Below is the May 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.
In early April, Kosas launched their first ever sunscreen, the DreamBeam SPF 40 Comfy Smooth Sunscreen. The brand tapped some of the biggest names in the beauty space to spread the word: Hailey Bieber (@haileybieber), Alix Earle (@alix_earle), Bella Ramirez (@bellarmrz), Kensington Tillo (@kensnation), Isabelle Lux (@isabelle.lux), Darcy Mcqueeny (@darcymcqueenyyy), and Niamh Adkins (@niamhadkins) all posted on TikTok about the product immediately following the launch. The content featured each influencer applying the sunscreen for the first time while giving their initial impression. Many highlighted how it didn’t feel too sticky or greasy “like most mineral sunscreens”, and shared their appreciation for the fact that the product includes ingredients that promote healthy skin like ceramides and peptides.
Partnering up with these popular beauty influencers seems to have built up a lot of hype around the DreamBeam sunscreen. Not only did it drum up excitement, the product is currently sold out on the brand’s website and on Sephora’s website.
Further, the brand jumped 41 spots (up to 31st place) on the monthly US Leaderboard. It also saw big MoM increases in video views (77%), engagements (59%), and VIT (66%).
Kosas Cosmetics is a good example of a brand that prepared well for a big product launch and allocated the necessary marketing budget so they could partner with large, high quality influencers.
With Coachella kicking off music festival season in April, Neutrogena decided to focus their marketing efforts in this direction. The brand was announced as the official skin and suncare sponsor of Coachella this year and invited a handful of beauty influencers including Rachel Finley (@hydrationceo), Rudi Berry (@therudiberry), and Meimei Monstaa (@meimonstaa) to travel with them to the festival. The group shared content of their experience as Neutrogena’s guests, using the hashtag #desertvitals. The brand also partnered with these influencers (along with others) to make sponsored posts about the brand’s Hydro Boost Moisturizer, praising it for ensuring their skin was hydrated and protected with SPF 50 during the many hours outside in the sun at Coachella.
The brand also received a post from Jenna Ortega which had over a 22% engagement rate, receiving over 8M likes and earning Neutrogena over 8K VIT points. The brand had already partnered with Ortega many times long before her performance in the Netflix show, Wednesday, propelled her to superstar status. Given that Ortega is likely flooded with partnership opportunities now, the long-lasting relationship Neutrogena had developed likely helped in bringing this sponsored post to fruition and highlights the benefits that can come from building strong long-term relationships with VIP influencers.
Overall, Neutrogena’s influencer marketing program had a great April with video views increasing by 215%, engagements by 781%, and VIT by 281% MoM. The brand also reached 4th place on the US Leaderboard, their highest monthly rank of 2023.
Tip: Top influencers can help you reach new audiences, but how do you find them? Here are three success stories detailing how you can do so successfully.
On April 6, Kylie Cosmetics launched its first mascara, the Kylash Volume Mascara. The brand’s founder, Kylie Jenner, posted multiple times leading up to and following the launch so it isn’t all that surprising that the brand saw a big jump in VIT within the US market. However, what’s more interesting is that the brand linked up with multiple beauty influencers in the UK to spread the word of the launch, indicating that a UK expansion might be in the brand’s future plans.
In April, the brand jumped 52 spots to number 17 on the UK Leaderboard. In fact, it saw more MoM growth in the UK than the US, with engagements increasing by 78%, video views increasing by 232%, and VIT increasing by 254%. The brand partnered with a handful of top macro and mega tier beauty influencers including Ling Tang (@ling.kt), Samantha Harvey (@makeupbysamanthaharvey), Laila Paul (@lailapaul), and Jordan Lipscombe (@jordanlipscombe). In the sponsored posts (which occurred mostly on TikTok), the creators tried out the mascara for the first time while sharing their initial impressions. Similarly to our featured UK brand from last month Function of Beauty, Kylie Cosmetics also had each creator mention Boots UK as the location where viewers could buy the new product.
To kick off the launch of its newest fragrance, Born in Roma Donna Eau De Parfum Intense, Valentino partnered with popular beauty influencers Danielle Marcan (@daniellemarcan), Victoria Magrath (@victoriamagrath), and Tara Barz (@tarabarzz) for 3 TikTok posts. Rather than follow the more common “DIY” TikTok content style, the brand had the creators join them in Paris. During the trip, each influencer created short 15-20 second videos that had a professional and cinematic style to them.
The fragrance’s backstory centers on dualities, with the brand stating that “the duo of vanilla and jasmine playfully challenge the rivalry between day and night, classic and intensity and you and me.” Continuing with this theme, the brand wanted each piece of content to feature a duo, with Danielle and Tara having their sisters join them in the video content while Victoria was joined by her husband.
The content seemed to successfully engage viewers, with Valentino jumping 82 spots to 22nd place in the monthly rankings. The brand also saw engagements increase by 103%, video views increase by 1,042%, and VIT increase by 405% MoM.
Yves Rocher had an impressive April, jumping 23 spots to land at 20th on the FR Leaderboard and increasing VIT by 114% and video views by 600% MoM.
A large portion of their VIT in April was driven by a product awareness campaign the brand ran for their 100H Non-stop Moisturizing Serum, the newest addition to their Hydra Vegetal lineup of products. Rather than go all-in on one platform, the brand elected to activate influencers across both TikTok and Instagram for sponsored posts. When choosing influencers, Yves Rocher honed in on the mid (50-250K followers) and mega tiers (1M - 5M followers) with top performing posts for the campaign created by Lucie Rose (@roselucyy), Elsa Bois (@elsabois), Marie Lacombe (@mariebeaute), and Marie Danede (@mariedanede).
Each influencer made a short video trying out the serum for the first time in addition to using 2 other complementary products from the Hydra Vegetal lineup, the Anti-fatigue Moisturizing Fresh Gel and the 48H Non-Stop Moisturizing Gel Cream. Many also highlighted the fact that the product contains Edulis cellular water and that it has "99% natural ingredients" indicating that perhaps Yves Rocher believed these aspects would be important to their French audience.
Caudalie had a big April, jumping 50 spots to the number 9 spot on the FR Leaderboard and seeing MoM increases of 797% in video views, 446% in engagements, and 603% in VIT.
The culprit for the brand’s significant jump in performance? A product awareness campaign for their VinoPure collection, a line of products for improving and treating acne-prone skin and other skin imperfections. The brand partnered with Gen Z TikTok influencers like Leanemarts (@leanemarts), Insah Hasni (@insah_hasni), Mael Plat (@maelplat), and Shana Hagege Orts (@maybeshanaa) to spread the word about the lineup of products. Each of the influencers posted a reel showing them using one of the products to help treat their acne. The content had an authentic, unpolished feel with the influencers often drawing attention to a current breakout or skin blemish before using one of the lineup’s products. Caudalie’s success is a good reminder that product focused campaigns with influencers can work, as long as there is good alignment, messaging, and authenticity!