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Beauty
August 15, 2017

The Rise Of Celebrity Beauty Blogs Defines How Looking Rad Is Just A ‘Ping’ Away

Text by Priya Mirchandani

With mascara wand-wielding cyber fairy godmothers, the millennial’s plain-to-pretty regimen is as quick as a digital jiffy

She’s 20-something — she walks around wearing innerwear as outerwear with undeniable swag, wakes up to burpees and smoothies, and looks ‘gorgeous’, whether at work or at a workout. Her superpower is going from bedhead to ‘totally lit’ in minutes. For the millennial Cinderella, let’s call her Instarella, the makeover is no biggie. The internet is her chariot to a world where beauty parlours are passé, beauticians are obsolete and make-up, as we know it, is lame. If she wants the Scarlett Johansson pout, she goes straight to the source, ScaJo’s beauty blog. Ditto, Katy Perry’s winged eyes, Kristen Stewart’s edgy blow-dry or Alia Bhatt’s contoured cheekbones. Her fave celebrities are more than happy to share their beauty fixes in return for her loyalty — read LB/FB (like back/follow back). And hey, who needs Prince Charming when the ‘glamouratti’ is wooing her 24/7 via vlogs, blogs, grams, Snapchat stories, posts and memes? Everything she needs to know is a mere ping away. From how to make her eyes pop to how to put together an ensemble that morphs from trendy executive to party slayer in 9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1…bam! Done.

When the celeb feed isn’t wholesome enough, Instarella reaches out to her trusty slew of digital consultants — millennials like herself who live, breathe, try, test and review beauty products and treatments, and give her the thumbs up or the thumbs down. They’re her personal guinea pigs. Pros like Manny Mua, Miss Maven, Zoella or the Barefoot Blonde scout out the latest launches and best bargains for her, sparing her precious time and effort. ‘Is the new mascara from Two Faced really ‘Better Than Sex’?’ She hits send. Ping comes the answer, ‘You have to try it to believe it. Sending you a sample.’ All this, while Ubering to work, lazing in bed or sipping on kale and green apple juice at the gym. Going to a real brick-and-mortar store? As if!

There are, however, times when her eight-minute tutorial ‘sesh’ on YouTube can be an epic fail. Take the art of strobing. No disrespect to the digital fairy godmother (FG) community, but if not handled with extreme finesse, the result could resemble Donald Trump with white-rimmed eyes, highlighting nothing but sheer lameness. Picking the right FG then, is critical. Cult of Pretty, Huda Beauty, Beauty & the Beat, Pretty Connected and so many other beauty influencers have worked long and hard to earn the trust of their followers, and thereby the respect of the brands that now vie for their attention. Cyberspace is GOAT (Greatest Of All Time), right? There’s so much wooing going on, even just in the beauty space! Instarella is wooed by the FGs, who are in turn are courted by the brands, and so it goes.

Like in every romance, it’s easy to fall prey to dubious labels or FGs who haven’t had enough practice with their wands. No worries — unlike the earlier generation, our Instarella is a champ at winging it. “Women my mum’s age didn’t ask the questions we ask ourselves,” shares a real-life Instarella from Mumbai. “We’re way more comfortable with ourselves and our bodies. And we’re pretty good at accentuating our strengths and toning down our non-assets — on camera and off it too. One-hour rituals? So not chill!” she shrugs while Zumba-ing to Sia’s Cheap Thrills (Gotta paint my nails, put my high heels on/It’s Saturday and I won’t be long). Keeping it simple isn’t just a relationship mantra; it echoes everywhere in her life, down to the ingredient story of the products she uses. Deeply cued-in to all things organic, she researches everything that comes within an inch of her skin.

Yeah, Instarella’s come a long way since her Grimm fairy-tale beginnings. ‘Happily ever after’ is done. The three little words that rock this hands-on girl’s world are ‘Do it yourself’. From the berry blush in her smoothie, to the pencilled-in brow on her forehead, she’d rather experiment with inputs from her besties and tips from her FG, than have a stranger in a salon do things to her face or body. She has a strident point of view on how the beauty industry is shaping the narrative on women’s empowerment and she doesn’t hesitate to voice it on social media. It’s no wonder that the brands are now talking directly to her through her social media feed, and skipping the traditional advertising route. It’s a win-win for both. The brand gets prompt feedback from a legit and long-term consumer, while Instarella gets the next best thing to a customised product or service. MAC, Anastasia Beverly Hills, Benefit, Milk, Two Faced, and L’Oréal, to name just a few, have been actively luring her away from the FG circuit with innovative beauty hacks and irresistible offers. And which woman can resist a delicious chocolate palette from toasted caramel to cinnamon heaven?

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