It started out innocently enough, around the summer of 2013, when the phrase "eyebrow game strong" began making the rounds online. Legend has it that a popular YouTuber coined the saying, and three years later, we've got a booming beauty industry on our hands, thriving in every way, shape, and form. Suddenly, mauve lipsticks are flying off the shelves, contour palettes are being hogged like emergency supplies for an impending apocalypse, and up-and-coming beauty gurus are getting more and more attention. And social media, ever-present as it is, is front and center of this glorious, glittering hurricane.
Sneaking a peek into the lives of our favorite YouTubers and makeup brand owners has never been this easy. Not only do we get to see the non-makeup aspects of their life, we also get to lap up the occasional feud. From NikkieTutorials' powerful tirades against makeup shamers to Kat von D's series of brutal tweets to Jeffree Star, it's clear that these beauty influencers are capable of inducing as much drama as Hollywood celebs. There's a collaborative effort at play, too—with Twitter polls, customers get to vote on a lipstick or eyeshadow palette's new name, or even which product a brand should release next (come on now, Kylie Jenner!).
Instagram gets the widest recognition for elevating the beauty industry to greater heights. It's a place for both small-time retailers and huge brands to promote and directly sell their merchandise. Instagram's multimedia format allows for users to post quick tutorials, guides, and infographics. Most deliciously of all, you're bound to find the best #makeuphaul pics on this app. So quit cramming and start 'gramming!
If you thought Twitter was behind-the-scenes, then you haven't seen enough—on Snapchat, we get to witness the beauty gods and goddesses of YouTube barefaced, casually dressed, and splayed out on their couches like the rest of us. The unique format of the "Snapchat story" allows for more in-depth, step-by-step beauty tutorials. The app has definitely made makeup more approachable than the ultra-polished, heavily edited selfies you typically come across on Instagram, which means more newbies are inspired to take a crack at a brow pencil for the first time.
The accessibility of these platforms makes jumping into the beauty game easy for anybody with a smartphone. When just about anyone and their mother can have an opinion on the next (fleeting) beauty trend, who's to say whose opinion holds more clout nowadays? Given that the playing field has been leveled for everyone, where does credibility click into place in an industry where even non-professional makeup artists are setting trails ablaze?
Well, the long and short of it is: What's the difference these days? Whether you take your cues from the pros or from a teenage makeup enthusiast (who happens to have one million subscribers and his—yes, his—own cosmetics line), beauty is in the eye of the holder...of the makeup brush, that is. So you do you, and don't forget to post that selfie!