BLOG POST BY: Harriet Phillips
June 5, 2023

The Top 16 Beauty Brands on Instagram in 2023

There are plenty of beauty brands on Instagram. But which ones are causing a stir? 

This platform is the ideal backdrop for sparking trends, building relationships, and connecting with targeted audiences. So, how do you break the mold and start gaining traction on this popular channel? By learning from the best, of course. 

We’re investigating the top beauty brands on Instagram in 2023, why they work, and what your brand can take from them. 

Instagram Influencers Holidng Beauty Products


High Street Beauty Brands

Celebrity Beauty Brands

Luxury Beauty Brands

Smaller Beauty Brands

Ethical Beauty Brands

High Street Beauty Brands

Social media is a hub of activity for high-street beauty brands. These are the ones that have cracked the Instagram code.

1. Maybelline

Maybelline has been winning on Instagram for several years now. With 12 million followers, it’s clear they’re doing something right. That something happens to be partnerships. 

Maybelline has collaborated with numerous influencers across multiple social media platforms, including Instagram. Their creator-led content drives engagement and boosts brand awareness to highly targeted audiences.  

What can your brand learn from them?

Maybelline partnered with a variety of influencers, from micro-influencers like @__kubiat__  to global celebrities like Gigi Hadid. Creator campaigns work when they are targeted, and that’s exactly what Maybelline has done. They’ve also collaborated with a diverse range of influencers, including talent from minority groups and the LGBTQ+ community. 

Most recently, the brand partnered with Dylan Mulvaney, a trans-TikTok star. Sharing her TikTok video on Instagram sparked a ton of engagement (some of which included negative comments). Maybelline responded with a post stating, “Spread love, not hate,” and talked about how makeup is made for everyone. A smart choice. Why? Over half of their audience consists of Millenials and Gen Z, and 63% of young people describe themselves as allies to the LGBTQ+ community. So take a leaf out of this brand’s book and make sure you’re initiating the right partnerships and promoting the best message for your target audience. 

2. Glossier

With 2.9 million followers and a calming feed, Glossier is killing it on Instagram. Their aesthetic and tone of voice stay consistent throughout the channel with a push for calming visuals that showcase their products. They create content in batches, with each set of posts focusing on a different product. 

What can your brand learn from them?

Glossier has mastered the art of community on Instagram. With that comes plenty of UGC (user-generated content). Their followers have become a mighty sales tool, with fans posting about the brand’s products. Glossier encourage this activity by reposting the content to their feed and collaborating with influencers as well. 

The most important element to take away from their profile? Authenticity. Every part of the brand’s social media efforts is based on authentic, real, and relatable content. You can tell they don’t use filters and celebrate beauty in all forms. Combine that with real customer posts, and you get some seriously potent social media marketing. 

3. OPI

OPI is leading the way on Instagram when it comes to inspirational content. Their nail videos are beautiful yet real and their feed is brimming with creative ideas. But where they really “nail” it is by jumping on trends. 

What can your brand learn from them?

OPI understands where the conversation is on Instagram and joins it every time. That conversation isn’t necessarily always about nails too. They get involved in current trending subjects and put their own twist on things. Take Barbie the movie. That’s been a recent hot topic, and OPI created their own memeable post, bringing their brand into the mix. They’ve also taken trending memes and turned them into relatable content. You wouldn’t put soccer and nail polish together, but that’s exactly what OPI did. They created a fun post that allowed people to vote for their favorite shade of lacquer in a soccer-style competition through their stories. 

They’ve also announced some not-so-obvious brand partnerships. XBox and OPI collaborated to bring out a colorful controller in the shades of the Summer Make the Rules collection. A game-changing idea to target their audience pool who also game. 

OPI show they are brilliant at one particular thing on Instagram – listening to their audience. They understand the conversations their target market are a part of, and even when that isn’t just nails, they chime in. To stay relevant, your brand should be doing the same. 

4. L’Oréal Paris

L’Oréal Paris have over 10.7 million followers on their Instagram and it is clear to see why. When it comes to dominating Instagram in the realm of beauty and cosmetics, L’Oreal Paris is a true heavyweight. With a strategic approach that combines the use of diverse influencers, a balanced product showcase, and an educational element, they have cultivated a substantial following and maintained a strong brand presence.

What can your brand learn from them?

L’Oreal Paris, in the realm of Instagram beauty accounts, has mastered the art of influencer collaboration. Their approach seamlessly blends the star power of celebrities like Eva Longoria and Camila Cabello with the authenticity of grassroots influencers who offer product usage tips. This diverse mix allows them to showcase a wide range of products and connect with a broad audience.

These influencer collaborations also help them achieve balance in presenting its extensive product lineup by creating a consistent theme to posts even if the products vary. From men’s grooming to haircare and makeup, their Instagram feed ensures that every product category gets its moment in the spotlight. This strategic equilibrium highlights the importance of a comprehensive product showcase, catering to a diverse audience with varied interests.

But what really stands out their use of Instagram as a platform for education and societal engagement. Their “Stand Up against Street Harassment” campaign showcases their commitment to meaningful causes, adding depth to their brand identity. This approach underscores the value of using Instagram not just for sales but also for genuine engagement with your audience on topics of importance.

Celebrity Beauty Brands

These beauty brands already have a platform their celebrity founder has built. But how are they growing on social and keeping their customers engaged? These companies show us how it’s done. 

5. Fenty

Global superstar, Rihanna’s beauty brand Fenty, dominates the beauty niche on Instagram. When they started the company back in 2017, they had a simple and clear message. A post on their feed from Rihanna herself explains:

“Fenty Beauty was created for everyone: for women of all shades, personalities, attitudes, cultures, and races. I want everyone to feel included. That’s the real reason I made this line.”

What has grown from this sentiment is an engaged, thriving and growing online community that show up time and time again. 

What can your brand learn from them?

Community can be powerful. When you have an engaged comments section and an interactive profile, your followers will keep coming back. Often brands can focus on top-of-the-funnel marketing, looking at how to increase brand awareness (this is definitely the case with influencer marketing). But social media channels like Instagram can be utilized in different ways to hit your targets. 66% of brand community members say they are loyal to the brand, so encouraging your fans to engage with you and each other can really pay off. 

Fenty replies to comments on the regular and keeps the conversation going, addressing concerns and speaking directly to consumers. If you do the same, you’ll start reaping the rewards of an active, engaged community. 

6. Kylie Cosmetics

This beauty brand, started by reality-TV star Kylie Jenner, is the cosmetic brand that generates the most social media engagement while spending nothing on paid social ads. How do they do it? Kylie Jenner already has a huge fan base which the company leverages, but through strategic influencer collaborations, they expand their reach even further. 

What can your brand learn from them?

Kylie Cosmetics utilizes the Kardashians to gain further traction on posts featuring Kylie. Of course, if you don’t have access to mega influencers like them, don’t worry; you can still learn from this brand’s Instagram strategy. 

Celebrities can provide massive reach, but when it comes to engagement, micro-influencers are often the best route. Micro-influencers boast up to a 60% increased engagement rate compared to macro-influencers. Kylie Cosmetics understands that and partners with a range of talent including micro and macro influencers. This mix allows the brand into niche target markets and keeps them relevant within smaller circles. Combined with their global reach, it’s a match made in beauty marketing heaven.

7. JVN Hair

Queer Eye star and TV personality Jonathan Van Ness launched JVN Hair back in 2021 and it’s been growing on social ever since. The brand’s Instagram feed is filled with tutorials, educational videos and product videos. But the best part is that Jonathan Van Ness himself leads the fold. 

What can your brand learn from them?

Having a celebrity at the front of your company is an asset. Making sure you lead with that asset in a truthful, consistent and real way is key. Authenticity and creative inspiration are two of the top reasons why people follow influencers. JVN Hair puts that first within all their content. Jonathan Van Ness talks directly to his consumers through educational videos, tutorials, tips and tricks on the feed. He often appears with no filter, no make up and shows his personality within each video. 

He tackles subjects around haircare that need more attention too like hair loss and scalp issues. Educational content makes consumers 131% more likely to buy so think about the kinds of posts your putting out there and how you can help your audience learn through truthful, engaging content. 

Augustinus Bader Instagram Influencer Campaign Still On Mobile Phone Screen

Luxury Beauty Brands

Higher end brands are becoming more accessible through social media and especially Instagram. Gone are the days where luxury brands were behind exclusive shop windows. They need to start thinking up more and more innovative ways to reach their audiences on social. These are the ones doing it right. 

8. Armani Beauty

Armani Beauty have a history of famous ambassadors including Cate Blanchet. Now, they are partnering with a younger generation of influencers, including actors Camila Mendes, Maude Apatow, Lili Reinhart, Isabela Merced, Chase Stokes, Jonathan Daviss, Lukas Gage and Michael Evans Behling. Recently on their Instagram they’ve been posting about their latest partnership – with Sydney Sweeney. 

What can your brand learn from them?

Armani Beauty are looking to the future. That means partnering with influencers and celebrities that are on the same level as the next generation whilst still nurturing their lasting partnerships. Every one of these actors and creators are fans of Armani Beauty. This is crucial for a successful brand collaboration. You need to partner with influencers who understand your brand values and are genuinely interested in what you’re offering. People are sceptical of brand-influencer collaborations, now more than ever, so your partnership’s authenticity is of the utmost importance. Make sure you are working with the right influencers for your brand. 

Or get someone like us to find the perfect fit for you…

9. Gucci Beauty

With luxury at its core, Gucci Beauty promotes more than just products on its Instagram page, it sells a lifestyle. From its artistically beautiful video campaigns to collaborations with talented creatives, Gucci Beauty build an eclectic feed that’s worth scrolling through. 

What can your brand learn from them?

Luxury brands have the tough job of needing to stay in touch with their audiences through genuine, real-looking content and keeping up appearances with high end visuals and sophistication. How can you strike the right balance? By partnering with the right talent and allowing them to share original stories. Creators should be allowed to create. They have a following for a reason, so when you decide to partner with someone, let them do the talking. Gucci interview their ambassadors and provide a platform for them to share their stories and personality. In return they drive massive engagement and build trust with their customers. 

10. Chanel Beauty

Chanel’s content just got funner. When you scroll through Chanel Beauty’s Instagram reels you find small snippets of models and other influencers opening a locker, fridge or other door to find one of Chanel’s products. This provided quirky and fun entertainment for viewers whilst still retaining its luxury aspect. 

What can your brand learn from them?

A comment on one of these model-led videos stated: “Why do I love all of these chic little videos!? Chanel, keep slaying”. So they did. Instagram is the ideal place for brands to pick up on comments like this and use it to inform their strategy. When you see content is doing well, you adapt your campaigns accordingly. 

Chanel Beauty shows us how simple, entertaining content can still come across high-end and gain the results you’re looking for. Brands need to adopt this approach with their influencer marketing. Entertainment sells, so ensure your campaigns have enough of it in them. 

Smaller Beauty Brands

11. Faace

This brand is the new kid on the block, but they’re already making waves. With a fresh perspective and funny videos, Faace’s Instagram feed is full of content gems. They focus on stress, hormones, and everyday issues that people (especially women) face. And boy, do they have a great commentary on it. 

What can your brand learn from them?

Funny content = successful content (when done right). Faace has brought relatable reels and punchy posts to the table, and it definitely seems to be working. 72% of people would choose a humorous brand over the competition. So injecting your feed with comedy can make a massive difference. 

They also keep their content super relevant. Understanding the topics and conversations that their customers will be a part of, they provide commentary on the right kind of subjects like periods, hormones, menopause, and stress. Think about the right conversations for your own brand and make sure you stay on top of them. 

12. Von Norten

Von Norten knows its audience. They’ve crafted a well-curated, luxury feed that speaks the language of their customers. They’ve kept the aesthetic consistent with calming images of their products and cohesive color schemes. The biggest triumph of their feed, however, is credibility. 

What can your brand learn from them?

Von Norten has been featured in some authoritative media outlets. This includes Vogue, Vanity Fair, and Forbes. The social media manager of this channel has definitely leaned into this. Showing brilliant reviews and articles on their products, you can’t help but see the value in their brand. 

Grounding the content in reality, they dot in behind-the-scenes reels and other authentic content. So the featured publishers and reviews don’t feel too in your face. More like subtle humble brags in a sea of beautiful, real posts. Mix up your content by sharing credible sources who mention your products with relatable videos. Add influencer content too and you have yourself a winning combo. 

Ethical Beauty Brands

13. RMS Beauty

Founded by master makeup artist Rose-Marie Swift, this ethical brand has tapped into the power of influencer marketing. Creators across a range of ages, backgrounds, and skin types all feature on the brand’s page. 

What can your brand learn from them?

Although these influencers vary with different ages, locations and styles, there’s one thing they all have in common. They fit in with RMS Beauty’s vibe. Each one is unfiltered and showing up realistically (one of the brand’s key elements) plus they all show off the products minimally with a calming voice over or music. 

Ensuring you work with creators who align with your brand is crucial. You can’t just find the biggest talent out there and hope they’ll fit in with your brand delivery. They need to actually like your products and fit into the overall feeling you’re looking at portraying. Note that it doesn’t necessarily mean you need creators of the same age. RMS Beauty have a varied audience (mostly millennials and older), so they showcase lots of different ages within their feed. 

14. 100% Pure

This ethical, vegan brand have incorporated educational content as well as influencer marketing into their strategy. It’s definitely paying off. They label themselves as “clean makeup” and have even created the world’s first globally patented, #fruitpigmented technology to back this up. 

What can your brand learn from them?

When you think about influencer marketing within your strategy you need to think about niches. 100% Pure has a clear niche – they are an ethical brand afterall. But generalising isn’t the best way forward. This brand have partnered with creators who aren’t just into makeup. Their partners include sustainable fashion enthusiast, @benita_robledo and even Anesthesiology Physician, @robertsecond53.

So when you’re thinking about creators to partner with, think outside of the box. You’ll be able to access niche target audiences who aren’t necessarily following beauty on socials. 

15. Versed

As one of the fastest growing clean beauty brands in the US, Versed have really nailed down their socials. With a target audience of millennials and Gen Z, their priority was making clean skin products accessible, affordable and irresistible through socials. They have a focus on sustainability which definitely appeals to the eco warriors of these generations.

What can your brand learn from them?

Versed create fun, entertaining and educational content for their feed. But more than this they’re using Instagram as a place to communicate and connect with their target audience. This includes asking them questions, understanding what they want and ultimately giving it to them. 

They create posts on potential new products, chat with customers in the comments and make the social page feel like a real community. 65% of Gen Z consumers feel more confident online when using community-focused apps. Versed have tapped into this need with clever content and a feeling of togetherness. If you’re looking to target younger audiences, you might want to think about this as a part of your beauty marketing strategy. 

16. Summer Fridays

What do you get when two influencers become founders of a beauty product. A brand with a stunning Instagram feed. Summer Fridays was created by Marianna Hewitt and Lauren Gores-Ireland in 2018. Since they were influencers themselves, they understood the influencer lens and why creator-led content works. They also knew how to make the content themselves. 

What can your brand learn from them?

Since Lauren and Marianna had an eye for influencer content, they injected that creativity into all of their posts. The result is a feed full of engaging videos and beautiful photography that still feels real. They’ve also collaborated with other influencers to further nail down their strategy. 

Don’t worry you don’t need to be founded by influencers to thrive. But what you do need to do is understand why influencer content works. Follow beauty influencers that fit in with your niche and see how they are handling their posts. It will help you develop campaigns that land every time.  

Instagram Influencers Beauty Campaign Stills On 4 Mobile Phone Screens.

Concluding thoughts – Instagram Beauty Brands

There are valuable lessons that brands can learn from successful beauty marketing on Instagram. By examining the strategies of top brands in different categories, we can identify key takeaways for effective Instagram marketing.

High street beauty brands like Maybelline and L’oréal Paris have excelled by leveraging partnerships with a diverse range of influencers, including micro-influencers and celebrities. The importance of targeted collaborations and promoting the right message for your audience cannot be understated. Additionally, brands like Glossier have mastered community-building through user-generated content and an authentic approach, while OPI has demonstrated the power of staying relevant by joining trending conversations and creating engaging, unexpected content.

Celebrity beauty brands like Fenty have shown the significance of fostering an engaged community through active interaction and genuine engagement with followers. Kylie Cosmetics has effectively utilized both macro and micro-influencers to expand their reach and maintain relevance within niche markets.

Even small beauty brands like Faace and Von Norten have made an impact by leveraging humor, relevancy, and credibility in their content. They have tapped into the power of relatability and authenticity to resonate with their target audience.

Brands can learn from these successful examples by focusing on targeted partnerships, authenticity, community-building, staying relevant, engaging with followers, leveraging influencers who align with their brand values, and creating entertaining, relatable, and credible content. By adopting these strategies, brands can enhance their presence on Instagram and connect with their target audiences more effectively.

Are you a beauty brand looking for help with your Instagram marketing? Get in touch with Goat Agency – the World’s leading social media marketing agency.

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Written by: Harriet Phillips

Insights Manager at The Goat Agency