I’ve been called everything under the sun, from the N-word to people wishing I have cancer
Being a black, boy beauty blogger isn’t always easy though, and Gary experienced a lot of negativity starting out.
“I have experienced some hardcore bullying that left me feeling super low and very fragile but I’m so happy to be where I am today”, he says.
“Recently, I chose to work with Avon on their new Stand4Her campaign, all about the freedom to express yourself, which I am a firm believer in. I think it’s so important to open up the conversation about beauty and inclusivity. Everyone has the right to feel comfortable in their own skin.”
Two years ago, Gary says all the negative comments would really get to him, “but now I’ve been on social media for so long, I’ve evolved and I know who I am.”
However, it doesn’t stop people staring on the streets. “When I walk down the street I always get so many stares, it’s crazy. I’m very shy when it comes to eye to eye contact from strangers so I always have to bring sunglasses with me if I go out in central London. I have good and bad reactions but I’m confident going about my day so nothing bothers me. I always just strut and put my music on.”
Gary’s advice for those being bullied online? “Take a moment and breathe. This person doesn’t know you and they are somewhere else in the world taking their issues out on someone else.”
I follow a lot of beauty bloggers on Instagram, but one that never fails to make me smile is The Plastic Boy. Sass is such an inadequate word to describe the level of personality and flair Gary Thompson presents in his videos, with a heart of gold at the centre of it all.
Following in the footsteps of boy beauty bloggers, James Charles and Patrick Starrr, who have scored many brand partnerships over the years, Gary is currently part of AVON’s #NudeIsMyStyle collective – a group of nine who span a range of ages, gender, ethnicity, careers and backgrounds. He was also a welcomed guest on GLAMOUR’S #BlendOutBullying panel where he shared his stories of online trolling at the GLAMOUR Beauty Festival.
Here, we chat to Gary about why started beauty blogging, how he deals with negativity, and his amazing skincare routine (obvs)…
I started The Plastic boy because there was no one around like me
When asked what he loves most about being ‘The Plastic Boy’, Gary answers, “I love being unique, standing for something and being a black boy in the beauty industry.” Which is one of the reasons he started blogging in the first place.
“I wanted to showcase me being a black boy, doing skin care and beauty reviews for deep skin tones”, he says.
“I first started my YouTube channel ten years ago, then create my Instagram page two years ago and it’s just grown since then. I stand by having my channel to bring awareness and giving boys the confidence to be themselves.”
When it comes to growing his Instagram following, Gary says he focuses on being consistent and showing his personality in videos. “I always try to make my videos super cute and super fun.”
“My audience love my skincare videos”, he says. “I’m not sure why but when I do a makeup removal video or a video featuring me doing a facial, they love it!”
I sometimes create my own home-made turmeric masks to make my skin look brighter and more awake
Gary has one of the glowiest complexions on the ‘gram and aside from his homemade tumeric masks, he says, “I love to cleanse, tone and moisturise. I live for an essence and always use one before bed, it just helps my products work better on my skin. Also, I use sheet masks three times a week.”
As for his makeup must-haves, he says nothing beats a super cute nude lip for an everyday look. “The one I’ve currently been wearing in my videos and when I’m out is French Toast from Avon’s Perfect Nudes collection. It’s a warm-brown, creamy matte nude that just glides on my lips like butter. And it’s only £6 – bargain!”
And for a glowing base that won’t quit, “I use the Morphe Continuous Setting Mist (£15), and Huda Beauty’s Easy Bake Loose Powder (£28) in Kunfanfa really sets my under-eye makeup for 24 hours.”
“Finally, I love the KKW Beauty Bronzer Powder, as it really compliments deeper skin tones.”