August 26, 2019

Who influences the influencers?

Carla Flamer // WTF BEAUTY

Beauty routines develop over time. Women experiment with new skin care and makeup products that meet their needs, but in order for a product to be used regularly, it must also fit with morning and evening beauty routines. Not everyone is satisfied with their routine, so they rely on a number of sources to provide them with recommendations and advice.

What influences beauty consumers in North America, and how does this vary around the world?

Ipsos Global Advisor asked women about what influences their beauty routines, and the results underscore the range of sources. Globally, we stick close to people we know first, relying on our mothers, friends and sisters or other family members for their recommendations. The second tier of influencers are “experts” from online videos, magazines and other print media, as well as Instagram or other social media.

Digging a little deeper, in the U.S. and Canada similar trends emerge, but friends as influencers stand out in the U.K., China and Japan. In China, outside of people they know, consumers rate online videos as most influential (55%). In South Korea—a leader in starting new beauty routines—people rely on online videos more than print and just ahead of Instagram/other social.

Therefore, it is essential for brands to use multiple touchpoints to influence today’s beauty consumer. Manufacturers and retailers need to consider both the close-to-home beauty influencer as well as the “expert” who is online, in print and engaged in social media. For in-person recommendations, samples and trial sizes of products as well as in-store and on-package education play important roles. But personal influencers are themselves influenced by media influencers, and by in-store and online experts. Online influencers tend to focus on brands that have an interesting and relevant story or origin, and that lend themselves to videos/online education, results and fun. Brands need to cultivate online influencers while simultaneously cultivating the reviews and recommendations of everyday product users.

Carla Flamer

Carla Flamer, President of Market Strategy and Understanding for Ipsos.


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Friends and family help us shape our beauty routines.

Thinking now about your own personal beauty routine, how influential has each of the following been to you?

All countries Canada U.S.

Mother Mother 49% 47% 49%

Friends Friends 48% 46% 50%

Online videos Online videos 34% 21% 27%

Sister or other family member Sister or other family member 45% 43% 41%

Magazines and print media Magazines and print media 33% 23% 27%

Instagram, etc. Instagram, etc. 31% 23% 25%

(Source: Ipsos Global Advisor survey conducted between April 19 and May 3, 2019 among 19,029 adults in 27 countries. For full datasets, please visit

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, President, Canada, Market Strategy & Understanding |

Carla manages Ipsos Canada’s marketing and strategy specializations. A 30-year marketing veteran, Carla joined Ipsos since 2000, when the company acquired Angus Reid Group where she was then a vice president. Over time, she has held senior and executive vice president positions with local and global responsibilities for Ipsos. She earlier was vice president and co-owner of market research and consulting boutique Marketing Initiatives. A classically trained marketer, Carla began her career with Procter & Gamble Inc, working in brand management and market research for most of the company's product areas over six years. She has a passion for mentorship and leads Ipsos North American’s Women in Ipsos Mentorship initiative.

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