Have you ever wanted to mix every color of lipstick at Sephora? Is clothing from the fast-fashion brand, Wish, worth the hype? What would happen if you bought products recommended by TikTok and Instagram?
Safiya Nygaard answers these queries and more.
Originally an employee at the media company Buzzfeed, Safiya left in early 2017 to start her own YouTube channel about fashion, beauty and popular trends.
With her husband, Tyler, and feline friend, Crusty, Safiya tries convenience-store makeup, purchases clothing while blindfolded and travels the world to learn about beauty abroad.
One of Safiya’s earlier series involves her trying odd clothing trends like platform crocs and clear-knee jeans. Another series, called “Bad Makeup Science,” Safiya mixes various beauty products like lipsticks, eyeshadow palettes and scented hand sanitizers to make a new “franken-product” (as she calls it).
Safiya Nygaard might inspire you to reinvent your wardrobe, but more likely she’ll teach you about the fashion industry and get you chuckling about its oddities.
While her vast clothing and makeup collections show that she enjoys all things beauty, Safiya generally promotes body positivity, focusing on ways that beauty products can extenuate her body’s natural features.
Although her channel’s focus isn’t education, many of Safiya’s videos involve research about fashion throughout the decades and fashion in different cultures. She interviews experts in the beauty industry and YouTubers from the countries she visits. Safiya has also made some videos about the process of making makeup.
Safiya occasionally uses profanity in her videos. She censors heavy profanity like the f-word and the s-word, but words like “h—,” “d–n,” “a–,” “b–tard,” “crap” and misuses of God’s name can be heard. She also has a video in which she designs outfits according to her Zodiac sign. And as part of the video, Safiya interviews an astrology expert/psychic reader.
Safiya is married to Tyler now. But when she first started her channel, Tyler was her long-term boyfriend, and the couple was clearly living together.
Although her collection of makeup and clothing is mainly for her YouTube channel, many of Safiya’s videos feature her buying a plethora of beauty products, including from some fast-fashion sites like Wish and Romwe. Safiya isn’t necessarily promoting consumerism, but many of her videos involve her reviewing “hauls” of these products.
Many of these haul videos include segments in which Safiya scrolls through social media and clothing websites. Sometimes the advertising images show underdressed models, but Safiya will blur any outright nudity in these images.
In videos in which she tries different types of clothing, Safiya references how certain pieces fit on specific body parts. Her descriptions aren’t crude, but she will discuss how a pair of pants feels on her behind or how a shirt makes her breasts look. For example, in a video called, “I Bought the First 5 Things Facebook Recommended to Me,” Safiya purchases bras and underwear. She discusses how the items feel, but she does not show herself wearing these items. (In this video, Safiya also purchases condoms–per Facebook’s ad recommendations–but she does not go into any details reviewing that item.)
Although it’s not a negative thing, some parents might want to note that Safiya made a few videos about products related to menstruation, in which she tested things like menstrual cups and period underwear. Safiya talks openly and specifically about her experience with her period, but just to help other women.
Safiya Nygaard’s channel offers a fresh take on beauty content, an industry that can often come off as insincere and toxic. Safiya doesn’t pressure her viewers to conform to beauty standards. Instead, she focuses on the fun of fashion without obsessing about her image.
While families will certainly want to be aware of the profanity and consumerist tendencies, Safiya’s channel is more navigable than many other YouTubers on the site.
Sarah Rasmussen is the Plugged In intern for Summer 2023.