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Top beauty influencers and what they’re doing right

1. Huda Kattan aka @HudaBeauty


Huda Kattan started as a beauty blogger before pivoting to YouTube. Now, she’s one of the top beauty influencers on Instagram. Across platforms, she performs well. She has a total reach of 25.7 million followers and averages more than 58 Instagram posts a week. Those Instagrams average 125,600 engagements and an earned media value of $57,5000.

With her massive audience, it’s not surprising she tops the list, but her Sideqik Score also impresses. Kattan scores 98 out of 100 based on our Sideqik Score algorithm, which weights engagements, followers and other metrics across networks.

What’s driving her engagements: @HudaBeauty frequently features other makeup artists on her page, boosting people using her line of makeup and driving new fans to her page. Her post with the most engagement was one asking her followers for their favorite Instagram makeup artists and other top beauty influencers so she could feature them. Reaching out is a big boost for driving traffic.

Top brands: Kattan has her own line of beauty products, so they are featured most frequently on her page. With a new foundation launching soon, Kattan’s page hasn’t featured much else recently, but her blog and posts will sometimes feature fashion houses.

2. James Charles

Well, technically Kim Kardashian West should come next, but with her celebrity status, we thought we’d keep her off the list. So next up is James Charles. While not the largest in terms of followers (Charles only has a 4.8 million reach) his Sideqik score is 97. This is likely driven by his prolific, engaging Twitter account — a platform many top beauty influencers ignore.

Charles averages $177,9000 in earned media value on his YouTube videos. His Instagram isn’t something to laugh at either, the 18-year-old makeup artist earns an average of 256,600 engagements on his Instagram posts, for an earned media value of 2.5 million.

What’s driving his engagements: Charles is a tutorial-based influencer. He sells his channels as an easy how-to for beauty lovers. He tags almost all his posts #easymakeup. It also probably helps that he has gone viral, both with his yearbook photo last year and with frequent drama on that popular Twitter account of his.

Top Brands: CoverGirl. CoverGirl signed Charles as the first cover boy for the brand, making headlines. As such, he’s shouting out the drugstore brand’s products every chance he can get.

3. Grav3yardgirl aka Bunny Meyer

Bunny Meyer, known by her YouTube username Grav3yardgirl is a longtime vlogger on YouTube. While she isn’t strictly a top beauty influencer, she often tries hair and makeup hacks, driving people to her channels for style and beauty tips.

Meyer has a 97 Sideqik Score to compliment her 12.5 million reach. Her YouTube channel is the star of her lineup, with a reach of 8.1 million and average earned media value of $68,000.

What drives her engagement: Bunny has a big personality and a loyal following that she’s been building for seven years. She also can veer into the humor category, often trying (and failing) to use “As Seen on TV” products or other gimmicky items in the beauty space.

Top Brands: Bunny is fanatical about posting FTC compliance statements in her videos. Her most-liked Instagram post does thank the brand Dolls Kill for the classic “Clueless” costume she is wearing, so I’d guess she does work with some brands.

4. Jeffree Star

Serving you attitude, grace and a full face of makeup 👑 Photos by: @kimgenevieve Makeup by: @lipsticknick_

A post shared by Jeffree Star (@jeffreestar) on

Love him or hate him, people flock to the social media channels of the former musician and current beauty queen. Star has always been all over social media. He was the epitome of Myspace popularity in the early 2000s, which he transitioned into minor celebrity on newer channels and ultimately one of the top beauty influencers.

Star is known for avant-garde makeup tutorials, extremely lavish skincare routines and general opulence. He has a reach of 13.2 million followers. He primarily uses YouTube and Instagram. His videos earn $317,300 in earned media value on average, while his Instagram — which earns more engagements — gets about $73,100 in earned media value.

What he is doing right: Star’s attraction comes from his access to brands many viewers can’t afford. Tutorials on his channel often feature $300 face cream and $100 lipstick. Sometimes being exclusive means getting more.

Top brands mentioned: Like Kattan, Star has his own cosmetics line, so that often gets a shoutout. He also frequently mentions fellow influencer Kylie Jenner’s cosmetics line. Star posts about his expansive Louis Vuitton collection as well.

5. NikkiTutorials aka Nikki De Jager

NikkiTutorials has been in the beauty YouTube game since 2008. Since then, she’s amassed a reach on that channel alone of 7.8 million subscribers. Combine that with her other channels and she has a reach of 18.2 million people and a Sideqik Score of 93. She gets an average earned media value on her videos of $330,400 and has clearly grown to be one of the top beauty influencers.

What she’s doing right: NikkiTutorials is a go-to for makeup tutorials of all types. She frequently starts beauty trends in the community and often gets people talking.

Top Brands: Nikki has partnered with Maybelline recently. She also frequently works with Ofra Cosmetics, and Morphe.

Think we missed one of the top beauty influencers in the game? Let us know in the comments!

Emily Overholt

Emily Overholt

Emily Overholt is a writer and marketing manager for Sideqik. Previously, she dug into news of all types while working at the Associated Press in Phoenix, Arizona. Now, she's treating influencer marketing as her new beat. When she's not getting you top-notch content on influencer marketing, Emily is trying to make her dog famous on Instagram.
Emily Overholt

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