Beauty

Ilianna Ayala

The Afro-Latina makeup artist and model stopped ‘shoulding’ herself and living more by accepting that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes

Content creator, plus-size model, dancer, and Afro-Latina makeup artist Ilianna Ayala Garcia is revolutionizing the industry with her looks. She transformed her beauty mark into her brand and her best asset. Growing up in Spanish Harlem, Ilianna, also known as Illy, uses her voice to advance body positivity.

With over 50.3k followers, Illy knows her Instagram is one of the best platforms to inspire thousands of women and encourage them to be confident and love themselves despite what society says. According to creative, she is a proud Afro-Latina “working to shift the beauty industry toward a more inclusive culture by advocating for body positivity and representation.” Ilianna’s mission is to make brands aware the beauty comes in all shapes, sizes, and hair types.

“I always told myself that I SHOULD lose weight, and I SHOULDN’T wear that crop top or bikini. But the truth is I am the happiest I have ever been, even at my largest size, AND if I want to wear that crop top or bikini, I AM GOING TO WEAR IT because I can, and I know I will look cute! All my ‘should’s’ came from society norms,” she wrote in her blog.

“I have been telling myself what I should do based on what others think. However, I am living for me and doing what makes me happy. My self-confidence did not come overnight. ‘Till this day, I’m still working on being the best version of myself. However, letting go of all the things I should or should not be doing has changed my life. I am living in the moment and embracing my journey. I am a plus-size model who loves her body and wears whatever she wants, and works really hard. I am happy.”

She has modeled for Ashley Stewart, Rebdolls, Target, Adidas, Covergirl, Buxom Cosmetics, and more.

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