The beauty industry has come a long way over the last decade. A space that was once dedicated to making consumers feel like they needed to hide their “flaws” and standardize their appearance has shifted towards messaging that we should embrace who we are and use beauty as a form of expression. And when we do feel insecure about something (we’re human, after all), we should turn to true experts and evidenced-based formulas.
It’s a welcome shift, and one that seems to be reaching every corner of the beauty industry — shows about beauty included. Today’s streaming services offer no shortage of body-positive, vibrant beauty content that will leave you feeling more inspired and invigorated with every episode — not in desperate need to change something about yourself.
So from Netflix to Hulu, discover our top picks for the best beauty shows, ahead.
Most shows centered around plastic surgery tend to lean into the superficial stereotypes attached to such treatments (think: BridalPlasty and Botched). But unlike the aforementioned shows, Skin Decision is full of heart. There’s no shame in wanting any kind of plastic surgery — but as a viewer, Skin Decision is certainly a nice change of pace. Instead of featuring patients that are looking to make extreme cosmetic changes (again, there’s zero shame in this — but as a show concept, this has been done plenty before), this show is centered around individuals that have experienced traumatic life events or deeply personal cosmetic issues (like severe acne) that have left them with significant scarring or disfigurements. Each patient meets with the show’s stars: board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Sheila Nazarian and registered nurse Nurse Jamie, who then decide together if the patient is a candidate for a surgical transformation (performed by Dr. Nazarian) or a series of non-surgical treatments (performed by Nurse Jamie).
Stream on Netflix
Certainly, most people have caught on to the magic of the newly imagined Queer Eye (the first season of the new iteration starring Jonathan Van Ness, Karamo Brown, Antoni Porowski, Tan France, and Bobby Berk aired in 2018, after all). But I’d be remiss to leave it off of this list. Like Skin Decision, Queer Eye goes far beyond the superficiality that’s often associated with beauty and makeover shows and instead explores the deeply nuanced intersections of beauty and identity. On each episode of Queer Eye, a community nominates an individual that’s been dedicated to servicing their community and, as such, is deserving of a total life makeover — from learning how to establish healthy boundaries and cope with emotional distress, to cooking healthy meals for themselves, to learning daily grooming and skincare routines, you’ll watch each person undergo a complete physical and mental transformation.
Stream on Netflix
For anyone obsessed with special effects makeup, look no further than Skin Wars. Centered around body art (think: Ariana Grande’s look in the “God Is a Woman” music video), this competition-based reality show features one body painting challenge per episode, followed by judging from RuPaul Charles, Craig Tracy, and Robin Slonina to determine a winner. Just as there’s one winner per episode, one artist is also eliminated with each episode until only one artist stands. The winner takes home $10,000 and plenty of body painting clout.
Stream on Hulu
Whether you’re an aspiring makeup artist or a rising brand founder, there’s something for everyone on Quibi’s About Face, starring Rosie Huntington-Whitely. Here, Huntington-Whitely sits down with some of the beauty industry’s most famous faces, from Jen Atkin to Kylie Jenner, to Huda Kattan and beyond. Together, Whitely and her guests dig into what it takes to make it in the beauty industry, how each guest got their first big break, and how viewers can pave their own way in such a saturated space.
Stream on Quibi
First airing in 2019, this British reality show is the ultimate challenge for makeup artists. In each season, a group of 10 makeup artists competes in a series of weekly makeup challenges in pursuit of the final prize: a contract to assist some of the world’s most famous MUAs. After each challenge, a clear winner of the round is identified, as well as the two weakest artists for that particular challenge. To add to the intensity, the two weakest artists of that round must compete head-to-head until only one remains standing.
Stream on Netflix