Celebrities have long partnered with beauty brands to drive product purchasing, but it seems today’s beauty consumer is more interested in what the girl or boy next door is using. Indeed, new research from Mintel reveals that as many as 70% of social media, blog and vlog (video blog) users* access beauty content online, but of this group less than one in 10 (8%) are interested in seeing pictures of celebrities using beauty products.

On the other hand, proving the power of the beauty blogger over celebrity icons, an impressive one in six (17%) of those who use beauty blogs or vlogs have bought beauty products based on a blogger’s or vlogger’s opinion or recommendation, rising to 35% of women aged 16-24.

Today, amongst social media, blog and vlog users in the UK, over two thirds (69%) have used social media to view beauty content, whilst 43% have viewed blogs or vlogs, rising to 70% of women aged 16-24. Mintel’s research finds that consumers are most likely to view blogs or vlogs to get ideas for their own look, with 30% of users saying they use them for inspiration.

Of those who view beauty content on social media, 25% have posted a picture of themselves online

Charlotte Libby, Senior Beauty Analyst at Mintel, said:

“The fact that such a small number of beauty and personal care social media users are interested in celebrities using beauty products is reflective of a wider trend of consumers placing a low level of trust in advertising and celebrity endorsed products. Beauty categories have started to take a more innovative approach to their limited edition lines, with inspiration moving away from mainstream celebrity collaborations to celebrating more unlikely beauty icons.”

What’s more, proving that selfies are well and truly part of our culture, of those who view beauty content on social media, one quarter (25%) have posted a picture of themselves online, rising to two fifths (41%) of women aged 16-24. However, it isn’t ‘something for nothing’ for consumers engaging with online beauty content. Of those who have posted a picture of themselves online, two thirds (66%) would be interested in receiving more product samples from the social media platforms of beauty brands.

“Following the rise of social media networks, posting pictures online has become a common occurrence, and many consumers are openly interacting with beauty brands online in this way. This adds to the depth of user profiling data research brands can capture, with a literal picture of their user base now available.” Charlotte continues.

Furthermore, Mintel’s research shows that when it comes to interacting online, it is not just a woman’s world. Two thirds (65%) of male social media, blog and vlog users have viewed beauty content online in the last six months and it seems that this group are following their noses. Indeed, one quarter (25%) search on social media for new fragrance product launches, compared to 21% of women and as many as 19% look for the latest fragrance trends, compared to 13% of women.

Finally, it isn’t just fragrances that men are actively engaging with in the beauty market as Mintel research reveals a surprising salon treatment that is proving popular amongst young men. As many as 14% of men aged 16-24 have had hair extensions in the past year, making this group the most likely demographic to have done so in the past year – compared to an average of 6% of all Brits.

“Despite the fact that product recommendations from celebrities is not of great interest to UK consumers, they are still playing a valuable role in setting fashion trends. The rise of longer hair styles, driven by celebrities like Harry Styles and Jared Leto, have made longer hair fashionable, with younger men experimenting with hair extensions to replicate this popular style.” Charlotte concludes.

*79% of Brits have visited any social media platform, read blogs or watched any video blogs in the six months to April 2015

Press review copies of the Social Media: BPC UK 2015 report and interviews with Senior Beauty Analyst Charlotte Libby are available on request from the press office.

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