Influencers have infiltrated the beauty industry like no other, but the constant preface of #AD and #SPON on seemingly every post, render product recommendations somewhat inauthentic. Some try harder than others to make you believe that the never-before-been-used red lipstick is their actual favourite, and has been for forever, despite only having launched on Tuesday. Alas, you’re still left wondering why you’ve never seen said influencer in red lipstick.
Enter My BeautyBrand (launched on December 5), which was designed to influence with integrity, and on a peer-to-peer basis. To take the brands with money, and therefore power, out of the recommendation equation. There are two arms to the business. The first, a platform on which anyone can create a profile, and upload pictures of make-up looks with mentions of all products used to create them. Each product has an affiliate link, which means users can earn a healthy commission for every product posted (minimum 10%, maximum 20%). Yes, it’s your very own, personalised e-store, but without the paperwork, overheads or need for business nous. The only onus on you, is that of which mascara stretches lashes to improbable heights, or the foundation that’s not only bouncy, but breathable and glow-giving.
The second arm By.Me, is product, and includes everything from eye paints to lipsticks, and nail varnishes. The minds and muscles behind it all? Max Leykind, founder of Eyeko and cult 90s nail polish brand Hard Candy, and Robin Derrick, photographer, creative director and husband to the esteemed make-up artist Lisa Eldridge. Derrick, now also a tutor at Central St Martins enlisted his make-up mad millennial students to weigh in on textures, colours, packaging and names.
As is to be expected from the former Creative Director of VOGUE, the site is clean, slick and easy to navigate. Among playful videos and pictures of experimental, rainbow-bright make-up looks, sit By.Me products.
If the beauty world is becoming increasingly homogenised, this is the antidote. Contouring, beaming highlighter and blown-up mouths are not the prerequisite for a profile. Far from. The language deployed is poetic and inclusive, with a rousing manifesto written by poet Simeon Farrar that starts with the line: ‘I’m sick of the braggers, the blaggers, and the hashtaggers…’. Tapping further into the zeitgeist, all products come with a pre-paid returns label to ensure all packaging is properly recycled. A post-influencer beauty brand at it’s best, and finally one that everyone can have a slice of the pie. Humble, proper pie, to be exact.