As Australia’s leading resource for the latest cosmetic surgery news and information about everything to do with aesthetic enhancement, we spend a heap of time pouring over publications, so you don’t have to.
Elle’s article A Definitive Ranking of the Highest Paid Beauty Influencers got our whiskers twitching, especially with the statement, “Turning their talents into some pretty hefty paychecks, some social-media spawned influencers have even racked up a personal net worth that has reached nine figures, and will no doubt only grown from there.”
Who are these beauty influencers? What did they do to get where they are? Costhetics researched the answer to these questions and others, and uncovered little-known tips for becoming a successful beauty influencer.
Meet the Beauty Influencers
In 2017, Forbes published a list of the world’s top 10 beauty influencers. There’s not a Kardashian or Jenner in the bunch. Surprised? Don’t be. The new generation of influencers is an eclectic mix of makeup artists sharing pro tips, savvy amateurs reviewing cosmetic counter purchases, and everyday amateurs spotlighting cosmetics and techniques.
This year, Society19 published its own list of best-loved YouTube beauty influencers. Do you know them?
- RCLBeauty101 – Rachel Levin reaches 13.5 million subscribers on YouTube and has earned $1.8 million (AUD) with sponsorships and videos
- James Charles – Nearly ten million people follow 19-year-old Charles, helping him earn $1.06 million (AUD)
- Jeffree Star – A controversial, but popular figure with 10 million followers, Star realised over $1 million (AUD)
- Manny MUA – 8 million subscribers and a brand ambassadorship with Maybelline netted this makeup artist $676,705 (AUD)
- Laura Lee – At the centre of collaborations with major beauty brands including MAC, Lee earned $537,000 (AUD) and 4.5 million followers
The year may only be half over, but influencer-marketing company Izea has already published its list of Top Beauty Influencers of 2019. Reflecting the ever-changing nature of beauty itself, the latest list of influencers is filled with new names and faces.
Things Top Beauty Influencers Have in Common
A love of beauty is a key characteristic shared by influencers and their followers, alike. However, for an influencer to succeed, a study examining the beauty industry’s use of social influencers found they need to be:
A unique perspective will help you stand out. An interesting voice and unusual way of expressing yourself helps, too. Affluence is not required.
Making Their Own Luck
Influencers like Kylie Jenner are born lucky. Others were in the right place at the right time. However, just like their beauty, luck can be manufactured. Beauty influencers study the habits of the people they want to reach (their target demographic) as well as trending topics. The information helps them plan strategies and tactics.
The holy grail of influencers is content that goes viral. A beauty video spontaneously captured in a notable location can catapult an influencers’ website to star status purely by chance. That’s how instant influencers are born. Therefore, savvy would-be influencers put their energies into being consistent and persistent.
There’s more to becoming a top beauty influencer than wearing nice clothes, taking selfies, and posting on your Instagram feed. Successful beauty influencers are
- Dedicated to their own success
- Willing to work 24/7 to reach their goals
- Knowledgeable about business and entrepreneurship
In How I Became a Makeup Mogul top beauty influencer Huda Kuttan says, “The most important thing is that this isn’t a part-time job. When you leave the office on weekends, you are always going to be this person – especially if you are an influencer-founded brand, you never get to leave that life.”
Beauty Influencers & Swag
Sure, being an influencer is stressful and time-consuming, but most jobs are, and there’s also a huge upside: being an influencer can lead to business opportunities, celebrity, and anything else you can imagine. Talking to Glamour Magazine, influencer Aimee Song revealed she paid for flights to shoots and other travel experiences in the early days of her business. Today, she is revelling in unexpected opportunities that include:
- Front row seats to fashion shows
- Free clothes
- Complimentary travel
Mean Girls: Beauty Influencers Go Dark
It’s common for beauty influencers to make money by promoting companies or brands that pay them handsomely for the thumbs-up. How handsomely? Once you hit the million-follower mark, you can “earn up to $15,000 per post, and even receive equity in the company you’re shilling for,” says Glamour Magazine.
The impact influencers have on followers has led to a nasty new tactic in social media. It has become common practice for beauty influencers to make even higher sums for negative reviews. One make-up artist told The Verge, one influencer’s management company requested between $75K-85K for a “dedicated negative review of a competitor’s product.”
Where there’s money to be made, you can count on black-hats to get in on it. Fortunately, the Australian Association of National Advertisers issued new self-regulation guidelines to help consumers know “whether the content is genuine or in collaboration with a brand, how much control the brand has over the content, and what, if any, incentive was provided.”
Costhetics Unpacks Forbes’ Top Secrets of Influencers
The beauty industry is ultra-competitive, but that doesn’t stop lesser-known beauty Instagram and YouTube influencers from rising to the top. Do you think you’ve got what it takes to become an influencer? “Obviously, they put in extra work and have more experience than the average Joe,” reports Forbes Magazine. They also know
- Everyone Starts at Zero – Warren Buffett opened a Twitter account and was connected to 100,000 within two hours. You’re not Warren Buffet. Or Kris Jenner. If you’re not currently an influencer in other media, don’t expect to take social media by storm in a day. A relentless, and we mean relentless commitment to staying positive is an essential attribute of influencers.
- Slow & Steady Wins the Race (Especially the Steady Part) – To keep a constant stream of visitors getting to know and like you, you need to provide a steady stream of content. Don’t’ skimp on quality. People quickly sniff out would-be influencers who post erratically or post out-of-date content. Those people just as quickly hit unfollow.
- Keep Friends Close & Followers Closer – The Internet makes it possible for us to have millions of digital mates, and you need to put in the time to treat your followers like your friends. How do you do that? Respond more frequently to content by your followers. It’s an exceptional way to make connections and build loyalty. It also lets followers know you’re listening to them, the way a mate should. When you’re a good friend to your followers, they will want their friends to get to know you, too.
Growing influencer Caitlyn Warakomski says a huge part of her job is
- Answering comments
- Direct messaging
- Engaging with followers
“It’s super important because it shows that you’re a real person, not just some fantasy-unattainable-Instagram-thing. It’s like I’m your friend.”
Have We Influenced Your View of Beauty Influencers?
When you took this peek behind the curtain at the secret world of influencers, did it change your perspective on the individuals setting beauty standards for others? Do you think you’re likely to base your beauty decision on influencers in the future or would you rather be an influencer yourself? Whatever your decision, Costhetics supports you. We know you can do anything.