Is #sephorasquad a #scam?

I’m sure you’ve heard about #sephorasquad, but in case you’ve been living under a rock:

#SephoraSquad is a different kind of beauty-influencer program.

We celebrate the most authentic and inspiring voices in the digital beauty space. We value unique, unfiltered, sorry-not-sorry storytellers, no matter the number of followers they have. That’s why the program offers long-term partnerships—a 2019 paid contract with Sephora—to those who share their beauty truths.

Ones who shout their triumphs and their struggles. 
Ones who’ll try any trend once and not think twice about it. 
Ones who leave heart emojis and thoughtful replies.

Sound like you? Let’s squad up: We are actively accepting applications for our 2019 #SephoraSquad.

This sounds fantastic, right? I didn’t apply because I’m fundamentally lazy and missed the deadline, but a lot of the small creators I follow on Instagram and YouTube applied. Many of them would be perfect for this, based on Sephora’s stated goals. Take Theresa Is Dead for example: talk about unique and unfiltered, damn. Most of her videos start with a weird story from her daily life in NYC, and the stuff is insane and hilarious. She’s also totally real and doesn’t hold back when she has an opinion. She’s not a full-time “creator” and goes to work every day, so she’s more connected to the real world and I feel like she’s more relatable.

Also, she’s fat. And gloriously unapologetic about it.

Sephora announced the semi-finalists today, and none of the creators I was hoping would make it did. Theresa posted the lame form letter she received from Sephora, saying that she’s not surprised, and that makes me sad. She’s exactly what they claim to be looking for. So what do the semi-finalists have that she doesn’t have?

Looking at some of them, there are men and women of all colors, and that’s nice, but they’re all in their early 20s. Like none of the ones I’ve seen could possibly be over 25. One dude looks like James Charles with a chubbier face and blond hair. They’re all conventionally beautiful with excellent bone structure and on-point makeup skills. They all scream INFLUENCER, instead of real person.

Oh, and they all have a ton of followers and are big on Instagram. That’s odd. I thought they didn’t care about current follower numbers.

Now, it could be a coincidence, and I’ve only seen five of the semi-finalists, but it’s a bit fishy. If they wanted people who are already big on social media they could have said so. No one would have been surprised. But if that’s what they were looking for, how is it any different from how they operate now? Why have a new, official program for it?

Now I’m really glad that I didn’t put in the effort to apply. Clearly I’m too old, fat and real for Sephora.

What do you think about this? Do you follow any small creators who made it into the semi-finals?

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6 Comments

  1. alwayscleia
    Permalink

    I applied, didn’t make it. I’m also not surprised. As soon as I submitted my application (which I spend a good hour on) the next page told me to ask my followers to submit testimonials about why they enjoy my content. I knew then that it was actually a popularity contest, I doubt they even read my application like they said they did.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • Teresa
      Permalink

      Man, that makes me sad. I was hoping that Sephora was actually trying to do something new and give awesome creators a chance. I’m so tired of these huge, cookie cutter creators. At this point, I don’t even watch any of the big channels because they’re boring and I don’t want to support them.

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      Reply
      • alwayscleia
        Permalink

        It’s hard to relate to big creators too. I still watch Tati and Kathleen Lights but I also watch a ton of influencers who are still under 100K. Most of them have other jobs and families and I like that I can still relate to them.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Teresa
        Permalink

        For sure. I haven’t been able to relate to Tati since she did the video with Jeffree Star on her plane. Or his plane. Whatever. They’re not flying commercial so I find it difficult to believe that they’re into drugstore makeup.

        Liked by 1 person

      • alwayscleia
        Permalink

        I didn’t see that one, though I tend not to click on videos with Jeffree star. I’m not really interested in supporting him =/

        Like

  2. Sarah
    Permalink

    Thanks for the article! It makes me feel better as I applied, got over 200 real testimonials and have created a community of Sephora makeup artists from being a client and blogging it on my Instagram for fun and for the passion of art, makeup and showcasing the artists talent in NYC. I didn’t get in and feel like it was a scam as no real people did 😦

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    Reply

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