1. MAC $23,132,597

2. Anastasia Beverly Hills $22,821,940

3. NYX $12,335,870
4. Too Faced $11,874,657

5. Make Up For Ever $10,783, 970

6. NARS $9,951,389

7. Urban Decay $8,903,384

8. L’Oreal Paris $8,051,140
9. Maybelline $7,355,433
10. ColourPop $6,969,655

In March, Tribe Dynamics discussed how customers wanted more than the traditional brand-to-consumer relationship, be it through the sharing of expertise or through authentic, emotional connections. Looking at April’s data, inclusive engagement emerged as a focus among the brands leading the set in growth. Both Make Up For Ever and ColourPop excelled at engaging the influencer and everyday consumer through their commitment to an inclusive attitude and accessible conversations. While exclusivity has its place in the strategy guiding influencer programs and brand loyalty, these two brands proved that inclusive storytelling drives higher engagement through appeals to artistry and close, meaningful relationships.

Make Up For Ever gives the consumer the knowledge and tools to achieve a level of professional artistry in everyday life. They maintain their associations with the highbrow world of contemporary art, but consistently communicates that art — in the form of makeup — should be a part of every user’s life. Consequently, the brand’s products are treated as necessary to achieving the professional makeup look, yet don’t alienate users who do not have professional training. NARS, through their Christopher Kane collection, also attempted to solidify their brand identity as one defined by artistry. In contrast to Make Up For Ever’s strategy, however, NARS failed to establish an ongoing conversation, maintaining instead a merely aspirational association with high fashion that was inaccessible to both influencers and consumers.

ColourPop, a company just over a year old, instead offers the consumer membership into a community that is both trendy and unique, but relatable and welcoming. ColourPop has successfully personified themselves as a real-life, relatable beauty enthusiast, interested in sustaining a conversation that extends beyond cosmetic products, into the consumer’s lifestyle and everyday interests. The company interacts with their consumers as if they were a best friend, rather than a brand. Genuinely invested, ColourPop’s active participation in both its influencer and consumer communities provides a compelling model for brands entering the influencer marketing space.

The Top 10: Performance by Channel

I. Make Up For Ever on YouTube

In April, Make Up For Ever established their high-end foundational products as fundamental staples for both professionals and enthusiasts alike. The brand’s steady ascension through the Top 10 rankings, from seventh place last month to fifth place this month, depended heavily on their foothold on YouTube. This month, the brand surpassed all but MAC on the channel demonstrating the salience of its artistry value proposition among vloggers.

The vast majority of the brand’s products reviewed and used on Youtube were face products, including primer, foundation, and powder; only three of the 15 videos with the highest level of engagement mentioned lip or eye products. In fact, four of the seven vloggers responsible for making these top 15 videos created multiple videos using the same face product (either the primer, foundation, concealer, or powder). Professional makeup artist JaclynHill, the user who created the top three most-viewed videos, featured the brand’s primer in two different tutorials, and explicitly praised its virtues in a third “favorites” video. When these vloggers repeatedly favor a Make Up For Ever face product, they demonstrate that the high-end foundational products are deeply embedded into their daily routines, and necessary for building a variety of different looks. In other words, a beautiful, long-lasting look cannot be made without Make Up For Ever face products as their base.

During April, Make Up For Ever leveraged both its collaboration with contemporary artists and the YouTube support of several vloggers to establish its foundational products as necessary for every user’s daily beauty routine, no matter how simple or glam the final look might be. Creating a professional makeup look is a form of art, and with MUFE products, every user is invited and welcomed as an artist.

II. ColourPop Instagram

Newcomer to the La Mode Top 10, ColourPop made an impression on Instagram with $4M in EMV, earning fifth place on the channel. In its first year, the brand has made a name for itself amongst top tier Instagram influencers, being included in posts alongside the traditionally most successful brands on the channel, Anastasia and MAC. Of the top 20 posts, eight were created by Instagram stars grav3yardgirl,

amreezy, maya_mia_y, carlibel, and desimakeup (each with an Instagram following over 1.5M). Each of these influencers included ColourPop products in glam looks and product favorites and were responsible for dramatically increasing brand recognition of the young brand. A majority of the top posts highlighted the bloggers’ personal collaboration with ColourPop or its newest product: Highlighters.

Within the first five months of the company’s existence, ColourPop launched their first blogger “collab,” inviting fashion blogger littleblackboots to create her own “lippie stix” color with the brand. By the end of April, the blog had partnered with eight different bloggers to create either lipstick colors or eyeshadow quads. Never random, these partnerships appear to the general public as if they had sprung from genuine friendships.

ColourPop’s first partnerships with L.A.-based fashion bloggers nods to their own L.A. origins, telling a consistent story: as if one “cool girl” in L.A. had texted another, “Wanna make a lipstick?” Though their collaborations have shifted to focus specifically on beauty, as opposed to fashion, all of ColourPop’s choices are united by the individual’s enthusiasm to be a part of the brand’s narrative and the creation process of the product.

These influencers got to work alongside the brand with product development, and were involved in the product’s color selection, manufacturing, naming, packaging, and marketing. The brand allowed these bloggers to pour their heart and soul into their product. Consequently, these women created authentic, moving content rooted in the personal connection felt for both the product and the brand as a whole.

To access Tribe Dynamic’s full April report, please click here.