Instagram has become the new platform for beauty brands to connect with their audience. It no secret that nowadays beauty and fashion magazines hold less influence than the aforementioned social media platform, and brands are very well aware of that fact. Indeed, 96% of beauty brands are now on instagram. Their presence brings visibility and a stronger connection with their fans and brand ambassadors.

With all that in mind, we should take a further look at the 11 beauty brands you should take example on for your influencer marketing strategy. Although the provided engagement rate might seem low for some of these brands, they have set themselves apart by their active posting, engagement with the community, proving a successful social media adoption.

Learn how skincare brand Paula’s Choice achieved 808% ROI with micro-influencer marketing!

The major players : brands that have nothing to prove anymore

Huda beauty

© hudabeauty

25.7 million followers
Average engagement rate: 1.66%

Dubbed as the most influential blogger in the world, Huda Kattan launched her instagram account in 2012, and created the beauty brand HudaBeauty which started making fake eyelashes, which immediately obtained great success. Now the brand has expanded to other products such as eyeshadow palettes or foundations.

Her instagram mostly consist of reposts, to give a leverage platform to the influencers promoting the brand.

The quirky beauty tutorials bring information to its followers on how to express themselves through makeup. Another feature is that Huda beauty’s instagram page posts very frequently, on average 4 times a day. The importance is brought to consistency, where every day has a carefully thought out schedule for instagram posts.

Huda beauty’s social media strategy has elevated the brand to become one of the most spoken about brand on instagram, with an audience that tags the brand or its creator on various types of content, and personally engage with one another in the comment section.

MAC cosmetics

© maccosmetics

18.5 million follower
Average engagement rate : 0.28%

MAC’s popularity has nothing to prove anymore. With 60.000 comments a month on average, the brand still manages to be responsive and truly engage with their community.

Their instagram aesthetic is more of a cohesive, artistry approach of makeup with bright colours. As this may have brought the brand prejudice, because it might look unapproachable, the fact that they respond to comments counter this fact, and successfully brings in more fans. Having your questions answered by one of your favorite brands makes you feel special, therefore increasing loyalty.

Another big thing to note about MAC is how they have their influencers involved. Indeed, their even put out a range of lipsticks created by 10 beauty influencers. As a result, MAC also managed to build a strong and loyal fanbase of professional makeup artists by personally crafted hashtags such as #MACArtistChallenge and #MyArtistCommunity where artists can have their content reposted, or “regrammed” by the brand.

Anastasia Beverly hills

© anastasiabeverlyhills

17 million followers
Average engagement rate: 1.23%

Anastasia Beverly Hills is a prime example of a brand elevated to one of the most popular brands out there solely through social media. Reposting and reusing user generated content seems to be the norm for beauty brands, especially when they post several times a day. Anastasia’s postings can reach eight times a day.

Although the brand doesn’t stand out from its unique use of the platform, they managed to build a strong following audience through dedicated and frequent content, especially when it comes to promoting influencer generated content.

This way, Anastasia gets to showcase their products without having to create the tutorials themselves, and followers get specific steps to achieve the looks at home. They now have the highest “earned media value” on the whole Instagram platform. That means, publicity gained through promotional efforts other than paid media advertising.

Their work with influencers is truly outstanding, as they were responsible for 24 percent of Anastasia’s earned media value in the second quarter of 2015, a total of $11.2 million.


© tartecosmetics

8.1 million followers
Average engagement rate: 0.71%

Asking for consumer opinion on makeup looks and products is a simple way to get engagement and find the loyal fans willing to become new influencers, and Tarte makes great use of this technique.

It’s the secret to how Tarte earns an average of 15k likes on each post, enhanced by emojis and hashtags. Tarte also benefits from deep, stunning visuals that are cohesive and consistent, much like their competitors. Their ethical edge to the product also attracts a certain kind of demographic that tends to stay more loyal.

Showing their audience how to use their products seems to be more present on their channel, as well as more demonstrative pictures of their products.


© nyxcosmectics

12.9 millions followers
Average engagement rate: 0.19%

NYX build its following by sending people free products every month. These influencers can then review them and share their honest opinions with their audience. This immensely drives engagement, since according to, “from February 2016 through February 2017, the company saw its social media engagement grow by 97%.”. Since it drives content creation and creative uploads displaying the products, the brand has more exposure.

NYX, much like the other brands, relies heavily on user-generated content to help build its audience. The brand attributes its popularity to its social community and the consumers who share content and help spread the word. Influencers from all over the world spread the word with creative and authentic content.

Through a strategic and comprehensive social media plan, NYX has grown into a successful company with outstanding revenues. Named as one of the fastest growing cosmetics brands in 2017, the brand has seen it’s social media engagement increase by 97%.

Too faced cosmetics

© toofaced

10.6 millions followers
Average engagement rate: 0.38%

Once again, too faced uses their feed as a way to promote their followers’ work by reposting from makeup artists, beauty bloggers, and other fans, overall increasing the level of customer engagement.

Too Faced notably uses their instagram to tease about new product launches. They build interest towards a release date and the next it-item from the brand. Once released, a series of posts with product-specific hashtags highlight each new item. Each post is different so not to annoy the viewer.

They have, similarly to MAC, released a collaboration with youtube influencer NikkieTutorials, to create a new makeup collection, “The Power of Makeup.”. This shows their interest in including influencers as a core part of their brand.

Urban decay

© urbandecaycosmetics

9.7 millions followers
Average engagement rate: 0.23%

Urban Decay’s instagram generates interest with plenty of video, an overall rock glam purple layout, and makeup hacks and tutorials.

Urban Decay showcases their product in scenic landscaped, true to their branding. That is why you see photos of products in front of a wall art or an urban background. They engage their followers to discover new places and new things, and this translates in their makeup as well. This way, their tutorial videos bring more sense to the overall values they want to promote.


© benefitcosmetics

7.9 millions followers
Average engagement rate: 1.24%

Benefit Cosmetics distinguishes itself as one of the first Beauty brands to reach a million followers on Instagram. Staying true to their DNA is truly their forefront and it translates in fun, bold, and girly content.

As for other brands, encouraging interaction is also a huge part of their instagram activities. To do so they often ask their followers questions and they are invited to respond in the comments or to tag friends. They keep fans engaged and expose their brand to new audiences.

Benefit has taken a more regional approach to their promotion with several accounts depending on the geographic zone. This is because simply translating content is not enough to cover cultural differences, especially when it comes to humour, their trademark.

The new contenders : the next big brands you should watch out for


© glossier

1.2 million followers
Average engagement rate: 5,04%

Although they do not have as much followers as chanel or M.A.C, they have one of the most engaged community. Glossier has developed a significant community on social media and managed to stay away from traditional marketing and advertising.

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Glossier has brought a lot of ink to the paper by staying in close proximity with customers, and coming out with products that enhance the person’s skin type, instead of covering it. Their packaging also plays a huge part because it presents a lot of “instagrammable” features.

They use their followers to promote the products and all their marketing antics feel very organic. Friendliness and a space for people to meet and share their opinions and ideas between each other but also with the brand is something the brand holds at heart. Therefore, they put in a lot of efforts to create this safe space for their audience.


© bareminerals

Average engagement rate: 0.33%

“Girlfriend experience” is how Bareminerals define their social media mantra. They aim at being close to their community and provide them quick and easy tips for makeup. This is why bareminerals has a lot of short tutorial videos, all about specific and relatable topics, like “Late for a Date”, “Pitch in 10 Minutes”, or “Knock at the Door”.

Being in tune with their customers and listening to their review and feedback has been really important for the brand, and this translates to in-store relations, when sales representatives encourage the buyers to share their new products on social media with a dedicated hashtag.

Milk makeup

© milkmakeup

Average engagement rate: 2.78%

The sparkly holographic brand has a carefully created instagram, with a consistent colour scheme and glitter reflections. By being unconventional, Milk Makeup attracted their fair few of fans who deeply engage and resonate with the brand’s gender challenging values.

Their hashtag #LiveYourLook promotes individuality and self acceptance, something they also showcase through their reposts and ethical causes they are engaged in. As a result, products are paraben-free and cruelty-free.

The interaction with the audience is also a huge part of their instagram activities, and goes through asking their followers questions. They are invited to respond in the comments or to tag friends. This is an easy way to present the brand to a wider audience that will also be interested in the products. Referrals and word to mouth from friends has always been an efficient way to gain trust from potential buyers, something that the brand has applied to the specificity of an online platform.

What we can take away from all these examples is that when it comes to beauty, influencer marketing has some consistent factors. The most important seems to engage with the community in truly highlighting user generated content. The video format also seems to be favoured, so it can give quick and more expressive infos on a product. Individuality is important, as each brand follows the same pattern, but each has their own distinction. Besides being a must-have tool for brand communication and an essential source of product discovery, Instagram is testing new tools to lead consumers to actually buy the products without exiting the app. The next challenge for Instagram will therefore be making the transition from editorial to commercial resource.

This article is part of the month of Beauty by Influry, where we share articles and content related to the beauty Influencer Marketing sector. Read more articles related to beauty here.

Learn how influencer marketing is rocking beauty industry!

Find out how skincare brand Paula’s Choice achieved 808% ROI with micro-influencer marketing and retargeting ads.