Why Beauty Influencing is Dead and Personalisation is in!
Before the pandemic—and long ago, before social media—shopping for beauty products was direct and tangible, if time-consuming. One walked into a store, talked to shop clerks, and occasionally received small samples. After testing and consulting with the clerk, a purchase might be made.
We often look upon the past with nostalgia now, but that was a time of fragmented buying journeys involving trial-and-error, and a one-size-fits-all philosophy of retailers that led to limited makeup shades and narrow offerings for skin troubles.
Yuty’s founder, Simi Lindgren, recalls those days with mixed feelings: “The magazines I loved came with free makeup samples that weren’t made for my skin tone. So many people with stories like mine have become beauty artisans—mixing and matching foundation shades and formulating their own hair and skincare products—as a result of their experiences.”
Developments in online shopping presented consumers with diversity but also with questions of trade-off. Accuracy or convenience? In the zone where these desires crossed, beauty influencers flourished, bringing reviews, unboxing videos, tutorials, and product demos to consumers that wanted everything, and could finally attain a close approximation.
And for all its flaws, influencing was a first step in reducing the prescriptivity of beauty. The product selection of the in-store experience was heavily impacted by biases in the beauty industry, like notions of skin tone, classism, body image, and beauty regime assumptions. With influencers, we could see people who looked like ourselves, talked like us, shared our beauty insecurities, and documented their journeys.