Top Makeup Influencers on YouTube and Instagram: How To Find The Right One

Who are YouTube and Instagram's most popular makeup influencers?

Thanks to the rapid growth of social media, the beauty industry has seen a major shift in the methods brands use to promote and sell their products, with a growing emphasis on influencer marketing. Makeup influencers, who have largely grown in popularity and relevance due to this boom, have consequently become a key component of many beauty brands' marketing strategies; brands often seek to collaborate with these social media influencers to bring more attention to their products and get a wide audience looking at their products. But how do you know which beauty bloggers to team up with, and how to find them? In this article, we’ll be taking a look at makeup influencers on the whole, including which platforms are most relevant for influencer marketing in this industry, and outline the top creators you need to know about. 

What is a makeup influencer?

Makeup influencers specialize in creating content related to makeup, beauty, and skincare on online platforms. The type of content they create varies from influencer to influencer, depending on their creativity and interests, but generally, it involves makeup tutorials, product hauls and reviews, special makeup looks based on events or holidays, and other types of content such as lifestyle and fashion to keep their audiences interested and engaged.

Aside from merely creating their own content to build out their personal brand and garner a dedicated following, makeup creators frequently collaborate with brands in the industry to create sponsored posts, campaigns, and other promotional content. A common tactic is for brands to send influencers new products to try out and review, giving influencers content to share with their audiences in the form of opinions or recommendations. Some makeup influencers take this a step further and collaborate with brands to launch their own makeup products in their product line, or on a mega-influencer or celebrity level, may even launch their own brands altogether, such as Jaclyn Hill with Jaclyn Hill Cosmetics or Kylie Jenner with Kylie Cosmetics. 

The boom of makeup influencers can be traced back to the mid-2010s, around the same time that most social media platforms and social media influencers as a concept began to skyrocket in popularity. As more people began using social media to share their lives and interests, makeup influencers found a receptive audience for their content. Coupled with their generally bubbly, engaging personalities as well as their expertise in their craft, makeup influencers quickly became a dominant force in the beauty industry. Today, many creators in the makeup field have millions of followers and are considered some of the most influential voices in the beauty industry.

Is influencer marketing effective for makeup brands?

Influencer marketing is arguably the primary strategy for makeup brands today, proving to be an increasingly effective strategy in their marketing output. Firstly, makeup influencers tend to have a highly engaged and loyal following, meaning that their recommendations can have a significant impact on their audience's purchase decisions. When makeup bloggers recommend specific products or beauty services by brands, followers are more likely to trust this opinion and head out and purchase this product themselves. This can be especially effective when an influencer creates a tutorial or makeup look using a particular product, as it can demonstrate the product's effectiveness and show their followers how to use it. 

Further on this point, the willingness of this specific audience to head out and purchase products recommended by influencers could be due to the relatively low cost and commitment of purchasing a makeup product, as many of these items don’t fall into the ‘major purchase decision’ category, and rather can just be for fun or decided on a whim compared to other luxury product categories. Makeup products also tend to be highly available and widely attainable, making it easier to go out and grab something or order it online straight away.

Additionally, makeup influencers provide an opportunity for brands to reach a highly targeted audience. These creators typically specialize in a particular type of makeup or style, such as natural makeup looks or bold, colorful looks. Brands can work with influencers who cater to their target market, ensuring that their products are seen by the right people. This can be especially effective for niche makeup brands such as those in the SFX (special effects) field, or new makeup brands that are trying to establish themselves in the market

Finally, influencer marketing provides a way for makeup brands to create an authentic, personable relationship with consumers. Makeup influencers have the benefit of showcasing their unique perspective and personality that resonates with their audience and can often build somewhat of a personal relationship with their audience. By working with influencers, brands can tap into this authenticity and create content that feels organic and trustworthy.

Makeup influencers have experienced success and viable careers on many platforms over the years, with the prevalence of creators on certain platforms changing over time based on trends and audience consumption patterns. Some of the most popular platforms for beauty bloggers include:

Instagram: As the unofficial home of influencers and influencer marketing, Instagram has proven to be a popular home for makeup influencers. Owing to its highly visual nature, the platform allows creators to showcase their makeup looks, tutorials, and product recommendations through both photos and videos. Instagram also offers features like Reels, which are effectively short-form videos that tend to go viral, as well as Stories, a 24-hour disappearing feature that is great for audience interaction and engagement through Q&A and poll features.

YouTube: YouTube could be considered the origin of the makeup influencer, or at least the platform where they originally blew up in popularity. Thanks to its focus on in-depth video content, beauty bloggers could create more thorough makeup tutorials, product overviews and demos, and other more lifestyle-related content. It also has fewer limitations on video length and production than platforms such as Instagram, making it a solid choice for makeup-oriented content.

TikTok: TikTok has quickly shot up to being one of the top choices for makeup influencers, especially for those looking to find and appeal to younger audiences. TikTok's short-form video format allows influencers to showcase quick makeup tips and tricks, as well as create entertaining makeup-related content, and the platform’s algorithm and shareable nature make it more likely that content will go viral.

Most beauty bloggers have a presence on more than one platform, but they may begin by building a following on one social media site such as Instagram or YouTube, and then branching out to other platforms to create content there. This might mean taking advantage of different formats of content, such as short-form on TikTok with longer, more thorough makeup tutorials being posted on their YouTube channel. Some platforms, such as Twitter, make it easier for these creators to focus on engaging with their followers directly as a means of building and maintaining their connections with their audience, as opposed to directly using it to promote content. 

Top 10 makeup influencers

There are many prominent and successful makeup influencers in the world, spanning regions and niches, each with their own unique style and personality. Some of the biggest creators with a high level of influence in the beauty industry include:

  • Huda Kattan: With over 50 million followers on Instagram and a successful makeup brand, Huda Beauty, Huda Kattan is one of the most well-known makeup influencers in the world. She's known for her bold, glamorous makeup looks and product recommendations, and her brand has amassed a cult following among makeup enthusiasts.

  • James Charles: James is a makeup artist and influencer with over 23 million subscribers on YouTube and more than 21 million followers on Instagram. One of the most popular male makeup artists in the world, he is known for his creative and colorful makeup looks and has further collaborated with other major beauty bloggers and makeup brands to create his own collections.

  • Jeffree Star: Jeffree is a makeup artist, influencer, and founder of Jeffree Star Cosmetics. With more than 15 million subscribers on his YouTube channel and over 13 million followers on Instagram, he is famous for his androgynous approach to makeup and for creating out-there, edgy makeup looks.

  • Nikkie Tutorials: Nikkie de Jager is a Dutch makeup artist and influencer with over 14 million subscribers on YouTube and over 18 million followers on Instagram. Nikkie became famous for her “The Power of Makeup” challenge, as well as her collaborations with makeup brands to release limited edition collections appealing to her fans.

  • Jaclyn Hill: Jaclyn is a creator with over 5 million subscribers on YouTube and over 8 million followers on Instagram. She's known for her authentic personality, sharing glimpses into her life on social media and keeping a casual relationship with her fans. Jaclyn has also collaborated with major makeup brands such as Becca and Morphe to release exclusive products and has since launched her own makeup, jewelry, and loungewear brands. 

  • Michelle Phan: Michelle is known as one of the original makeup influencers and has been a pioneer in the beauty industry since 2007. With over 8 million subscribers on YouTube, she has also collaborated with major beauty brands such as Lancôme and L'Oreal.

  • Bretman Rock: Bretman is a makeup artist and influencer with over 19 million followers on Instagram and over 8 million subscribers on YouTube. He's known for his humorous skits and bold makeup looks, entertaining his followers with his infectious personality.

  • Manny MUA: Manny is a makeup artist and influencer with over 4 fans on YouTube and Instagram. He became famous for his bold makeup looks and collaborations with major beauty brands including the likes of Maybelline and Morphe.

  • Desi Perkins: Desi Perkins is a makeup artist and influencer with over 3 million subscribers on YouTube and over 4 million followers on Instagram. She's known for her glamorous and polished makeup looks, as well as documenting her pregnancy and family journeys for her fans to follow along.

  • Safiya Nygaard: Safiya is a YouTuber and content creator with over 9 million subscribers on YouTube and over 2 million followers on Instagram. First gaining prominence with her own series on Buzzfeed, she is known for her unique and creative makeup looks, and her frequent willingness to try out unconventional beauty products and trends. In addition to makeup, Safiya also creates content on fashion and lifestyle.

Tips for finding makeup influencers for your brand

There are a few ways you can make your search for makeup influencers easier, especially if you’re trying to find smaller creators who may work better for your audience in terms of location or otherwise:

Use influencer marketing tools: Many influencer marketing tools can make your search for relevant makeup creators easier, based on a range of criteria such as audience size, engagement rate, audience location, niche, and more. Popular platforms include HypeAuditor, Upfluence, and Klear. 

Review their content: Take a look at the influencer's content to make sure it aligns with your brand's values and aesthetic, and to ensure it’s the right fit to bet your reputation on. Look for high-quality content that showcases the influencer's creativity and skill, and keep an eye on audience sentiment to ensure that followers and viewers react positively to their content.

Look at past collaborations: Checking out which makeup brands a beauty blogger has worked with in the past (and how those collaborations performed) can help you determine if they’d be a suitable fit. It can also narrow down your search to those that are most relevant within your industry.

Search on social media platforms by using trend hashtags: There are many trends and topics that makeup influencers use as a basis for their content, Look out for #grwm, or ‘get ready with me’ for follow-along tutorials, #motd, or ‘makeup of the day’ for those posting general makeup looks, and other viral challenges that makeup influencers may be taking part in.


Makeup influencers are one of, if not the most relevant avenue for marketing for makeup brands today. With social media continually growing in relevance and popularity among Millennial and Gen Z audiences, these content creators can unlock an array of opportunities for beauty brands looking to remain relevant or grow in the booming beauty industry. We hope that this article has given you a greater insight into which creators you should be taking note of, as well as how to find appropriate creators to partner up with to make your future influencer marketing campaigns successful.

Want to partner with influencers who will be right for your brand?
Find the best creators with HypeAuditor Influencer Discovery and its 162.2M+ account database.
Candice is an influencer marketing enthusiast and marketing copywriter at HypeAuditor. When she’s not searching for the perfect music and filters for her Instagram Stories, she can usually be found keeping up with the latest gaming and tech influencers on Twitch and YouTube – or drinking a latte macchiato.
June 6, 2023
Don’t forget to share this post!
Candice is an influencer marketing enthusiast and marketing copywriter at HypeAuditor. When she’s not searching for the perfect music and filters for her Instagram Stories, she can usually be found keeping up with the latest gaming and tech influencers on Twitch and YouTube – or drinking a latte macchiato.
Level Up Your Influencer Marketing with HypeAuditor
G2 Global Leader among influencer marketing tools trusted by 750,000 businesses and influencers
Want to partner with influencers who will be right for your brand?
Find the best creators with HypeAuditor Influencer Discovery and its 162.2M+ account database.