Russian Beauty Bloggers You Should Be Reading Right Now

We don't normally hear much about Russia's beauty world, but in addition to some killer street style, Moscow (and beyond) has a stellar lineup of dedicated pros in the game — from Condé Nast alums who've made blogging a full-time gig after tiring of the glossies, to world-traveling Instagram darlings and YouTube gurus who are in it for fun. 

Yep, in recent years, there's been an influx of bloggers and YouTube vloggers in Russia, and we've found a few fascinating ladies who are leading the pack. Interviewing them has inspired us to look into some new brands — like Natura Siberica, which harvests wild herbs from Siberia to create its products — as well as pick up some new tips and reading material.    

Ready to learn about some major international players making waves in the beauty world? Ahead, read their thoughts on the latest trends, brands, and everything in-between. 


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Sonya Esman, Class Is Internal

When did you decide you wanted to be a beauty blogger?

"I've always been really into YouTube, because my dream when I was younger was to become an actress. YouTube was always a way for me to express myself artistically. When I was about 13 years old, I found beauty tutorials on YouTube and would spend hours doing my makeup after school, and then naturally, decided I should try it myself."

What are your favorite beauty brands?

"I use different brands all the time. If I find a specific mascara, and it works amazing for me, I'm just going to stick to it. Of course, I'll experiment with other brands sometimes, but I always go back to my favorites. Some of my favorites are MAC, Essence, Garnier, and Sleek Makeup. A Russian brand I use almost every day is Natura Siberica — their hair conditioner is my favorite!”

What's a product you can’t live without?

"MAC lipliner in Boldly Bare."
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What are some trends you're liking lately?
"I love a makeup look that enlarges your eyes and lips, and contours the cheekbones; you could call that a sultry, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley kind of look. I also love waves, natural beach hair. Basically, I'm all for enhancing your natural features, but doing it effortlessly."

Are there any beauty tips you always go by?
"I don't think I really have any specific rules or tips for beauty. Everybody is so different, and what works for me isn't guaranteed to work for anybody else. One rule I always follow is to wash my makeup off every night very well, apply my favorite Freeman pore-minimizing clay mask once a week, and moisturize under my eyes with La Mer eye balm."

What are your favorite beauty sites and/or magazines?
"I don't really have time for that anymore; any tips I get for fashion and beauty are now from friends, family, or my cosmetologist."

Now, for the wild card: If you were interviewing yourself, what question would you ask? (And, what would your answer be?)
"Do you usually buy makeup after trying it out for a while and researching it, or do you impulsively buy it if you just feel like you'd like it or it was suggested by a friend? When I was just starting out as a blogger, I would spend hours just researching different beauty products and writing reviews about my favorites. Now, with traveling and working so much, I just buy what I know I need or what my friends rave about."
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Dasha Edelich, Edelich

When did you decide you wanted to be a beauty blogger?

"I never specifically planned on becoming a beauty blogger; moreover, when I first started writing about beauty, in the Russian-speaking world this concept was not very developed. It's now that a huge number of blogs pops up every day with the goal of some imaginary profit. I was simply interested in talking about tools and products I like, taking photographs, and receiving feedback from readers."

What are your favorite beauty brands?

"I’m a fan of Chanel makeup, Yves Saint Laurent nail polishes, and Giorgio Armani mascara and liquid lipstick, and I consider Burberry lip pencils the best out of them all on the cosmetics market. As far as skin-care lines go, I use Malin + Goetz, Grown Alchemist, and iS Clinical. I also like some products from Latvian brands Mádara and Kivvi."

What's a product you can't live without?

"I can't name just one, because I can't choose between concealer (I like Clarins and Armani) and blush (I'm secretly dreaming of getting my hands on all the MAC shades). I can't imagine my life without either of these products, because it's these basics that 'make your face.'"
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What are some trends you're liking lately?
"I'd be lying if I said that I intently follow hair and makeup trends. In any case, I'll never give up a style that's comfortable to me, personally, in favor of something trendy. But, sometimes I'm happy to pick up on trends. For example, right now I'm reveling in bright-fuchsia lipsticks as an alternative to red. They look especially delicious paired with a very current tousled-hair look or a complicated braid."

Are there any beauty tips you always go by?

"The beauty tip for the ages is, truthfully, terribly banal. Without a genuine smile or fire in the eyes, beauty isn't real. No highlighter will save a woman who doesn't glow from within."

What are your favorite beauty sites and/or magazines?

"I haven't bought the usual glossies in a long time, preferring magazines with far more interesting content like Porter or Interview. Their small beauty sections are more than enough for me, and I find out about trends and industry news from blogs anyway." [Ed. note: In 2013, Dasha told BeautyInsider.ru that she also loves Into the Gloss and The Coveteur.]
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Julia Grebenkina, Beauty Insider

When did you decide you wanted to be a beauty blogger?

"Six years ago, when I was working as an editor at Glamour.ru, I started thinking about starting my own small space where I can share my thoughts on makeup. No one knew back then that it would turn into a full-fledged job."

What are your favorite beauty brands?

"As far as caring for my face, I use iS Clinical and Ultraceuticals. I have problem skin, so I only use clinical brands. With makeup, it's a smorgasbord: Clinique, Dr. Jart, Hourglass, Erborian (they have the best non-drying concealer), Smashbox, Make Up For Ever, MAC, Urban Decay. I adore lipsticks from Lime Crime and Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics.”

What's a product you can’t live without?

"Active Serum from iS Clinical helps me keep my acne under control."
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What are some trends you're liking lately?
"Pretty, nude looks with glowing skin."

Are there any beauty tips you always go by?

"A cosmetologist once told me not to wipe my problem skin with a normal towel — only to use paper towels. It actually helps."

What are your favorite beauty sites and/or magazines?
"Refinery29!"

Now, for the wild card: If you were interviewing yourself, what question would you ask? (And, what would your answer be?)
"How do you keep yourself from drowning in makeup at home? IKEA is a savior."
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Yana Zubtsova, Beauty Insider

When did you decide you wanted to be a beauty blogger?

"About six years ago, I realized that I felt constrained within the frames of glossy magazines. A little less than five years ago, I joined Julia at her blog Beauty Insider. Despite that, we both ended up working at Allure Russia two years ago, before taking on Beauty Insider full-time."

What are your favorite beauty brands?

"Makeup: Chanel, Smashbox, Tom Ford, Clarins. Skin care: Biologique Recherche, Dolce & Gabbana. Fragrance: Diptyque, Roja Dove. Hair care: Alex Contier, a Russian brand."

What's a product you can't live without?

"Chanel Pureté Mat Shine Control Powder." [Ed. Note: Which appears to no longer be in production!]
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What are some trends you're liking lately?
"Hair: beach-style messy. Makeup: nude face, red lips, no mascara. In other words, when there's clearly something on the face, but something expected is clearly missing."

Are there any beauty tips you always go by?

"My favorite beauty tips come from my favorite cosmetologist Tiina Orasmae-Meder, from our book 50 Beauty Myths."

What are your favorite beauty sites and/or magazines?

"WWD.com."

Now, for the wild card: If you were interviewing yourself, what question would you ask? (And, what would your answer be?)
"Why do you do this, Yana? Because I love it."
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Victoria Moiseeva, Koffka Pro

When did you decide you wanted to be a beauty blogger?

"I probably realized it many years ago, when I started watching American YouTube beauty channels, when the Russian ones weren't all that developed yet. The idea was born about six years ago, but I took a while to gather my thoughts, start taking photos, etc."

What are your favorite beauty brands?

"I want to mention Anastasia Beverly Hills, Korean brands Secret Key and Lioele, Russian brands Natura Siberica and Green Mama."

What's a product you can't live without?

"Jet Lag Concealer from Cargo Cosmetics — if you apply it correctly, you can't see it, it masks everything, and it doesn't slip into creases even without powder; it's a magical thing!"
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What are some trends you're liking lately?
"I've always loved corrective makeup with good before-and-afters, but fairly natural, as much as this is possible. I would call this 'naturally fake,' and it just so happens that it's very popular right now. For this season, I also love the current 'fresh look' — 'woke up like this' makeup. It's far from being a new trend, but right now I kind of need it more than ever, so…"

What are your favorite beauty sites and/or magazines?
"Honestly, I have very little free time, so I read exclusively when I need to professionally, when the need arises. I don't have any 'regulars' or favorites here."

Now, for the wild card: If you were interviewing yourself, what question would you ask? (And, what would your answer be?)

"What's your tip for readers? Hair and makeup is as much of an accessory as everything else!"
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