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Jun 05, 2024

The invisible glam of beauty influencers: Who’s earning the most?

Nikkie de Jager, Bretman Rock, and James Charles lead the way. But what fuels their beauty empires? And which brands have they catapulted to viral fame?


She is a Dutch makeup artist and beauty vlogger who gained international recognition through her YouTube channel, NikkieTutorials, sharing makeup tutorials, beauty tips, and personal vlogs. 

Today, according to the latest Cosmetify index —a beauty platform utilised by millions of shoppers globally to explore skincare, makeup, and hair products from various brands—Nikkie de Jager holds the title of the most powerful beauty influencer. With a combined following of 42.7 million across Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube, she also boasts the highest estimated combined earnings per post at $61,450.


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Behind Nikkie de Jager is the Filipino-American social media personality, beauty influencer, and content creator Bretman Rock, with a slightly higher combined following of 43.93 million but lower estimated earnings per post at $53,650. “This is because estimated earnings are influenced by engagement rates, not just follower counts,” explains the Cosmetify team. Bretman Rock is known for his personality, humorous videos, and makeup tutorials.

Taking the third spot on the Cosmetify index is the American beauty YouTuber and makeup artist James Charles, sporting a combined following of 83.1 million and estimated earnings of $53,500 per post. Originally working as a local makeup artist in his hometown of Bethlehem, New York, James Charles launched a YouTube channel where he began uploading makeup tutorials. His rise to fame reached new heights in 2016 when he became the first male brand ambassador for CoverGirl after a tweet featuring his makeup went viral online. 


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In fourth place sits Nikita Dragun, with a combined following of 26.34 million, predominantly on TikTok. Her estimated earnings per post stand at $38,950. 

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Un post condiviso da HUDA BEAUTY (@hudabeauty)

Securing the fifth position is Huda Kattan, commanding a combined following of 67.53 million. Notably, Kattan stands out as the first influencer to establish a cosmetics brand, Huda Beauty, which is the most followed brand on Instagram with over 54 million followers. The beauty label, founded in 2013 and headquartered in Dubai, reflects Kattan’s passion and expertise for makeup.

“The influence of beauty content creators is still huge,” states Carly Cochrane, beauty expert and Senior Content Editor at Cosmetify. “Their reach and impact show just how important the relationship between social media and beauty continues to be.”

But behind every top beauty influencer raking in power, there’s at least one top beauty brand going viral. Analysing the most searched beauty brands on the internet in 2023, the Korean beauty label Oh K! took the crown as the most popular in the highest number of countries, topping the list in 76 countries overall— surpassing competitors, including the second-ranked Bath & Body Works, by more than double the number of countries.

However, each country typically has its favourite beauty brand. In the UK and Ireland, it’s Charlotte Tilbury; Rituals holds a strong presence in Germany, the Netherlands, and Sweden. In the United States and Canada, Bath & Body Works enjoys widespread popularity.

South Korea favours the K-beauty brand Innisfree for its natural ingredients (surprisingly not the brand Oh K!), while Mac Cosmetics leads the market in Japan, Hong Kong, and China. Last but not least, CeraVe and Belcorp stand out in Latin America.

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Un post condiviso da M·A·C Cosmetics (@maccosmetics)



Silvia Manzoni
Journalist and Beauty Expert