The Complete Guide to Beauty‘s Biggest Influencers in 2023

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As a social media expert who has worked extensively with top influencers and brands, I‘ve witnessed firsthand the meteoric rise of digital beauty creators. These talented makeup artists, estheticians, hairstylists and more have accumulated millions of devoted followers across platforms like Instagram and YouTube. Through an irresistible mix of inspirational style, transformative tutorials, fierce advocacy and down-to-earth relatability, they have become bonafide forces in the influencer marketing space.

Let‘s explore over 25 of today‘s most popular beauty influencers poised to make major impact in 2023.

The Elite A-Listers

These big names have earned elite status through best-in-class artistry and aspirational personal brands that engage millions of fans:

Huda Kattan – @huda

With 49.4 million Instagram followers and counting, Huda Beauty founder Huda Kattan is the undisputed queen of beauty influencer content. Her tutorials and product demos receive millions of views each, thanks to an ultra glamorous style blending flawless technique with luxe aesthetics. As an uber-successful entrepreneur, she also inspires fans to turn passion into profit.

Followers Across Platforms:

  • Instagram: 49.4 million
  • YouTube: 9.6 million
  • TikTok: 5.9 million

Signature Style: Regal glamour meets creative artistry

Notable Partnerships: Huda Beauty, Kayali Fragrance

James Charles – @jamescharles

As one of YouTube‘s biggest breakout stars with 26.4 million subscribers, James Charles takes fans into an outrageously colorful, unapologetically bold makeup dimension all his own. With elite artistry honed through years as a working MUA, James employs full fantasy looks that transcend gender using intensely pigmented products. His confidence both captivates and empowers.

Followers Across Platforms:

  • YouTube: 26.4 million
  • Instagram: 27.6 million

Signature Style: Avant-garde editorial realness

Notable Partnerships: Morphe Cosmetics, Covergirl

Diverse Digital Disruptors

Beyond elite artistry, these rising influencers connect through advocacy, humor, and fierce authenticity:

Bretman Rock @bretmanrock

With 18.1 million Instagram followers, Bretman Rock parlayed YouTube comedy sketches and bombastically honest makeup/lifestyle content into bonafide influencer stardom. His boisterous personality, bold cosmetics looks, and pride in his Filipino heritage make Bretman endlessly watchable. Fans now binge his MTV reality show and snap up his wet n wild collaboration.

Followers Across Platforms:

  • Instagram: 18.1 million
  • YouTube: 9.61 million

Signature Style: Hilarious glam / Beauty comedy

Notable Partnerships: Wet n Wild, MTV

Nikita Dragun @nikitadragun

As one of the most prominent trans figures in the influencer space, Nikita uses her platform to advocate tirelessly for LGBTQ+ rights. With 9 million Instagram followers, she mesmerizes fans with glossy fashion-glam content revealing elaborately creative makeup looks. Nikita‘s confident authenticity paired with elite beauty skills make her unmissable.

Followers Across Platforms:

  • Instagram: 9 million

Signature Style: Glittering trans pride / editorial beauty

Notable Partnerships: Fashion Nova Curve, Savage X Fenty

How to Succeed as a Rising Beauty Influencer

For those hoping to turn beauty content creation into a full-time career, our current crop of top influencers provide plenty of lessons. Here are tips directly from a social media marketing expert:

Spotlight Your Signature Style
The most successful influencers have honed an identifiable niche and style that fans crave. Maybe it‘s sultry smokey eyes, fantasy cosplay creations, or natural haircare specifically for 4C textures. When you cement yourself as the go-to authority on a specific beauty zone, audiences take notice.

Infuse Education & Entertainment
While showcasing your skills attracts viewers initially, teaching fans how to #emulatethatlook helps keep them engaged. Top influencers break down intimidating techniques into easily digestible tutorials. They also entertain fans simply by highlighting dynamic personalities. Infuse instructional content with your unique humor and perspective.

Diversify Content Types & Offerings
Once you‘ve built an audience around tutorials and reviews, adopting adjacent lifestyle topics expands your niche. Vlogs, shopping hauls, candid Q&As – all provide additional context. You can further diversify revenue streams via merchandise, branded products, affiliate links and more.

Collaborate With Complementary Influencers and Brands
Strategic partnerships expose your brand to fresh new audiences and add credibility. Collaborate with respected yet distinct beauty influencers for transformation videos or friendly competitions. Also pursue sponsorships from relevant cosmetic brands seeking authentic co-promotion.

No matter your specialty, remember that today‘s emerging creators could become tomorrow‘s top influencers. Consistency, creativity and genuine fan connections set the stage for long-term success. Now more than ever, the possibilities in the influencer beauty space are endless. Let your talents shine!


Written by Alexis Kestler

A female web designer and programmer - Now is a 36-year IT professional with over 15 years of experience living in NorCal. I enjoy keeping my feet wet in the world of technology through reading, working, and researching topics that pique my interest.