5 Reasons millennials obsess over beauty bloggers

Sep 14, 2015 at 7:21 p.m. ET
Image: JGI/Jamie Grill/Getty Images

As a stereotypical millennial, I’m completely and utterly obsessed with my phone. When my friends and I get together for a night out, a significant portion of the getting-ready process includes comparing Instagram feeds.

One thing I noticed as we scrolled, gossiped and swooned a couple weeks back is that our feeds share a common denominator — a whole lot of beauty blogger posts! This got me thinking: Why on Earth are we so obsessed with beauty bloggers?

My friends and I had a few ideas of our own, but I wanted to hear it from the industry experts. That’s why I set out to conduct a couple of awesome interviews with two influential ladies in the beauty industry who helped me come up with some more strategic explanations for the Insta behavior of me and my friends. Check them out!

1. Bloggers know what's good

Walking into a store like Sephora with so many bright, shiny, beautiful products can be a bit overwhelming for most of us. So who can help us figure out what we want before we go in? Beauty bloggers, of course!

"Just walking down the beauty aisle at any local store gives me anxiety — and I'm a makeup artist," says Caitlin Picou, Owner of Kismet Cosmetics. She continues, :Bloggers are able to cut through the clutter of traditional 'advertising' and provide real feedback on new beauty products. We identify with certain bloggers and we build a trusting relationship. So when your favorite beauty guru falls in love with a product, then you know it is a must-have."

2. Instagram is awesome

The millennial generation faces an interesting challenge when it comes to focusing on real life -- social media. The ability to instantly satisfy your curiosity about what others are doing can often trigger the release of dopamine, which makes you motivated to engage in repetitive behavior. Constantly checking your feed for the latest tips and tricks from your favorite bloggers becomes a habit that seems somewhat rewarding. In the quick minute you checked your feed, you scored an awesome idea for a new look to try out this weekend or a recommendation for the perfect primer. Looks like you're winning today!

3. Beauty enhancement is worth the expense

Perhaps one of the most interesting things about the beauty blogger phenomenon is millennial consumers’ willingness to purchase the high priced products endorsed despite the generation’s relatively lower average income. We’re talking college-student budgets here! I did some digging and found a pretty solid explanation for this as well.

Research surrounding millennial (or Gen Y) consumers shows that the generation sees beauty enhancement as worth the expense. "Millennial shoppers spend over 25 percent more than average U.S. shoppers on such products as body scrubbers, shampoo, conditioner, styling gels or mousses and suntan products, and 20 percent more on cosmetics," according to the Market Research blog. This same research suggests that millennial women associate beauty with fun more than women of older generations.

4. We see ourselves in beauty bloggers

Despite the fact that beauty bloggers aren't able to actually see and consult with their audience prior to offering product recommendations, consumers are willing to listen. So why is that? This is one of the questions I asked Jessica Goldberg, CEO and Founder of Irwin Gail PR. She definitely knows a thing or two about consumer behavior in the beauty realm after working with top beauty brands such as Revlon, Almay, Elizabeth Arden and Clearasil. She said, "Consumers will ultimately follow the bloggers that they most relate to. That they see in themselves or most want to be like. Therefore, when a blogger creates a personal review about a product they like, consumers can translate that into something they most likely would feel as well."

5. Bloggers are more honest than traditional advertising

I also asked Jessica Goldberg what encourages millennials to follow and remain engaged with beauty bloggers in general. With so many incredible cosmetic brand ad campaigns swirling in the online ad sphere, why are bloggers the promotional vehicle we actually listen to? "Millennials are a generation that trusts friends first and advertising least," she said. "Ninety-five percent of millennials say friends are the most credible source of product information, whereas only 6 percent consider online advertising credible (according toSocialChorus)."

She continued, "The millennial generation was also taught to do almost everything through the use of a personal electronic device, including communicate with their friends. Bloggers write and communicate in a way that makes them seem like a friend over social media. Therefore, it makes sense that the experts/media that millennials trust most are those who have been able to establish themselves in the social space."

Finally justifying your blogger obsession

There you have it, give solid explanations for our beauty blogger-obsessed millennial culture. All of this might leave you asking whether or not this obsession is healthy. To be honest, every generation has its own obsession. Whether you're following models, brands or other influencers for guidance in beauty or fashion, a mild obsession is healthy. After all, everyone has a guilty pleasure or two!

A few beauty bloggers to follow:

Amara has 3.1 million followers on Insta, but she's also great on Snapchat (Amrezy); she was was named one of Allure's 11 Beauty Bloggers to Follow on Snapchat.


Jaclyn Hill's custom Becca highlighter sold out within hours when it released this past July.


Jade Marie is an international airbrush makeup artist and educator.


Carli Bybel created a (sold-out) custom eye shadow palette for BH Cosmetics.


Have a favorite beauty blogger to add to the list? Let me know in the comments!