The Smart Money’s NOT on influencers…

Seems like some members of the YouTube makeup community are getting their knickers in a knot over who said what, did what and why. But for many of us makeup artists, we could continue to work week in and week out in the industry and not know what the heck is actually going on on YT…

If you didn’t already know, the dramas of YouTube makeup artists and the current cosmetics industry is so O.T.T right now that Netflix is making a series about it!

Bring on the popcorn, but if you honestly have no idea of what I’m talking about: see below ⬇️

So Marlena Stell who started out a decade ago as a makeup vlogger and then created Makeup Geek (which she currently CEO’s) came out recently and spoke publicly (via YouTube ) about how her company has had a bad year and the ‘influencers’ haven’t been supporting her as much because as a small business she simply can’t afford to pay them their exorbitant fees which they charge to sponsor products in their videos… We’re talking $60k as a starting rate for talking about a product in a YouTube clip.

The more telling thing here is that the big makeup houses are hurting – to quote Stell “it’s not jut me” – in her tell all, she states that big cosmetics brand CEO’s’ have expressed to her that they too are feeling the sting of not being favoured by influencers!

Hot on the heels of this ‘Expose’ Kevin James Bennett a makeup artist and brand consultant of over 30 years spoke up praising Stell and stated:

“a brand I consulted with asked me to inquire about working with a top-level beauty influencerthe influencer’s management team asked for $25,000 for a “product mention in a multi-branded product review,” $50,000 to $60,000 for a “dedicated product review,” and $75,000 to $85,000 for a dedicated negative review of a competitor’s product.” 

Well that’s a game changer! A dedicated negative review for the exchange of $$ is breaking the law in most countries.

Jaclyn Hill infamously had a collaboration with Makeup Geek which fell through, ‘due to ‘bad timing’ apparently. Soon after she teamed up with Morphe to make her eye shadow palettes which have had negative reviews, with products returned due to being faulty and inconsistent. Hill denies being paid for merely mentioning products for sponsorship, instead she ears her $$ via ‘commission’: social media influencers tell you to use their ‘code’ to receive a discount when you purchase a specific product, the buyer receives money off their purchase and the influencer takes a cut of the sale.

Hill has stated that she has attended Influencer parties hosted by large corporations and there she found out that $60k is pretty pedestrian compared to what some influencers charge for sponsorship!

Huda Kattan came out and said she was offered $185k to endorse a cosmetic product.

There’s also Jeffrey Star with a 5 part YouTube series of his own, speaking up again, about his ex friends in the beauty industry. James Charles (JC) recently tweeted that YouTubers don’t get paid enough and accused Netflix and Stell of ‘stealing his ideas’ 🤣 and there have been racist tweets…

Drama, drama, drama!

And it’s not just the YouTubers getting their hands dirty: small independent makeup artist Vlada Haggerty has sued Make Up For Ever and Louis Vuitton for using her trademarked Lip Drip art work.

Emails circulated regarding quite a few offers from Make Up For Ever to collaborate with Vlada, who politely declined due to her commitments with Smash Box and other cosmetics houses. She later found her signature ‘Lip Drip’ artwork used by the company without her authority.

Haggerty also went after Kylie Cosmetics for copying her ‘gold hands & ombré lip’ and ‘Lip Drip’ artworks. Vlada has now created a @stopiptheft

on Instagram and is figure heading the protection of creative rights for smaller independent artists like herself.

It’s no secret that cosmetics houses have been capitalising on the, well, influence of influencers seen through countless collaborations, but as audiences become more savvy to these machinations, the influencers traction may well, slide…Hill even came out and apologised for ‘shoving it down [her viewers’] throats’ when the Morphe Jaclyn Hill brush range was released immediately after the palette!

So with influencers losing their credibility and authenticity while independent makeup artists gain following due to their integrity and talent – it would seem like, moving forward, the smart money is on ‘us’ – the genuine, independent, makeup artists 👊.

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