As we all know now, the internet has opened up professions previously difficult to get into.
YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter all offer platforms for musicians, artists, and models to get noticed, build up a fanbase, and make some money. All without the backing of a label or a studio.
MUAs, or makeup artists, have been part of this change. You’ve no doubt seen makeup videos on your feeds, be they basic tutorials or full-on drastic makeovers like this one:
A search for “makuep tutorial” on YouTube returns over 31 million results. There’s a huge demand for this content, and in turn, huge opportunities for brands to get involved with influencers. MAC, for example, created a whole range with MUA influencers. So we thought it would be interesting to see who is the most influential MUA on Twitter.
We used our Brandwatch Audiences tool, which can build audiences around topics, locations, and many other areas, to find our MUAs. We looked for anyone who had terms related to ‘MUA’ and ‘makeup artist’ in their bios. Then our Audiences tool works its magic, analysing their tweets and engagement to see who is the most influential on Twitter.
This returned over 80k different accounts from all over the world. Within that group we got to see their demographics.
The vast majority of MUAs on Twitter are women, taking up 86% of the group. Their interests are also, unsurprisingly, heavily weighted towards beauty, health, and fitness. Meanwhile, their bios often act as promotions for their channels elsewhere, like YouTube and Instagram.
Right. Let’s get to the list.
Our first of two UK TV show ‘The Only Way is Essex’ stars on our list, Maria Fowler starts us off. She’s managed to build up a following of 459k Twitter followers, with another 158k on Instagram and over 2.7k subscribers on YouTube.
Since appearing on TOWIE, Fowler started her own company selling cosmetic brushes. One of a number of reality stars on this list, it shows how many of them are using social platforms to build careers after their shows finish airing.
In second place is Pat McGrath, one of the biggest names in the makeup industry. With 788k Twitter followers, 323k Facebook likes, and 1.5m Instagram followers, McGrath has perfected the transition from traditional to digital promotion.
McGrath has had a hugely prestigious career working with a range of designers including Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, and Versace (there’s many, many more). And to top it all off, she was even made a Member of the Order of the British Empire by the Queen. You can’t knock that.
And so we reach the top spot taken by one of the first internet celebrities, Jeffree Star. Star currently has 1.19m Twitter followers, along with 5.1m on Instagram and 5.4m subscribers on YouTube. This is by far the biggest following on the list.
Star being top of the list shouldn’t be much of a surprise. Having been influential on social since the days of MySpace, he’s managed to make a place for himself on new platforms as they’ve appeared.
Having said all that, in 2016 old videos of him making a number of racist remarks resurfaced. People still haven’t forgotten either and it eventually led to Star posting a video apology on his Instagram. The whole affair has seemingly failed to dent his popularity though.