In light of the novel coronavirus pandemic and the increased xenophobia that has consequently ensued, I wanted to voice out a couple of thoughts that should be reinforced because of their urgency.

Interview with Shannon Bruno

Introduce yourself!

Hi! My name is Shannon Bruno. I am a 27-year-old, Filipino-American, skincare enthusiast & content creator on TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube. I am also a registered nurse, currently working as a nursing director.

You’ve been on YouTube since 2013, making beauty and lifestyle videos. What inspired you to start your channel?

Yes, time flies! YouTube has always been one of my favorite ways to connect with others online. I have actually been on YouTube for longer, but my current channel has been active since 2013. Although I’m not consistently doing YouTube, I’ve always had a passion for watching and making videos, sharing info and products I love, and it helps that I’m comfortable talking in front of a camera. I originally made my YouTube when I was heavily into makeup, but that quickly transitioned into skincare because that was the same time I started getting more acne. It was in 2013 when I made my first skincare-related video, and since then, I can’t shut up about skincare. 

How would you describe your personal skincare journey? 

Challenging! My skin has always been oily and acne-prone, with hyperpigmentation and scarring being my biggest concerns. As a POC, it is difficult to treat my skin concerns due to genetics, so I’ve learned the importance of having patience with skincare and knowing what ingredients to use and stay away from. I’ve had acne since high school, so over 10 years now. However, in the last year and a half, I’ve become more aware of what my skin really needs and have a more streamlined approach to my skincare routine. I am also more aware of my diet, what foods cause inflammation, and how it can greatly affect my skin depending on what I eat.

What influenced your interest in producing more skincare-based content? 

As I mentioned, my acne journey played a big role in that. I was more interested in focusing on skin health rather than makeup, which started to bore me. I also spent a lot more time learning about skincare than any other beauty category and loved it so much that it became an obsession/passion. Ultimately I kept on producing content that I felt more connected to, and I’m so glad I kept at it!

Your personal skincare shop on Instagram (@shannonbrunoshop) donates all of the proceeds to a variety of charities that support Black voices. How did you decide to use your shop to raise awareness, and why do you think it’s essential for social media influencers to use their platforms to shine a light on social justice/human rights issues? 

Thank you for recognizing that! As someone with a platform who also receives too much PR for my own good (lol), I felt that opening a BLM charity shop would be the perfect way to give back to a cause that I feel strongly about while also giving back to my followers. From being on social media, I’ve learned first hand the impact you can directly have on someone’s life just by simply sharing what you believe in and doing something about it. After the recent BLM protests all around the country, it really shook me to my core, and I learned so much that I didn’t know before. All lives truly do not matter until black lives matter. It’s not a trend. It’s an ongoing movement that we all must fight against every single day. 

We love the videos that you post on Tik Tok! What do you find most fulfilling about the skincare community there, and what can be challenging?

Thank you so much! I truly did not expect TikTok to take off the way it did, but I’ve never felt so comfortable sharing content on an app as much as I do now. I’ve always been more passionate about creating content through video than photos, so it felt natural to me. I’m also super comfortable in front of a camera from doing YT for so long. TikTok is a whole different audience than IG or YT – the skincare community is massive. It also caters to younger people. A huge advantage of that is getting to educate teens and young adults about the importance of taking care of your skin early on. It’s so refreshing to see so many dermatologists and estheticians on the app and sharing their skincare knowledge for free in 15-second videos. What’s better than that for a skincare enthusiast – seriously?!

Do you have any tips/words of wisdom for skincare newbies? And for Asian womxn specifically?

A lot of my content on TikTok is actually targeted toward teens and skincare newbies! A few of the most important things I wish I knew when I started skincare are 1) wear spf religiously, 2) double cleanse, and 3) don’t over-exfoliate! That’s actually a great segway into the second question because recently, I’ve been sharing tips for POC women, specifically those who deal with post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation like me. Treat your skin gently. Skin irritation in POC leads to unwanted hyperpigmentation and can actually worsen acne. I used to exfoliate twice daily (the horror!!!) and was never taught until this last year how bad that can be for POC. I definitely learned the hard way – so don’t do what I did!

As a Filipino-American woman, why do you think it’s important for Asian women to have representation in the beauty community? 

That’s a great question. Being a melanated woman, I never thought about how western beauty is largely influenced by Caucasian skin because it’s just the culture I grew up in being in America. However, I’ve learned in recent years just how lacking brands are in representation of people of ALL skin tones and cultures that live in America. Asian representation is becoming more and more seen these days, which is awesome, so I hope that continues. It’s so important to have this representation because it shows how much brands care about their consumer. Everyone just wants to be heard and feel included. Inclusion is way overdue in the beauty industry.

Who are some other Asian womxn beauty/skincare content creators you want to shout out?

Here’s some women I love learning from so much! 

@susanyara

@vanessalee_rn

@liahyoo

@whatsonvisface

What do you think are the biggest challenges facing Asian womxn today?

 Personally, I feel like there is still a lot of inclusion that needs to happen, not only in American beauty but Asia, too. Most Asians are taught from a young age from our immigrant parents that “light” skin is better, and that if you are born with more melanin, it is looked down upon. I don’t understand this at all. A lot of Asian women feel pressured to look “whiter” because of this belief. It’s so sad, and I’m glad to see these barriers being frowned upon more these days. All skin tones are BEAUTIFUL!

What’s next for you? Any exciting projects?

Still plan to be on TikTok for as long as I can (if the app doesn’t get banned in America lol)! A lot of my current contracts and brand deals are for TikTok, so follow me there for most of my content. I am also a part of TikTok’s Creative Learning Fund, so they help me grow my channel, and fortunately, I get paid to make more educational skincare videos, which is amazing and such a blessing. Excited for whatever is next!

You can find Shannon Bruno on Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube.



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Shannon Bruno is a 27-year-old, Filipino-American skincare enthusiast & beauty content creator from Seattle, WA. She mostly creates fun and educational skincare content on TikTok, but first got started on YouTube and Instagram. She has immense product knowledge from battling acne and skin concerns for over ten years, and her passion is sharing it with her audience. Her focus now is encouraging others in their journey with acne and providing helpful content to those starting with skincare. Aside from social media, she is also a Registered Nurse currently working as a nursing director where she spends most of her time.

Overachiever Magazine was started by Rehana Paul in October of 2018 to give a platform to all Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities.

Our name is poking fun at the stereotype that all Asians are overachievers, especially Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities. It’s also in recognition of all of us who have had no choice but to be overachievers: managing societal expectations, family obligations, and educational opportunities, all while fighting the patriarchy.

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We do not claim to speak for all Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities. We are just here to give them a place to speak for themselves.

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