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Brief Published: 8 Nov 2017

Col-Lab: Influencer-Developed Beauty


Recently introduced to the US beauty market, Col-Lab is a new colour cosmetics venture based on community, collaboration and social media influence. Created by eight trending beauty bloggers, the brand leverages influencer cool and make-up artistry.

In collaboration with global professional US retailer Sally Beauty, the eight influencers (also known as The Collective) have created this custom-built line of 203 make-up-artist-worthy products. Diverse in both culture and gender, the American YouTube beauty bloggers include LA-based Wesley Benjamin Carter and Lizzy Gutierrez, and Dallas-based Dani Meza.

As well as looking to offer high-quality formulas and pigmented colours, Col-Lab’s aim was to target the influencers’ sizeable collective audience, expanding their mutual reach in order to unlock a wide market. This ‘community’ aspect is a strong strategy for new brands (see BeautyStack: Instagram’s New Beauty Network and Blusho: Shoppable Beauty Community). Catering to both genders further pushes the brand’s potential. For more on #BeautyBoys, see Next-Gen Beauty Marketing and Gender-Fluid Generation: Beauty Attitudes.

The growth of social media and influencer-led strategies should not be ignored, with marketing spend on Instagram influencers set to reach $1bn in 2017 and predicted to double by 2019 (Media Kix, 2017). “This is a modern approach to developing a make-up brand, by working with a new generation of experts in the category,” David Hutchinson, senior vice-president of New York-based company Maesa Group told WWD (see also Monetising Social Media, 2016 and YouTube’s Beauty Advocates).

For more on social media-led strategies, see Decoded Beauty: Engaging Beauty Consumers, Beauty Content in a Digital Age: Business/Retail.