Despite gloomy predictions of a retail apocalypse, the beauty industry is projected to rise to $51.8 billion in 2020 with Youtube, Instagram and direct-to-consumer shopping contributing to the beauty boom.
With the rise beauty vloggers, beauty tutorial content has exploded on social media. With the average beauty buyer watching at least four videos before making a beauty purchase (according to Tabs Analytics)
In the early days, mostly indie brands took note of the changing trends of influencer culture, beauty video content and direct communication with customers through social media. The indie brands that did so quickly got the attention of millennials eager for emotional connection and bottom up communication with brands.
As indie brand valuations, profitability and reach started to grow quickly through Youtube and Instagram content, big conglomerate brands have started aggressively getting on the action redirecting budgets previously set for traditional PR to Youtube Stars with eager fans.
As the beauty influencer economy bloomed, the diversity challenges evident in the beauty aisle were on full display. Although gender diversity was embraced, there was little to no racial diversity in the roster of influencers picked for product collaborations with beauty brands.
A former Army veteran who first launched her Youtube channel in 2009, Jackie Aina noticed this and started to voice her concerns about diversity in the beauty industry. She addressed the lack of beauty diversity in beauty aisles, in beauty advertising and within the influencer community.
This slowly drew a lot of subscribers who noticed these trends as well and were passionate about the democratization of the beauty aisle. Customers wanted to be heard and not just have pictures of what is deemed perfect shoved down their throats.
Although her passion for diversity sometimes drew the ire of others, her dedication to the diversity message grew a dedicated fan base. Although it's been a long journey since the launch of her Youtube page, her dedication to diversity has begun to pay off as large brands who can no longer ignore the reach and influence of black beauty bloggers have started to offer the brand partnerships that were previously unavailable to black beauty bloggers to influencers like Jackie Aina.
Her success gives lots of upcoming beauty bloggers a vision to inspire to and a message that an overnight success in reality takes years of hard work and dedication.