A University of Mississippi student hopes to turn her passion for beauty and fashion into a full-time career as a beauty blogger and influencer.
Blogging and influencing can be difficult. Forbes reports: “If you really want to go from hobby blogger to pro, you must be willing to work hard, invest in training and stick it out for the long haul — expect to wait a year or more before you can attract enough traffic to monetize your blog.”
Casey Baril, 18, is a UM sophomore studying integrating marketing and communications. She is a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority and the UM French Club. Baril wants to become a “beauty influencer.”
“I started realizing my love for makeup and beauty and gathered that there were endless professions in this area of work,” she said. “So many people are self-made artists, and it’s inspiring to see so many people become popular because of it. With most makeup being so expensive, I started looking into other outlets to see where I could get the most benefits, and that was being a beauty influencer.”
Baril began beauty influencing in May 2016. She receives products from beauty brands, often free. She tests the products sent to her, then shares her opinion of the products through social media and word of mouth.
Baril uses her personal social media accounts to promote the products she is sent, but she hopes to create another account in the near future for beauty influencing. She uses all major social media platforms, such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Snapchat.
As for working with brands, Baril said: “I have worked with a lot of brands, but the biggest ones are Tarte, E.L.F., L’Oreal and Ipsy. However, more often than not, I will get packages with various small-name brands included.”
Baril said she puts two to three hours a day into working as a beauty influencer. “I talk to people every day about my different experiences with products and brands. It’s honestly just something I can incorporate into my everyday life.”
Because the blogging and influencing industry as a career is such an unreliable job, success is difficult to define. While one person may love a blog, others might not. Many times, profit in this field is earned through clicks on affiliate links, ads, and sponsored content from companies.
Baril works independently as an influencer. “There’s a lot of different levels of success in this field,” she said. “There are people who get paid just to post on Instagram and try products. However, I would say I’m doing well because my main goal is just to help people figure out which products are worth their time and money, and I do exactly that”
For now, Baril’s beauty influencing is just a hobby, but she hopes to work on the marketing and promotions team for a makeup company. “That’s essentially what I’m doing now, but for a company and on a much bigger scale”
When beginning blogging and beauty influencing, Baril’s advice is: “Never give up. It’ll take time to build a fan base or build relationships with brands, but I promise you will get there”
According to Baril, the benefits of working as a beauty influencer are, “the free products, the guidance I can give people, and the relationships I have built.”
After trying numerous products, Baril said her favorite brands are Tarte, Benefit Cosmetics and IT Cosmetics. She loves eyebrow products and mascara and can’t leave the house without them.
Carlisle Rieveschl is a UM freshman IMC major from New Orleans who recently started her own beauty and fashion blog. She says her favorite beauty products are bronzer and cover up.
“Starting a blog is a lot of work,” Rieveschl said. “You have to pick a domain name and decide if you want to pay for a domain or just use the free site from the media platform.”
There’s a lot behind the scenes when it comes to blogging. Bloggers need to know what they are going for when creating a blog. There’s a need for photography skills, design ability and good content.
“Making a profit takes time with blogging,” Rivescl said. “A lot of times, you cannot put ads on your blog until you have it up for several months. In order to get affiliate links, you have to apply to companies. Plus a lot of profit is based on clicks and site views, so you have to be able to establish yourself and have a good following base.”
Making a profit out of beauty blogging and influencing is a difficult career. However, many girls are stepping into this industry as a popular career path outside of college. Profit is tentative and can come and go.