Four women who turned their blogs into beauty empires
Long before Instagram revolutionized the beauty industry, it was unheard of for the girl next door to become a power player in the business.
But, about ten years ago, way before the terms “sponsored post” or “swipe up” meant anything to us, something started to shift as beauty bloggers began to gain traction.
Fast forward a decade, and it’s now second nature to see a social media star’s brand standing strong next to the heavyweights in Sephora.
Here are the humble beginnings behind some of those success stories.
She’s been nicknamed ‘the millennial Estee Lauder’ — but, did you know that Emily Weiss started out with just a camera, a web domain, and an idea. Years before Boy Brow or Balm Dot Com went viral, it was just Weiss interviewing celebrities, models, and fashion figures about their self-care habits in their bathrooms with a dictaphone, sharing their routines to IntoTheGloss (which, of course, still serves as the content arm of Glossier.)
To the beauty obsessives in our midst, Iraqi-American entrepreneur Huda Kattan, likely needs no introduction. Granted, the Oklahoma-born star already had a finance degree under her belt and was building a solid career for herself — as a makeup artist for Nicole Richie and Eva Longoria, no less! — when she decided to set up a Wordpress blog in 2010 to share tutorials and reviews. What happened next, one could only dream of. Thanks to the success of her cosmetics line Huda Beauty, which she started in 2013, Kattan is considered “one of the most powerful people on the Internet” (as per Time magazine.) With over 47 million followers on Instagram, she earns a reported $33,000 per sponsored post.
Marianna Hewitt started her blog, Life With Me in 2014, just four years before the line she co-founded, Summer Fridays, almost broke the internet with the launch of the popular Jetlag Mask. The Ohio-native started her beauty and lifestyle blog when she was trying to make it in TV (she majored in broadcast journalism) and talent management saw the potential in her site. Now, with one million followers on Instagram and Summer Fridays expanding into new categories, Hewitt is shaping a media career that she probably never imagined possible while in college.
Quick-witted British influencer Caroline Hirons is one woman who’s truly deserving of the job title. In fact, industry legend has it that Hirons and her opinions are so respected in the skincare industry, that she can bring a nearly-extinct product back from the grave. Apparently, that’s what happened when she recommended Clinique’s Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm. The cleanser was about to be discontinued until Hirons recommended it, causing it to sell out worldwide. It’s now one of the brand’s best-selling products too! While Hirons doesn’t have her own namesake brand, her popular new book Skincare: The Ultimate No Nonsense Guide is a bible to many. With 120 million views on her blog and 18 million views on her YouTube channel, it’s no wonder she’s nicknamed “The most powerful woman in beauty”.