If you weren’t blogging...

I would probably be a pharmacist, as thats what I studied for.

Describe your dream collabo.

I only work with brands I truly love, so it feels like every collaboration is the one of my dreams. I just love being surrounded by fun, optimistic people and thats not hard to find in this industry.

What’s Your Idea of Perfect Happiness?

Being happy with yourself equals Perfect Happiness.

What is Your Greatest Fear?

I don't like heights, but I try to block all the fears as I believe that you always attract what you are scared of.

Which Fashion Personality Most Inspires You? 

Diane Von Furstenberg, I love her approach to fashion, beauty and women.

What is Your Favorite Journey?

One where the schedule is flexible, to a city where there is enough shopping, culture and good food to entertain me for 7 days. Something like Rome in spring time with a bunch of friends.

What Words or Phrases Do You Most Overuse?

Sartorially, Like and Basically... I think those three words are just irreplaceable for me.

What’s Your Must Read Fashion Mag?

I love Look magazine in UK, as well as all the glossies, including Vogue, InStyle, Elle and Glamour.

Besides Your Own, What’s Your Must Read Blog?

I love Spanish blogs, like Stella Wants 2 Die, also favourite of mine Queen of Jet Lags and The Patricia Bright's YouTube channel.

What is the Greatest Thing That’s Happened to You Since Blogging?

I know it sounds so cheesy but meeting all of my blogger friends, some of which are now a part of my every day routine. I just love being surrounded by positive, creative people.

One Thing You Wish You Knew Before You Started Blogging.

I wish I knew that its not a 9-6 job its from when I open my eyes to when I close my eyes job.

What’s the one thing in your closet you’d never ever get rid of?

I would never get rid of a burgundy Topshop hat I got years ago. I am such a hat person, but that hat is so good that I can never find anything similar to it.

Read more…

Why Shay Mitchell Is More Than a Pretty Face Read More

Why Sarah Ellen Is the Teenage Internet Queen Read More

How Vloggers Are on the Rise Read More

How Asians Flock to Social Networks for Shopping Sprees Read More

How Celebrities and Fashion Bloggers Are Being Called Out for Photoshopping Read More

How Bethany Mota Became the Most Searched Fashion Designer Read More

How Loyal Are You to Your Cosmetic Brands? Read More

How Were You Affected by Instapurge2014? Read More

How Bloggers May Be Using Instagram Inappropriately Read More

How Social Media Is Changing the Face of Travel Read More

All About the Jason Kennedy Wedding Read More

Meet Our Blogger Crush La Carmina Read More

Do You Know Your Rorschach Test Score? Read More

Why 2014 Has Ushered in #Hashtag# Buying Read More

Showpo's Big Social Media Win Read More

How Brandy Melville Became Instagram’s First Retail Success Read More

A 5 Minute Layover with Willabelle Ong Read More

Read more…
Shay Mitchell Dishes On Her New Fashion Blog, T-Shirt Collection, And Beauty Secrets
We'll admit it -- we have a bit of a girl crush on Shay Mitchell. The Canadian actress and "Pretty Little Liars" star always looks stunning (seriously, just check out her Instagram), and her hair is simply to die for. But Shay isn't just a pretty face -- the 27-year-old Mississauga-native is also fashion and web-savvy. Along with her best friend Michaela Blaney, she recently relaunched her fashion and lifestyle blog, Amore & Vita, and the duo just debuted a capsule collection of T-shirts with Canadian e-tailer, eLUXE. We caught up with Shay and Michaela to chat about their blog, their new collection, and their fashion and beauty secrets. Read on for the interview!

StyleList Canada: Why did you decide to launch Amore and Vita site? And where did the name come from?
Amore & Vita: We both have a lot of things we want to share and it made sense with Michaela's background in marketing and design and our shared passion for life, literally. We used to live together so we would be cooking something and be like, "Put that one the blog!" Our generation has grown up with the whole concept of a "blog" and we (everyone) have literally created a niche where we can have a brand based off of our passion and creativity. Reading and being inspired by some of our favourite blogs is what inspired us to pursue our own.

The name was something that we came up with but put it on the maybe list -- over time we would think of a new name and would always go back to it and so it sort of presented itself and it stuck. It also made the most sense, Shay is the Amore aspect and [Michaela is] more of the Vita aspect, it represents our different personalities and blog components: everything we love in life!

SLC: What is the inspiration behind the Amore and Vita x eLUXE collection?
A&M: We wanted people to have a piece of the blog and our style. We always wear cute shirts that have fun words or sayings on them and we though why not do the same for Amore & Vita -- each one represents our personalities, the brand or a component of it.

SLC: What is your favourite piece from the collection?
A&M: Unique Clique is one of our faves. That one speaks very loudly for us –- our message behind it is to embrace all of our unique qualities we all possess! The Varsity font was also important as we know that it correlates with "school" and we wanted to create something that was supporting one big clique of us all of being ourselves and being unique! The "Q" in the middle represents us all being one and embracing our differences! Every shirt is designed by us and there is thought that went into each one...we love them all!

SLC: What's your go-to everyday outfit?
Shay: It depends on the day but with the weather in LA right now I love a good jacket, or trench, boots, cute top and accessories...I love my accessories.

Michaela: Boyfriends jeans, and a cool sweater in a neutral pattern or colour -- I think I have adopted the "tomboy" label. I like to keep it very simple!

SLC: Your fave beauty look?
Shay: I am loving a smokey eye -- bronze smokey, black smokey...it can go from day to night by adding a darker shade and it really makes your eyes pop!

SLC: Shay, what's your favourite red carpet look you've worn?
Shay: I recently wore this Balmain dress to the GQ Men Of The Year awards and I absolutely loved that whole look.

SLC: Outfit you most regret?
Shay: I could name a few, but at that time in my life it was obviously something I really liked. My style has just evolved and my style is maturing.

SLC: Best beauty tip you've learned?
Shay: Coconut oil -- for your hair, your face, your skin. It is the earth's gift to our entire body. Putting it in your cooking, or lathering it on your skin it is one of my beauty essentials.

SLC: What's the secret behind your gorgeous hair?
Shay: Masks. It gets a beating so it is important to give it time to rest - if i have a couple days off I won't touch it!

SLC: What's next for you? Any projects you're working on?
A&V: There are some exciting things for both of us and the blog! You will all see. Our blog is going through some positive changes and we are so excited to just keep moving forward!
[By: StyleList Canada] [Read More
Read more…

She's the most popular teenager you've probably never heard of. But with a combined Instagram and Facebook following of more than 1.4 million fans, 16-year-old Sydney girl Sarah Ellen is a veritable internet queen.

'As a kid, it was always been my dream to work in the entertainment industry, but I had never actually thought I would find myself working in the entertainment industry due to people being so interested in my lifestyle,' Ms Ellen told Daily Mail Australia. 

'It’s been so amazing, I feel really lucky and have to pinch myself sometimes.' 

16-year-old Sydney girl Sarah Ellen has a combined Instagram and Facebook following of more than 1.4 million fans

16-year-old Sydney girl Sarah Ellen has a combined Instagram and Facebook following of more than 1.4 million fans

'I’ve used my online channels not just as a way to communicate with my followers but also as a creative outlet – a fun way to express my thoughts, my style, my quirky sense of humour, things I love,' says Ellen.

'I’ve used my online channels not just as a way to communicate with my followers but also as a creative outlet – a fun way to express my thoughts, my style, my quirky sense of humour, things I love,' says Ellen.

It all began three years ago when the teenager posted a quirky 30-second video 'dancing her eyebrows' to a funky beat to YouTube.

'After people saw me in that video, they became interested in who I was - my life, what else I was doing and what was next for me – so my audience on social media grew quite fast after that!' says Ellen.

'I love technology, social media and creating fun content (like most people my age do!), and it was great to have an audience to share this with. So from then on, it has been my job to grow and interact with my followers - I kept creating and posting new content everyday for my followers to see, and my following just kept growing.' 

The clip has since had over 56 million views and today, more than 215,000 people subscribe to Ellen's You Tube account to tune in to her aspirational Vlogs or video blogs about life, fashion and friendship. 

Ellen, picture here with her new puppy, says she tries to post 1-3 times a day to social media because fans want to see as much as they can

Ellen, picture here with her new puppy, says she tries to post 1-3 times a day to social media because fans want to see as much as they can

Ellen's internet fame has opened up a number of modelling opportunities, including being asked to become an Ambassador of Australian fashion label Supre.

Ellen's internet fame has opened up a number of modelling opportunities, including being asked to become an Ambassador of Australian fashion label Supre.

'I love technology, social media and creating fun content (like most people my age do!),' says Ellen.

'I love technology, social media and creating fun content (like most people my age do!),' says Ellen.

But that's only the tip of her internet reign. Ellen, who says she aims to post 1-3 times a day online, has a Facebook following of 686K and growing, 91K Twitter followers and an Instagram empire of 723K.

So what is it that makes Sarah Ellen so popular? 

'I ask myself this question all the time,' she laughs. 'I like to think I am just a real teenager like most of my followers, but I try to set a really positive and happy example for people and I think that is why people are inspired by me and what I do.' 

'People seem to like what I do!': The Sydney teenager says she thinks her quirky sense of humour is one of the reasons she has ammassed so many online fans

'People seem to like what I do!': The Sydney teenager says she thinks her quirky sense of humour is one of the reasons she has ammassed so many online fans

Sarah Ellen arrives at the 28th Annual ARIA Awards at the Sydney's Star Casino last month

Sarah Ellen arrives at the 28th Annual ARIA Awards at the Sydney's Star Casino last month

Behind the scenes with Sarah Ellen. The 16-year-old social media queen who is studying fashion, says she is even greeted by screaming young fans when she does shopping centre appearances

Behind the scenes with Sarah Ellen. The 16-year-old social media queen who is studying fashion, says she is even greeted by screaming young fans when she does shopping centre appearances

Ellen, who left school last year to study fashion, won't disclose exactly how much mula her online celebrity status has earned her.

But the teenager says the biggest thing that's happened this year was being approached by Australian youth fashion label Supre to be the brand's national ambassador.

'I’ve been shopping at Supre since I was a kid, so it’s kinda surreal but very cool. I’m in all their campaigns and we’ve done lots of in-store meet and greets with my fans which was pretty incredible.'

So what's next for the young fashionista?

Ellen says she plans to re-launch her YouTube channel in the New Year, as well as a new fashion and lifestyle blog, which will be called ‘Perks of Her’.

'So watch this space!' she says. Millions will be.

16-year-old Sarah Ellen says she's re-launching her YouTube channel soon, as well as a new fashion and lifestyle blog which will be called ‘Perks of Her’

16-year-old Sarah Ellen says she's re-launching her YouTube channel soon, as well as a new fashion and lifestyle blog which will be called ‘Perks of Her’

[By May Slater and Louise Cheer for Daily Mail Australia] [Read More

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How Vloggers Are on the Rise

It started with the fashion bloggers, transforming high fashion and daily titbits into something you could reach at the touch of a button. Now the world of style and beauty has ramped up its media output and turned its attention to a new host of talented, rising stars – the vloggers. You may or may not have noticed but style vloggers have caused quite the stir recently, especially given darling-of-the-moment, Zoe Sugg’s, recent Vogue editorial. Zoe, or Zoella as she is more widely known as, is just one meteoric example of the steadily rising vlog cult, with other fashion and beauty vlog stars including familiar names such as Tanya Burr and sister act Pixiwoo. This group of young “inspirationals” are not only bringing day-to-day fashion and beauty tips into the lives of their millions of followers, they are starting a ripple effect, inspiring thousands to take up the camera themselves.

For the uninitiated, a vlog is a video blog- a youtube craze that has been around for quite a few years now. The standard format for a video blogger involves releasing weekly or bi-weekly updates, which in the world of the fashion vlogger, features videos about the star’s recent buys, style go-tos and beauty tips. Another important aspect in this vlog culture is the hype of personality, which is certainly something that the like of Zoella have used to cultivate a virtual sort of “friendship” with their viewers – a “friendship” that shows in the thousands of comments left behind on every video and follower ratings that reach into the millions. It is not simply the stars’ bubbly personalities that shine through however, but the insight we get into their lives; sharing their bedroom view, meeting their loved ones and playing with their pets, whilst also exploring their personal, real life issues.

Not convinced yet? Well let’s take a look at Vogue’s new star, Zoella. Zoe began Zoella in February 2009 as just a normal teenage girl, straight out of college, filming herself from her bedroom. Switch to now and Zoe is launching her own beauty line (Zoella Beauty), her own book (Girl Online), and singing in the 2014 version of Band Aid alongside One Direction and Sam Smith. Zoe is part of a growing fashion vlog cohort that also includes Tanya Burr, herself a LFW regular for seasons now; Tanya has even been on the judging panel of the prestigious Elle Beauty Awards. Interestingly, many of these young talents are under the umbrella of social talent brand ‘Gleam Futures’, an agency which now hosts over 19 popular vlog stars- including Zoe’s boyfriend, best friend and little brother. The success of these brands is unprecedented, but also leads us to question what actually happens when our favourite screen stars become commercialised.

Tanya Burr and Jim Chapman working for Mulberry.

What we first loved about these regular style stars was the reality and down-to-earth advice they brought to our screens. However, their transformations into brands can plant doubts in a viewer as to whether we can trust the clothes and products we’re being shown. For instance, there has been controversy surrounding potential product placement of Simple Beauty products in Zoella vlogs since Zoe became their brand ambassador. Zoe, as well as other stars, deny such behaviour, revealing that “brands do want to send me things but I only ever recommend products I genuinely like.” Whether we can believe this is debatable. In addition, there has been further controversy concerning the place of these stars as role models, with criticisms focussing on the emphasis placed on appearance to their main age range, 11-17.

Nevertheless, commercial controversy is nothing new, and with the Advertising Standards Authority ruling last month which states that vloggers must be clear as to whether a video is paid-for-promotion, critics will hopefully be convinced of a legitimate commitment to honesty on the part of vlog stars going forward. As huge supporters and fans of these new rising celebrities, we just hope that they don’t lose that personal, genuine touch on their journey to stardom – the very quality which made us fall in love with them in the first place.

[By Megan Smith] [Read More]

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Dora Soh
Dora's become a fashion icon in Singapore influencing young women's shopping habits
Singaporean student Dora Soh posts her "outfit of the day" online every day, to connect with fellow fashionistas and inspire her nearly 10,000 followers on Instagram. The 22-year-old's shopping habits have become so influential that online retailers are now sponsoring her to wear their clothes, in hopes that her posts will boost their brand and sales.
Dora Soh
Online retailers sponsoring Dora include Singaporean brands The Tinsel Rack, MGP and Mint & Ooak

"On social media, I can interact with strangers and share fashion inspiration by following their accounts and liking their photos," Ms Soh says.

While this sounds like a simple formula to keep up with the latest fashion trends, the avid shopper is at the forefront of a rapidly growing business in Asia - social shopping.

Global retailers are pulling out all the stops to increase their presence on social networks with technology that allows you to broadcast your latest fashion find online, even before it rings through the register.

For example, on Singapore-based social network and shopping website clozette.co, users can upload a picture of an item, or focus in on someone else's post, and hit search to find similar outfits for sale.

It is as exact as narrowing in on nail art on someone's finger nails, to search on the website's database of two million items from nearly 5,000 global brands.

"I truly believe we're the first company in the world to do that - intelligent visual recognition," says the website's co-founder and chief executive Roger Yuen.

Social platforms take off

Mr Yuen says growth has skyrocketed on his social media platform, which allows users to create and share their personal wardrobes, as well as buy and sell items from each other and retailers in Asia.

"We have close to 400,000 registered members in the region, and as a company we have a reach of about seven million unique users a month," he says.

The firm launched in 2010 with just under 80,000 users in its first year.

clozette.co
Users can create their own virtual wardrobes or raid through others' to find the latest fashion trends

Singapore based beauty box start-up Vanitytrove.com/sg has also seen tremendous growth since it launched its user content-driven platform earlier this year.

Co-founder and chief executive Douglas Gan says about 100-150 new members join the website every day, to browse or post about new products, and chat with like-minded beauty experts.

"We have over 60,000 female members on the platform in Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand," he says. "We figured that if we want consumers to make a conscious decision before they buy something, we should give them a platform."

Vanitytrove.com.sg
Users share makeup tips and beauty product must-haves on Vanitytrove

'Word of Mouth'

Rapid growth for such fashion-based social networks is not surprising considering recent figures that showed more and more Asians are turning to social media to shape their shopping habits, outpacing other regions of the world.

In a study of 10,000 consumers worldwide, consulting firm AT Kearney found over 95% of people aged between 16 and 45 in China said the chatter on social networks has at some point influenced their online shopping decisions.

Meanwhile, 61% of Chinese respondents said they "frequently" based purchases on what was happening in their social network - almost double the global average of 32%.

In consumer giant India, over 82% of people aged 16-35 said happenings on their social network influenced their buying habits.

Even among the older generation - those aged 65 and over - more than a quarter said their purchases were frequently influenced by social media - much higher than the global average of 5% for that age group.

Shoppers in ThailandFigures suggest people in Asia use social media to help them decide what to buy more than anywhere else

Torsten Stocker, Shanghai-based partner at AT Kearney, says word of mouth referrals is the major reason why more Asians rely on social media for shopping, in a world of fake goods and knock-offs.

"There's obviously a history of information control, particularly in China, and I think that extends to some extent to advertising," he says.

"I think there's also a high prevalence of counterfeit, fake and low quality goods - so that it automatically reduces the trust people have in official communication."

Trusting someone who has your best interests in mind, like a close friend or acquaintance, or even someone that is slightly more removed but in your network, is much more compelling, he adds

"If you look at China in particular, there's been so many food scandals, and so many items that may be counterfeit, and may not deliver what they promise. In general the level of trust [in retailers] is lower."

Customers look at a fake Gucci hand bag in Beijing's famous Silk Alley market.Asian consumers look for reassurance when shopping to ensure they are getting authentic merchandise

Retailers' Virtual Push

As a result, a lot of consumer goods companies and retailers in Asia are trying to engage with consumers through social media, and create word of mouth in the virtual world.

Retailers that have been successful in creating a buzz online are using a range of tactics from promising shoppers discounts if they post "selfies" wearing their merchandise, to creating online communities based on competitions or events.

Outdoor clothing outlet The North Face's strategy in China this year gained momentum after it launched a competition for consumers to be "The Next Explorer", and win a trip to the US.

The competition resulted in more than 200,000 new members to its online community, where participants talk about products and connect with each other to organise events such as hiking trips.

Thenorthface.com.cn
Members post about adventure trips they have taken on The North Face Chinese website

"It has taken on a life of its own. North Face is behind it, but it's not necessarily advertising for its products," says Mr Stocker.

"It's made them more visible, and helped create more interest in the category... and hopefully people will buy more products."

The North Face sales in China jumped more than 20% in 2013 from the year before.

Meanwhile, as retailers try to come up with innovative ways to engage with consumers online, Singaporean online shopper Chelsea Lin says that overall, it is just easier to get more feedback on purchases through social networks versus going into a physical store.

"It becomes quite addictive, to the point where it's a weekly thing that I would buy something," the 30-year-old office worker says.

"It's like you can shop everyday if you shop online."

[By Rajeshni Naidu-Ghelani] [ Read More

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Guilty: In this image, which Beyonce originally posted to her own account, We Photoshopped What points out several odd-looking wavy lines, which are believed to show when a picture has been edited

Guilty: In this image, which Beyonce originally posted to her own account, We Photoshopped What points out several odd-looking wavy lines, which are believed to show when a picture has been edited

A new Instagram account is calling out some of the world's most recognizable celebrities, including Beyonce, and fashion bloggers who they believe are guilty of Photoshopping the images that they post on social media.

WePhotoshoppedWhat, which was launched in November by an anonymous Instagram user, highlights instances of apparent Photoshopping by pointing out wavy lines and odd blurring in photos, or posting side-by-side comparisons, showing the subject in a different image that hasn't been edited.

And while many have been quick to praise the unknown Instagram poster for fighting against the increasing number of social media images that are edited, some of its most frequently targeted subjects have accused the account holder of 'bullying' and 'victimizing' the people that it features.

'Those walls are wiggly': The beady-eyed Instagrammer spots even the smallest of signs that an image has been edited'Those walls are wiggly': The beady-eyed Instagrammer spots even the smallest of signs that an image has been edited, such as this 'bendy' wall

'Those walls are wiggly': The beady-eyed Instagrammer spots even the smallest of signs that an image has been edited, such as this 'bendy' wall

Repeat offenders: Some of the people featured on the account are thought to Photoshop almost every image that they upload onto Instagram

Repeat offenders: Some of the people featured on the account are thought to Photoshop almost every image that they upload onto Instagram

'This account is so mean and unnecessary...' New York-based fashion blogger Danielle Bernstein, of We Wore What, commented, after she was shamed on the account for the 14th time. 

'I can own my Photoshop f*** ups but to call them out publicly seems malicious. Most people I know including other bloggers and anyone that puts content out to the public everyday has editing involved in photos. 

'I can own it being a bit to much at times (I'm not an editing expert) but it's not like I'm hiding. People know what I look like, I host events and post videos... 

'I also choose only the best photos and most flattering angles of myself. Another photographer or fans may not. If you have a personal problem with me please email me. This honestly feels like bullying.'

  Busted: The account believes that this image, posted by user smaroon_8, have been editedBusted: The account believes that this image, posted by user smaroon_8, have been edited

Busted: The account believes that both of these images, posted by user smaroon_8, have been edited

'Do Ikea sell warped mirrors?' The most tell-tale sign of Photoshopping is a distorted background

'Do Ikea sell warped mirrors?' The most tell-tale sign of Photoshopping is a distorted background

'Being shady is gross': While some of We Photoshopped What's most-targeted subjects have accused the account of 'bullying', its owner insists people should be made aware when a photo has been edited

But the account holder, who now boasts more than 6,000 followers, has been quick to defend his or her actions, claiming that the number of women who post Photoshopped images on Instagram is 'gross'.

'It might not be nice but it is appropriate to call someone out who is making money off this deception, especially when young girls make comments about how they want to look like that,' they commented on a post. 

'I also thing the phrase "shaming girls/women" needs to be retired. I am not going to treat someone with kid gloves and let BS fly because "women need to support each other." 

'I'd post examples of men doing this too - being shady is just gross.' 

6,000 followers and counting: Thus far, We Photoshopped What has had a steadily-increasing number of supporters

6,000 followers and counting: Thus far, We Photoshopped What has had a steadily-increasing number of supporters

 

Easy to spot: We Photoshopped What frequently posts side-by-side comparisons so that their followers can see what a person looks like without any editing 

Busted: Instagrammer smaroon_8 (L) is frequently targeted on the account

Busted: Instagrammer smaroon_8 (L) is frequently targeted on the account

 'It's bullying': New York-based blogger Danielle, who has been featured on the account 14 times, has accused We Photoshopped What of maliciously targeting her'It's bullying': New York-based blogger Danielle, who has been featured on the account 14 times, has accused We Photoshopped What of maliciously targeting her

'It's bullying': New York-based blogger Danielle, who has been featured on the account 14 times, has accused We Photoshopped What of maliciously targeting her 

In the case of Beyonce's photo, which We Photoshopped What points out has a number of bizarre wavy lines in the background, bright pink arrows are used to point to the flaws in the image.

And it is not the first time that the chart-topper has been accused of Photoshopping her Instagram images. 

In April, fans were outraged when the 33-year-old mother-of-one shared an image of herself playing a round of golf - having reportedly Photoshopped her 'thigh gap' in order to make her legs appear thinner. 

At the time, one fan wrote on Twitter: 'really @Beyonce? we all love your thick thighs. NO reason to photoshop a thigh gap in there..' 

Read more…
Photo by Picture Perfect/REX

As 2014 comes to a close all of the “best of”, “worst of” lists highlighting the top 10’s of 2014 are piling in and one of the most recent is kind of shocking.

With the awards season right around the corner, top designers are looking to put their best new looks on the hottest stars but apparently they have some competition they probably didn’t know to be worried about.

Google recently released their annual list of the “most searched fashion designers” and, while all the expected names are there including Valentino, Kate Spade and the late greats L’Wren Scott and Oscar de la Renta, there is one surprising name above them all.

This year, 19-year old YouTube star Bethany Mota tops the list of the most searched fashion designer.

While she began her social media stardom by purchasing cosmetics, testing them out and giving tutorials, earning her YouTube page 8 million subscribers, she soon branched out and created her own fashion line for Aeropostale.

Mota’s Google search count could of course have a lot to do with the fact she was a star on the latest season of Dancing With the Stars and while she was doing that her clothing line became an immediate hit.

Bethany hit number one on the list ahead of Kate Spade, Oscar de la Renta, Rachel Roy, L’Wren Scott, Valentino, Alexander Wang, Sherri Hill, Edith Flagg and Tina Knowles respectivel. Very impressive for a 19-year old!

[By ] [Read More]

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How Loyal Are You to Your Cosmetic Brands?

TABS Group Explores the Relationships between Millennial Shoppers, Social Media, and Cosmetics in its 2014 Cosmetics Consumer Study. In the latest installment of its webinar series, TABS Group has released the results of its 2014 Beauty Consumer Insights Study.

The study surveyed 1000 women and 250 men between the ages of 18 and 74 on the types of beauty products they purchase, frequency of purchases, and the outlets they patronize. TABS Group also asked participants about ongoing trends in the beauty industry, including the use of BB and CC cream, the popularity of visiting a nail salon for manicures and pedicures, and the influence of social media on cosmetic purchase decisions.

Based on their data, TABS Group estimates that cosmetic sales in the US total over $12 billion annually (excludes skin care and hair care products), with most cosmetics shoppers buying more than seven types of products throughout the year. The majority of cosmetics buyers pay between $5 and $20 for products, but millennials are apparently willing to spend more, paying an average of 25 percent more for cosmetics than other age groups.

While major retailers like Walmart, Target, and Walgreens still dominate the share of dollars spent on cosmetics, TABS Group's data shows that cosmetics shoppers don't show loyalty to any specific outlet.

"The heaviest cosmetics shoppers demonstrate no brand loyalty, purchasing more than 8 brands, on average, and shopping at many more outlets than lighter buyers," says TABS Group founder and CEO Dr. Kurt Jetta. "Consistent with the data from our Consumer Value study earlier this year, most consumers say they prefer to shop for cosmetics at stores that offer good deals. The bottom line is that more deals lead to more sales, particularly among the heaviest buyers who have no loyalty to specific brands."

Key Findings:

Online Beauty Gurus are Replacing In-Store Advisors

Only 24 percent of heavy buyers indicated that they prefer to shop in stores with in-store beauty advisors. It's likely that buyers are increasingly turning to online beauty advice that they access through social media. 42 percent of heavy buyers say that social media is very important in making their purchasing decisions. Cosmetic blogs (29%) and YouTube (23%) were the most popular resources among these involved buyers.

'Tis the Season for Cosmetics Shopping

A number of cosmetics segments see a surge in sales around Christmas. Cosmetic kit sales increase nearly threefold during the holidays, and sales of both nail polish and lip makeup increase over 1.5 times more than average. And retailers can be comforted by the fact that 50 percent of these sales increases occur during the week of Christmas—further evidence that the gloomy Black Friday reports were off-base.

Don't Ignore the Men

While women are obviously the primary target demographic for cosmetics—with 86 percent purchasing cosmetics in the last year—retailers shouldn't ignore the importance of men. Men are also active cosmetics buyers: 30 percent of male participants stated that they had bought cosmetics in the last year. Not surprisingly, 58 percent of those men purchased cosmetics for their spouse.

Millennial Women, $75k to $99k Income Group, and Hispanics are the Most Involved

Millennial women between the ages of 25 and 34 purchase the most cosmetic products, an average of between 9 and 10 product types per year. Hispanic women also show higher involvement than other ethnic groups, purchasing over 8 product types per year.

Specialty Beauty, Online Retailers, and Department Stores Attract Heavy Buyers

While mass retailers were the most popular outlets for cosmetics buyers overall (57 percent of cosmetics buyers reported shopping at Walmart and 32 percent reported shopping at Target), specialty beauty stores, online retailers, and department stores are more successful at attracting heavy buyers (shoppers that regularly purchase more than 10 segments). Only 39 percent of Walmart's regular buyers are heavy buyers, while heavy buyers account for 69 percent of Sephora's regular buyers, 61 percent of online cosmetic retailers' regular buyers, and 58 percent of department stores' regular buyers.

Don't Count on Loyalty—Attract Heavy Buyers with Good Deals

While heavy buyers are valuable targets—purchasing 4 times more brands than light buyers and accounting for 58 percent of all cosmetics purchases—they don't show any true loyalty to specific outlets or brands. In fact, most heavy buyers purchase more than 4 brands regularly. The most effective way for retailers to get heavy buyers through their doors is to offer great deals. 57 percent of heavy buyers and 59 percent of medium buyers state that good deals are "very important."

The Economy is Rebounding, One Manicure at a Time

The survey's findings about an increase in women visiting nail salons could be a sign of increasing consumer confidence. 45 percent of women get their fingernails done at a salon, 42 percent get their toes done at a salon, and 31 percent said that they visit the nail salon more frequently this year than last year compared to 26 percent going less often. Furthermore, the more vs. less spread was even more pronounced with light cosmetics buyers, as twice as many go more vs. less (42% vs. 19%).

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 If your Instagram is feeling a little deflated, well, you're probably seeing nothing compared to the losses social media celebrities felt when the app winnowed out spam and purchased follower accounts this week. 

It's no secret that many popular fashion bloggers purchase followers. The long-accepted practice has often been seen as just part of getting a newbie blog off the ground. Now, Instagram warns users that it will be deactivating spam accounts on “an ongoing basis.” While its impossible to tell which of the lost followers from #Instapurge2014 were deliberately bought ones, as opposed to fake spam accounts, the results here are still pretty eye-opening.

According to Racked (which cleverly screenshot the top bloggers' follower counts pre- and post-purge), Aimee Song of Song of Style experienced the most extreme decline, going from 1.9 million followers to 1.8, a 5% decrease. Behind her came What I Wore (down 3.1%) and Cupcakes and Cashmere (3%). Interestingly enough, Rach Parcell of Pink Peonies (who Racked claims has been accused of buying followers in the past), only saw a 1% decrease. Bottom line? When it comes to Instagram fame, the numbers can — and will — lie. (Racked

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