Makeup Geek owner, Marlena Stell, finally speaks out.
If you haven’t already, please take a look at Marlena Stell’s recent YouTube video. It’s a short video, under nine minutes, of Stell, with hesitation, sharing her truth on how she sees the beauty community as an influencer who is now a brand owner.
Click here to check out a video from YouTuber Sanders Kennedy. Being approached for comment regarding the subject matter of this video may have been the reason Marlena Stell wanting to personally add her voice to this very important discussion.
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This is a real honest video, that I believe barely skims the surface of her perspective on the fees beauty influencers charge brands for videos and social media posts, the fighting and social climbing within the community, and why you haven’t heard large beauty influencers mentioning Makeup Geek or using the brands products over the last year.
I will stop there. I don’t want to give away to much of the video because I want you to go watch it. The emotion in Stell’s voice makes what she is saying even more powerful and concerning. The same points Stell makes about the beauty community could easily apply to any industry where an influencer community has developed. (I have always disliked the word “influencer”…especially when so many people are buying Instagram bot accounts as followers. Who are they influencing, exactly, with bots?!)
Beauty is a true love of mine. It was one of the first lifestyle topics I started writing on 10 years ago.
With that said, I have been paying attention to the rise of the beauty influencer. And I have been expecting to see a bust in the beauty community for a couple of years. Little one-off situations have happened here and there, but after the major mess of a couple of weeks ago, brands better wise up.
The ethics of well established brands were being called into question because of associating and doing business with individuals in the beauty community who have made some really bad, possibly career ending, choices. Now, truth be told, as humans we have all made mistakes, and we should all want the chance to apologize and make things right, if possible. These individuals have had the chance to do so, and some appear to be taking time to put their lives and careers back into perspective.
Where do I see a bust happening next? The food blogger community.
Six years ago there was a bit of a dust-up over food bloggers in Dallas, mainly because established food critics were feeling that their territory was being encroached upon by amateurs, and restaurants felt enormous pressure to let food bloggers in – fearing if they didn’t comp meals, a negative story would surface. In the end, established food critics and food bloggers have learned to coexist in an odd way, but I question for how long.
Just recently I decided to attend less food focused media events simply because I am not digging the atmosphere much anymore, for many reasons.
Considering that a few in media relations have confided in me that certain individuals are overstating their influence, I am not sure that the process of using influencers with unsubstantiated large followings is truly sustainable for much longer.
So what is the answer?
Micro influencers, as Stell mentions in her video, have smaller followings and are really connected to their audience.
Could this be the next phase of this marketing model?
It’s all about brands taking a chance because no one really knows. But I fear the bubble is getting close to bursting.