Top Beauty Influencers of 2019

Brian Mechem

Brian Mechem

Beauty influencers can maximize earnings in the beauty industry by showcasing products, sharing insightful advice, and influencing purchases from their followers on a large scale. By pairing up with influencers, businesses grow their follower count and increase brand awareness with minimal effort.

Many beauty influencers are professional makeup artists or celebrities who usher in new beauty trends and fashion statements by engaging with their audience online. That being said, you don’t have to be a professional to create an impact. There are many amateurs posting insightful tutorial videos that because of their share-worthy content can be just as impactful.

Ultimately, influencers act as ambassadors for your brand creating trustworthy content for their fans who are eager to get in on the latest trends. It can be as simple as that beauty influencer posting an unboxing video to pique their audiences’ interest enough to encourage them to take action and make the purchase.

We’ll share some insight about ten of 2019’s most creative and impactful influencers in the beauty industry, understand more about their individual following, how it can be leveraged for business, and understand why these vloggers have such a strong impact in their respected channels.

Beauty influencer filing tutorial for followers.

Qualities of a Good Beauty Influencer

Besides holding a generous following, what qualities make for a good beauty influencer?

For one, they prove they’re knowledgeable of the beauty industry, which extends to a range of products like makeup, makeup tools, haircare, skincare, and fragrances.

Additionally, followers tend to view influencers as more trustworthy informers than beauty advertisements alone. Influencers walk them through what it’s really like to unbox an item and try it out, helping followers evaluate products they’ve yet to purchase. Unboxing videos provide practical knowledge viewers can use to make informed purchases on their own.

Besides holding a generous following, what qualities make for a good beauty influencer?

They share insight and practical knowledge about brands with their audience and offer helpful tips for applying, caring for, and purchasing the items they showcase. Serving as a trustworthy insider resource, often sharing videos and pictures of top trending beauty products to curb buyers’ decisions, which can mean huge potential for brands. According to Digital Marketing Institute, influencer marketing campaigns earn $6.50 for every dollar spent.

Choosing the Right Beauty Influencer

How do you know which beauty influencer is the right one for your brand?

Choosing the right influencers for your business is dependent on a few key factors. Most important is ensuring that they have a strong following of buyers that align with your product. They should have proven positive follower engagement by regularly prompting their audience to take action when they post. They should also publish quality content that is good enough to be shared with thousands of people online. Lastly, identify influencers with unique and engaging personal stories that can speak to your business or product narrative.

If you’re looking to stay on top of beauty news, product releases, and trending topics; or just want to understand what successful beauty influencers are doing to help you with your influencer campaigns, consider any of these top ten beauty influencers of 2019:

1. Huda Kattan 

Boasting over 3m YouTube subscribers and more that 33m Instagram followers, Huda Kattan is one of the internet’s foremost beauty gurus. She’s launched her own cosmetic line (which she’s maintained since 2013) and employed YouTube and social media to market her product to top beauty industry sales marks.

In her videos, she shares all the beauty industry’s latest and greatest products and techniques as well as insight into her unique Iraqi-American heritage. She’s become so influential, Time Magazine named her one of the 25 most influential people on the Internet in 2017.

2. Kylie Jenner 

The youngest self-made billionaire on the annual Forbes list, Kylie Jenner is a major force in the beauty industry even when you don’t consider her wildly-successful makeup line. With over 141m Instagram followers, she’s a household name with a lot of connections to top brands around the world. And history has proven when Kylie gives her approval during an unboxing video, much of her international fan base is quick to follow suit.

Having gained international recognition through her family’s hit reality show Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Kylie Jenner has developed a reputation for high class and fancy taste. The products she explores in her posts define luxury for consumers and allows them to cash in for a piece of Jenner’s lavish lifestyle.

3. Rachel Claire Levin 

Not only one of the most influential YouTubers on the internet, Rachel Claire Levin is also in charge of one of the fastest-growing beauty channels, RCLBeauty101. Today, she has amassed more than 14m YouTube subscribers who tune in for unboxing videos and product samplings as well as quirky celebrity interviews and internet challenges. She’s a unique content provider recording a range of videos under different personalities that cater to teenagers and young adults alike. Through her channel, she posts tutorials, life hacks, DIYs, skits, trailers for her independent films and more.

Levin’s YouTube channel was named the highest-paid beauty channel in 2018 and has had over 3 billion video views to date, thanks in large to her take on quirky, playful, and often comedic content that celebrates youth.

4. Rihanna 

The pop and R&B sensation has branched out in recent years beyond the music industry to makeup and apparel, entering the beauty world with a giant splash. Her Fenty Beauty cosmetics are revolutionary in their focus on people of color and they come in a huge variety of skin tones which has catapulted the line to international acclaim. Her apparel line, which is much more affordable than other quality-comparable celebrity lines, is lauded for its comfort for plus-size women and general shapeliness which is rarely seen in mainstream clothing manufacturing today.

Her highly-accessible brand and her huge status as one of the world’s leading pop stars helps Rihanna entertain over 70m Instagram followers regularly. This gives her tremendous leverage as an influencer to a gigantic following that mainly consists of women, and especially black women.

5. Nikki de Jager

Dutch beauty vlogger Nikki de Jager is a YouTube sensation with over a billion total views and more than 11m subscribers. In videos like her memorable “Power of Makeup,” Nikki demonstrates how the best brands and makeup products can be used as a fun way to dramatically change your overall look, giving you confidence and boosting your self-esteem. Born in Holland, she regularly switches from English to Dutch when she speaks and features videos in both languages to cater to her international fan base of multinational followers.

She frequently features A-list celebrities on her blog such as Kim Kardashian and Drew Barrymore, which boosts her own following and influencing power of luxury products. Because of her Holland heritage, she attracts many European followers in addition to millions of Americans, making Nikki de Jager a unique leverage in foreign markets.

6. Ririe Prameswari 

Ririe Prameswari is only 29-years-old, but she has already proven her expertise as a beauty instructor and knowledgeable critic of the world’s leading beauty products. Her YouTube channel features plenty of makeup how-tos for enthusiasts of all ages and allows her to curate her own creative content, such as her five-minute makeup tutorial that gained plenty of traction on social media. She has gained hundreds of thousands of followers between her Instagram YouTube pages, and posts new content frequently throughout the week. She’s a full-time mother, helping to bridge younger and older audiences alike, and demonstrates how busy, family-oriented women can still make simple choices to look their best. In her videos, she also regularly showcases her Indonesian heritage (as well as her city), helping her represent a niche Asian audience in the beauty industry.

Male beauty influencer gaining follower traction

7. Jeffree Star

One of the original beauty influencers on the internet, Jeffree Star first gained international recognition through MySpace in 2006 where he was known for posting celebrity gossip, top-notch comedy, and original music. However, his reputation as an influencer took off dramatically when he released his own cosmetics line, Jeffree Star Cosmetics, in 2014.

His reputation as a standout drag queen has earned him the respect and adoration of many people in the LGBTQ community in addition to millions of other followers. After getting involved in cosmetics, he began posting regular tutorials & beauty tips for both men and women to fans’ delight. Jeffree star has collected nearly 1.5 billion views and gained over 13m Instagram subscribers in just over a decade. Today, he is a major leverage for products in the gay community in addition to his status as a makeup guru.

8. Zoella

Zoe Sugg, who is known to her over 11m YouTube subscribers as Zoella, has amassed over a billion views on all her videos.  In addition, she’s boosted her fame by publishing books, giving viewers frequent insight into her exciting life as a young British woman, and launched her own makeup line. Her worth as a major beauty influencer is also thanks to her dual videos with YouTube personality & boyfriend Alfie Deyes who has gained over 3m YouTube followers himself.

She offers beauty tips to fans and partners with organizations like ColourPop Cosmetics to showcase the market’s hottest new products. Her light humor and peppy attitude make her an ideal influencer for whimsical and quirky products designed for teenagers and young adults. Plus, she regularly provides a unique look into the life of a Londoner, which international non-London-native fans enjoy living vicariously through.

9. James Charles

Besides other lofty achievements (such as becoming one of the industry’s top beauty influencers before the age of 20), James Charles was the first-ever “Cover Boy” for Covergirl cosmetics. He frequently collaborates with trending makeup brands like Covergirl and Morphe and has drawn in over a billion collective views.

Today, he delivers creative shareable content and expert makeup tutorials to his more than 15m regular YouTube subscribers. Because of his status as Covergirl’s first male model, he has huge influence in the LGBTQ community and especially in the market of young gay men.

10. Dulce Candy 

One of the most unique influencers online today, Dulce Candy is a Mexican beauty vlogger who grew up in California, bridging American and Spanish cultures. She breaks the mold when it comes to influencers––Dulce Candy began posting her now-famous makeup tutorial videos while she served in the Army, proving that badass women who serve can still have a regular beauty regimen.

She has published multiple books on her life and frequently posts makeup and lifestyle videos to her two different YouTube channels (one focusing on beauty, the other on personal stories and time spent with her family, in total garnering more than 2m subscribers). She has collected millions of fans around the world and proves to be a positive role model both in day-to-day life and in the beauty industry. As an influencer, she caters to practical, affordable makeup products as well as those designed for active, outdoor use. 

The Impact of Beauty Influencers

Each of these influencers offer a unique advantage to brands, each speaking to their individual audiences with a specific voice and style and all contributing in significant ways to the beauty industry. When searching for influencers to boost your brand, it’s important to find those that align with your market and have a following that will be interested in your product. Additionally, you should look for influencers who post regularly and are known to publish only quality content (in terms of elements such as lighting, camera use, clear narratives, editing, etc.).

The work of online beauty influencers has undoubtedly helped the cosmetics industry grow considerably in recent years. Since YouTube began and social media gave influencers access to larger followings, the beauty industry in the US has grown by $10-20b. Thanks to their frequent partnerships, influencers can help raise brand awareness of products, improve reputation, and above all, increase sales.

And through GRIN software, you can manage influencers, scale your program, and track ROI easier than ever before!

Contact us today to see how GRIN can help enhance your return on influencer marketing!


Brian Mechem

Brian Mechem

Brian Mechem is CRO and Co-Founder of GRIN, the #1 software solution for direct-to-consumer brands who run influencer marketing programs. GRIN's software powers some of the best influencer programs in the world, providing insights on ROI and adding efficiency to the influencer marketing process.

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