How To Find The Coolest Beauty Products On Instagram

We know you're well aware of the powers of Instagram, whether you're looking for design inspiration for your new apartment or to get to the bottom of who this girl is your ex is dating. But did you know the 'gram is a bona fide beauty-product mecca, where under-the-radar indie brands are getting some well-deserved attention? Brands like ColourPop and Melt Cosmetics have followers in the millions, with hundreds of equally famous bloggers singing their praises. The app is such a treasure trove that Richard Parrott, the president of Ricky's NYC, has opened a beauty store in New York City aptly called # (pronounced "hashtag"), which stocks Insta-famous products. We caught up with Parrott to find out how we, too, can discover the coolest new products on the beloved app. Turns out, it's all about knowing where (and how) to look.

Makeup Artists & Bloggers
"Makeup artists and bloggers are extremely influential," says Parrott. "[Most] aren’t being paid or pressured [to endorse a product], and it’s more organic." Parrott loves keeping up with makeup artists Angel Merino and Manny Gutierrez. "It's a cool thing to see guys doing it right now," he says. "I think it inspires people, because it's new to see these men using makeup and being artists with such incredible beauty and talent." Parrott also mentions YouTuber Jaclyn Hill and Sugarpill Cosmetics founder Amy Doan (also known as Shrinkle) as "huge influencers" on the 'gram. "It's about a real endorsement," he says of his willingness to trust an Instagrammer over a paid celebrity. "The days of being able to sell somebody snake oil is over. It needs to have a perceived value to it."

A photo posted by J A C L Y N ? (@jaclynhill) on

Follow Beauty-Specific Hashtags

Using hashtags is one of the easiest ways to find new makeup artists and brands, which will introduce you to awesome products. Parrott finds #bblogger and #mua particularly helpful. "I use hashtags to see what's new out there, or to find somebody I haven't seen before," says Parrott. Always Read The Comments
Parrott emphasizes the importance of quality dialogue between consumers and brands. He peruses the comments on posts to "gauge the actual engagement that people have." When looking for noteworthy new brands, he looks to see how brands react to comments — those that have close relationships with their consumers are ones to look out for. You'll also see how the community is responding to certain products, and use these responses as mini reviews before purchasing.

A photo posted by IMATS (@imatsofficial) on

Follow Cool Brands & Organizations
This will keep you in the know when it comes to launches, and can often lead to more cool finds. Parrott suggests following IMATS (International Make-Up Artist Trade Show). The organization brings together hundreds of brands and makeup artists, and posts regularly. Brands, including Dose of Colors and Gerard Cosmetics, often repost Instagrams from bloggers who have used their products, so they can help you find new influencers. If you see a blogger you like, check out his or her feed — you never know what you may find.

Finally, Let Yourself Explore
Parrott says there are no hard-and-fast rules for finding innovative products on Instagram. Like most things in life, it's all about trial and error — and letting yourself discover new things. Parrott peruses Instagram in the mornings, and taps and taps until he finds something he likes. "Instagram is just a different search vehicle," he says. "You're able to get believable and real reactions and interactions from people. It's the most organic search you can make — it's something that grows on its own."

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