I was homeless — now I earn $12K a month as a beauty influencer

Before the 29-year-old Jamaica native reported earning up to $12,500 a month thanks to partnerships with Boots, Superdrug, Sephora, Primark, Reebok, and Gymshark, Beckford and her mother moved to Birmingham, England, without much money when she was just 9.

Beckford recently revealed the long road to her glow-up to Jam Press, claiming she started working at age 12 by cleaning storage offices, then babysitting at 14.

But she was left to fend for herself at age 18 when her mom moved back to Jamaica.

Beckford reported working 45 hours a week in a local chicken shop to pay her $500 rent while studying full time at college. Even so, she recalled struggling to pay her bills and spending a year couch-surfing at family friends’ or colleagues’ houses.

Shantania Beckford: Homeless to beauty influencer
Shantania Beckford, 29, moved to England from Jamaica with her mother at age 9.

“The time I was homeless, I was so fed up and very worried because all I wanted to do was feel safe,” she told the outlet.

“Sometimes I felt like I was cursed, and my life wasn’t worth living because it was so lonely and hard, and I saw no actual way out but through.”

She finished school while maintaining jobs in various restaurants and cafés until local housing officers reportedly placed her in a hostel in January 2013. Beckford was in and out of homeless shelters, hostels, and emergency housing for a year until she was given an apartment in January 2014.

Shantania Beckford: Homeless to beauty influencer
Beckford has over 314,000 YouTube subscribers.

“I was so happy and so grateful,” she explained. “I went back to working at Wagamamas, worked five days a week, paid rent, and saved my money.

“At this time, I came up with the idea of starting my own hair and beauty YouTube as I’d had a passion for it for years.”


Her hard work resulted in funds for wallpaper and lighting to create a glamorous wall for filming.

“I saved for a Canon camera, my lights, and for a laptop, and then I taught myself how to edit and the basics of YouTube,” she said.

Shantania Beckford: Homeless to beauty influencer
She also has over 212,000 Instagram followers.

Beckford’s first makeup tutorial was a zombie look. After that, she strived to build her YouTube channel — while still working about 50 hours a week.

“Within six months, I had 10,000 followers, and I was so happy,” she recounted.

I was homeless  — now I earn thousands a month as a beauty influencer
Beckford started working at age 12 to help her mother with bills.

She focused on her hair and makeup skills, which have since attracted 314,000 subscribers on YouTube and 212,000 Instagram followers.

Shantania Beckford: Homeless to beauty influencer
She struggled to pay her rent and slept on friends’ couches and mattresses on the floor for awhile.

In addition to her brand partnerships, Beckford’s talent has also been promoted in Cosmopolitan magazine and on billboards.

She said: “Because of my background, I’ve always had the awareness that I need to always help no matter what situation or position I’m in. For me, I don’t really post what I do for people online, I want to help people who were in a similar situation to me.”

Shantania Beckford: Homeless to beauty influencer
Beckford eventually saved up enough money to invest in a camera and decorations to film in front of for her YouTube channel.

Beckford now uses the lessons she learned to achieve her own success to inspire others to do the same.

“For years I have been putting together packages for more women and men to learn, delivering hair and makeup, and paying for some people’s qualifications,” she said.

Shantania Beckford: Homeless to beauty influencer
She now helps other influencers to achieve their own success.

“I even sometimes call my followers on the phone. I really want to help them through certain things that I have also experienced in my life,” Beckford confessed.

“The life you have is yours, and you don’t want nobody else’s life. Make yours great, that’s your mission for this lifetime to learn love grow and make your experiences beautiful.”