The beauty industry has absolutely exploded in Australia over the past 5 years, with stores popping up all over the country, new brands being introduced every day and people going crazy for big name products.
An industry that was once about looking beautiful with less, has now seen the beauty world transform into an artform. Make-up is no longer about popping on a bit of blush and lippy in the morning, it’s an art that can literally take hours to master each day. Priming, toning, baking, concealing, contouring, highlighting and blending – are just some of the techniques used in one day of make-up application.
Recent studies have shown that us Aussies are actually buying more beauty products than ever before, but why? Why are we so obsessed with cosmetics all of a sudden?
Some would attribute the beauty craze to the video-sharing website, YouTube and its role in producing popular beauty vloggers from all over the world. The medium gives amateur make-up artists and make-up lovers the means to share their talents, their lives and favourite products with their subscribers and others who tune in. Many of them have now created names for themselves, some with thousands of followers and others with millions.
Shannon Harris (otherwise known as Shaaanxo) is a leading beauty and fashion vlogger from New Zealand. She started her YouTube channel in 2010 and within a year her following increased by thousands. In 2011, she started a second channel dedicated to daily vlogs (every-day lifestyle videos). Her main channel now has over 3 million subscribers, tuning in each week to see her test out new make-up and play with fun new beauty trends, and her second channel has over 500,000 subscribers. It was with this popularity, she opened up her own cosmetics company called XO and the brand has since become a popular choice for millions of make-up lovers around the globe.
Another popular beauty vlogger is Michael Finch from Brisbane, who rose to fame on YouTube after posting videos of himself doing his own makeup. Now a qualified make-up artist, Michael Finch posts regular videos of himself and guests doing their own make-up over a chat or competing in make-up challenges – good and bad. Whilst he is somewhat controversial with his honest opinion on make-up brands, he now has over 500,000 subscribers and the number continues to rise.
Beauty vlogging and tutorials have become so popular with the younger generations (between the ages of 15-30), that some cosmetic companies base their whole marketing plans around sponsoring YouTubers with large followings (like the ones we mentioned) and handing out their products for them to review.
Earlier this year, cosmetics brand Tarte went above and beyond with their marketing strategy. The company sent a group of 20 beauty YouTubers and bloggers to Hamilton Island, treating them to a weekend of amazing accommodation, food and luxury experiences, as well as gave them a whole lot of free products. As a result, their brand and their products were introduced to millions and millions of YouTube subscribers and social media followers around the globe. Their sales have sky-rocketed since! Great move!
One major contributor in Australia’s beauty craze would be the introduction of popular American brands in cosmetic stores. Australia’s quite late to the party when it comes to big name brands in the make-up world, although we can find just about any brand in stores or buy them online now, it wasn’t as easy a few years ago. Major American brands – Too Faced, Urban Decay, Mecca, Nars, Tarte – were once very hard to come by in Australia. Australian Laws surrounding testing methods and certain beauty ingredients made it hard for many products to be sold in Oz. Australian travellers were going as far as stocking up on big name brands overseas, just so they could get their make-up fix. Of course, now with many products being altered to suit the Australian market, make-up lovers are spoilt for choice!
Another contributor is, of course, the emergence of International make-up chain stores in Oz including Mecca Maxima, Sephora and Mac. The hype around these stores opening in Brisbane was incredible, with people lined up for kilometres just to get in the doors first! Purely focused on well-known beauty brands, these types of stores are popping up all over the country.
The beauty industry seems to be getting bigger and bigger in Oz and we don’t see it stopping anytime soon. What do you think about it all?