Over the past year, many of us began to think of our hobbies outside of work. For me, it wasn't so easy. See, I get paid to write about Victoria Beckham's favourite blush, which means that work is usually fun. But, I've found that pigeonholes can lead to creative burnout, and content diversification helps.
When I do clock out (metaphorically), I'm often where the kids are, on Instagram or TikTok. Beyond Twitter memes and ASMR food videos, most of what draws me in falls dangerously close to, but just outside of, the scope of my job: fashion and beauty.
I follow the major style publications and bloggers, too. Though, through the progression of Instagram, I've noticed that now, many of the Instagram influencers — now creators — I follow bleed into my work life. More to the point, influencers have a point of view on fashion and beauty, and sometimes, the one that's not their choice field is more appealing.
Recently, I was talking to Marianna Hewitt about her own content, which is very much a mix of beauty and fashion. Lately I've noticed it's skewing more the latter. She says this is partly because her followers want to know everything she's wearing. "As you build a relationship with your audience they may think of you as an expert in one area, but they are followers of your overall lifestyle and trust your judgement and appreciate your taste," she explains. "Beauty influencers are sharing more lifestyle as a whole, fashion girls are sharing their beauty routines — the lines are so blurred."
In terms of general aesthetics, many influencers say one area fuels content creativity in another. "Fashion trends impact beauty trends," explains Sivan Ayla, a California-based pubic figure who authored a book on how to grow as an influencer. "For example, green had a major moment over the summer, and I was all of a sudden targeted by green eyeliner ads all over Instagram. For me, there is a clear distinction between my beauty content and my fashion or accessories content, but it’s usually within the same aesthetic so it works together in a cohesive way."
In a recent interview with model, celebrity, and general style influencer Hailey Bieber, she talked about the way she thinks about the connection between what she wears and how she does her hair and makeup. "My approach to makeup is less is more," she explained, adding that she "usually only wears" concealer, highlighter, blush, and eyebrow gel. For her, fashion is more experimentation where beauty is minimalism — that is, unless she wears a holographic eyeliner for fun.
For fashion-industry experts, beauty has always been kind of like a part to the whole. It's not bare-faced and low bun. Instead, it's about being mindful. Stylist and influencer Michelle Li put it well, calling makeup "an accessory" that can "elevate an outfit," but also might distract from it. "Sometimes I think, 'Oh man, this look is complicated and crazy enough that I should keep the makeup simple,'" Li said in her recent profile on Into The Gloss. "So either I'm doing a full look, or I'm not wearing makeup."
On my own feed, I might shop jeans based off a recommendation from Hewitt, use Bieber as an inspiration for how to pull my hair back, and pick up a face mask off Li's Swipe Up. Like anything, we're all fluid and evolving, and nothing has to be niche or mutually exclusive.