Op-Ed | Notifications On
Notifications On for Shaniah Bell
Creators are ahead of the curve when it comes to viral trends and impactful cultural moments — they foster meaningful connections that resonate with audiences across the globe. Notifications On showcases the best and brightest Creators on Twitter. For this edition, we’re talking to beauty talent and Spaces superstar Shaniah Bell about creating content for Black makeup enthusiasts and how memes make everything better.
I describe myself [on Twitter] as fun — my style is free and light-hearted, and that translates into my content. I started out creating in the beauty content world, but I love talking about music and pop culture, too. While I was posting makeup content, I’d see something funny on my TL and need to engage with it, so that’s how I really got started.
I’m a Gemini, so I have a very random approach that includes just wanting people to laugh and joke with me. I use and create memes, and my followers love them. I feel like the good memes always find me, and I save them for later. People will ask me, “Where’d you get this meme?” And I tell them, “Girl, it was in my little saved folder!” I also love live Tweeting TV shows and making threads, so I’m a big fan of turning off my replies on a Tweet to make sure I can have my moment (especially if people have already seen the show, no spoilers!).
Twitter is constantly exciting, and there’s something new every day. There are so many different discussions, topics, groups, and subgroups to join. I'm not going to engage in every topic, but it's just fun to read, scroll, and get the juicy drama. People on Twitter love community and relating to one another. Following people like signer-songwriter SHAH, skincare guru This is Nefertiti, singer Afias Corner, and beauty blogger Funmi Monet makes my TL super diverse. We all just come together, and it’s a unique space in that way, and I’ve even found besties who I’m in a group chat with — all just on Twitter.
I love following people like Jackie Aina. She’s my idol, and she shared my Tweet once and advocated for me. I couldn’t believe it. I’m still shocked when people are excited that I like their Tweet or follow them — I’m just a regular girl, but when people come into my DMs and tell me I inspired them to put color on their dark skin, it just feels really special.
For my beauty content, accessibility is key. Especially for Black Creators and dark-skinned people, it’s really hard to find [products] that work for us. I want to make it approachable. I'm not the darkest person but just making beauty a little bit accessible for people helps a bit. Lately, I’ve been diving into perfume content. Other perfume content can be complex and intense, but I look at it like, “let me make this easy for my besties on Twitter.” I make sure to use understandable terms like juicy, delectable, or smells like summer.
During the pandemic, I think a lot of us were just bored at home, and that’s when Spaces came along. I used Periscope a lot, so I saw this as a chance to branch out even more. I thought about how I love to live Tweet shows or talk about music and thought this would be even better if you could actually hear me and my friends. That’s how #SpacesGotTalent with Ant Walker got started. It’s been a real bonding moment for my community, and it’s grown so much that sometimes I see random celebrities and producers in the audience. What I really love about it is that I don’t have to get ready and show my face. I can just hop on.
We just had a partnership with Topicals, and that was our first ever Spaces sponsorship, so that’s what’s real. This summer, Ant and I are going to be starting a podcast that’s sort of an off-shoot of our Space — just us talking about music, diving into our favorite albums and music videos, and anything we want to talk about with no judgment. We’re going to be free and open and as always fun and cute.
When you start creating content or trying something new, you can’t be afraid to fail. You’re going to get some L’s in this business, but you’re also going to win a lot. Just this morning, I got a rejection from a brand about a partnership. When I first started, I would’ve been really down about it and canceled the rest of my day, but now I try to stay positive. You get used to hearing the noes, but it gets easier and makes the yeses sweeter.
Hear more from the best and brightest creators on Twitter in the Notifications On collection.