Look, we all love Instagram, but sometimes it can feel like a bit of a zoo. Tik-Tok similarly, and Youtube, and all the other social media platforms just full to the brim of information. I understand we all contain multitudes, but sometimes you just want to go to one place to get one thing and have it all be straightforward and not feel like you’ve just come out of a tornado out the other side.
Anica Tuli thought so too, which is why she’s launching another social media app (wait for it, there’s a reason why this is better) called Rebeaut. Sick to death of trying to figure out which beauty profiles to follow on Instagram or comb through a 30-minute-long video on Youtube, Anica decided that enough was enough. She likes makeup, but where on earth does she start? How does she use this liquid blush? Which is the best formula for her skin? How can you do wing eyeliner on hooded eyes? What’s the difference between this lipstick and that lip stain? What does it all mean?
After drowning in a sea of questions, Anica thought enough is enough – she’s going to create a social media app dedicated to beauty that’s easy to use, completely alterable so to make content relevant to the user, that you can buy directly off. All the beauty knowledge without any of the faff.
Here we speak to Anica about the launch of her beauty platform, what’s so great about it, and why anybody can be an ‘influencer’. Yes, even you.
Hi Anica! What can you tell us about Rebeaut?
Hi! Rebeaut is a new social media platform focusing only on beauty tutorials. The app is a community for both upcoming beauty enthusiasts and people who are all-round generally obsessed with all things make-up, skincare and hair! The reason I thought this up because I love make-up and skincare, but I just didn’t know where to start.
My sister is actually a make-up artist in her own way. Not a professional one with a huge following, but she’s one of those people who loves to do make-up and try out the newest looks on herself. She really tried to create her own persona on Instagram and Youtube, but found it almost demotivating and frustrating to try and get a following.
I’m on the opposite end of the spectrum, where I love skincare and doing my hair, but would definitely not consider myself a make-up expert. It’s not that I’m not interested in it – quite the opposite! I would love to know how to try out new looks, and I spend hours in department stores like Selfridges looking at the newest beauty products, but I just never know what to pick up! Where do I even start?
I used to message my sister all the time asking, ‘What’s the new foundation?’ ‘What’s the best eyeshadow for my skin tone?’ ‘What would go with this dress?’ And I realised that there’s no place for me to go to start to understand all of this. Who do I even follow on Instagram? How do I find them? My sister was on the other side, trying to figure out how to reach people who she could help and connect with over beauty. So I decided to create this new platform, Rebeaut, where you can find all things beauty in one place.
So Rebeaut is the answer for those who don’t know where to start or who to follow?
If I search for “wing eyeliner” on Instagram, there are millions of results from millions of accounts and I don’t even know where to begin – especially to try and find someone who looks like me. The same goes for foundation or contouring; it’s hard for me to find someone to relate to.
On Rebeaut I can search my exact skin tone, and I can explore looks that I might like by people who look like I do. The same goes for the different shapes of wing eyeliner depending on your face – it’s all searchable, and through customized searching.
If you’re struggling with which products to invest in, this platform can help with that, too. The other day I asked my sister what new eyeshadow palette I should buy, so I went out and bought it, but when I got home I had no idea what to do with it! I spent so long searching through YouTube watching half-an-hour long videos from all these top influencers, but I don’t have the patience so I just gave up and went back to my tried-and-true cat eye. Even though I had spent £50 on a new eyeshadow palette.
On this platform, you can search for products people are using, and all the looks created with that make-up will show up – and again, it’s customizable, so I can choose to only see looks created with that specific eyeshadow palette by people with the same skin tone as me.
If you’ve ever wondered if a certain lip shade will suit your face, now you can search it and find out!
I just bought the new Hermès Lip Oil yesterday, and I went for a coral colour which was the closest thing I could buy to a nude. I was worried if it was going to suit me!
Well that’s part of my goal, to make sure that you’re not wasting money on products that don’t fit with your aesthetic. You can already show up to the shop knowing which products will suit you and which products won’t – so it takes a lot of the inconvenience and confusion out of beauty shopping.
Similarly with skincare, on the search bar you can choose what type of skin you have, whether it’s dry, oily, combination, or we have a future feature coming soon where you can even search an issue you’re having with your skin – and you can find people who are dealing with the same problem as you. Whether it’s acne or skin flare-ups, there will always be people struggling with these problems, so if you can interact with others, it’s kind of a fun way to share knowledge in these particular niches.
As you said it can be a pain for people with little amounts of patience to search through long videos for specific information that you need. What have you done with Rebeaut to make this easier to navigate and quicker to access?
With the huge success of Tik Tok, we’ve seen a shortening of attention spans and a need to convey information at a quick pace – and in an engaging way! We encourage our users to make it short and to the point, but we do have ability of up to 4 minutes for more intricate looks – like drag make-up for example, or elaborate hair styles.
The content is very to the point. That’s not to say it’s not fun and creative, but it’s more about connecting with people through the art of make-up and styling rather than talking to a camera about your life and doing make-up at the same time, which is what I think a lot of beauty YouTubers do. They’re a kind of celebrity, so lots of people watch them to keep up with their lives as well as liking their beauty content.
The voiceover tool is super handy for people as well, so we can have a sped-up version of the process with a commentary over the top – because nobody has time to sit there while you try and get your eyeliner crease just right.
Beauty can be quite white-washed, and I know that Caucasian people have a multitude of options while other ethnicities have more limited options. As a person of colour, did you struggle to find the right products for your skin tone? Was that why it was important to create customizable filtering?
Absolutely. The filter system on the app is not so exact that you have to know the exact Pantone code, but correct enough that you get a pretty good idea. Skin tones come in more shades than just black to white, there’s loads of different undertones as well, so we needed to reflect that so that everyone is included.
For skin type it’s the same. You don’t have to know how your skin works, you just have to have a general idea. This idea was built around people like me who don’t have the knowledge or patience when it comes to beauty, but still want to be involved in the discourse, so making it so precise would exclude exactly the people I’m creating this app for!
Of course, it’s still a process
. We are always developing new aspects of the app to make it better and better every time, but I wanted to make it easy to find other users, products, looks, and styles that are all relative to you. My ideal situation is to find what you’re looking for on the app in under a minute – and be able to buy if off there too.
The beauty sphere can be very excluding to your everyday social media user. Are you worried that the only users will be beauty influencers? Who’s your target market?
On one hand you want the well-known beauty influencers because they have experience and also a great following – people love what they do. But the whole purpose of Rebeaut is for everyone to be their own beauty influencer. I truly believe that everyone has their own look and style that makes them special. If I’m going out to dinner with some friends (of whom none are beauty influencers) and someone’s make-up or skin looks great, I’m going to ask them what they’re using. The best and most authentic way of marketing is word of mouth, and you don’t have to be an “influencer” with millions of followers to be influential.
On Instagram, it’s unlikely that you’ll post your skincare routine or your beauty routine because it might make you feel uncomfortable – it’s not built for that. While for Rebeaut, that’s its purpose! It’s a place for people to go to say, “Hey, here’s what I use, and here’s what works for me.”
My aim is to encourage people to use it as an everyday platform, to really get the conversation going. You don’t have to be the Kylie Jenner of the world to be a part of the beauty world and have your voice heard.
There’s a critique for Instagram that people are always putting the best versions of their life forward that doesn’t actually reflect the vicissitudes of their everyday. Do you think Rebeaut will be more freeing in that respect that users won’t feel ashamed of posting their bare face doing make-up looks?
Absolutely! If you think of your usage on Instagram or Tiktok, it’s unlikely (unless you’re really into beauty) that you’d be posting yourself getting ready or showing the way you achieve the perfect cat eye… It’s just the wrong audience. While on Rebeaut you can post what you’ve been doing and say, “Hey, I tried this out but I’m really struggling with it. Does anybody have any tips?” and it opens up the conversation. You’re asking fellow people who are also interested in beauty. I longed for a place where I could speak to people who could help me and give me advice – guide me!
So not just an educational aspect, but creating a community as well?
Exactly. Everybody has their own routine, has their own go-to products, has their own DIY style, that by the end of the day, everyone is a beauty influencer in their own way – they just don’t know it yet.
Whenever I go out and people complement my make-up, I get self-conscious because I am not a make-up artist. I feel like people think they have to have a large following to get validation for being good at what they do, and it’s not true! Your audience is out there, you just have to find them in the right place. If someone likes my make-up, then they want my advice. I want to take this insecurity of people thinking they can only be good at beauty if they have influencer status – which is not the way it should be.
Is it more for looks you can wear in real life, or do you also encourage more avant-garde designs like drag looks?
I want people to express themselves as they see fit, because everybody has their own style, right? I just hope that people upload looks as it is in real life and not a photoshopped version – because as great as it looks in that one picture, it’s all about what looks can be achieved in the real world with a bit of personality and creativity. I want to bring the reality back to beauty.
Whether you’re into drag or daily looks (or both), I want it to be that lesser-known artists can show off their work. Everybody follows the drag queens from Ru Paul’s Drag Race, but there are so many others that have such amazing skills that aren’t known about! I want to be able to find them easily – not just because they already have a huge following.
It really frustrates me how there’s so many other people who actually might be better than the top five that everyone follows, but it’s so hard to find them. Sorting through Instagram is almost impossible too because they’re competing with all the categories of the world! Hopefully Rebeaut will give a platform to those lesser-known artists with just as much talent, and give them a place to show off what they can do.
Rebeaut is launching worldwide on the App Store this week.
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