I AM INFLUENCER

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As someone who works in social media, I have seen so many changes over the past dozen or so years, and I haven’t really moved with them. I am all about the words, and storytelling and less about leveraging my social media accounts into businesses.

But I must move with the times, to remain relevant. And so with this in mind, I attended a beauty event this week and holy SHIT I have been living under a rock my friends.

I used to sometimes go to events, but quite frankly I got bored eating luke warm noodles from little boxes and being asked my opinion about air fresheners on camera. I couldn’t be enthused. I used to work quite a bit in the beauty industry so I decided to get my network on.

The brand is one that I like and use. IT Cosmetics. If you haven’t heard about their cult product Your Skin But Better, jump onto that toot sweet. I wear Medium Tan and it is all that and a bag of chips. I discovered it via an influencer.

Now that I have swung my sword of influence over you, let us recap the day.

I arrived at The Penthouse at The Ivy which is a super swanky apartment which is very instagram friendly. Walking into a room where I knew absolutely no one is not my favourite pastime.

The PR Girl asked me whether I was an influencer or was I media. I don’t consider myself to be either. I told her that I was a blogger. Of course my name wasn’t on the list as I had forgotten to RSVP because old and forgetful, but that didn’t matter. I walked through to the branded photography wall where a man instructed me to stand there, and smile.

I stood and smiled and felt like a total intruder. I gladly accepted an ice cold glass of Veuve Clicquot before taking my position of appearing to be a shag on a rock. Once my confidence cordial kicked in, I introduced myself to a few glamorous looking ladies and partook on some polite small talk.

“Where are you from?” “Are you an instagrammer?” “How many followers do you have?”

“A blogger? What do you blog about?”

It is a question I get asked often and is one that I find difficult to answer.

“Dry humping, um… politics. How to avoid getting chafe in the summertime. Getting yelled at because my dog did a wee out the front of an old ladies house and she insisted that I clean up after my dog… You know. Normal stuff.”

Eyebrows raised and excuses were made as to why they had to leave my company.

And then I noticed something. I was about 20 years older than everyone else in the room, and I was not INSANELY beautiful. Nor was I in a cute outfit.

ENTER THE INFLUENCERS.

The typical influencer at this event was in her early to mid twenties. She had very long shiny hair parted in the middle. And while her outfit was small, her handbag be Marc Jacobs and massive. Her makeup was heavily caked on and her eyebrows were something quite remarkable.

Her lips were perfect and pillowy, coated in colour and gloss. Her skin was breathtaking in its perfection. Her lashes were not the ones she was born with and a fair few had coloured contacts in, making their eyes a very unnatural yet remarkable colour.

They moved around in packs of four to five, asking the consultants intelligent questions about pigments. They took many a selfie. And the one thing that struck me the most was their complete confidence as they posed and snapped and chatted to each other in their little gangs.

I was in absolute heaven. It was like I was visiting Planet Kardashian. I thought about what I was up to at that age. I was probably sailing down the Nile, or visiting a Kibbutz in Israel. I used deodorant and toothpaste as my main beauty tools, and that if it was a good day. People watching at it’s finest, while I ate glorious food and drank glorious booze.

And then it struck me. This influencer palaver isn’t going to fade away anytime soon. I had a chat to the boss of IT Cosmetics about them and although we both wanted to really have an eyeroll competition, the truth is that using Influencers works, and is a very cost effective way to promote products. Long gone are the days where marketing budgets were spent on magazines. Online is where it is at.

Of course there is the problem of fake followers, influencer fraud and bot factories where you can pay to appear more popular than you actually are, but companies have wised up to these dodgy dealings.

All in all I had a very sweet time. I met some nice people including a few ex-Bachelor contestants as well as some lovely bloggers who, like me, write about the 40+ market.

I went to take my leave, but not before trying to track down the organisers to say thanks you. I entered the massive bathroom, which was something straight out of a porn film. It was black tiled, wall to wall. In the middle of is stood a huge, free-standing oval bathtub, and on that bathtub were perched 5 pert bottoms of gorgeous, shiny Influencers having a photoshoot.

“Wow,” I said out loud. “You guys look like the Kardashians…”

They totally squealed with joy and I took my old ass home. I can’t beat them and I sure as hell can’t join them, so it is back to the keyboard for me!

Do you have a favourite influencer?

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