When followers can be bought by the thousands and everyone seems to have their fingers in every pie and posting visually stunning, yet less-than-informative, in-your-face photos or videos asking you to buy their products, it can be difficult to sieve out the duds.
So we put together a list of the beauty brands founded by influencers, whose products are actually worth buying, because of the rave reviews from people who’ve used them, and of course, the influencer’s reputation.
The OG beauty youtuber Michelle Phan launched her cosmetics line in collaboration with beauty giant L’Oreal in 2013. It was called Em Michelle Phan and had makeup palettes with three dozen colours (it was really extra, we know). Later on, the brand was reportedly under-performing in sales and reviews, and the Vietnamese-American acquired it back and relaunched it as EM Cosmetics in 2017. The initial launch saw just two ranges – a liquid lipstick collection and two eyeliners. The brand has since expanded its offerings to include even more eyeliners, as well as eyebrow pencils and brow cream too. The products have gotten pretty positive reviews and at an average of US$20 (S$27.35) for a lipstick or an eyeliner, the price range is pretty affordable too. Plus, it ships internationally for a fee depending on what you’re carting.
At EM Cosmetics.
Of course, everyone’s favourite Korean makeup artist Pony’s Pony Effect would be on this list. Besides the fact that Pony is a makeup artist who’s done makeup for CL from 2NE1, her makeup tutorials show that she has some serious chops. Plus, we’ve been seriously impressed with the wearability and colour payoff of some of the products we’ve tried, such as the cushion foundations, lipsticks and eyeshadow, so we’d definitely recommend them. At $21.90 for an eyebrow pencil to $59.90 for a cushion foundation, the prices are not exactly the cheapest, but are still wallet-friendly.
South Korean Youtuber and beauty influencer Liah Yoo cut her teeth working at K-beauty giant Amorepacific’s e-commerce and marketing department, so she’s really great at distilling her skincare knowledge into easy-to-understand, bite-sized pieces that consumers identify with. She started skincare brand Krave Beauty to boil down skincare to its basics, so you don’t need to stress out about having to use a 12-step skincare routine to keep your skin in great shape. The brand only carries four products – a cleanser, exfoliator, sunblock and serum, with a price range of US$16-28 (S$22-38) – and reviews from the Internet community has been largely positive so far. For now, Krave Beauty only ships within the US and in South Korea, so you’d have to bring the products back when you visit these countries, or get a concierge to help you get them.
If you frequent Sephora as often as we think you do, you’d be familiar with Huda Beauty, beauty influencer-makeup artist Huda Kattan’s brainchild. The brand’s eyelashes and eyeshadow palettes are almost constantly rated at least four out of five stars on Sephora’s website (both in Singapore and the US). We like the Iraqi-American’s eyeshadow palettes, which are super pigmented and give great colour payoff with just a little dab or swipe, although one palette with 18 colours is selling at $100.
You may not be aware of American makeup artist and Youtuber Christen Dominique if you don’t spend hours on Instagram or Youtube watching beauty videos, but she is a rising star who had been named one of Forbes’ top beauty influencers in 2017. In 2018, she launched her own makeup brand Dominique Cosmetics, which carries eyeshadow brushes, eyeshadow palettes and liquid lipsticks among others. We are particularly interested in her eyeshadow palettes, which cost US$42-44 (S$57-60), because she’s made the pans bigger so you can use bigger brushes to pick up the colours – to use them as blush, bronzer or highlighter, if you want to. The reviews are also largely positive, with consumers praising the curation of colours that allow them to create a wide range of looks. The brand ships internationally for a fee.