Her videos have a unique quality that keeps her audience coming back. She’s also known for using good beauty products that her audience can access right in Cape Town.
For Cynthia, a beautiful blend of her professional work, including good product recommendations and industry insights along with scenic views on her account is her strong points.
8. Mbali Mkhize
Mbali is one of the go-to south African beauty influencers for flawless makeup creations, endless style and makeup inspiration.
This make-up artist and business woman is quickly gaining traction and attention for her work in the beauty industry, both on Instagram and youtube.
9. Thandi Gama
Thandi is definitely one of the south African beauty influencers you should follow for fun and relatable content with plenty of product recommendations and compelling makeup tutorials.
Beauty, fashion, and lifestyle vlogger Thandi Gama, is one of these YouTubers on beauty and lifestyle that is noteworthy. She started vlogging in 2016, spending a good two years honing her craft on YouTube before she officially made the move to dedicate her time fully on her channel. She explains that “currently, as I’m building my brand, I don’t see myself going back to a 9 to 5. I like being in control of my time”.
“If the structure of working a 9 to 5 completely changed and it came with a salary I could not refuse, I might consider it. But for now, I am happy with where I am,” she adds.
10. Lungile Thabethe
28 years old Lungile is a celebrity Makeup Artist & Beauty Entrepreneur and one of the south African beauty influencers you should follow. She is the founder of the online retail interior designer studio Glaze Home and also the co-founder of Quick Face beauty brand.
Lungile is noteworthy for her endless make-up inspiration that balances wow products with wearable, useful product recommendations and aesthetically pleasing travel and interior decor content.
She’s built her brand around make-up and the fact that her more than four hundred thousand followers on Instagram look up to her for style inspiration; whether for a face beat or home décor.
But there is more to Lungile than what you see on social media. She doesn’t just create digital content, she is a celebrity make-up artist, beauty entrepreneur, and an interior designer, she studied political science in Belgium for a year as part of a Rotary exchange programme.
The above mentioned influencers are the ten south African influencers you should follow for all your beauty inspiration needs. These talented creatives will always give you something to be inspired by for all your make up, beauty and skin care needs.