AT FACE VALUE
JULIETTE WINTER SPEAKS TO TWO LEADING INFLUENCERS IN THE BEAUTY WORLD.
We meet two leading beauty influencers that have used social media to build their followings.
“For me, authenticity is everything. Without that, I have nothing and my business stands for nothing.” ELEANOR PENDLETON digital entrepreneur
ONCE UPON A TIME, movie stars, magazines and models primarily shaped our perception of beauty. But in the brave new digital world, trends are just as likely to be determined by a different kind of ‘celebrity’: the beauty influencer. According to Forbes magazine, the top 10 beauty influencers of 2017 had an impressive total reach of 135,000,000 people. Some are make-up artists, some just passionate beauty enthusiasts, and some have gone on to launch their own beauty brands. “In five years, influencers have changed the media landscape exponentially,” says Eleanor Pendleton, who prefers to go by the title of ‘digital entrepreneur’. After working as a beauty editor on several magazines, Eleanor gave up her glamorous day job eight years ago to pursue her online ambitions. What began as a personal blog has evolved into Australia’s first digital beauty magazine and, a little later, an e-boutique selling hand-picked luxury cosmetic items. “Originally I saw Gritty Pretty as an extension of myself because it was — that is how it was born,” she
explains. “It has evolved from being my creative outlet to becoming Australia’s fastest-growing beauty publisher.” The key behind Eleanor’s success is the online influencer ‘it’ factor: authenticity. “For me, authenticity is everything,” she says. “Without that, I have nothing and my business stands for nothing. It’s as simple as that. At Gritty Pretty, our beauty brands don’t talk to our customers — we do. To her, we are the friend she trusts.” Trust is a timely issue in the world of social media. In the wake of the Belle Gibson scandal — the wellness blogger who was fined $410,000 last year for making false claims about curing her alleged brain cancer with alternative therapies and nutrition — it is clear that not all influencers put integrity ahead of their own self-serving interests. While there is now an official code of ethics for online marketing from the Australian Association of National Advertisers that requires bloggers to label paid content as advertising, there are still grey areas beyond being transparent about commercial relationships. In the end, it is up to the discretion of the influencer to post honest reviews and the consumer to be wary. Social media success can yield profitable results, and has been particularly beneficial for independent brands that are using online engagement to grow their fan base. “Glossier is
“Beauty is part of our daily ‘diet’ and we need to be more mindful of what we’re feeding ourselves...” EMMILY BANKS beauty blogger
an example of a multimillion-dollar brand that was created for the consumer,” says Eleanor. “Readers of Intothegloss.com were able to voice exactly what beauty products they want, how they want them to look, feel and smell, and what pricepoint they would be.” And what have consumers been asking for? More novel and innovative ingredients (think bee venom, snail slime, oil that foams when water is added, and green lipstick that turns pink when applied), edible beauty, eco-friendly and organic products. “My biggest prediction for beauty trends in 2018 is that there is going to be a huge uptake in consumers choosing natural, nourishing beauty products,” says make-up artist and beauty influencer Emmily Banks, who created her blog, Depths of Beauty, to spread the word about natural products. “My beauty career began in mainstream make-up artistry, but I started to feel there was a huge disconnect between my values and work,” says Emmily. “Our skin is our largest organ, and absorbs up to 60 per cent of what we put on it straight into our bloodstream. What we put on our skin matters.” Emmily’s down-to-earth, healthy aesthetic embraces the philosophy that what we put on our skin is an extension of what we put in our bodies. “One of my favourite quotes is ‘beauty is an inside job,’ ” she says. “Beauty is part of our daily ‘diet’ and we need to be more mindful of what we’re feeding ourselves on all levels.” Just a decade ago, that passion for educating people on the efficacy of natural products would have been limited mainly to family and friendship circles, but blogging means Emmily’s key message reaches her 37,000 followers. Technology has permanently changed the mode and speed at which we consume and share information, but getting a following, making a sale or going viral still relies on the same fundamental principle as traditional advertising: it works best if you trigger an emotional response from your audience. “I’m always looking for ways to push boundaries and give readers ‘a-ha!’ moments,” says Eleanor. “We’re a race of inventors and creators. Just like some people once thought cars and planes were laughable, you can’t just move with the times to be a successful entrepreneur — you need to be ahead of them.” For more, visit grittypretty.com and depthsofbeauty.com.au or follow @eleanorpendleton and @emmilybanks on Instagram.
ELEANOR’S TOP FIVE ABOVE, FROM LEFT Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser (50ml, $65). Victoria Beckham for Estée Lauder Modern Mercury Highlighter ($110). Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Highlighter in Opal (50ml, $68) — mix a small amount into foundation. Bioderma Sensibio H20 Solution Micellaire Cleanser (250ml, $32). TOP SK-II Facial Treatment Essence (75ml, $100). For stockist details, see page 135.
EMMILY’S TOP FIVE ABOVE, FROM LEFT Edible Beauty No.3 Exotic Goddess Ageless Serum (30ml, $72) for plumping and soothing the skin. Nudus Lipstick in Amalia ($42) for lasting matt colour. Ere Perez Sun Halo Vanilla Highlighter ($35) for radiant skin. Hanako Therapies I Am...brave natural perfume (50ml, $34.95) for a beautiful essential-oil infused scent. Inika Certified Organic BB Cream (30ml, $59) for a lightweight-to-medium natural foundation that allows skin to breathe. BELOW Emmily advocates a healthy lifestyle, as well as natural make-up and skincare. For stockist details, see page 135.