It started off with a girl and her camera, grainy videos shot in a bedroom and watched by a splattering of followers across the world. This modern phenomenon is, of course, the “beauty guru”. “Beauty gurus”, or rather beauty bloggers and vloggers as they are otherwise known, have revolutionized the world of marketing with their videos on hair and makeup products, outfit of the day videos and tutorials on how to put all the lotions and potions to good use. Their videos have come a long way since those first badly lit examples and now more closely resemble expensive television productions. And what’s more, some of these girls (and a small number of guys) are making millions out of showing us how to achieve the perfect look.
So what is it that makes on average 2.1 million viewers watch their favorite YouTubers gush over the newest Anastasia Beverly Hills liquid lipstick? Well, they are relatable. These girls are not Gisele Bündchen, although a lot of them aren’t far off, and they don’t have a team of makeup artists, hairdressers, stylists, and nutritionists perfecting their look. They are in their bedrooms, in front of a mirror – just like the rest of us.
That’s also what makes them so much more trustworthy than traditional advertising. If an advert tells us this foundation will give you flawless and even skin for 16 hours a day, most of us wouldn’t believe a word of it. But if we can watch a girl, just like us, apply this foundation and go about her day and at the end of it her skin is still porcelain perfection – now that’s the kind of brand exposure money can’t buy.
Except it can. Beauty and fashion brands have quickly caught wind of this opportunity to reach up to 8 million people by sponsoring girls like Michelle Phan. Big brands are increasingly supplying these beauty bloggers with products to promote on YouTube, and combined with the money they get for hosting advertisements on their sites, the most popular channels are raking in the big bucks.
Being a beauty and fashion blogger has become a lucrative career. Your grandma might not understand what it is that you do, but in many ways this is a great opportunity to carve out an independent career for yourself and anyone can give it a shot. There are plenty of affordable deals such as this one, that enable you to go online and start your own blog; the only other requirements are enthusiasm and perhaps a charming personality (and of course tons and tons of makeup).
The rise of the beauty blogger has put the control back into the consumer’s hand. We choose who we want to watch and who we want to support. What resonates the most with many of the viewers watching these videos is the sense of authenticity that a YouTuber brings to their channel, because at the end of the day, the online beauty community is a chance to empower each other. From one girl (or guy) to another.