Lancôme is stepping into the realm of influencer product collaborations.
The prestige makeup brand has teamed with Brazilian superinfluencer Camila Coelho on a line of 10 lipsticks called the L’Absolu Rouge collection. Inspired by Coelho’s Brazilian heritage and Lancôme’s French roots, the limited-edition shades feature a lip-shaped bullet and range from nudes to pinks to reds in both cream and matte finishes. The lipsticks are priced at $32 each and will launch in September at Sephora stores and online at sephora.com and lancome-usa.com.
Coelho is one of the fastest-growing beauty influencers in America and has worked with brands such as Dior, Urban Decay, Neutrogena, Covergirl and Armani Beauty. For the past eight years, she’s run a self-titled makeup and style blog as well as two YouTube channels — one Portuguese, one English — which, combined, have more than 4.5 million subscribers. She also posts frequently on Instagram, where she has more than 7 million followers.
For L’Absolu Rouge, Coelho worked closely with Lancôme’s global makeup creative director Lisa Eldridge, traveling to France to visit the labs and cook up colors. Here, Coelho talks the new collection, how she got her start and her Brazilian and American audiences.
WWD: How did you decide on lipsticks?
Camila Coelho: I grew up seeing my mom wear Lancôme lipstick and perfume. We were on a trip and one of the Lancôme people asked me randomly, “If you created a product with a brand, what would you do?” I told her I would do lipsticks because it’s my favorite product. And then it actually happened. I love the product, so I advertised it organically, besides the paid posts that I had to do. My followers see me so connected with the brand so it happened naturally.
WWD: What surprised you the most about working on this collection?
C.C.: Seeing the labs and everything that goes on in there, not that I didn’t expect it to be big and have these little details, but I was more in love with the process when I got to live it.
WWD: How did you pick the names?
C.C.: I grew up in Brazil, but I’ve lived in the U.S. since I was 14. I wanted to play with some Brazilian words and bring the Brazilian background to my collection. A few names are Copacabana, Ipanema, Carioca. I also used Parisian Nude because I love Paris, and I think nude is so chic and very Paris, but most were inspired by Brazil.
WWD: Your first job was at the Natick Mall working at the Dior Beauty counter at Macy’s. How did that fuel your love for beauty?
C.C.: It wasn’t in my plans to work at a beauty counter when I moved to Boston. I hated the hours to tell you the truth, but I loved the fact that I was dealing with products and people. At the end of the day, how confident those girls and women who walk out of the counter were, that was magical. I worked for a few months at the Macy’s counter and I decided to be a makeup artist. That’s how my link to beauty started. It was during that time that I decided to create my YouTube channel to teach girls what I do. This was eight years ago. I had no idea you could make money with YouTube or that it could become my job one day. It was really a hobby.
WWD: Why did you start the blog?
C.C.: When I had my channel, people were engaging and they started asking for a blog because I could share more content. When you do video, it’s hard to post every week or twice a week because you have to edit. I thought, if I do a blog, I could share fashion tips and lifestyle, I could do more than what I do in the videos, but still keep the tutorials. After six months of my channel, I created my blog and in the first 12 days, it got 112,000 unique visitors. It became my passion to write on my blog, share content, write for these girls. After that month, brands started reaching out and by the end of 2011, I was already working with a few brands.
WWD: You have two YouTube channels, one Portuguese and one English. Why did you decide to separate the two?
C.C.: My first video was in English and since I was sharing back then on my personal Facebook and Twitter, I had Brazilian friends and American friends. On these first videos, I got much more engagement from my Brazilian friends. I did a little research and I saw that in Brazil, nobody was doing these tutorials. It was very, very new. I decided to make that channel in Portuguese. A year and a half after that, I saw that a lot of people were following me on that Portuguese channel but not understanding what I was saying. I believe that subtitles are a bit distant, so I made an effort to create a whole new channel, make different content to be as close as I was on the Portuguese channel to my English-speaking followers.
WWD: How are the audiences different on your two channels?
C.C.: Brazil right now is winter and U.S. is summer, so there is always gonna be different content. The followings have the same taste because the YouTube followers are beauty lovers. There are more fashion lovers than beauty lovers on my Instagram. On both YouTube channels, it’s based on the countries that they are in, different backgrounds. The Portuguese channel, they love seeing vlogs. On my English channel, vlogs don’t perform that well because of Instagram Stories, it’s a bit like you’ve seen a lot of it already. But Brazilian, they’re so passionate and they want to see everything all the time, they don’t mind seeing repeated stuff, so it still performs well on my Portuguese channel.
WWD: Do certain kinds of videos get more engagement than others?
C.C.: There was a time that the most engagement was on celebrity-inspired makeup because a lot of people search celebrity stuff. My oldest videos were how-tos — how to create an eyeliner, how to contour, how to apply blush. Those still get the most views because there’s always people wanting to learn the how-tos. Lately, unboxing videos do really well because they are interested to see what you get in the mail.
WWD: YouTube or Instagram?
C.C.: YouTube I love for the fact that it’s video and you’re there talking to people and when I meet those people, they feel like I’m their best friend. Instagram is the one that I’m most active on. The whole day I’m posting on Instagram. I post two, three photos a day, sometimes one, but regularly, two to three. I spend a lot of my effort on Instagram because you’re creating the content and editing and posting, and I use it to see other people’s stuff.
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