Media coverage of practically anything these days includes an obligatory portion of social media commentary. Which can range from a few tweets, posts and likes to an endless stream of video clips and instantaneous assessments.
For journalists covering New York’s semi-annual Fashion Week, social media reporting has become more than just a routine add-on to longer-form descriptions of the latest styles and accessories.
Beauty bloggers have leapfrogged their fashion counterparts by taking to Twitter, Facebook and the like – not while sitting in the front row alongside the industry’s major tastemakers – but while worming their way backstage to break stories and deconstruct concepts just seconds before the audience sees them hit the runway.
The practice is arguably more than just another angle to an otherwise heavily covered story. It’s broadened the focus of coverage to emphasize the beauty beat. And with some beauty bloggers claiming to have hundreds of thousands of unique visitors to their sites, the “mascara crowd”, as a recent New York Times article called them, have taken on a new importance. As has the subject they cover:
- Beauty bloggers have given increased attention to certain trends that might otherwise be taken more as a flash in the pan – such as outlandish hairstyles and shocking colors of eye shadow
- Word about the latest innovations in makeup and hair tends to grab attention across a variety of demographics, not just among those with the figure to wear certain clothes
- Some print media, including New York magazine, have begun including backstage beauty shots as part of their coverage of events such as the Grammy Awards
And the influence of beauty bloggers doesn’t stop there. More mainstream-minded reporters were already using Twitter’s new Vine feature – which allows users to post 6-second, sometimes looping video clips to their accounts – to give readers an up-close and instant look at the runway proceedings. According to Mashable, designers and retailers have recently taken to using Vine to bring viewers backstage. While that move might have happened eventually without the presence of beauty bloggers, it’s a good bet that their dogged determination has prompted some of their fashion-minded colleagues to join the crowd.
As with any trend, the fact that it’s beginning to be noticed as such likely means that beauty blogging is in for a few changes – including limits to how many of their number can be backstage at any given time. And, with other media outlets seizing upon the latest wrinkle in the popularity of beauty coverage, bloggers might need to find yet another way to scoop the competition.
For now, though, it looks as though the beauty world is enjoying its newfound time in the light – even if it’s the kind that typically surrounds makeup mirrors backstage.