BEAUTY and lifestyle content creators are becoming the new front-line leaders as they are now taking over the ever-evolving industry and making a success out of it. Combining social media platforms trends and their own creative skill, content creators from across the world amass large followings as contemporary salespeople - a far cry from the over-the-counter salesperson or television advertisement we grew up with.
Creatives like Foyin Ogunrombi (FoyinOg on her social media platforms), who chose the path to become a beauty and lifestyle influencer after graduating and leaving her job, is one example.
“I realised that I was not ready for an office job, nor did I think I really wanted one,” Ogunrombi explained. “I had already experienced the whole being a content creator because I started a blog, The Dear Solo Blog, when I was 13, back when everyone had websites before Instagram became popular.”
Ogunrombi made the jump to a full-time beauty content creator after graduating from UCT, studying make-up artistry at the House of Tarah in Nigeria and becoming a professional make-up artist before introducing the world to Foyin the video blogger.
Since joining the industry as an influencer and content creator using Instagram and YouTube primarily, Ogunrombi has amassed a large following across the country which steadily grew once she launched her most popular activity on the social media calendar during lockdown: the #7day7faces challenge.
A challenge aimed at bringing out the make-up artist in all who participated, the initiative involved participants creating make-up looks inspired by various themes, stretching from floral to decade-themed to movie themes.
“It came about because another beauty influencer named Kay Ngonyama created her lockdown challenge called #21BeatsforKay, following the growing banana bread and Don’t Rush challenges that were popular on TikTok, Instagram and Twitter.
“However, at the time I had no strength whatsoever to commit to a challenge for that long, so I created a challenge that would be slightly easier and could encourage people to be creative and have fun, whether they close with a make-up brush or not according to the prompts you had to create. That’s how it was born,” she said.
With the country going under continuous lockdowns, Ogunrombi had successfully led and completed three #7days7faces challenges when popular US streaming giant Netflix reached out and enlisted a partnership with her ahead of her next challenge on one of the prompts.
“I remember when Netflix reached out to me and said they wanted to get in on the challenge for their show called Bridgerton, which was fairly new at the time back in January 2021. That was the biggest deal of my life! I could not believe that my challenge reached that far, and I can remember the anxiety going through all of that but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”
It has been full steam ahead for the influencer since the campaign, having now worked with major brands like Adidas x IVY PARK, Mr Price, Darling Hair and Essence, among many more in the foreseeable future.
“You know with this archaic behaviour in traditional media and creating new content, it is great to see a lot of South African influencers being recognised and approached by big brands for campaigns and promotions.
“Influencers often come with a lot of creative freedom and a voice to reach out to social media users and their followers that some of these traditional branding companies can’t reach,” said Ogunrombi.
“I mean, there is still a lot more to do in terms of giving influencers more respect and dispelling the myths associated with the growth of the ‘Instagram influencer’, but many people are starting to see that this is the way to go in advertising and in earning a source of income.”