Social Media and The Makeup Industry: The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly


Image by kinkate from Pixabay

Social media has really reshaped the makeup industry; many years ago, if you wanted to buy makeup you just purchased whatever was at your local drugstore and what you thought was your shade (because back then regular customers usually didn’t know anything about colour-matching or undertones) and becoming a makeup artist was not a well-known or easy career to get into. Now because of social media, it is easier than ever as a makeup consumer and an artist! There is so much information available and easily accessible, anyone can get into makeup. But not all of social media’s changes to the makeup industry are a good thing, and so here are the good, the bad, and the ugly:

The Good


Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

One good thing that social media has brought to the makeup industry is the ability to learn online; we now have easy access to information about products, ability to build our skills, and knowledge all about the makeup business right at our fingertips. This is especially beneficial to people in Canada because in order to become a makeup artist, we don’t technically have to go to school as it is not a regulated sector. Therefore, we could get all of our ‘schooling’ through social networks and become a makeup artist that way. If we decide we still want to go to school (in my opinion, social media does not replace actual education and I still think we would benefit from attending them), social media can help us as we have easy ability to research on the different beauty schools available. Social media is a huge tool for networking and building a business, especially for those in the makeup industry. Makeup artist’s portfolios are basically their social media; it is where they can market their skills instantly and it’s easier for old and future clients to get in contact.

The Bad

Unfortunately, because of social media and the rise of the beauty industry online, the makeup field has become super competitive. Now that so many people have easy access and can share online, it is hard to get noticed in the tens of thousands of makeup Instagram accounts. The rise in beauty influencers is also not a good thing, mainly because a lot of them don’t really know much about makeup, or even worse, they’re not trustworthy people; they’ll sell and advertise anything for money, including products they would never use on themselves or even unsafe products. Jade Parker makes another good point in why influencers are not necessarily a good thing:

“The rise of social media has altered brand priorities to shift from trying to appeal directly to the desired consumers, to trying to appeal to beauty influencers with large social media followings.”

This is not good because beauty influencers are not a majority of the population, and a large population is being excluded. Social media can also make or break your business; one wrong misstep and your career is essentially over, especially with cancel culture becoming more and more popular in the online world. Where it may have taken more time before social media, now ramifications are instant and nothing ever really goes away on the internet.

The Ugly


Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Online harassment is an ugly part of social media, and everyone faces it. As a makeup artist, people are constantly having their work judged, receiving negative messages and comments, or even online stalking. It’s unfortunately a part of social communications that doesn’t go away, and the more your work gets noticed the more trolls start to notice you and bully. Another ugly part of social media and the makeup industry is those who take it a step too far with cosmetic procedures – makeup is not enough anymore. Makeup is supposed to be fun but when people online lie about getting work done and pretend their ‘beauty’ is all makeup (or on the other end of the spectrum, when they advertise cosmetic procedures like injectable fillers and nose jobs and such), it affects people’s wellbeing and confidence. Lastly there’s lots of fake accounts and scams online, making it harder than ever to know what companies to trust, especially when influencers are constantly shoving products down our throats. This has brought ugliness into the makeup sector as not only is there a level of drama and distrust in the makeup community, but these things also ruin lives.


Can you think of any other changes that social media has brought to the makeup industry? Let me know in the comments below!


Facebook: How Has Social Media Affected the Beauty Industry?

Twitter: The Good, Bad, & Ugly of #socialmedia and the #beautyindustry


Online Makeup Academy. “How Social Media Can Help You Succeed As a Makeup Artist.” 23 July 2019,

Parker, Jade. “How Social Media Has Evolved The Beauty Industry.” Chattr, May 2019,

Valentine, Olivia. “How Social Media is Reshaping The Beauty Industry.” We Are Social, 11 July 2019,

9 thoughts on “Social Media and The Makeup Industry: The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

  1. Even tho I am not a makeup specialist I did really enjoyed your blog. Makeup like so many other professions are accessible by social media, you can learn to do a totally new skills through the platform. Graphic designers for example can learn a totally new software design through social media, take adobe for example. But one thing I believe it is still tricky to know if you are getting the right info to enhance your skills or it is actually hurting you more that it is helping. This is the important question which answers are still vague. I had an experience with exercising and trying to use social media to learn new moves at the gym, but reading the comments always makes me doubt if this the best I can do.

    • I agree, sometimes trying to enhance your skills online can be tricky because there’s so much wrong information out there and you really don’t know for sure that what you’re learning is right. That’s why I believe that going to school is still super important. However, in terms of hobbies and general interests, social media is great.

  2. Love how I always click on your blog posts Courtney! You always have great eye catching posts titles! I agree with you that social media has allowed many great opportunities. Nowadays anyone can master make up by watching others online through makeup tutorials to learn valuable skills. I still cannot master winged eye liner. But many middle schoolers these days have it down! Great post!

    • Isn’t it unfair that kids today don’t seem to go through the awkward phase where we didn’t know how to do makeup or hair? I used to wear black eyeliner only in my bottom waterline and a concealer that didn’t match me at all. I cringe when I look at old photos XD

      • Definitely! Middle schoolers look older than me these days! I agree with you kids these days are skipping the awkward phases jeez!

  3. I love makeup – I don’t use it well but I love it. Social media is also a great place to find new make up items. I got hooked on Younique b/c of social media. All the tips and tutorials are helpful, but it’s like watching a hair tutorial – you can never get it looking the same way.

  4. What a great topic! I love makeup & I love watching “beauty gurus” on Youtube and Instagram. One thing I’ve definitely noticed, is that it’s really difficult to know if the person promoting this product actually believes that it’s a good product or if they’re just doing it for the money… Some reviews have also been faked on the actual website’s too (see Sunday Riley scandal…) so it’s really hard to tell if the product is actually good or just the product of good marketing.

    I totally agree with your point about schooling – I also wanted to add that I think a lot of the time when you’re self-taught in makeup, you usually know what is flattering for you, but not necessarily what works for different skin tones, skin types, or eye shapes, so I definitely agree that if you’re looking to be a practicing makeup artist, you should definitely do some formal education to learn how to apply makeup for everyone.

    I think a good thing that social media has brought to the makeup industry, is that it has drawn attention to the diversity in makeup. If you think of certain lines like Fenty, where they had a TON of different foundation shades right off the hop, and it has now set the bar for having a shade range that is inclusive for people of all different skin tones. I think social media is playing a big part in holding brands accountable for things like this and in being able to let them know the things we expect from them.

    Another bad thing that I think the makeup has introduced is the idea of “fast fashion” – with the ability to see so many different looks so quickly, some brands have turned to dropping new makeup releases like there is no tomorrow. I’m thinking specifically of Anastasia Beverly Hills. I remember back in the day, I used to get so excited when they released one of their like 3 palettes a year, and now it feels like every week they have a new eyeshadow palette, to the point that it has become overwhelming, and I feel like their brand has diminished in value because of it. The owners of the company have said that this is their new strategy due to the market being oversaturated, they need to keep coming up with new releases to stay relevant.
    I hate this idea of constantly releasing new products, not only because it’s overwhelming to keep up, but also because it’s so terrible for the environment to continue this trend of excess consumerism.

    Anyways… Now that my rant is over lol.. Great post Courtney, thanks for the read 🙂

  5. Interesting article. I agree with the points that you have made. Social media can make or break our online careers, whether it involves makeup and fashion or not. We need to have the right knowledge to be able to manage our careers in the online competitive world. Great article!

  6. I totally agree with everything you said in your blog. Social media can either make your plummet or fly high. I love makeup. And I love watching certain beauty gurus on YouTube. But the ugly side is sometimes you never really know if there promoting a really good brand or product. Definitely online harassment play a big role in the makeup industry and it’s no joke. Loved your article.

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