When Kirstie and Aisling McDermott chatted about blackhead-busting Silver Powder by Mario Badescu, stores in Dublin, the sisters’ hometown, ran out of the product quicker than you can say “zit zapper.” Of course, the fact that the siblings, who founded beauty blog Beaut.ie, were “chatting” with about 130,000 visitors to their Web site certainly helped.
The McDermotts are part of a new breed of beauty mavens who, because of their close contact with end consumers, are increasingly garnering attention from brands. “We treat many of them as we would any member of the beauty media,” says Nina White, deputy general manager and senior vice president of marketing for L’Oréal-owned Lancôme.
“We consider them journalists,” concurs Simone Carneiro, Internet director at Brazilian brand Natura. Like Lancôme and Natura, firms from Jean Paul Gaultier Parfums to Sephora send bloggers products, invite them to launches and sometimes sponsor their sites. The McDermotts receive up to 20 products a week and attend industry events, including L’Oréal’s Color Awards ceremony in May. For brands, blogs offer low-risk financial investment (advertising can earn blog authors between $2,000 and $3,300 a month) with potentially explosive sales results. “We had endless e-mails from men asking where they could buy it for their girlfriends,” says Kirstie McDermott, of Elizabeth Arden’s 8 Hour Cream after it was featured on Beaut.ie.
“Our products have more value if they’re recommended by somebody else,” says Natura’s Carneiro. According to tracking firm Ipsos, more than 25 million adults in Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Spain have changed their minds about a company or its products after reading comments or reviews on a blog. “When a blogger says that a product is good, it’s much more valuable than a simple ad,” says Paris blogger Delphine, whose site, deedeeparis.com, scores 4,000 hits a day. It also has attracted sponsorship from L’Oréal-owned Garnier to film bimonthly podcasts with various celebrities.
“Faced with thousands of product launches, women are looking to help themselves by going online,” explains Alisa Beyer, president of The Benchmarking Co., based in Washington, which published a report dubbed “Beauty and the Blog” in April. “They’re asking each other: ‘What did you buy? What do you think of this product?’”
The report found that 22 percent of American women visit an average of six beauty blogs, join three and post comments on at least two. With more than 50 million blogs and message boards talking about beauty, blogger networks have a broad reach, meaning that brands can have an instant hit after receiving the thumbs-up from cyber critics. “There’s a general tendency to lemming behavior,” says Meg Greenhalgh, whose Faking Good Breeding blog attracts 1,000 hits daily. “The mascara I reviewed yesterday gained cult status. After one blogger reviews it, other bloggers want to try it.”
Bloggers attribute their influence to perceived independence. “People really need specific recommendations that they can trust—we’re not paid by anyone, so we can be honest and talk about the products we love, buy and recommend,” says Kirstie McDermott.
“Blogs are becoming more influential as people consider them to be real and not swayed by massive advertising spends,” agrees Lindsey Kelk, who started a blog called Beautymecca.blogspot in January.
Lianne Farbes, of Themakeupgirl.typepad, summed up: “Being cute is expensive. You may as well let someone else be your guinea pig before you spend your hard-earned money, right?”
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews