Instagram images that inspired me this week

Happy Friday! To transition us gently into weekend mode, I thought I’d do something a bit different today. I’d like to share with you all some of the Instagram images in the beauty category that stopped me in my tracks this week and made me go, wow! I find these all to be visually striking images in different ways depending on the personality behind the account (hopefully this will make more sense later). I gathered a nice mix of images from social media influencers, YouTubers, makeup brands, beauty editors and bloggers. To be honest I could have picked so many more than I did, but I decided to cut it off at 9 images. I’d love to periodically do posts like this in the future; perhaps they won’t always be beauty-related either. I like the idea of sharing beautiful images that perhaps will introduce you to accounts you didn’t know of or follow before.

I’m going to try to keep my commentary to a minimum here so the images do most of the talking but I’ll let you know along the way just why I think these particular images are noteworthy and who is behind the account.

3ceigphoto

I’ve been following the Korean makeup brand 3CE or 3 Concept Eyes on Instagram for a while now. I love almost all the imagery they put up mainly because it seems to focus more on beautiful, luxurious skin rather than dramatic eye looks. Also their reverse-ombre lip looks, a huge Korean makeup trend with the highest concentration of pigment towards the center of the lips, are just so gorgeous. Look at how dark that lipstick is in the tube but how soft it looks on the lips.

alexsteinherrigphoto

OK this is not beauty related, but just look at that rainbow! Alessandra Steinherr has been the Beauty Director of Glamour Magazine for the past decade and is a recent beauty blogger as well. She regularly posts interesting content and does lives quite frequently so if you’re not following her already, I recommend doing so.

byrdiebeautyigphoto

Byrdie is a great destination for all things beauty, lifestyle and wellness and their Instagram is always on point. For some reason I find myself gravitating more towards their posts on nails and manicures. In my dreams I’d get a manicure like the one pictured in this image. How beautiful, elegant and fairytale is this? And may I say, I appreciate the shorter nails. I think this would take on a whole different vibe if the nails pictured here were longer.

emanigphoto

This image is like Instagram perfection, isn’t it? Eman does great glam looks on YouTube if you haven’t heard of her before. I think the element that really struck me about this particular image was the different tones of blue used on her eyes. Even though her skin and lips looks flawless here, the focus is still all on those colorful, smokey eyes. Gorgeous.

katiejanehughesigphoto

I love, love, love the makeup artist Katie Jane Hughes. Not just her style but her whole makeup philosophy is appealing to me. Just look at the caption on this image and you’ll get an idea of what I’m talking about. She’s extremely active on Instagram and does lives and videos almost every day, sometimes multiple times a day. Her focus is often on juicy, healthy-looking skin and she shares helpful tips on both skincare and makeup application especially for hooded eyes. She’s definitely one to follow.

glossierigphoto

I still haven’t tried anything from Glossier yet (tear), but I’ve known for the longest time that the first product I’m likely to buy will be the Cloud Paint. It’s just so me! Easy-to-use cream, sheer blush that looks natural on the skin? Sign me up. I just have so many cream blushes at the moment, I can’t justify the purchase right now. Instead I’ll satisfy myself with looking at cool images like this.

glamourgigglesigphoto

I actually first discovered beauty and lifestyle blogger Priyanka Patel from Glamour & Giggles on Pinterest before I followed her on Instagram. Her blog is awesome, excellent recommendations and product reviews. I love the staging of this particular image. Everything about it is striking to me. The black and white of the Sephora bags against the pale pink color of the chair. And those cool makeup organizers and brush holders in the background. Even the tissue paper looks perfectly staged!

pixiwoosigphoto

I couldn’t not include an image from makeup artist Sam Chapman, aka one-half of Pixiwoo on YouTube. I’ve been watching her videos and tutorials since 2011; she’s one of the reasons I really got into makeup in fact. Like Katie Jane Hughes, her makeup philosophy is the primary reason I respect her. She often incorporates broken or disheveled elements into her makeup to give it a more authentic and relatable feel. I feel like this image gives both glam and understated vibes at the same time, which is awesome.

overgloweditigphoto

I love everything that skincare and beauty blogger Melanie at Overglow Edit does pretty much. I adore the aesthetic and overall vibe of both her Instagram feed and her blog. She kills it at snapping and editing her product overlays, and giving us little tidbits of info on the skincare she’s using. I’m not much of a skincare blogger since I rarely change up my very simple routine (although I did incorporate a new product just recently), so I enjoy hearing what others who much more knowledgeable, like her, have to say. I could have picked any image from her feed to feature here honestly, so I just picked one of her more recent posts. I love the pairing of the books & the greenery with the beauty products.

What images from Instagram or elsewhere have inspired you recently? Beauty or otherwise? I’d love to know!

xo, Erica

 

Want to know how ColourPop became so successful? Read this.

I’ve always been fascinated with ColourPop’s skyrocket to success and the dizzying rate with which they launch their products. Since 2014, it’s been the brand on every beauty lover’s tongue, in their wishlists and in their hauls. You turn around and there’s five more major launches and collaborations from them, it’s crazy. To me it seemed like they exploded out of nowhere very quickly, am I right? They were considered very mysterious at the time since there was no official spokesperson for the brand and the founders remained very much in the background. But of course there’s always a story to tell.

Interestingly, I’ve barely tried any ColourPop products before. My mom bought me an old Kathleen Lights collaboration from a while back which consisted of four Super Shock Shadows, Blaze, Kathleenlights, Glow & Cornelius (some or all of these were discontinued I think). Otherwise I’ve never touched one product. This is what’s truly ironic about this scenario. The reason that ColourPop has been “unsuccessful” selling products to someone like me is exactly the same reason (or one of the key reasons) why the brand has been so wildly successful selling to millions of other consumers. Haven’t guessed yet? It’s a true e-commerce brand for the modern digital world. I still rarely buy makeup online that I’ve never used or at least sampled before. This probably makes me “old school” but I’m fine with that.

But despite my inexperience with their product line, as a former student of business I find ColourPop to be its own terrific case study, and I’ll explain to you why.

What does being an e-commerce beauty brand for the modern digital world have to do with being successful at selling and marketing to consumers? Well, everything actually. I wrote briefly about ColourPop’s backstory in my older post on indie beauty brands, but I’d like to go into more detail here. If you don’t know much or anything about the brand, you’ll find this interesting I’m sure. The founders are two siblings, John & Laura Nelson, who grew up in the beauty industry since their father bought Spatz Labs, a beauty supply/manufacturing company, in the late ‘80’s. They saw an opportunity a few years ago that was ripe for exploitation: the meeting point between the prevalence of social media & influencer marketing, and the expansion of consumer spending in the beauty industry. If they created a beauty brand that was entirely e-commerce (no dependency on brick-and-mortar retailers) and targeted beauty influencers who would market their products to millions of followers, well that could be pretty successful. And don’t forget they had experience, heritage and first-hand access to a cosmetics manufacturing company.

So the Nelsons founded Seed Beauty, a brand-incubation company that became the parent to ColourPop Cosmetics, the first official brand under its umbrella. (If you’re curious, a brand incubator nutures and helps grow smaller startups to become full-fledged brands.) From the very start, ColourPop had definite advantages with customers. Like a lot of other e-commerce brands, its digital-first, social media-driven strategy gave it broad & fast exposure to their customer base. Social media marketing has broken down a lot of barriers that used to exist between brands and consumers; they can interact in ways they never used to. This newfound closeness has fast become the modern way to grow community, make sales and boost success. Much like Glossier, ColourPop claims its products are not conceived of nor designed in board rooms, but through interactions with their customers. They’ve designed products specifically requested by influencers and customers.

The second key factor here is having the established infrastructure of Seed Beauty baked into the ColourPop model, which gives it unparalleled speed-to-market. Everything from product concepting, R&D, production, and marketing is housed under one roof in Oxnard, CA; no middleman manufacturer or packager is necessary. So basically, they can pump more launches out more quickly. That’s huge. It’s the concept of ‘fast fashion’ yet applied to beauty, as Laura Nelson has stated. Oh and if you didn’t realize, this makes all their products super affordable. Everyone who loves ColourPop loves how affordable they are without skimping on quality. Hopefully now you understand how they are able to do that.

In four years, ColourPop has gone from strength to strength with no signs of slowing down. A little-known company called Kylie Cosmetics became the second brand to come under Seed Beauty after ColourPop. I think we all know how successful they’ve turned out to be (hello Kylie Jenner Forbes cover). The Nelsons claim there are more brands that will be coming up through Seed Beauty soon, one of which just launched a few weeks ago. Fourth Ray Beauty is an affordable skincare line where almost all the products are under $15.00 from cleansing oils to tonics and serums. I’m definitely intrigued by this line.

What do you think about ColourPop’s rise to success? Are you a fan of the brand? I’d love to know!

xo, Erica

(Sources used here: Refinery29, Revelist, FastCompany, Northwest Business Review.)

Can we hit pause on highlighter, please?

After a few years, highlighter is still having a huge moment in the makeup world. It’s everywhere I look when I shop for makeup, in every conceivable form: powders, creams, gels or liquids in big pans, small pans, palettes, bottles, & mini’s. And in almost every color from gold to pink to peach to purple and blue. I would say every second or third tutorial I watch on YouTube or Instagram, or ad image I see online, features highlighter prominently. Either it’s slathered onto the skin so it can be seen in heaven or layered on top of creams or liquids to give an almost supernatural effect. (To read more about my thoughts on Instagram makeup, click here). “Blinding” skin is in and matte skin is BAD, people. Or at least that’s the message I’m getting.

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A Meditation on “Instagram Makeup”

I don’t know about you, but (surprise, surprise) my Instagram feed is one large makeup advertisement. I’m constantly inundated with updates on new launches, old favorites and collaborations from brands like Lancome, Benefit, ColourPop & Kiko Milano (just to name a select few). I wouldn’t have it any other way, but with every scroll it drives the point home that “Instagram makeup” is not something that I will personally strive to master.

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