Social media and beauty seem to be a match made in heaven. Regular people who want to try out complicated beauty looks at home no longer have to guess at the right technique for applying eyeshadow or blush — they can just watch a YouTube video or get inspiration from an influencer’s Instagram photos.
Many of today’s top beauty influencers have been able to spin their makeup know-how into profitable careers, often launching their own product lines. Meet some of the most popular beauty influencers and see what makes them so influential.
Huda Kattan is a makeup artist turned “beauty mogul,” with an empire of beauty products behind her. Originally from the midwest US, she and her company are currently based in Dubai. Huda has over 32 million followers on Instagram and launched a reality TV show on Facebook Watch in 2018.
Many people might think of Rihanna as a pop/R&B star, but the singer has branched out in recent years. Most notably, she’s launched her own line of cosmetics, Fenty Beauty, which has pretty much revolutionized the beauty industry. Fenty Beauty’s products come in a huge array of skin tones, making the brand accessible to more people than most other beauty lines. Rihanna has over 67 million followers on Instagram.
Nikki de Jager
Nikki de Jager is a Dutch YouTube star and makeup artist with more than 11 million subscribers. Her claim to fame is creating looks that truly transform people’s appearance. Her breakout video, created in 2015, highlighted all the ways that makeup can enhance people’s looks.
Jeffree Star got his start on MySpace, where he was pursuing a music career and quickly became the most followed person on the social network. A few years later, he changed course and started focusing on his talents as a makeup artist. Today, he has his own cosmetics line and more than 12 million YouTube subscribers.
James Charles was the first-ever “Cover Boy” for Cover Girl cosmetics. He’s a makeup artist known for dramatic, over-the-top looks. He’s built up a following of more than 13 million on YouTube.
Genelle Seldon has more than 300,000 Instagram followers and a YouTube channel where she posts beauty tutorials and fashion try-ons. She’s worked with brands like Juicy Couture (to launch a new fragrance) and Revolve.
Strashme, aka Ashley, is a beauty influencer from Alaska with around 113,000 followers. She posts complicated makeup looks on her Instagram and encourages her followers to recreate them.
Rocio Cervantes describes herself as a professional olympic blender and makeup artist. She shows off creative makeup looks on Instagram, as well as tips on covering up acne. She has around 179,000 followers.
Makeup artist Jaclyn Hill has more than 6 million Instagram followers and more than 5 million subscribers on YouTube, where she posts makeup tutorials. Jaclyn got her start behind the counter at MAC Cosmetics and has since gone on to launch collabs with the likes of Becca cosmetics.
Kandee Johnson’s videos that featured her transforming herself into Barbie and other characters helped to seal her fame as an influencer. Today, she’s most active on Instagram, where she has more than 1.8 million followers.
Cole Carrigan is a self-described “self taught makeup artist” with around 186,000 Instagram followers. Many of his looks are inspired by pop culture, such as Louis Vuitton’s logo and Kanye West album covers.
Like James Charles, MannyMUA made beauty history by becoming the first male ambassador of a beauty company, in his case, Maybelline. He’s got nearly 5 million subscribers on YouTube, where he posts beauty tutorials, product reviews, and other “just for fun,” beauty-centric videos.
Australian YouTuber Chloe Morello got her start in 2012, posting makeup tutorials and other beauty videos. Today, she has nearly 3 million subscribers and has launched her own tongue-in-cheek series, “Famous on YouTube.”
Christen Dominique has more than 4.5 million subscribers on YouTube, where her videos include tutorials and reviews of products. She’s also launched her own line, Dominque Cosmetics.
Makeup artist Naomi Giannopoulos has more than 7 million followers on Instagram. A makeup artist with more than 20 years of experience, she’s recently launched her own line of products.
Zoe Sugg is barely 29-years-old, but has already had a nearly decade-long career as a beauty influencer. She’s got more than 11 million subscribers on YouTube and a following of around 10 million on Instagram. Although she got her start doing haul videos of clothing and makeup purchases, she’s since built up her own empire of beauty and lifestyle products.
Shannon Harris, aka Shaaanxo, has more than 3 million subscribers on YouTube. She lives in New Zealand and posts around three new beauty-centric videos weekly. She’s also launched her own line of beauty products.
Shayla Mitchell is a beauty blogger with almost 3 million followers. In 2017, she partnered with Maybelline to launch a limited collection of products, including three mascaras and an eyeshadow palette.
Beauty influencer Amanda Steele has 2.5 million followers on Instagram. She got started on YouTube in 2010, launching that eventually led to a modeling career. Most recently, she tried her hand at fashion, starting a line of clothing in early 2019.
YouTuber Lauren Curtis has more than 3.5 million subscribers. She posts tutorials showing people how to do looks for prom, New Year’s, and Halloween. Lauren has also built up a following on Instagram, where she has 1.4 million followers.
Kianna Naomi is a young beauty influencer who’s recently started working with Sephora. She has around 138,000 followers on Instagram, where she regularly shares her makeup looks and tips with the world.
Cohl’s gone from being a social media star known for his role in the cheerleading world to a beauty influencer. He regularly shares photos of looks he’s created and has partnered with brands such as Benefit and Sleek cosmetics.
Desi Perkins posts beauty-centric videos on her YouTube channel, where she has around 3.2 million subscribers. Her videos include “get ready with me” posts, Halloween makeup tutorials, and lifestyle posts. Desi’s claim to fame is creating super realistic FX makeup looks.
Rin Rodriguez goes by the name Gothfruits on Instagram, although the looks they create are far from “goth.” Many of the looks on their profile are super colorful and creative. They’ve got more than 150,000 followers.
Aaron Storms is a 21-year-old makeup artist known for “unconventional” looks. His Instagram account is full of unique and creative eye shadow styling. He has more than 51,000 followers.