The Beauty Guru Who Always Keeps It Real | Raye Boyce of ITSMYRAYERAYE

Author: Kristen McCloud / Photos: Ja Tecson

While YouTube has grown into its own empire, there was a time when being a YouTuber was simply a hobby with little to no monetary benefit. Now, many seek to make a career out of YouTube or create an empire of their own by growing a massive following. But with all of the promise of free PR packages, sponsorships, exclusive events, and "social media fame," it's easy to see why people can lose sight of why they started. One YouTuber who has stuck with YouTube through all of its changes while remaining authentic and successful is Raye Boyce of ITSMYRAYERAYE. As a beauty guru, Raye brings her love of all things makeup--especially affordable finds--to computer screens all over the world.

Although she has made a career off of her viral beauty advice, that wasn’t always her intention. “I actually got into YouTube by accident,” Raye starts off, going on to tell us that she started out by posting about makeup looks and affordable beauty deals on Tumblr, back when it was the place to be. “There was another YouTuber who approached me and she was like, ‘You should just create a YouTube channel, you do it anyway.’ But I was like, umm I don’t know about that... I was nervous and I didn’t understand just recording yourself in your home, it was kind of strange back then,” she laughs. “But it ended up working out.”

Although Raye’s first love was fashion, she centered her YouTube channel around beauty since it was something that she still fully enjoyed but saw as a little less cutthroat. However, that may have only been true for YouTube in its pre-brand deal and clickbait days. With YouTube's current business model, most decisions have to be carefully calculated and are always under close watch--no matter what kind of YouTuber you are.

“I feel like every single thing has changed; like every aspect as far as what people want to see, what’s entertaining to them, how to film your videos, and how to post,” Raye explains. “Back then, you could literally film on your phone or laptop. Now you have to have a full production setup -- but I don’t mind the change.” Many YouTubers have suffered due to the changing YouTube space. You can be successful in having a high subscriber count and loads of cash flow coming from paid unboxings and hauls, but having a comment section constantly littered with "hate” messages about how “you’ve changed” and are “fake” isn't a good look, no matter how much money you're making.

"...when your viewers and followers see that you actually love what you’re doing, they’re also going to love what you’re doing."

Raye’s channel has remained almost hate-free and is always positive, and she attributes this to staying true to what she’s been about since day one. “I just feel like I’ve stayed true to what I’ve always posted. You know, like finding affordable deals and buying cheaper makeup that’s super amazing and comparable to high-end makeup,” she says. “You would think because there are so many YouTubers and influencers out there that a lot of people would still focus on that but they really don’t.” However, Raye still understands the name of the game and that at the end of the day, it’s a business which can’t be denied. “I can see how you could get lost. We get sent a LOT of makeup and when that happens you just can be like, ‘Oh, I'll just post about this because I’m being paid for it.’ But at the end of the day, I’m always thinking about my audience and thinking, but can they afford that?” Raye also lets us know that she has a community of loyal subscribers who always keep her in check if she ever starts to lose sight of her original message, laughing as she tells us, “Sometimes when I start drifting away they’re like, 'Raye don’t forget where you came from.'”

It’s all about balance, which Raye seems to have perfected. While you can always count on her channel for showing you the perfect drugstore dupes, you can also find a popular Fenty Beauty review or two because let’s face it, we all love a good deal, but you never know when you’ll want to treat yourself--especially when it comes to a brand you love. “Just as long as you’re staying true to yourself you can promote the products that you would probably use anyways or a brand that you would probably work with anyways,” Raye explains. “[Subscribers] don’t mind that. But when it’s oversaturated and every single thing is sponsored then it’s like, are you here for them or are you just here to make money?”

Raye hopes to continue to grow her channel, and although the YouTube beauty space is heavily saturated in comparison to a few years ago, she doesn’t think that should deter anyone from pursuing it if it’s something they love. “Instead of sitting there and thinking about it, just do it. You never know. It wasn’t my plan and it ended up turning into a career,” she smiles. “Just be consistent and stay true to yourself… when your viewers and followers see that you actually love what you’re doing, they’re also going to love what you’re doing.”

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