Underground Beauty: Secret Communities vs Bloggers #ipsyOS

Underground Beauty: Secret Communities vs Bloggers

May 23, 2017

Are the days of unbiased beauty advice a thing of the past? While reports say that bloggers are trusted sources – Forbes highlighted that 92% of consumers trust an influencer more than an advertisement or traditional celebrity endorsement last year – in the age of increasingly sponsored content and brand-funded collaborations, the legitimacy of creators is being called into question.

The answer? ‘Beauty is going guerilla’, explains a recent Refinery29 article, which reveals the growing formation of hidden Facebook groups and online forums (like the OS Facebook forum!), where ‘peer-to-peer recommendations can be passed without exploitation from big brands and their advertising bucks.’ Some of the groups mentioned already boast almost 80k members – while ours is around an intimate 2k – but why are they proving so popular?

By Invitation Only

Much like any secret society, you need a friend who’s already a member to invite you into one of these ‘hidden’ groups. You can’t even search for it on Facebook. This not only keeps the community exclusive (and exciting!) but also allows moderators to police posters that don’t follow the rules. Sales reps for brands beware: You’ll be thrown out for pushing your products.

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Take On The Trolls

Similarly, negative comments are deleted, with repeat offenders removed from the group. You won’t find the harmful spam for which the online beauty community has been criticized for here, unlike on Instagram’s banned hashtags. Though it’s worth mentioning that there may be potential risks in asking strangers for advice – though the comments are kinder, the authority of the posters may not be instantly obvious.

Beauty Has No Borders

The industry sometimes gets a bad rep for being populated by naturally wealthy people – or those lucky enough to benefit from more than a few freebies – as well as skewed demographics in terms of race, gender, etc. These secret communities hope to reflect a friendly, responsive and unbiased section of society, with one thing that unites them: Beauty.

A Caring Community

One of the women in Refinery29’s study described her fellow members as ‘so positive and supportive of one another – it made me want to join in, post, answer questions and become part of a very genuine and uplifting community.’ And the site found that authenticity to be true, with the majority of posts were free from retouching, with an emphasis on cost-efficient rather than the trendiest products.

Are you a part of any secret beauty societies? 

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