Hi, I’m Hilary. I’m a data analyst here at Traackr & the most influenced person on the internet.
Influencers promote a lot of products these days and clearly, people (myself) are buying what they’re selling. Otherwise the influencer industry wouldn’t be worth over 8 billion dollars.
Still, not many people enjoy admitting that they have been influenced online. I, however, embrace it. My response to nearly every compliment is “Thanks! Someone on the internet influenced me to buy it.”
Two reasons why social media selling works on me:
- I’m not someone knows about beauty or fashion (but obviously want to be on trend)
- I am very busy (and also a bit lazy)
Have I been burned? Yes. The Tula Cooling & brightening eye balm was a mistake. It did not brighten much of anything. And the $118 self-cleaning water bottle I bought? That’s a perfect example of why one should not drink three glasses of pinot noir and go on Instagram.
Other than that, I have a pretty strong record of success.
Here are some of the best things I have bought because of influencers or ads on instagram:
- Erno Laszlo Eye Masks - I am one of those people who has had a lifelong struggle with dark under eye circles. I will literally try anything to help them out. I’ve never had an allegiance to a specific eye mask brand. But now I do. Oddly enough it was chef, cookbook author & skincare enthusiast Serena Wolf who introduced me to these. Knowing that she was a partner with Erno Lazlo solidified my interest in their products. Purchasing through her affiliate links felt as if I was contributing to a close friend’s success.
- NARS eyeshadow palette- As previously stated, I know nothing about beauty. Makeup specifically. I own ~10 makeup products total and have just one beauty look for all occasions. Prior to witnessing this specific instagram story I didn’t own any eyeshadow. Somebody had (allegedly) *asked* Emily Schuman about a recent smokey eye look she rocked during the day. Normally I would NEVER attempt a smokey eye. Too hard. But this palette featured several very neutral toned shades with some shimmery shades and I thought “this is it.” This is going to be your eyeshadow look when you need to kick it up a notch. It’s easily “buildable” as she says (aka hard to mess up.) She was right, and now my makeup game (singular beauty look) is better than ever.
- Slip silk pillowcase- I’m not going to lie, at first I thought I let myself be scammed into buying an $85 pillow case. But if there is a chance to keep my hair lookin’ nice and skin super fresh; you best believe I’m going to give it a shot. So far I think it has legitimately helped improve my bed head, but TBD on preventing wrinkles. I had been seeing The Night pillows everywhere (shout out to one of my fav influencers Ashley Spivey) but ultimately pulled the trigger when the Slip Silk pillowcase peeps were having a sale. I also really like the idea that I am doing something to benefit myself while also doing the bare minimum (literally sleeping).
- Weleda skin food- A little over a year ago Michaela Podolsky was the influencer to turn me onto this stuff. When I moved to the wintery tundra of New York from Florida my skin became very angry with me. I try to maintain a solid moisturizing regimen, but there are days when I wake up in the winter and my skin feels like sandpaper. The consistency of the product is weird AF, but it does the trick with instant moisture.
Finally, I want to talk to you about my “holy-grail influencer”. As you might be able to tell, I utilize influencers as a product recommendation source. My absolute favorite influencer is TIBAL aka @things.i.bought.and.liked, an anonymous account written by a woman who just posts about things she purchased and likes.
Products I’ve bought because of TIBAL’s suggestions:
- Tatcha kissu lip mask- TBH the thought of a lip mask has never totally appealed to me. I always thought it would just feel like when you accidentally put on too much lip gloss when you’re not paying attention. That sticky tacky feeling makes me want to crawl out of my skin. This lip mask does not leave me with that feeling. It’s smooth, smells nice and after only two applications cleared up my chapped lips (thanks New York). Bonus points because it comes in this cute little, teeny tiny pot!
- Boar Bristle Hair brush- Back to my never ending quest for nice hair. The benefits of this brush are endless. Easier to detangle thick hair, reduces frizz & distributes hair oils for more conditioned locks. Sounds cool enough, but I was sold when she said “if you’re not using this brush to distribute your dry shampoo, you’re just wasting a small fortune on angel dust.” I buy dry shampoo constantly. Sold.
- IGK dry shampoo- Speaking of dry shampoo and the fact that I will do just about anything to avoid washing and re-styling my hair. IGK dry shampoo was recommended by TIBAL for “Exxon Valdez level oil spills' in your hair. This is one of the only dry shampoos on the planet that I’ve used which actually makes my hair feel clean and not like it has 100 pounds of product in it.
- Tanning lotion- As I mentioned earlier, I’m originally from Florida. So every winter here in NYC, a little part of me dies realizing I’m never gonna be as tan as I once was. This lotion helps. I had avoided tanning lotions for a long time, but this lotion gives me a “streakless,” light coverage that leaves me with a nice glow after an application. I do not look like I belong on the Jersey Shore.
- Donna Karan Cashmere Mist Deodorant- Do I need to spend $30 on deodorant? Absolutely not. But this is one of TIBAL’s consistently mentioned, top products and there were two things that drove me to purchase. One is she claimed that this is one of the only deodorants (antiperspirant specifically!) that allows her to conquer the Houston summers. Summers in the South are no joke (humidity!), so I knew she was onto something. Also, these are sneakily displayed right by the register as you check out at Sephora. So essentially I was powerless in this decision…. And I regret nothing. Not only is it effective, but it also smells fantastic.
Clearly I am an easy sell; but I consider the influencers I follow to be some of my most trusted advisors. It’s a common misconception that all influencers are inauthentic, although it’s not entirely surprising since some are notorious for not disclosing their sponsored posts. But if you spend a little extra time vetting the influencers you follow, you will probably find that you’re pleased with the results. The influencers that I follow are doing the leg work, testing products, figuring out what works, what doesn’t work and why. Then all I have to do is listen, click and buy!