It was in 2010 that Camila Coelho uploaded her first YouTube video.
“My first, first video was so bad,” said the 34-year-old, pregnant with her first child. “It had such yellow lighting. I had no idea what I was doing.”
It was a makeup tutorial; she was a makeup artist at the time, working behind the Dior beauty counter at a department store in her native Brazil.
“It was for the World Cup, so I did this game theme,” she went on. “The eye shadow was green and yellow, because of Brazil. It’s the worst makeup look, but people liked it. I mean, a lot of people reacted. And then it just kept going from there.”
“We’ve seen amazing growth and love with the brand in the last year and a half, and I’m so excited to build into the categories that I feel most passionate about,” she said of Elaluz. She recently expanded the bronzer category, a bestseller (with the “Brazilian Blur Body Brush” and “Sun Riser Illuminating Primer”).
When it comes to fashion, she hopes “to evolve by continuing to make other women and other people more confident, and that means starting to think about other shapes and curves,” she added. “Revolve has done an incredible job expanding internationally. My biggest goal would be able to reach more people.”
For both endeavors, shoppers have been primarily women with diverse backgrounds, aged 18 to 49, she revealed, “including, but certainly not limited to, my fellow Latina women. I’ve definitely seen this come through in who is shopping with my brands.”
With more than a decade of experience in social media, Coelho shares insights into what it means to be a content creator today:
WWD: What are the biggest shifts you’ve seen in the industry — good and bad — as a result of the rise of influencers and content creation?
Camila Coelho: One of the best and biggest shifts I’ve seen in the age of influencers is this amazing growth in collective creativity. Content creators are able to put their own spin on how they share something to make the most out of a brand partnership. This is so important, when content creators do what they do, because they’ve built a community of people who trust them — so the freedom and flair that each creator can have to create in an authentic way is super necessary.
I think one challenge within the influencer world is just that there is so much out there. It’s amazing, because it helps give new and old brands fresh takes and new life in the hands of many creators. However, for the consumer, it takes a little time to find your community of influencers that vibe with you, you can trust and want to support.
WWD: Influencer or content creator? How do you differentiate between the two and which do you think most reflects your work and why?
C.C.: Content creator. Anyone who has a presence on social media is an influencer in a way — you’re influencing someone with what you share. A content creator is someone who is really putting in the time, effort and creativity to actually create something that you can learn from. When I first started, I knew I wanted to share makeup looks, because that was what people were coming to me for. Then, that evolved into fashion. When creating content, I always make sure it has a purpose and that it’s making my audience learn something new. A content creator creates content with intention, whether that’s on behalf of a brand to represent it in the best way with a target audience in mind, or to motivate and inspire others for fun and enjoyment.
WWD: What are brands doing right today when it comes to influencer marketing? What are they doing wrong?
C.C.: I think the best partnerships between brands and influencers happen when brands take the time to really identify the talent they want to work with long term and build a true relationship. This definitely takes planning and looking ahead, but it’s so worth it and brand and influencer communities can feel the difference.
WWD: Where do you see influencer marketing heading? How do you see it evolving?
C.C.: I definitely think influencer marketing is here to stay. Trusted voices are so necessary in a saturated product world. I think we’ll continue to see more emerging digital platforms that allow influencers to create content as well as broader representation. Influencers, just like anyone, are evolving people, so the only constant we can count on in this space is change. We might as well have fun moving through it all.
WWD: You’ve shared a lot about yourself online through the years, but in 2020, you opened up about a struggle most didn’t know about, your experience with epilepsy. What made you want to tell that personal story?
C.C.: As a teenager I struggled with it, because I felt different. It took me a while to accept it, and my mom always told me I didn’t need to tell anyone. Even on social media, that was the only thing I kept for myself all these years. But it got to a point that I started to think about having kids, and epilepsy was the main thing I was worrying about. I knew by sharing my story that there would be others who I could learn from who are struggling through the same.
The day I was going to announce was one of the most nerve-racking for me, but it felt like I took 100 pounds off my shoulders. Seeing hundreds of people sharing their own stories as a result of me sharing mine was how I actually made my own decision on how I wanted to go about trying to start a family.
WWD: What would your fans be surprised to know about you?
C.C.: That I’m always thinking about the next meal.