New York (CNN)Hyram Yarbro already helped make one skincare brand popular with Gen-Z. Now, Sephora is betting he can do it with his own.
Yarbro, who has a nearly cult-like following on TikTok for his reviews of popular beauty products, will launch his own skincare line — Selfless by Hyram — exclusively online and in Sephora stores in the United States and 29 other countries on June 24.
The brand (priced from $20 to $30) has five products ranging from a green tea gel cleanser to an exfoliating serum and was developed in partnership with affordable British skincare brand The Inkey List.
The new line points to the growing importance of influencers to major brands. While some companies have cut back on their spending on influencer marketing in the pandemic, it has actually grown in popularity overall, according to market intelligence firm eMarketer.
“Large brands were tapping influencers in the early days of the pandemic out of necessity because they needed to find an easy way to produce content when so much of business was closed,” said Jasmine Enberg, eMarketer’s senior analyst of global trends. “They learned that influencers can be a powerful part of the marketing plan.”
Last October, Sephora also launched a cosmetics collection called Makeup By Mario by celebrity makeup artist and beauty influencer Mario Dedivanovic, whose Instagram account boasts 8.6 million followers. Beauty brand Morphe teamed up with singer/songwriter and social influencer Madison Beer to debut the Morphe X Madison Beer collection in September 2020.
Skincare has proved to be a resilient category in the pandemic. While consumers pulled back from buying makeup in 2020, they shifted their attention to enhancing their skincare routines, helping boost sales of face creams, serums, cleansers and exfoliators.
Yarbro has nearly 7 million followers for his @skincarebyhyram TikTok account and close to 5 million subscribers to his YouTube channel, where he posts short-form videos about skin care.
In his short TikTok videos, he responds to other TikTok users’ videos showing their personal skincare routines by chiming in with his blunt assessment— good or bad — about the products they use and the ingredients in them. Then, he offers his own recommendations.
In particular, Yarbro is known for helping to popularize a dermatologist-favored, 16-year-old drug store brand called CeraVe.
The brand’s owner, L’Oreal (LRLCF), said Yarbro’s endorsement “absolutely boosted sales,” and it resulted in a paid partnership for Yarbro with L’Oreal to produce content for TikTok and YouTube.
Yarbro was planning to pursue Selfless by Hyram on his own. But a conversation he had early last year with The Inkey List founders Colette Laxton and Mark Curry planted the seed for a partnership. He had already profiled their brand several times in his videos.
“I know my audience really well. It’s a movement-led generation. So I wanted to create a brand that gives back, ” said Yarbro, noting that the brand will make donations to support organizations focused on fighting deforestation and increasing the availability of clean drinking water. He said, “What would have been a smaller effort had I gone on my own will be amped up through the partnership with The Inkey List.”
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