Below is the August 2023 edition of our Beauty Leaderboard Newsletter where we provide monthly data-backed insights on rising beauty trends, in-depth analyses of successful brand/influencer collaborations, and benchmarked rankings of global beauty brands.
US Brand Spotlight 1: Drunk Elephant + Sonya Styles
July was a big month for Drunk Elephant, with the brand jumping from #45 to #20 on the US Leaderboard and seeing a 104% MoM increase in VIT.
Surprisingly, almost all of the brand’s performance increase can be attributed to one macro influencer, Sonya Styles. In early July, Sonya posted a TikTok video of her going to Sephora in search of the viral Drunk Elephant Bronzi Drops — she ultimately left empty handed. Styles then made multiple follow up videos documenting her journey in search of the Bronzi drops and other viral beauty products. This “On the Hunt for Viral Products” video series went viral, with each video racking up millions of views and engagements.
Drunk Elephant’s influencer team was clearly paying attention and took quick action by sending Sonya a big box filled with products. In response, she posted a 3-min long unboxing video on July 26th which ended up being the brand’s top performing post of the month.
US Brand Spotlight 2: Kérastase + Nutritive Campaign
In July, Kérastase ran an influencer campaign to raise awareness and spark up some excitement for their Nutritive products. The top performing content from the campaign came mostly from macro and mega tier influencers, with the two tiers accounting for 72% of Kérastase’s VIT in July.
Top performers from the campaign included Eloise Dufka, Kelsey Merritt, Abigail Lin, Luisa Piou, and Taylor Hage. The content features the influencers taking viewers through how they use the products along every step of their routine, while highlighting the benefits of each product . For example, Eloise begins by using the Nutritive shampoo and then applying the Nutri-Supplement Scalp Serum after towel drying her hair. Next, she applies the Nutri-Supplement Split Ends Serum and finally before going to bed applies the 8H Magic Night hair serum.
Overall, Kérastase saw a significant bump in its social performance in July with big MoM increases in engagements (+107%), video views (+135%), and VIT (+134%). The brand also reached 43rd place on the US Leaderboard, a jump of 54 spots from its June rank.
See the full VIT leaderboard here
UK Brand Spotlight 1: NYX Cosmetics + Barbie
The Barbie movie might have launched in the U.S. but beauty brands didn’t limit their influencer activations around it to one market. NYX was amongst the brands that invested the most in Barbie-themed influencer campaigns across the pond in the UK, and it paid off.
The brand invited some top UK influencers to join them for a Barbie event in London and received high performing mentions from Emily Temby, Sophie Dove, and Danielle Gilbert. Then, less than a week later they flew some UK creators to LA to join them at Universal Studios, resulting in a lot of high performing content from creators like Thuy Le and Sarah New.
Beyond these IRL events, NYX also activated influencers across TikTok and Instagram to promote the brand’s limited Barbie Collection, with top posts including 2 viral swatch test videos from Paige Davenport along with posts from Nicola Londors and Nashaat Salih Bello.
While Instagram was the platform where NYX earned most of their VIT (68%), the brand also saw a significant amount of their performance come on TikTok (31% of VIT). When looking at influencer tiers, NYX did a good job of having a balanced approach and not relying too much on any one tier with the mid tier being the top performer earning 39% of VIT.
The end result was in July NYX saw huge increases in VIT (+173%), video views (+147%), and engagements (+109%) and reached the #1 spot on the leaderboard.
UK Brand Spotlight 2: Color Wow Hair + Trip to Ibiza
Color Wow Hair has burst onto the scene as one of the hottest emerging indie beauty brands in 2023. And the brand’s performance across social in July will surely help ensure the buzz around the brand continues to increase. The brand jumped 89 spots on the UK Leaderboard, going from a rank of 139 in June to 50 in July.
This was largely due to its summer getaway trip where it hosted some of the UK’s top influencers at the Six Senses Resort in Ibiza. Almost all of the top performing content from the trip came from mega tier influencers including multiple mentions from Emily Miller, Mary Bedford, Jourdan Riane, Ellie Brown, Chiara King and Georgia Steel. Interestingly, almost all of the posts from these creators were Instagram photo carousel posts with little video content or TikTok mentions from the trip. Nevertheless, the content performed extremely well and played a big role in Color Wow seeing big month-over-month increases in VIT (+118%) and engagements (+408%).
See the full VIT leaderboard here
FR Brand Spotlight 1: Huda Beauty + Sephora Event
Huda Beauty had a big month in July, jumping 26 spots to fourth place on the Leaderboard and seeing MoM increases of 138% in VIT, 120% in video views, and 116% in engagements.
A big reason for this was a July event the brand hosted in Paris, in partnership with Sephora. The brand’s owner, Huda Kattan, attended the event and created fun, playful content with many of the invited creators. Top performing content from the event came from creators like Lilyslilah, Nathanya Sion, Nourhene Hocini, and Chaimim.
Both the influencers at the event and their followers across social loved how Huda was casually hanging out, chatting, and joking with the influencers there. And of course, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen these types of interactions from celebrity founders resonate with viewers. The obvious example is Rare Beauty, where Selena Gomez has clearly made a big effort to genuinely connect with Rare’s community of influencers. Also, Scarlett Johannson’s The Outset is leaning heavily into providing BTS content that gives followers visibility into how involved Scarlett is with the brand’s operations and growing their influencer relationships.
Overall, more celebrity brands are shifting the way they position collaborations between their founder and influencers. The main difference is that founders are significantly more involved with building direct creator relationships than in the past. Given this shift, it will become increasingly difficult to create a successful brand if the celebrity founder isn’t visibly involved in the brand and its community of beauty influencers and consumers.
FR Brand Spotlight 2: Armani Beauty + Saint Tropez Getaway
Color Wow wasn’t the only brand who hosted an influencer trip in July, with Armani also inviting some beauty influencers to a summer getaway in Saint Tropez. It seemed Armani wanted the trip to have a relaxed and intimate atmosphere, inviting only a select few creators like Romane, Caroline Hu, Chloe Bleinc, Andie Ella, and Kayliah to join. Each creator posted multiple times during the trip with Romane and Kayliah both posting GRWM TikTok videos using Armani Beauty products to create a “Latte Makeup” look, an emerging trend on TikTok that has racked up over 250M video views to date.
Besides the St. Tropez trip, the brand was also mentioned 7 times in both sponsored and organic posts on TikTok by Lilyslilah, the #1 overall beauty influencer in France so far in 2023 (by VIT). Armani’s liquid bronzer drops were the most mentioned product, showing up in almost all of the content mentioning the brand.
Overall, Armani saw a significant bump in its social performance in July with big MoM increases in engagements (+58%), video views (+82%), and VIT (+87%). The brand also reached 2nd place on the FR Leaderboard, its highest monthly rank of 2023.
See the full VIT leaderboard here