The world’s most powerful beauty influencers

Forbes has named the top 10 beauty influencers in the world as part of a new digital advertising campaign. The financial magazine created a list naming the most powerful influencers in the beauty, fitness and interior design industries, with categories like comedy, gaming and fashion to follow later this year.

The list is made up of bloggers, vloggers and Instagrammers, with the catalogue reaffirming that consumers are placing their trust more and more in ‘real’ figures they can relate and connect to.

“These social innovators are creating markets around their lives, and passions — and fulfilling a need for millions of people who want to hear from them versus a traditional brand sponsor,” Vice President of Forbes Women’s Digital Network Christina Vuleta told Bustle. “It’s time to regonize (sic) the influencer economy as a legitimate entrepreneurial pursuit.”

Here are the top five influencers from Forbes‘ list, all who have millions of followers, subscribers and dollars.

1. Zoella

Almost 12 million people are subscribed to her YouTube channel, 10.8 million follow her on Instagram, and more than two million follow her every move on Facebook. 27-year-old Zoe ‘Zoella’ Suggs began vlogging (video blogging) back in 2009, discussing everything from beauty, fashion and lifestyle. Now she’s the author of three bestselling books, including the record-breaking Girl Online, and the founder of a line of cosmetics stocked throughout Britain.

2. Michelle Phan

She recently admitted to taking a digital detox after her popularity had a negative impact on her health, but despite the year-long break, she’s still retained her multi-million person following. Phan’s YouTube channel has over eight million subscribers while her 285 beauty videos have a combined viewing of 1.1 billion. She’s partnered with L’Oreal to launch a line of cosmetics, released a book (Make Up: Your Guide to Beauty, Style and Success – Online and Off) and created a hugely popular beauty subscription service (Ipsy).

3. Huda Kattan

She’s the brains behind one of the most popular blogs in the Middle East, with the Dubai-based vlogger a Hollywood-trained makeup artist and beauty consultant. With over 19 million Instagram followers, more than 1.7 million YouTube subscribers and a 450,000 strong audience on Twitter, Kattan’s influence is undeniable.

4. Nikkie Tutorials

This YouTube beauty guru hails from the Netherlands and has found international fame thanks to her extreme talent. She’s best known for her The Power of Makeup video which earned her acclaim from her fellow beauty influencers including Jeffrey Star. In The Power of Makeup  she spoke about ending the stigma and shame around applying cosmetics, with the feedback from the video inspiring her to create a five-piece collection in collaboration with cosmetics giant Too Faced.

5. Shaaanxo

A New Zealand native, Shannon Harris started vlogging in 2009 after noticing that no one from the Southern Hemisphere with lending their voice to the international beauty industry. She’s now based in Australia and has almost 3 million subscribers and a slew of collaborations with top beauty brands that inspired her to create her own line of brushes and lashes, xoBeauty.

Writer and Founder of influencer research site HYPR, Gil Eyal recently noted that millennials have surpassed baby boomers as the biggest population group and that marketers need to evolve their stratergies to reach these new consumers in places that matter to them.

“With the explosion of digital platforms in recent years, the focus has shifted towards influencers of all levels — celebrity, macro and micro,” Eyal writes in Forbes.

(I was told by Jamie Cygielman, chief marketing officer and EVP of Iconix Brand Group that) “Digital influencers and ambassadors are the new sales associates, and their virtual audiences are challenging brands and marketers to connect with them in new ways.”

The landscape of our industry is constantly changing, and unfortunately once tried and tested methods are no longer relevant. The growing power of digital, social media and influencers is something we all need to consider and learn how to utilise this growing trend to the best of our advantage. Times are changing, and if your business is to survive, you need to change with them.

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