Is the Beauty Industry Controlled by Influencers?

Beauty industry influencers
James Charles, Keilidh Cashell, Kylie Jenner

Do you remember a time when your favourite glossy magazine influenced the beauty products that you purchased? It would be the beauty editors’ reviews that would make or break a product.

Now though? Do you even read magazines? Do you know who the beauty journalists are? Do they have any influence anymore?

If you’re into beauty, you can probably roll off 20 beauty influencers in 30 seconds. You buy what they tell you to buy, no questions asked.

But who said that these people (influencers) were the experts? Why do they influence our purchasing decisions, and are they secretly paid for good reviews without us realizing?


Popular influencer Munroe Bergdorf posted her anger at L’Oreal for their Instagram post during the Black Lives Matter protests, letting her followers know of how she was treated during a campaign with them a few years ago.

L’Oreal ditched Munroe after she took to social media to campaign on a social injustice matter, reneging her contract on a campaign. Yet, contradictory, here was L’Oreal talking about Black Lives Matter on their social accounts, when only a few years ago, they fired Munroe after doing the same.

Damage control set in as soon as #BoycottLoreal started to trend and many of Munroe’s followers started to defend her by writing in disgust at L’Oreal’s actions.

Related: Why Brands Need Diversity in Marketing

Since then, Munroe has been hired on L’Oreal’s diversity and inclusion board to help contribute and educate those behind the brand to do better.


Probably the most influential influencers on the entire planet, two alleged billionaires and both with their own beauty lines, have sold stakes in their companies to beauty powerhouse Coty.

Two of the most-followed people on Instagram, these two sisters have a lot of influence in the social media world. We watched as lip-fillers became a trend after Kylie transformed her own face and then sold lip-kits that vowed to give the same effect, without having to go under the knife (or needle).

Related: How Long is Left for Kylie Cosmetics?

Kim and Kylie are no make-up artists and each have their own dedicated team of professionals to work on their faces and skin around the clock, but now have their own beauty brands.

Kylie claimed to have earned a billion dollars from her brand, but that has since been found to be untrue. However, it’s not far off.

Even though their bodies and faces are thanks to plastic surgery, a lot of people want to look like them and will do anything and buy anything in order for that to happen.

Kylie Jenner Transformation


I’ve never been one to watch YouTube and don’t follow any of the big YouTubers, but I did hear of a commotion a few days ago involving Jeffree Starr, James Charles and Tati Westbrook (and Shane Dawson, but I don’t think he’s a beauty YouTuber).

All of the above YouTubers mentioned, are worth millions in the beauty and social media worlds. However, it seems the YouTube world is not full of rainbows and love as each took to YouTube to ‘tell their truth’ about one another.

All of the above are people in their 30s, battling it out over who said this, who did what and who blackmailed who.

The damaging thing is that because these influencers have such an influence, their followers can take onboard what they are saying and then go on to unfollow and report the other, costing the other person loss of brand sponsorship, followers, money, the lot.

YouTube have since suspended monetization on Shane Dawson’s videos following the video from Tati.

If only there was a worldwide pandemic happening or racial injustice that we could focus on instead.


Gone are the days of the latest supermodel being the face of the hottest beauty launch. Kate Moss for Rimmel London? That’s old-school influencer marketing.

Brands no longer need to fork out huge amounts of money for the biggest celebrity of the day to front their ads, because they can find social media influencers who actually have an affiliation with their product and who use their product to front the campaign instead.

And the brand will probably see better results because of it.

Just look at bPerfect, a beauty brand born out of Northern Ireland. I’ve watched as this brand has gone from strength to strength, solely using the help of social media influencers and social media make-up artists. And it works.

However, the more luxury brands like Dior, Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent will probably continue with the celebrity endorsement for a little while longer as I don’t think they want to run the risk of working with social media influencers just yet.

The above-mentioned brands do work with influencers when it comes to press trips, gifting, social media adverts and fashion shows, but we are yet to see any influencer be the face of a new product launch.

I can see it happening sooner rather than later.


In the PR/influencer marketing world it seems that the beauty industry is seen to be full of the typical ‘PR Girls’ who are in their twenties, love a free bar and have drawers full of free products. It doesn’t seem to be taken as seriously as the food and beverage industry, the transport industry or the fashion industry.

I mean, a lot of it is like this, but the beauty industry is also one of the largest segments in the influencer marketing world and one of the most expensive.

The market is saturated with bloggers and social media stars and everyone and anyone is trying their best to be like the big names.

There are so many routes to take in the beauty industry. You could showcase the simple makeup you like to wear (like @inthefrow), or be more of an eccentric makeup artist (like @keilidhmua), or focus solely on skincare (like @bambidoesbeauty).

There is ample room to grow in the beauty industry and there are new brands popping up every day.

Watch out, because the beauty industry is coming.


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