“Easy gel nail polish hacks.”
“Best foundation for combination skin.”
“How to do a Dutch braid.”
TikTok is quickly becoming the search engine of choice for a lot of users. An answer is just a click away, and it’s all thanks to beauty creators – they answer frequently asked questions, provide insight on new products, and recommend their tried and true holy grails. So why take their advice over a Wikihow article? Because we trust the names and faces that originate and promote trends in-app and in the market. Beauty influencers bring their personality and passion to the party, and that is infinitely more entertaining.
What does it take to be a beauty creator in 2022 and into 2023? Fluency in the language of the platform, a strong understanding of the audience’s desires, and an authentic passion for the niche selected. Keeping the account voice consistent with engaging delivery allows for storytelling that showcases personal expertise. With so many ways to map out success, it’s no wonder social media platforms are overflowing with beauty voices.
Nikki Tutorials, Manny MUA, Nikita Dragun, Jeffrey Star, and more are household names when it comes to personalities in beauty influencing, each tapping into a specific niche to gain followers. Believe it or not, all of these creators have the same person to thank for their careers: Michelle Phan. Credited as the first influencer, Phan paved the way for virtually every beauty creator you know and love. Phan’s blueprint combined with the rise of social media platforms like TikTok made it possible for anyone to put their twist on influencing in the cosmetics industry. Meet the 10 best beauty creators that do exactly that.
Considered one of the original YouTube nail influencers (and taking the gold for most YouTube followers on the list at 7.57 million), @simplynailological is known for tutorials, trying outrageous trends (see #polishmountain), and founding Holo Taco, a popular nail polish brand. Cristine’s TikTok follows the same style as the YouTube videos that made her famous, making it easy to transfer her audience across platforms.
- @simplynailogical is an early adopter of social media platforms, giving her a unique status across all channels she’s on as an OG creator.
- She knows her niche within her niche – making and using holographic, glittery nail polish – and uses it to create consistency across her videos.
@meicrosoft is her name, avant garde makeup is her game. Branding herself as “that one bald Asian girl with the tattoos,” Pang’s vibrantly-colored work paired with her look are recognizable at first glance. She provides editorial makeup inspiration by showing viewers common household items that create intricate designs and the products used to achieve that particular look. Each video sparks a conversation on conventional beauty and how followers can add more flair to their makeup routines.
- @meicrosoft makes her art not only enjoyable to watch, but accessible to recreate at home – some of her tutorials include items viewers have at home to make their own avant garde looks.
- Her bio tells you exactly who she is, making her personal brand pop out in a sea of creators.
Tutorials, reviews, and recommendations – what sets @sethobrien’s content apart from the rest? Candidness. Seth takes viewers along on his day-to-day routines and events, and offers them a glimpse into his world with personal stories and updates. He’s also allowed his niche to include lifestyle, which gives his content a nice, even mix. Above all, Seth’s account is refreshingly kind, and promotes positivity among his 5.1 million TikTok followers.
- The down-to-earth lifestyle chats Seth takes us on makes us feel included, which only draws viewers in more.
- The beauty industry can be cutthroat and catty – it’s refreshing to consume media from someone with calm delivery and a kind vibe.
@juliettaf’s tutorials often double as two-in-one lessons, as their unique approach splits the desired look down either side of their face. For instance, the left will contain a guide on how to do a softer glam look and the right demonstrates an edgier, darker version. Alternatively, the left will show the correct way to apply a certain product or achieve an aesthetic, and the right will show common mistakes. In short-form video style, @juliettaf gives users plenty of advice in just one post.
- You could watch a beauty tutorial anywhere, but @juliettaf’s videos almost feel like a “choose your own adventure,” giving viewers the option to pick the look on the right or left to replicate.
- @juliettaf’s videos also clearly demonstrate the “why” around incorrect and correct technique instead of showing the tutorial done perfectly, which helps viewers understand the reasoning behind the techniques and showcases their expertise well.
Known for her natural Rapunzel-esque hair, @scarlettohair weaves intricate hairstyles inspired by requests, television and film, and time periods, and shares her daily routines when it comes to haircare and daily styling for long locks for her 2.7 million followers. When Molly isn’t braiding a fantastic style, she’s sharing makeup techniques that cater specifically towards fellow redheads.
- With hair longer than my attention span, Molly is an instantly recognizable personality. Her brand is easy to spot and fascinating to watch.
- Molly takes advantage of her hyper-specific niche and talent to create inimitable content – after all, most beautytokers wouldn’t know where to begin making macrame plant hangers out of their own hair.
As the self-proclaimed “fairy drag mother” of TikTok, @themotherbirdie is deaf drag artist making strides to foster inclusivity on the platform. They recently rolled out a TikTok series providing new members of the beauty community with tutorials on how to do everything from basic makeup to dollar store wig prep without making them feel ashamed of their inexperience. Their authenticity and unwavering support for community members truly make the viewing experience enjoyable.
- Sincerity. @Themotherbirdie’s approach is 100% kind and understanding. They welcome everyone of all experience levels with an emphasis on teaching those without role models the basics of makeup, wig care, and drag artistry.
- @Themotherbirdie also excels at community building – as inclusive spaces in the beauty industry are difficult to find, they filled the position themselves.
Shapeshifting might be considered a superpower by some, but comes second nature to @tmdmakeup. Coupling intricate makeup looks of iconic pop culture characters with storytime audios and popular trends to hook viewers and keep them engaged, it’s hard to look away from each transformation.
- Because success for makeup transformations is generally gauged upon how accurate the transformation is, @tmdmakeup
- Transformations aren’t enough, and @tmdmakeup knows that. The addition of elements such as storytimes and trending audios is absolutely intentional to bring viewers back.
Best known for her strong Boston accent, Mikayla built a following through candid (and explicit) product reviews and hacks she knew to be tried and true. Now a beauty mogul with 13.6 million followers on Tiktok (and 2.4M on Instagram), Mikayla finds recommendations from fellow creators and new products to try and offer her two cents on. With a bold personality and the cosmetic skills to match, Mikayla is certainly a personality to watch for.
- Mikayla tells it like it is. Which in an industry known for (literally) concealing its blemishes, is refreshing. If you want an honest opinion on something, she won’t hesitate to give it.
- Her delivery is impeccable. It’s punchy, brutal, and that makes us hang onto every word.
Curating content buckets of humor, tutorials, and reviews, @mrjohnnyross posts something for everyone. With 1.3 million followers and experience in the cosmetics industry, Johnny is the most successful beauty guru on our list. Whether viewers want an honest review of the latest R.E.M. Beauty drop, recommendations for the best makeup setting sprays, or humorous skits on what it was like for Johnny to work at Sephora, there’s plenty to keep viewers entertained.
- The content buckets. Johnny knows what people want to see, and doesn’t stray too far from the concepts he knows bring success. Smart.
- Humor. When we think beauty influencers, it’s easy to think of overly-polished people with bland opinions. Johnny adds a vibrant life to the #beautytok scene by making it fun to consume.
Perhaps the most popular beauty influencer on our list. That’s right, Mother Monster is also the founder of Haus Laboratories. Aside from her usual content, Lady Gaga shares the latest drops from her makeup line by swatching them and her recommended use for the products. Using her platform as a musician and artist first, Gaga easily draws in both beauty aficionados and fans to follow her on TikTok (8 million), YouTube (22.2 million), and Instagram (53.3 million).
- Gaga’s star quality. Literally. But hey, that’s a given as an international pop icon.
- Trustworthiness. Lady Gaga is one of the few celebrities with a makeup line that actually wears makeup from said line. She also takes us through her day to day showcasing the products she wears to prove their worth – if it’s good enough for Gaga, it’s good enough for us.
Since most social media platforms are widely accessible, the beauty creator space is constantly evolving and growing to allow new players and new ideas – And it doesn’t just apply to the cosmetics industry. Beauty creators serve as an excellent reference for brands looking to perform well online through their authenticity, entertainment, and educational value within their niche, allowing them to grow through those basic tenets.
Whether you prefer TikTok, YouTube, Instagram, or blogging, there’s a beauty influencer waiting to provide inspiration and assistance on your preferred platform for your specific needs.
Or perhaps you’ll fill the role yourself, and we’ll see you on this list soon!