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Brief Published: 20 Nov 2015

Up-and-Coming Teen Beauty Influencers

YouTube beauty Vlogger KathleenLights introduces her Coloupo

In a monthly series of posts that develop our coverage of social media beauty influencers (see YouTube’s Beauty Advocates for more), we explore the key players in a number of growing consumer groups. This month, we look at the up-and-coming beauty influencers holding sway with teen audiences.

Outpacing Established Stars

While the influence of established beauty and lifestyle vloggers such as Zoella and Michelle Phan continues to grow, new, younger, and more niche vloggers are also making an impact on social media, showing potential to overtake bigger stars.

According to US video marketing company Pixability’s Beauty on YouTube report, in 2015, channel subscribership growth rates for nearly all of YouTube’s original beauty creators have fallen below those of up-and-coming vloggers.

‘Second generation’ beauty creators such as MyLifeAsEva and Maybabytumbler established their YouTube channels after Michelle Phan, but have the highest annual channel subscribership growth rates of any beauty creator channel on YouTube as of April 2015.

MyLifeAsEva’s subscriber base grew by 1,982% from January 2014 to April 2015, while Maybabytumbler’s increased by 960% in the same period. By contrast, Michelle Phan’s subscriber base only grew 39%.

This offers brands the opportunity to engage with these influencers early in their vlogging careers, establishing authenticity and cultural cachet.

New Influencers 

  • Ingrid Nilsen (3,877,626 YouTube subscribers): US-based Nilsen shares vlogs of tips, beauty hauls, make-up looks and seasonal wear. She has also come out online as gay on the video channel (which amassed more than 13 million views) – potentially resonating with a wider teen market in similarly difficult, questioning periods in their lives.   
  • Kandee Johnson (3,338,120 YouTube subscribers): Known for her transformative make-up, US-based Johnson taps the tutorial trend, posting videos of her using products to mimic celebrities, artworks and cartoon characters. As we detail in Teen-Targeted Beauty: Product, millennials use make-up as a tool for self-expression and transformation. We expect Johnson’s influence to grow within this market. 
  • Kathleen Fuentes (1,516,346 YouTube subscribers): This 20-something US-based Latina vlogs about beauty and make-up on KathleenLights and is admired for her down-to-earth delivery of beauty and make-up content. Fuentes has already collaborated with youthful colour cosmetics brand Colourpop on a make-up range. 
  • Fleur De Force (1,324,007 YouTube subscribers): This British YouTuber has already launched her own make-up collection exclusively with beauty e-tailer FeelUnique.com. Her chipper personality and saccharine-sweet delivery particularly resonates with teen consumers.
  • Estée Lalonde (1,038,552 YouTube subscribers): Previously known as Essie Button on social media, this London-based Canadian vlogger has widened her beauty content reach to include more lifestyle-based beauty and fashion videos – attracting a larger audience.

For more on how to engage teens, see Teen-Targeted Beauty: Product and Teen-Targeted Beauty: Retail, our two new companion reports.