Allure Incubator

Cover Girl is searching for its next brand ambassador — and consumers can view the process via a YouTube series.

The Coty Inc.-owned brand teamed with Allure magazine and Zenith on the six-episode series, called Allure Incubator, to identify the newest member of the Cover Girl Collective, Cover Girl’s group of influencer brand ambassadors.

Allure Incubator features a group of five beauty influencers who are put through a sequence of beauty and brand-building challenges. Their efforts will be critiqued at the end of each episode by a rotating panel of judges, anchored by Allure editor in chief Michelle Lee and senior vice president of Cover Girl Ukonwa Ojo. Hosted by model Jasmine Sanders — also known as @golden_barbie — guest judges include Rebecca Minkoff, celebrity makeup artist Beau Nelson, influencer Dulce Candy, Cover Girl collective member Ellarie Noel, Coty Consumer Beauty and Cover Girl’s vice president of influencer marketing Laura Brinker, and model and influencer Amanda Steele.

The winner will join the Cover Girl Collective. Competing for the open spot in the Collective are influencers Rebekah Aladdin (@rebekahaladdin), Bethany Fae (@BethanyFaee), Thania Gonzalez (@thaniasbeauty), Ivy Kungu (@ivykungu) and Kenneth Senegal (@heflawless). Allure editors chose the contestants out of a nationwide pool of entries.

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The series is timed with the launch of Cover Girl’s re-brand — a slew of trend-driven new products, housed in modernized packaging with a sleek new logo, are shipping to retailer shelves this month. An ad campaign featuring new nontraditional Cover Girls — including Ayesha Curry, Issa Rae and Maye Musk — debuted in September.

“This a different way to reach consumers in a way we know they love to receive content,” Ojo said. “Influencers are a powerful voice in today’s beauty environment, and we want to make sure they are central to our relaunch efforts.”

As part of the series, influencers will compete in challenges involving creating looks with Cover Girl’s new products, like the Melting Pout liquid lipsticks, Peacock Flare mascara and Glotion highlighter. The brand sees this as an opportunity to build awareness around its new assortment. “People who know the brand will learn new tips and tricks, and people who [do not use] the brand are going to have the opportunity to see the power of the products,” Ojo said.

For Allure’s Lee, the Allure Incubator is something of passion project — she conceived of the idea in the early days of her tenure at the magazine. “I remember watching YouTube videos when I first started two years ago and I’d come across some young people and think, ‘If she could just fix her lighting or this one small thing, she has so much potential — I just wished I could help some of these people.'” Lee has already created an influencer network at Allure — it serves to tap new beauty talent for use in the magazine’s branded content and editorial work.

Allure Incubator will take the magazine’s influencer network one step further, Lee said.

“There’s something about watching people and people’s stories that really connects. Allure has done that with personal stories in the world of beauty and it’s the same way with Cover Girl. They’ve done such a great job with racial and ethnic diversity, but also body and age diversity. I think that a program like this being on a social media platform is important to reach Millennials and Gen Z, but even more important is the message — young people learning things. There’s this movement right now of people learning how to do things and being entrepreneurial and start-up founders, and there’s empowerment in [that].”

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