They are made up with a dog nose, a Bambi mask or a halo of light and a crown of flowers:like those filters that are used on the Snapchat photo sharing application. But this time, it was on a catwalk, in New York, during the last fashion week, that these faces paraded for Desigual:make-ups, produced by the Mac teams, inspired not by the street or art but social networks. Additional proof, if needed, that these new technologies and the world of beauty are intertwined to the point of mixing in the minds of creators, who have no choice but to integrate them into their strategy. .
If make-up techniques such as contouring or strobing were created primarily for fashion shows, it is also beauty bloggers who ensure their popularity and durability.
And who thus become, especially for the youngest, the new references, thanks to their blogs, their YouTube channels and their accounts on social networks (Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook…).
But how did these media become the new mirrors?
May 28, 2016, at the Parc floral de Paris:hundreds of excited young girls take out their autograph books. Not for new reality TV stars, but for the first edition of the Get Beauty show , which brings together the "greatest" French beauty bloggers. Featured:Sananas , 27 years old (1.2 million followers on Instagram) (1), Horia , 20 years (995,000), or Clara Channel , 17 years (948,000). Names that certainly don't mean anything to you. However, they are the new beauty queens.Video of the day:
On the day the ticket office opened, the site went down. The reason ? Too many connections. In just a few minutes, almost ten thousand tickets were sold. A success reminiscent of that of the American edition, Beautycon, which has existed since 2013 and where "full VIP" access sells for $269.99 (around €245).
On their blogs or their YouTube channels which attract hundreds of thousands of subscribers, especially young people, they test products, try new things, give advice and decipher the latest trends.
“The main rituals of socializing beauty having disappeared, the videos and photos of these bloggers act like portable bathrooms, confirms body philosopher Bernard Andrieu. you and open up a space that has long been intimate and hidden behind a closed door, in which the physical transformation of women was played out."
"We speak in a less formal way, we are informed consumers. In fact, I think that beauty bloggers bring a lot of freshness:they are lambda but passionate girls, who talk to other passionate people", explains Beautylicious .
This 30-year-old, who launched her own blog seven years ago, boasts 300,000 unique visitors per month and 56,000 followers on Instagram.
However, you will never see his face there:"I didn't feel the need to put myself forward. I don't do tutorials but I give information."
Which is far from being the case for the majority of his counterparts, who have become web starlets mastering the codes of staging.
Among those who started as simple "girls next door" testing a lipstick in front of their webcams, the most gifted settled at the top of real empires, the first were American.
With annual turnover of up to €50,000 or €150,000 for the most famous (sponsored articles, contracts with brands, public appearances… not counting benefits in kind).
However, Capucine Piot (52,300 followers on Instagram) qualifies this role of "experts", often attributed to influencers:"I don't think we can say that bloggers are experts, but rather very curious consumers. popularity of our blog allows us to meet a lot of people and test a lot of things. If brands call on us, it's because in addition to starification on the networks, we bring credibility, a label."
According to a study conducted for the company Birchbox, 70% of women follow the recommendations of youtubers to the letter, and 46% buy the exact reference of the product.
"I spend a lot of time copying make-up on the Internet, says Léa, 26, a graphic designer who doesn't wear more make-up than anyone else. I find inspiration on Instagram or Pinterest, where I mainly learn how to reproduce things. I I can spend hours on weekends trying to redo makeup that a blogger suggested on a tutorial."
With their vocabulary ("tutorial", "DIY", "routine") and their codes, social networks have imposed themselves in a few years as the new beauty laboratory.
Developing a capacity of prescription almost as strong as a catwalk or a women's magazine, they have become these new salons where trends are popularized or disappear with incredible speed.
Contouring is the best example. This technique, which makes it possible to redraw the features of the face thanks to a play of shadows and lights, was originally used by make-up artists for the world of the stage, before celebrities popularized it on the social networks.
The history of its success on Google is striking:at the end of 2014, bloggers began to publish tutorials; mid-2015, Kim Kardashian explains, in her own way, how to reproduce it; and at the end of the year, there is a peak in online searches on the subject.
An intuition confirmed by the figures:according to an OpinionWay study conducted for Amazon Beauté Prestige last September, a third of women today favor online inspiration for beauty trends and make-up techniques, and more than a third have fun reproducing the beauty tutorials. A figure that reaches 58% if we focus on the segment of women aged 25 to 35.
For ethnologist Elisabeth Azoulay, who edited 100,000 years of beauty(3) , this ritualization of beauty is nothing really new, except its numerical character.
"In the past, women transmitted their beauty techniques and advice through small journals that bourgeois and aristocrats wrote for their daughters. They were full of recipes, tips. A mother/daughter literature that can be considered as the ancestor of the blog. Then the cosmetics industry fulfilled this role for about fifty years. Brands explained to women how to use their products. Helena Rubinstein, for example, organized "beauty classes" in the 1920s."
It was before the digital upset the codes. "Today, you no longer expect brands to tell you how to do your makeup. They offer you products, but it's a girl who looks like you, who is part of your tribe, that you will trust. "
A feeling confirmed by Shirley, 28, optician. “I recently thought to myself that I would no longer make an appointment with a hairdresser if I had not seen the before/after on his Instagram. Yesterday, I went there with fear in my stomach, today I need to be almost certain of what will be done to me."
Faced with a very dynamic offer where hundreds of new eyeshadow palettes arrive on the shelves each month, bloggers have a role of switcher.
"Girls need advice in the face of multinational cosmetics", explains Capucine Piot, who launched her blog Babillages ten years ago, which she now defines as a "webzine", not hesitating to criticize brands, which is not always made to please.
"Fifty-somethings reshaped their eyebrows like movie stars. My generation watched music videos of pop singers. Young girls today learn everything on YouTube."
This ritualization of beauty is nothing new, except its digital character.
Watching this busy little world from afar, some brands have quickly realized that they could no longer do without bloggers or social networks.
Last October, L'Oréal Paris chose Swiss Kristina Bazan as its muse.
In 2015, Maybelline produced around thirty videos with EnjoyPhoenix, entitled:"You don't have gloss?", which generated no less than nine million shared views.
"Through the blogger's body, brands touch virtual bodies", analyzes Bernard Andrieu. And a huge invisible market with shapeless contours.
For them, a presence on the networks today is worth much more than any campaign orchestrated with millions of euros.
In 2013, Sephora launched Génération Sephora, a site dedicated to 14-17 year olds that offers tutorials and beauty advice. A few months later, the brand offers a platform intended to "continue the online shopping experience" by allowing consumers to take a photo of their looks and tag the products used.
Exactly like an Instagram blogger would do.
"The community aspect and the close relationship on social networks allow Sephora to speak directly to their fans and followers through impactful digital content", we explain on the brand side. Who communicates exclusively about their new products via their Instagram account or delivers tips and tutorials on Snapchat.
By mimicking bloggers in the way they address their community, brands mainly take advantage of networks to boost their sales.
A ""Photoshop effect" that we can very clearly see taking shape in certain sectors of the make-up industry.
“A buzz on the networks has a very clear effect on sales in stores, explains Mathilde Lion, beauty expert at NPD.
While the cosmetics market is generally in decline in France, certain sectors are booming, such as complexion, with concealer (+ 5%) and highlighters (+ 7%), or eyebrows (+ 50% in three years) . These products are popularized by younger people, who have a very strong ability to recommend to other generations."
As a result, some brands have gone so far as to ride the "selfie" trend by offering ranges dedicated to their consumers with wrist-grafted cameras:Too Faced #TFnofilter palette, "photo ready" or "HD ", or smartphone packaging for Accord Parfait by L'Oréal Paris.
"Social networks make us reflect ourselves in a new community mirror and crystallize a new form of beauty", sorry Bernard Andrieu.
Are they likely to give us the same face? Just look at the way photos of young girls started to look alike this summer after they discovered Snapchat filters that virtually do makeup without having to do anything.
Clichés that swarmed on the networks, where we found ourselves, in spite of ourselves, confronted with an army of future Kim Kardashian.
1. This is the number of followers per hour we write. 2. #Enjoy Marie by Marie Lopez, ed. pocket. 3. Collective work, ed. Gallimard.Read also: