Nyma, who proudly reps her South Sudanese roots, started making her videos as a way to combat colorism in the beauty industry — which often TOTALLY ignores dark-skinned women.
"When I was 21, I started experimenting with makeup," says Tang. "At that time, I’d go on YouTube to try to figure out what to do with my skin. I'd look for people with dark skin, and I’d find people a good five, six, seven, eight shades lighter than me saying 'dark skin.' It made me feel like crap. It made me feel like I was not included in makeup. I shouldn’t be wearing makeup. You need to leave, this is not for your skin tone."
So she started experimenting with makeup, and eventually started her channel to be an example for other dark-skinned girls. "Instead of looking for 'dark skin,' I’M going to be the person that people search for! When you see someone who looks like you doing something, it lights this fire in you. You feel like you can do it yourself. I wanted to be that person who is an example."
Nyma has a seriously amazing series on YouTube called "The Darkest Shade," where she tests out and reviews the darkest shade of makeup that a brand or line carries.
Her goals with these reviews are twofold: She provides other dark-complected women with accurate, unbiased information about complexion products that will (or won't) work for them AND she shows the makeup industry — and the world! — WHY it's so important to have a wide, inclusive range of shades.
"I hope that companies notice that when you release products like this, you have to include everybody," she said.
Most recently, she reviewed KKW Beauty's Creme Contour Sticks in Deep Dark — and was DEFINITELY not happy with Kim.
"The darkest contour shade looks like highlight!" she laughed. And when she swatched the matte highlight shade in the Deep Dark kit — which again, is supposed to work for the deepest skin tones — forget it. "This just gives me an ashy cast under my eyes," she said.
Repeat: This is supposed to be a CONTOUR shade.
Why Nyma gave the KKW Contour sticks a negative review, she did it for a really important reason. "This is not to bash [Kim]," said Nyma. "This is to bring awareness to these situations. These contour sticks? Totally disregard us."
But Nyma doesn't just drag brands that get it wrong. She's reviewed the darkest shade of Tarte's iconic Shape Tape concealer.
At first, she thought the shade Mahogany was going to be too light, but it blended out nicely — she was a fan. Even still, she found that it gave her deep skin a slightly gray tint.
She also tests budget products, like the NYX Total Control Drop Foundation, which she liked — to a point.
Turn out that even though the darkest shade NYX makes did match her skin, none of the dark shades were available in stores. If products aren't accessible, does it even matter if you make them?
She reviewed Make Up For Ever's Ultra HD Foundation in R540, the darkest shade the brand made at the time — and discovered the undertone elephant in the room.
In addition to being "a few shades" too light for her skin, there was a much bigger problem. "This foundation has a yellow undertone," she said. "My skin doesn't have that... I think I look dead."
It was the opposite problem when she tried Bobbi Brown's Foundation Stick in Espresso. "This is very, very, very, very RED."
"It looks like my head is randomly floating," she said. "I have red undertones, so this level of red is kind of crazy."
She also threw shade: "This was voted by Cosmo Latina as the best foundation for dark skin... no. No. No. Nooooo. I don't know who they interviewed, but it did not work."
Recently, she tried Maybelline Fit Me Matte and Poreless in shade 375 Java. The very darkest color of foundation was still too light — and that wasn't the biggest problem.
"I am going to go on a rant about the lengths I had to go to get this foundation," she said. "Most drugstore makeup is found in a drugstore, but it's really frustrating when darker shades of makeup aren't available in certain stores. That really bothers me. I had to go to four or five different Wal-Marts to get this shade, and I think that is really unfair. If a store has all the other shades, and then they cut it off... so that the darker shades aren't available in stores? Very unfair."
Nyma makes these videos to inspire and educate other dark-skinned women — and let them know the colorist issues in beauty are not their fault. “It can be really disheartening to not be included, to not be considered," she said.
Nyma — who says she was bullied mercilessly in school for the color of her skin — says that beauty's obsession with lighter skin is NOT OK. "There are all these messages saying dark skin is bad, dark skin is ugly, dark skin isn't good enough," she says. And the makeup shades that brands choose to make and distribute is a big part of that.
"The darker end of the spectrum is left out entirely," she says. "I was compelled to [make these videos] because I felt like, if I didn’t do it, the darkest side of the spectrum is going to keep going unnoticed. I hope that companies notice that when you release products like this, you have to include everybody."
“It can be really disheartening to people to not be included, to not be considered. It would make you feel like there’s something wrong with you. There’s nothing wrong with you. The beauty industry has some work to do."
"All the dark-skinned girls out there, I have been where you are," she says. "Dark skin is not a trend, it’s not popping for the moment. We are not a trend, we are popping forever."