The Top 21 Beauty Influencers Brands Need to Watch This Year

Instagram beauty influencers are shaking up the industry with wide-ranging representation, bold looks, and out-of-the-box style that challenges mainstream, conventional beauty. As we’re sinking our teeth into this new year, let’s take a look at some of the top beauty influencers and bloggers you need to keep an eye on.

For this list, we’ve selected some of the top beauty influencers on Instagram, but also looked beyond pure numbers to bring you some rising stars and beauty influencers you might not have heard of just yet. Check it out!

Looking for Instagram beauty influencers? Find the influencers you need with our free Influencer Search Tool now.


1. Huda Kattan

Huda Kattan, better known through the cosmetics and beauty company she founded, Huda Beauty, is the top beauty influencer in terms of earnings. The account boasts a staggering 34.5 million followers! Although the page is for her own brand, she still reps and partners with other beauty industry leaders, like Sephora.

Much of her profile space is dedicated to other influencers, giving them a platform to show off their stunning makeup looks and tutorials - using her products of course.

On her personal profile, with 517k followers, Kattan also reps fashion giants like Dior and Chanel, along with the photographers she has worked with like Chen Man.


2. Genelle Seldon

Genelle Seldon is both a fashion and beauty influencer with 356k Instagram followers. She serves her audience with high fashion looks and spices up her content with a sassy edge.

She collaborates with big names such as Juicy Couture, Forever 21, Tiger Mist, Loving Tan, and cosmetic procedure brands like Sev Laser Aesthetics.


Genelle Seldon also scored an incredible 100 on the Socialbakers influencer scorecard, pointing to strong and genuine follower interaction and growth, as well as influencer activity.

With Socialbakers, you’ll be able to find the influencers that will hit it off with your audiences seconds. Search by relevant interests, region, keywords, and more - even see what brands they have worked with in the past. Let AI do the work for you, with smart influencer recommendations based on your individual audience personas.

Find the perfect influencers for your audience today. Give it a try - free!

3. James Charles

Makeup and beauty influencers aren’t just women these days. At the front of the pack representing the men in beauty is the effervescent James Charles.

At just 19 years of age, the first ever Cover Boy, James Charles has built up YouTube and Instagram followings of over 15 million each.

A self-taught makeup artist known for his over-the-top glamorous eye makeup looks and tutorials, Charles has even launched palettes and brushes with Morphe Brushes.


4. Kandee Johnson

Kandee Johnson is a beauty influencer with a following of 1.8 million.

Her looks and tutorials range from high fashion and contouring to easy out-the-door looks, like how to look great without eyeliner.

Her style is summed up as “always sweet with a hint gangsta.”

Johnson cooperates with BoxyCharm, a monthly beauty products delivery subscription, and reps brands like SugarBearHair, a chewable vitamin supplement to promote healthy hair and growth.


5. Em Ford

Bringing something a little different to the table again we have Em Ford, a beauty influencer who got her start blogging and has since expanded to YouTube and Instagram.

But Ford is different from your typical beauty influencer: she suffers from severe acne. That doesn’t stop her though, and with a following of just under 1 million on Instagram, and 1.1 million on YouTube. She has built a platform for her powerful campaign, #redefinepretty, aimed at tackling stigmas and bullying around visible skin conditions like acne, scarring, and birthmarks.


Em Ford is currently an Olay UK brand ambassador.

6. Manny Gutierrez

Another self-taught male beauty influencer, Manny Gutierrez has 4.6 million followers on Instagram and posts a mix of makeup tutorials, product reviews, lifestyle, and even some makeup challenges such as how to make low-quality makeup work. But really, he’s all about spectacular eye looks.

Like Kandee Johnson, Gutierrez cooperates with subscription company BoxyCharm. He also reps brands like Lunar Beauty, and even promos other big-name influencers like Liza Koshy.

Manny Gutierrez’s lifestyle posts, however, are what give him an authentic edge. He has opened up about being body positive and even about a hair transplant restoration surgery he had.


7. Nikkie de Jager

Like many other beauty influencers Nikkie de Jager or @nikkietutorials on Instagram started on YouTube.

Her makeup tutorials focus on looks that truly transform a person’s face - from high fashion, contoured and chic, to out of this world looks that would be costumey if they weren’t pulled off with such talent. Just check out this half mask look from October 2018, or her killer Grinch look from November 2018.

She always posts tutorials for her looks on YouTube mentioning the products and brands she uses. She has worked with brands such as FacialTox, Maybelline, and Marc Jacobs Beauty.


8. Naomi Giannopoulos

With over 20 years’ experience, it’s no surprise that Naomi Giannopoulos has more than 7 million followers on Instagram.

This beauty influencer regularly posts tutorials, demonstrating different lip and eye makeup combinations that for people to try out for themselves along with makeup transformations with models on a broad spectrum of different ethnicities and skin tones.

She has also recently launched her own line of makeup, but still reps other brands and artists.


9. Zoë Sugg

At just 29, Zoë Sugg is a top beauty influencer with a diverse portfolio of work going back nearly a decade.


This British influencer got her start on YouTube, creating beauty product and fashion haul videos. Sugg has since built a veritable beauty empire with nearly 12 million subscribers on YouTube and 10 million followers on Instagram. She has also launched her own beauty and lifestyle product lines, founded Zoella, and broke the record for highest first-week sales of a first-time novelist with her novel Girl Online.


She promotes beauty brands like ColorPop Cosmetics, along with some lifestyle brands like Made, and Urban Outfitters Home.

10. Shayla Mitchell

Shayla Mitchell, or @makeupshayla, is another beauty influencer brand ambassador for ColorPop Cosmetics and has 2.7 million followers on Instagram.

She posts a mix of makeup, beauty, and fashion on her Instagram, ranging from casual to glamorous. There’s a little something for everyone, and no matter what looks she’s serving, they all look glam.

Mitchell uses YouTube as a platform to publish her makeup tutorials, with teases posted to Instagram. Her other Instagram posts are heavy on promotion - listing all the products and brands involved in her makeup looks and outfits so her followers can really keep up.


11. Cohl

Competitive cheerleader turned Instagram beauty influencer, Cohl is another male influencer on our list with 345k followers. This rising star shares looks and tutorials for glam, highly contoured, and often extravagant makeup looks.

He has partnered with cosmetics brands like Benefit, Sleek, and Raldh Cosmetics.


12. Rin Rodriguez

Beauty isn’t all diamonds and gold. Bringing non-binary representation to this list is alternative beauty influencer, Rin Rodriguez, or @gothfruits on Instagram with 146k followers.

With spectacularly bright orange hair, multiple face piercings, and hectic makeup and fashion color combinations, Rodriguez still comes off as both high fashion and adorable.

Their bold color combinations challenge preconceived notions of how “natural” makeup should look, and incorporate at least a touch (often more) of whimsy.

They rep brands like Milk Makeup and Urban Decay Cosmetics, and have posted ads for Ink of Elation.


13. Penelope Gwen

While Rin Rodriguez serves up whimsy and lighthearted goth, Penelope Gwen is here serving stark, high fashion to her 305k followers. Straight up, no chaser.

This model and beauty influencer’s style is often in sharp lines and powerful poses. Her makeup tutorial videos, on the other hand, often have funny freeze frames that simply demand to be clicked.

Gwen reps brands like Fenty Beauty, ColorPop Cosmetics, Kat Von D Beauty, and more.


14. Christina Parga

For the darker side of beauty influencers, check out @depechegurl on Instagram and you’ll likely find yourself joining her 719k followers.

Founder of cosmetic brand, Cryptic Cosmetics, Christina Parga is a Hollywood native with a flair for dramatic, dark makeup with sharp, clean lines, and a statement lip.

She works with brands like Lime Crime Makeup, Gerard Cosmetics, and promoted Kiehl’s as well for a campaign on breast cancer awareness.


15. Kelseyanna Fitzpatrick

Vancouver-based makeup artist Kelseyanna Fitzpatrick, is a beauty influencer with a twist. With 253k followers, Fitzpatrick has tossed the rulebook aside for ‘how to make it in the industry’ in favor of one motto: “Be aggressively yourself,” she told Dazed Digital in November of 2018.

Fitzpatrick’s account is a wonderland of deliciously colorful goth aesthetic, from eye makeup looks to fashion shoots, and her own stunning professional work on others.

She reps brands like Look Hunter Apparel, Noctex Cosmetics, and Joanna Keller Beautique. She is also a staunch advocate for cruelty-free cosmetics and actively fights animal testing in cosmetic products.


16. Kuu Kivelä

Where Kelseyanna is serving us dark goth glamor, Finnish beauty influencer Kuu Kivelä, or @roseshock, is here to bring us some “main character aesthetics” along with her eclectic mix of goth, cosplay, whimsy, and high fashion, almost virtual looks.

Based in Helsinki, this 24-year-old has a following of 191k and boasts some big cosmetic brands, like Nyx Cosmetics Nordics, Rockstar Wigs, and SugarPill Cosmetics. She also works with haircare and coloring brands like Living In Colour.


17. Kianna Naomi

With powerhouse brands like Sephora and Fossil under her belt at just 19 years old, this next content creator is a rising start in the beauty industry.

Kianna has a YouTube channel with just under 700k subscribers and an Instagram account with 146k followers.

On Instagram, she mainly sticks to lifestyle blogging, but reps Sephora with her subtle and natural makeup looks. Her YouTube channel is a bit more diverse: here she posts fashion, beauty, and cosmetic hauls, unboxing videos, and even videos of baking and redecorating. A little something for everyone.


18. Marianna Hewitt

Marianna Hewitt is an established top beauty influencer and businesswoman.

Along with the next influencer on our list, Hewitt founded Summer Fridays, a line of natural, vegan, and cruelty-free face masks for a range of different specific cases - from dry skin to helping you cope with jet lag.

Hewitt has 874k followers on Instagram and has partnered up with brands like Smith & Cult, Ipsy, and Armani Beauty.


19. Lauren Gores

Meet the other half of the influencer businesswoman pair behind Summer Fridays.

Lauren Gores has 101k followers on Instagram, but sets herself apart with effortlessly natural looks and makeup, along with easy hair care tutorials and pictures of her child, family, and lifestyle.

She reps brands like Ouai Haircare, Igk Haircare, and Pantene, and of course her own brand, Summer Fridays.


20. Castania Monet Vega

Our smallest influencer on the list, Castania Monet Vega is an 18-year-old beauty micro influencer who’s making waves from her homebase near the Pacific in sunny Southern California.

Don’t let the size of her Instagram following discourage you, smaller influencers often have incredibly engaged followers, helping to drive the engagement their posts bring in and making them even better for conversion-focused campaigns than huge influencers. Check out our blog on choosing micro vs macro influencers to learn more.

Vega’s posts are casual and fun, but showcase real talent in makeup, whether it’s a sunflower-themed look with little flowers framing her eyes, or a mermaid look with scaled eyelids. She has a flair for casual-chic style.

Castania Monet Vega is also the second influencer on our list to have scored 100 in the Socialbakers influencer search health index.

21. Aaron Storms

This Instagram beauty influencer is making a name for himself with unconventional eye makeup creations. The production value of his content is a little on the low side, but the vision and talent behind the makeup artistry speaks for itself.

21 years old and Indiana-based, Aaron Storms specializes in eye makeup that pops out of the frame. From a stunning Black Swan look, complete with black and red lenses, to understated floral designs, and intense 3D geometric design looks, Storms is slaying it already with just 63.2k followers. He’s one to watch this year.


The Takeaway

Choosing the right Instagram beauty influencer depends heavily on your brand and its individual audience and needs. To truly succeed in this competitive space you need to find influencers that will help you reach new audiences. Finding influencers who are a natural fit for product will help your collaboration go beyond producing a simple ad.

With Socialbakers you can access the largest influencer database, allowing AI to do the heavy lifting. Save hours of valuable time and find influencers with smart recommendations based on your specific audience personas and easy-to-understand scorecards so you can choose the best influencers at a glance.

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