Below is the June 2023 edition of our Beauty Leaderboard Newsletter where we provide monthly data-backed insights on rising beauty trends, in-depth analyses of successful brand/influencer collaborations, and benchmarked rankings of global beauty brands.
US Brand Spotlight 1: L’Oréal Paris + Sponsored Content
L’Oréal Paris had a big month in May, jumping 13 spots to third on the Leaderboard and seeing MoM increases in VIT, video views, and engagements of 148%, 138%, and 160%.
A big reason for this was the strong results from its sponsored content, which accounted for 61% of the brand’s VIT in May. This is even more impressive given that L’Oréal didn’t have just one, but multiple product campaigns running throughout the month. The brand did an excellent job of implementing popular beauty trends into the content. For example, comedy videos from Adam Waheed (@adamw) and Angela Chalet (@angelac0123) promoting the brand’s Men’s Hair Color performed highly along with couples content from Kristy Sarah (@kristy.sarah) and Jessie James Decker (@jessiejamesdecker). For its EverPure Bond Strengthening Shampoo & Conditioner, L’Oréal partnered with Alix Earle (@alixearle) on a video where she highlights the products as a dupe and cheaper alternative to the popular Bond Repair lineup from Olaplex.
The brand was also running its #LipMoods product campaign on TikTok with creators listing out and applying some of their favorites summer shades from L’Oréal’s lipstick collection. TikToks from Olivia Chatfield (@oliviachatfield) and Areneemua (@arenee.mua) were the top posts from the campaign, combining for over 36M video views and 360k engagements!
L’Oréal Paris’ success showcases that with a good gameplan, a large brand can create unique, on-trend content even when coordinating sponsored product campaigns spanning multiple different categories.
US Brand Spotlight 2: Dyson + Airstrait Launch
On May 11, Dyson launched its new, highly anticipated tool, the Airstrait hair straightener. To drum up the excitement even further in the days following the US launch, the brand partnered up with a handful of beauty influencers to give their initial impressions upon using the tool. Top performers included mega tier (1M-5M followers) influencers Matt E (@mattloveshair), Kamie Crawford (@kamiecrawford), Yuyan (@itsyuyaan), and Taylor Rose (@thehealthyhur) along with macro tier (250k – 1M) influencers Megan Roup (@meganroup) and Hermela Lamps (@hermela).
Given that the Airstrait is Dyson’s first new beauty tool since 2020 and took years of research and development to create, the sponsored campaign they ran in the days following the launch actually seemed pretty modest.
Although the Airstrait’s launch campaign might have been modest, the brand didn’t really need it thanks to its work building up a loyal community. Beauty consumers and influencers have long loved and trusted Dyson’s hair tool technology (i.e. the popularity of the AirWrap and Supersonic), so they were more than willing to share their thoughts on the Airstrait through organic posts.
In fact, many of the top performing posts about the Airstrait were organic, with TikToks from Curlie Crys (@beingcrystalnicolee), Jessica Ogilvie (@shesintimidating), Geena Hunt (@geenahunt), Isabelle Lux (@isabelle.lux), and Julissa Guillen (@julissa_guillen) responsible for some of the top performing mentions of May for the brand. In many of the top organic posts, the creators highlight that their review is unsponsored, likely because many viewers seek out organic reviews and believe them to be more credible.
Overall, Dyson saw a significant bump in its social performance due to the Airstrait launch with big MoM increases in engagements (+62%), video views (+54%), and VIT (+81%). The brand also reached 11th place on the US Leaderboard, its highest monthly rank of 2023.
UK Brand Spotlight 1: Smashbox Cosmetics + Brand Collabs
In May, Smashbox jumped from #306 to #9 on the monthly UK Leaderboard. The brand’s performance is a textbook example of how a brand with less resources and a smaller following than major brands can still see huge reach and performance on social.
During the month Smashbox garnered most of its VIT from VIP influencer Lena Bagrowska (@lenkalul), one of the UK’s most popular beauty influencers. Lena made 4 posts across IG and TikTok promoting beauty brand IPSY and its monthly “Glam Bag” beauty box with two Smashbox products featured: its studio skin foundation and always on liquid lipstick.
Those 4 posts generated almost all of the brand’s VIT in May and gave a huge boost to Smashbox in terms of brand reach and awareness, with engagements and video views increasing by 4,528% and 8,619% MoM!
While it may be difficult for other small brands to guarantee or orchestrate this series of events, it does serve as a great reminder that partnerships amongst brands can create powerful awareness and engagement opportunities.
UK Brand Spotlight 2: Youth to the People + UK Launch
In May, Youth to the People officially launched its online store in the United Kingdom and also opened up its first in-person store in London with a launch party on June 1st. To bring awareness to the UK launch, Youth to the People tapped a few emerging beauty influencers for sponsored posts across TikTok and Instagram. The mid-tier of influencers (250k – 1M followers) generated 78% of VIT for the brand with top posts coming from Nikkita Chadha (@nikkitachadha), Ayesha Hussain (@ayeshahofficial), and Tess Daly (@tess_daly).
Youth to the People had each influencer post a short video following the recently surging “Get Unready with Me” where they use the brand’s superfood cleanser to remove the day’s makeup and clean their face. In the content (and caption), the creators also highlighted the UK launch of the brand and included a link directly to the brand’s online store.
The campaign was successful in generating a lot of attention for the UK launch, with Youth to the People jumping from #278 in April to #67 in May in the UK beauty rankings!
And with many attendees posting on social media from the store’s launch party on June 1, it looks like the brand is on its way to having another strong month in June.
FR Brand Spotlight 1: Garnier + Best of #BeautyTok
May was a big month for Garnier, with the brand ranking second on the FR Leaderboard and seeing a 61% MoM increase in VIT. So what changed from the previous month that was the key driver to the brand’s success?
Huge increases in engagements (274%) and video views (79%)! Almost all of the engagements came from TikTok, where Garnier earned over 97% of its total VIT in May. Most of the top posts were part of a multi-brand campaign where influencers received a “Best of #BeautyTok” box filled with some of the most talked about products on TikTok. These boxes included items from brands like Garnier, Maybelline, L’Oréal Paris, Dessange, and Cacharel Perfumes. The content featured the creators unboxing the package and pointing out some of the products they were most excited to discover inside, with some then trying out a few of the products.
Surprisingly, the top three creators from the campaign were all from the micro tier (10k-50k followers) — Amandine (@amandineyk), Emma Laurent (@emmaalaurentt), and Ninon (@ninondationn). This suggests that Garnier and/or the other brands involved in the campaign likely selected some of their favorite posts and then boosted them in order to reach a much larger audience.
FR Brand Spotlight 2: Dessange + GRWM to go…nowhere!
As a long-standing official partner of the The Cannes Film Festival (which ran from May 16-27), Dessange was mentioned in many high-performing posts from attendees and beauty professionals (who used the brand’s products while prepping the guests for the festival events). The brand earned mentions from the likes of Nabilla Vergara (@nabilla), Zoé Tondut (@justezoe), Frida Aasen (@frida_aasen), and Indira Ampiot (@indira.ampiot).
While these mentions generated a significant amount of engagements for Dessange, they were surprisingly not where most of the brand’s top performing mentions came from in May.
Instead, the source was a unique brand awareness campaign where Dessange sent an event-themed gift box to creators filled with Dessange products. The creators used the gift box to take viewers through their GRWM (get ready with me) makeup routine, and then got dressed up in a fancy red-carpet-worthy outfit. But, instead of heading out to a fancy event, the video ends with the creator kicking back on the couch or in bed and flipping on a movie to enjoy a night in. The playful contrast to the brand’s many mentions coming from the Cannes Film Festival was topped off by each creator’s caption of GRWM to go…nowhere!
Top creators included mid tier (50k – 250k followers) influencers Lou (@bloudyyyy_), Audrey Afonso (@audreyafs), and Elisa Levallois (@elisalevallois) along with mega tier (1M – 5M followers) influencer Emma Keitmann (@emmakeitmann).
The results were impressive, with Dessange jumping 60 spots to land at 4th on the FR Leaderboard and increasing VIT by 1,365% and video views by 1,108% MoM.