It’s no secret beauty influencers on Youtube, Instagram and now Tik Tok has changed the landscape of beauty culture entirely. Countless influencers have garnered millions of followers and subscribers on social media platforms throughout the years, forcing beauty brands to pay attention to the ever-changing dynamic and profitable market these influencers provide. Due to their platform sizes across social media, many influencers have collaborated with beauty brands or participated in highly anticipated beauty campaigns. Some beauty gurus have even created their own successful makeup companies.
However, in recent years, beauty influencers seem to be slowly moving beyond makeup to create business empires of their own. To name a few, Jackie Aina has started a luxury candle company named Forvr Mood that also sells other wellness-related items like silk pillowcases and headbands; Molly Mae has created a company called Filter by Molly-Mae, selling tanning related products; Dezi Perkins launched her own sunglasses company called DEZI, after her many successful launches with Quay.
Beauty influencers are smart to break into other markets. I believe they are paying close attention to the shift in popularity from the public regarding makeup-related content. With YouTube and Instagram algorithms that are constantly changing as well as some drama within the beauty community in recent years, makeup content is becoming harder to gain visibility. Instead, beauty gurus are finding other markets outside of makeup that makes just as much sense for their personal brand.
Previously, there has been a misconception surrounding the rise of beauty influencers, and in turn, the rise of influencer brands, that influencers are “wannabe entrepreneurs.” In reality, influencer culture and their brands have been the backbone of social media marketing for years. Brands like Morphe, Sigma, and Makeup Geek were either started by influencers or worked with influencers from the beginning of social media’s growth. Beauty influencers have always had a strong grasp on the beauty market, and they have long known the success of entrepreneurship perhaps better than anyone.
In a 2019 Forbes article discussing how influencers are changing the beauty market, Dina Gerdeman writes, “This shift is challenging for many longtime players in the beauty market, prompting some legacy companies to trade vamping models for online tutorials featuring more “regular people” as they struggle to play catchup with cutting-edge brands that partnered with influencers much earlier in the game.”
The sentiment that social media influencers aren’t effective entrepreneurs is false. In fact, I suspect that idea may be attributed to beauty influencers mostly not being cis-straight white men. “OG influencers,” who were all women, had a keen understanding of social media marketing. In turn, established beauty brands, that have been around for decades, had to learn to compete with the rise of influencers and adapt to a new market or risk getting left behind.
Now, beauty influencers are beginning to look onward towards other lucrative markets that could give them even longer-lasting success. Products like luxury candles, tanning products, high-end sunglasses at an affordable price, and even Emma Chamberlain’s coffee company are golden ideas. All of these women built brands around their respective personas and interests, so their audience will undoubtedly support their business endeavors. In addition, because the aforementioned products are used universally (compared to makeup which is more niche), they have also expanded their consumer base beyond their social media followers.
It’s time we give beauty influencers much deserved credit for their business savvy. Influencer culture allowed more non-traditional faces to have a real shot at entrepreneurial success. And it’s about time. The landscape of beauty guru’s impact continues to grow beyond what anyone could have expected over a decade ago. Not only have they become a force to be reckoned with regarding the makeup industry, now they’re setting their sites on dominating all the industries they can.
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