What is the length of your hair?
This will help us personalize your experience.

Beauty for All: Bryce Anthony Wants All Genders to Own Their Beauty

0622_BTTBL_BryceAnthony_Thumbnail0622_BTTBL_BryceAnthony_Header

There are certain unspoken beauty standards that we all seem to have fallen in line with, no matter how woke we may be. Somewhere between believing that thinner is better and that straight hair reigns supreme, we’ve also silently agreed that taking care of your skin is for women. Bryce Anthony is here to change that.

Bryce is a licensed esthetician who encourages others to boldly take up space in an industry that has catered to women and white Western ideals since its inception. Through educational videos, treatments, and one-on-one consultations, Bryce has made himself available to break down skincare information barriers for all. We followed his journey from a creative, queer kid growing up in Los Angeles to one of NYC’s favorite beauty experts. Keep reading to see beauty through his unique lens.

Black and white portrait of Bryce Anthony posing against a wall

Bryce in the Beginning

A quick scroll through Bryce’s Instagram portrays an individual who has honed in on his personal style and point of view, which he saw emulated at a young age. “My father was very much into self-care and taking thought into his appearance before I even knew or understood it,” says Bryce. “I always remember my dad being very adamant about getting manicures and having a personal care collection of colognes and products that I would sneak into his room to play with. His self-care habits piqued my initial interest in beauty and skincare, even though I quickly realized that other guys didn’t share that.”

“I’ve always been into self-expression,” he continues. “Even in elementary school, I was fighting for individualism, so I would get in trouble for not wearing my uniform correctly or changing it. I would get made fun of for dyeing my hair, painting my nails—things like that. It’s funny to see this style being mainstream now.”

Black and white portrait of Bryce Anthony sitting and posing by the window

While others were looking to their friends to see what they should wear or do, Bryce was paving his own way. “Deep down inside, I just didn't care,” he says. “I always felt like, hey, this is who I am. I might get teased or looked at funny, but I've always been a confident person. Thankfully, I never really struggled with self-esteem. I always knew who I was, and I've always felt sure of that.”

Even though Bryce isn’t a fan of the word influencer, he has to acknowledge that he’s always been ahead of trends. “The cut-outs and mesh that I wear were all weird a few years ago, and now they’re the thing to wear. Staying true to myself has gotten me this far and carried me through. I’ve always been a forward thinker, and I’m happy to see more men embracing themselves and stepping away from the toxic masculinity persona. So many guys feel the need to express themselves, so I’m happy to see the envelope pushed further now and to see men embracing avenues for self-care through style and makeup. Helping others embrace themselves is my whole mission.”

Pivoting in the Pandemic

Before there was skincare, fashion was Bryce’s first love. He got his education from the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in Los Angeles and believed he would make his career in the fashion industry. “At first, I thought I wanted to be a designer, which was terrible,” Bryce recalls. “My sketching was humbling, so I thought, how else can I approach this? I got into wardrobe styling and did a lot of editorial work, and I eventually segued into celebrity styling.”

“I worked with a lot of actresses and artists when I lived in LA,” he says. “I loved it until one day, I had a change of heart. In that industry, especially working with celebrities, it stopped being fun. It was about 10 percent creativity and 90 percent politics, so I went through a lot. I knew I wanted to leave fashion, but I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life, so it was hard. I went through a tough depression because I felt like I had hit rock bottom.”

During this low time, Bryce began experimenting with his skincare as an act of self-care. “I realized that taking care of my skin made me feel good about myself, and I decided to see what I could do within the industry. This period was also when I relocated to New York City, and The Ordinary had just launched. I ended up at their first NYC store, and I started a conversation with one of the girls in the store. She realized I knew a lot about skincare and recommended that I apply for a job. I had an interview the next day, and they hired me on the spot.”

Black and white portrait of Bryce Anthony posing and holding a bouquet of flowers

Bryce’s love affair with skincare and the beauty industry began. He worked closely with The Ordinary’s late founder, Brandon Truaxe, and became inspired by his disruption of the industry. “It made me want to shake things up myself because I still don’t see a lot of guys in skincare—especially not Black men,” says Bryce. “I started to see an open lane for me to explore. After working in the store for a while, I knew I wanted to take my career further by going to school and learning as much as I could about skincare. I got licensed as an esthetician with the plan of going into education for a brand, but then I began to enjoy the practice of doing facials and performing treatments.”

In February 2020, Bryce graduated from esthetician school. He was excited to hit the field and start working with clients, but then came COVID. “I had to figure out how to take my business online quickly, so I started doing virtual skincare consultations with people. Honestly, I had no idea what I was doing initially, and I was scared out of my mind, but I just had to step out on faith. I had no expectations when I started these consultations, but they were lucrative for me. A few months later, I started getting emails from people thanking me for how I changed their skin and changed their lives. The transformations that I was seeing in people without even touching their skin were mind-blowing, and it was at that moment that I knew that this is what I'm supposed to be doing for sure.”

“The power of believing in yourself is such a powerful thing. You have to be the first to believe in yourself because if you don’t, no one else will,” Bryce explains. “I don’t love the term fake it ‘til you make it, but that was me for a period. I was pretending I was confident in my work when deep down inside, I practically had a nervous breakdown every time I did a consultation. The [imposter syndrome] tried to sneak in, but I'm still thankful to those first clients. They’re the ones that put the battery in my back and helped me know that this is what I'm supposed to be doing for sure.”

Taking up Space in the Beauty Industry

Bryce might be a rarity in the skincare industry, but he’s not letting that stop him. “I got into this industry because I always felt like it was a very woman-dominated space, and it never made sense. As a male, I, too, have skin and skincare concerns. I want to look good. I want to smell good. So why are these things not being marketed towards men, especially Black men? I always felt like a void in those spaces, and I never saw myself in beauty campaigns, so it’s always about taking space—even in spaces where I might not have been included or welcomed. It feels good now to see the world finally catching up. And shout out to those who paved the way, like David Bowie, Michael Jackson, and Prince. Those are iconic people in history who have inspired me and so many others as well.”

Black and white portrait of Bryce Anthony posing with and kissing a ceramic head

With a beauty industry that is more inclusive than ever, there’s no doubt that change has happened, but Bryce believes there’s a long way to go. “We're making progress [with inclusion in the industry], but it is not enough,” he says. “I still go into stores and see products marketed as skincare for men, and they're always like 18-in-one. Why? It’s lazy marketing, to be honest. They know men are intimidated by skincare, so it’s an easy cop-out.”

“I want guys to know that it’s okay to have a multi-step routine because our skin needs just as much care as women’s, if not more. Our skin is thicker, we have facial hair, and our skin produces more oil. So when you break it down, men should be the ones going above and beyond to take care of our skin. Especially with the ingrown hairs and razor bumps that come from shaving—these are complications that men just don't talk about outside of the 30 seconds in the barber’s chair. That’s the message that I’m evangelizing right now. Women, they’ve got it. The girls already know what to do, so I'm here for the guys right now. For guys that don’t have a woman in their life to show them or that want to hear from another guy, I want to be that person.”

The Future of Beauty

With very few peers in the skincare space (his friend Sean Garrette comes to mind), Bryce hopes to see more Black men in beauty. “I feel so humbled and grateful that people want to listen to me and allow me to be in the beauty conversation,” he says. “I’m this Black kid from the city, and now I’m in Vogue. But it’s funny because I’ll still go into places and shock people. No matter how much progress we make or how much notoriety I get, I’m often reminded that I’m still a Black guy. I want to be a champion for change and inspire a generation of kids. I want to encourage others to take up space in this industry because it is multiplying every year. There’s a multibillion-dollar industry, and then you look at the Black dollar and how much Black people contribute to the bottom line, yet we’re on the bottom of the power totem pole within the industry. Many of these brands aren’t even developing their products with Black skin in mind, and Black people aren’t a part of the clinical studies. We have a long way to go. Unfortunately, I’ve gotten used to being the first and the only, but I don’t want to be. I’m going to hold the door open for those coming after me.”

Interested in learning from more inspiring people? Check out more Beauty Through The Black Lens and read how Hannah Harris is redefining inclusion online. Ready to take your beauty game to the next level? Take our Beauty Quiz now to get in on the IPSY Glam Bag fun! Already an Ipster? Refer your friends to earn points, which you can use toward products. Either way, don’t forget to check us out on Instagram and Twitter @IPSY.

Like this article? Share it with your friends by clicking the icons below!

About the author
kindra-moné-headshot
Kindra Moné
Kindra Moné is a writer and content creator who works with brands and magazines to create culturally relevant fashion and beauty content. She is also the founder of The Moné Edit: a community and podcast at the intersection of style and wellness.
Share Article
Article Last Updated May 30, 2022 12:00 AM