As social media steadily becomes the launching pad for beauty brands, trailblazing companies move outside their comfort zone. Color-focused cosmetics brands Tarte, Too Faced, and Benefit have broken into skincare through Instagram, where they often outperform native skincare brands.

Founded in 1998 as a color cosmetics brand, Too Faced has grown its Instagram following by 4.5% since the beginning of 2018, resulting in over 10.2 million followers—far ahead of more traditional competitors like Maybelline and L’Oréal. In addition to partnering with brands and influencers on Instagram, Too Faced launched its Glow Job Glitter Mask (a skincare product) on the platform, where it received a whopping 243,000 interactions.

By leveraging this growing community as well as Instagram know-how, Too Faced is able to match and even surpass top skincare performers. Fellow color cosmetics brands Tarte and Benefit have a similar ability. Skin-related posts from the three brands easily outperform posts from Kiehl’s and Clinique, according to L2’s Digital IQ Index: Beauty.

However, skincare brands are bringing the competition. They are ramping up investments on Instagram, following a “more is better” content strategy and increasing posts by over 50% year over year. Kiehl’s has more than tripled its posts since last year, resulting in a nearly 20-fold increase in interactions. As a whole, total engagement on skincare brand content more than doubled in 2017, compared to 64% growth in color cosmetics. Color cosmetics brands wanting to make a splash in skincare through social media will have to reckon with increasingly Instagram-savvy rivals.

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