Appeared In
Special Issue
Beauty Inc issue 02/16/2016

For the most up-to-date makeup news on Instagram, beauty junkies rely on Sophie Shab. Better known by her handle Trendmood, the 34-year-old Los Angeles makeup artist consistently posts scoops that surprise brands and delight her 373,000 followers. Whether it’s Urban Decay, Benefit, Anastasia, ColourPop or countless others, Shab reveals the latest in her relentless feed of product images, swatches and behind-the-scenes shots.

“We’re putting it out there before anyone else,” says Shab, who is rarely seen in her account’s product-heavy Instagram posts. “I work 24 hours a day, seven days a week. I have pulled over to the side of the road to put up a post because it has to be there before anyone else gets it.”

This story first appeared in the February 16, 2016 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Claudia Allwood, U.S. digital marketing director for Benefit, says Trendmood regularly exposes campaigns and new items a month or so ahead of a brand’s schedule. For example, Trendmood posted a picture of a marketing deck for Benefit’s Air Patrol before official images of the product were issued. Allwood doesn’t know how Shab got her hands on it. “Her entire channel is based on getting early access to information, and we keep waiting to see if she has our stuff,” says Allwood.

Shab estimates she posts about once every two hours. In between, she’s constantly checking e-mails, scouring social media, making phone calls and sorting through the mountain of merchandise that arrives at her door. She says brands and members of her makeup-loving network are the primary sources for her scoops.

Shab is so effective in getting early information that some brands have been forced to scuttle carefully crafted launch strategies and resort to back-up tactics. “The leaked photo can be really bad, and it doesn’t make the product look great. We don’t want to release things before we plan to, but sometimes we have to,” says Wende Zomnir of Urban Decay.

Increasingly, Shab is being looped into the process. “Brands are starting to use her to leak things,” says Allwood. Some are also using the feed to deploy up-to-date information. When one of its palettes sold out over the holidays, Urban Decay contacted Shab with details on where it was being restocked that she then posted to her followers.

Shab insists she makes no money from the brands she posts on Instagram. However, she is dipping her toes into collaborations, like a makeup organizer with Zahra Beauty. But her primary motivation is providing up-to-the-minute info on new items. “I did it in the beginning for myself because it is my passion,” says Shab, “and I do it for the makeup community because it is needed.”

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