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7 Lessons From The Instagram Aesthetics of Top Beauty Brands

The Internet changed life as we know it. First, internet access brought online chat rooms and communities into our lives. Then came social media, which was a revolution in itself. Slowly with each social media platform’s advent into our lives, our lifestyle and communication style changed. 

Today, we cannot go a minute without scrolling through our phones. 

But the biggest change happened in the lives of business owners. The world opened up, and the sky truly became the limit. It was both exhilarating and challenging. 

Running a business on social media also means staying updated on current trends and catering to your community’s every whim and fancy. 

Things that were never a consideration for businesses have become indispensable factors in their growth. One such aspect is the need for an Instagram aesthetic for every brand on the platform. 

And this change happened quite quickly. If you had told a brand 5 years ago that they need to decide their Instagram aesthetic before going live, no one would have even understood you. But hey, that day came three years ago and is here to stay. 

While having an Instagram aesthetic in place helps all brands, some industries and niches can not do without it. 

Beauty as a heavily visual niche is among them. 

This blog by Kimp explores how up-and-coming beauty brands can establish a stunning and effective Instagram Aesthetic. We bring you lessons from top brands in this niche so that you know it works. 

Let’s get into it. 

Significance of Instagram Aesthetic for Beauty Brands

You may wonder why we are focusing on Instagram Aesthetics for beauty brands specifically. It is a great question, and if you have been observing this industry closely, you know it defies all the usual rules for Instagram engagement. 

Unlike other brands, Beauty brands post more images than videos and still see a great increase in their engagement rates. This means that customers want to see more images and curated displays of their products over other content forms.

And let’s look at how the industry performs as a whole on Instagram. The beauty industry loves the platform and spends the highest on Instagram for its paid campaigns. In fact, they have embraced the Instagram shopping features too instantly. 

“Instagram reigns supreme for paid campaigns among these four digital channels for top cosmetic brands,” says Alon Leibovich, co-founder, and CEO of BrandTotal, to Forbes. “Given the younger demographics associated with these brands and the nature of Instagram as an inherently visual medium, it’s a no-brainer that makeup brands make Instagram their platform of choice when it comes to their social marketing strategies.”

What these numbers and anecdotes don’t outright tell you is that the competition is quite stiff on Instagram. If you want your brand to stand out, you need a distinct personality and a feed that attracts your customers to stay with you. And Instagram aesthetics help you build the visual representation of that personality, especially for beauty brands

So now that we know how significant Instagram Aesthetics is for your beauty brands, are you ready to build one for your brand? 

Do you also want to know the secret sauce of mainstream and niche beauty brands on Instagram?

Why wait? Scroll down to dive right into it. 

7 lessons from top beauty brands’ Instagram Aesthetics 

Beauty brands have an unprecedented advantage on Instagram. The audience loves watching you, for some, it is even therapeutic. But, the competition is breathing down your neck, and you cannot do anything lesser than your absolute best. 

Given the sheer volume of beauty brands on Instagram, choosing the right aesthetic can go a long way in standing out from the competition. Not to mention, it is immensely beneficial for brand building, especially if you are a new brand. People remember images more than text, and a cohesive Instagram aesthetic can make you memorable easily. 

So, what do you need to ensure your Instagram aesthetic is on point? Let’s see what the top brands are doing and take our cues from there. 

1. Understand your branding identity 

Instagram aesthetics are a medium to express who you are to your audience. And if you want to do it well, ensure that your branding identity is in place. Social media branding is a subset of your overall branding, and they have to work together harmoniously. Jumping into building an Instagram aesthetic for your beauty brand before having the branding in place can prove counterproductive. 

Consider a customer who wants to buy from you based on your Instagram ads. This is what that process of discovery looks like : 

Instagram ad—> Profile visit—-> Explore the products and content—-> Clicks on the shopping option—> Visits site to complete purchase. 

They interact with your Instagram Aesthetic and your branding’s visual identity (via landing pages/ecommerce store) in the same journey. These two identities must work well together for a pleasant user experience that reinforces the brand’s identity. 

Consider the Australian brand Ayu. It is a Vedic beauty brand and has an Instagram aesthetic that uses a lot of earthy tones. When you take a look at its website, the identity resonates with what you see on Instagram. 

Source: Instagram

Kimp Tip: To ensure branding consistency, you can either work with a design team like Kimp Graphics that can deliver branding designs and Instagram aesthetics. Or develop a branding style guide so that the team knows what to work with. 

Wondering how to design a brand style guide? Check our blog here

2. Know your audience 

Understanding your target audience is important to achieve Instagram aesthetics that resonate with them. You may think that your branding already takes this into account, so why go through this again? It is because branding considers your overall audience while Instagram aesthetics has to appeal to the specific section of customers on the platform. 

Balancing your branding and a design style that appeals to your Instagram audience is a fine line that you must cover carefully. When someone comes across your content on their feed or Instagram explore page, they will only tap ahead if it resonates with them.

And if you bring them back to your profile (For links and store details), the Instagram aesthetic is what seals the deal, mostly.

Consider Elementary scents. They are a UK-based bold and natural scent brand. Now they target millennials and Gen Z on Instagram, and it is obvious from their Instagram aesthetic. The brand has chosen a colorful and nature-based aesthetic to appeal to nature lovers. However, the designs are quirky and bold to appeal to their target audience

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Source: Instagram

Kimp Tip: Color pop is a popular Instagram aesthetic and is a good way to go if you want to appeal to the younger generation. But, ensure you balance the feed well and it does not end up looking too bold. As Elementary Scents does, you can use white backgrounds and an infusion of neutral tones for that.

Looking for a team to build an Instagram aesthetic that appeals to your audience? Connect with Kimp Graphics today! 

3. Pick a vibe before Instagram aesthetic 

Vibes are very important on Instagram or any social media platform. Social media users make quick judgments and have very low attention spans. So brands are always under pressure to make the right first impression. But how do you do that on a visual-centric platform like Instagram?

Well, did you know that our brain associates different emotions with different colors? Yes, you must have heard of color psychology that deals in this area. And we are going to leverage this exact behavior to pick a vibe and Instagram aesthetic for your beauty brand. 

Based on the image you want to project such as conservative or playful, you can pick the appropriate color tone. For example, let us consider a highly successful Instagram beauty brand – Glow Recipe. It is a cruelty-free brand focusing on bringing out one’s inner glow. The brand boasts of a pink and bright Instagram aesthetic, as you can see. 

Anyone looking at it will instantly relate it to a happy, cheerful, and glowing vibe. And boom! Success! And we mean it. This Korean beauty brand has 1 million followers and has had over $30 million in sales in the last four years.  

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Source: Instagram

Understanding the principles of color psychology and how people relate to different colors can help you pick the right shade for your Instagram aesthetic. Check our guide here for more on this. 

4. Think of the grid before you pick an aesthetic 

The whole point of concentrating on Instagram aesthetics is to improve the user experience of someone exploring your Instagram profile. Now Instagram organizes your content into a grid with 3 columns. Explore aesthetics that play with this feature. 

Confused? Let us explain. 

Consider the example of the Kerastase official Instagram page. The brand focuses on hair care products and consistently features models and products on its feed. Now, featuring faces is good for engagement on the platform, but it makes your profile look very busy. The brand understood this and has designed the feed in a way that the tiles with white background break up the space well. The result is a very sophisticated and pleasing Instagram aesthetic. 

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Source: Instagram

Some other examples of designing the Instagram aesthetic keeping the grid in mind is exploring a row/column aesthetic. Here, you dedicate a column or row for a particular content to form a table-view. This is especially effective when you want to highlight products on your page. 

A good example is the L’Oréal Paris page. 

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Source: Instagram

Each row celebrates a specific product, as you can see from the images. 

Some brands also break the overall grid into 3×3 grids to form smaller sections that highlight a particular product, campaign, or announcement. You can also try the puzzle aesthetic in this case for a sophisticated look. Check the examples below to know more. 

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Source: Instagram
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Source: Instagram

Want to explore different Instagram aesthetic models but are worried about the budget? Try Kimp’s unlimited design services Kimp Graphics and Kimp Video to get the design of your dreams without budget constraints.

5. Invest in quality 

Your Instagram aesthetic is a representation of who you are. So beyond the design style, you also have the responsibility of translating your ethos and values on your Instagram profile. And none of your designs will make an impact if the quality is not high. Beauty brands or your competitors on Instagram post an average of 2.04 posts per day, and most of them are images. Without quality, your aesthetic will not make a mark. 

As we said, customers judge you based on how your Instagram profile translates to them. By publishing substandard images, you are setting the wrong impression on your customers, and nobody wants them.

High-quality images attract customers and make them perceive you as a high-quality brand worthy of their time and money. 

Check out this Instagram profile. What is your impression the minute you lay your eyes on them? High-quality products, right? The image and production quality are major reasons for that. 

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Source: Instagram

Kimp Tip: When you have a product-focused Instagram aesthetic like Creed, product photography makes the difference between a great or mediocre profile. You can achieve high-quality images even if you shoot on a smartphone. All you need is a good editing team like Kimp Graphics

Check our guide on product photography here

6. Neutral tones keep it real

Social media has evolved quite a bit from its inception days. People no longer want false fantasies but will work with brands that show them real products. Authenticity has become a driving factor in choosing a brand, especially for the younger generation. 

Not to forget that the beauty industry has faced a lot of flak for hiding real skin and causing body images in their consumers. You can solve many of these issues by choosing an Instagram aesthetic that celebrates authenticity and the real side of your products. 

The olden days of pink, bright, and pastel aesthetic days of Instagram are slowly fading, and it is time for beauty brands to embrace neutral tones. 

Marc Jacobs is a big name in the beauty industry, and they show us the way how to use neutral tones in Instagram aesthetics the right way. 

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Source: Instagram

NARS Cosmetics also follows a neutral tone Instagram aesthetic to keep things real for the audience. 

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Source: Instagram

Kimp Tip: Even if your products or images do not have a neutral tone or color in them, you can change the existing ones with a filter or editing preset so that the neutral tones are more prominent. Work with your design team if this is the aesthetic you wish to project. 

7. Brand color aesthetics help recall

Sometimes, it is good to take the obvious route, and that is what a Monochrome Instagram aesthetic is all about. Since we all know that your aesthetic on Instagram must celebrate your branding identity, the best choice is to pick brand colors. 

Here, you have two choices : 

  • Pick a single color from your brand colors and design an Instagram aesthetic around it for your brand. This works better if your branding identity has one dominant color, and that color works well with your products and campaigns too. 
  • Combine all your brand colors and design an Instagram aesthetic. If you feel that all your brand colors have equal weightage and connection with the audience, pick this option. 

Check these two examples to understand this a little better. 

Kylie Cosmetics is the most followed beauty brand on Instagram, and the brand is quite popular with its audience outside of Instagram too. So a brand color-based Instagram aesthetic was a natural choice for this beauty brand. 

All the images celebrate the brand colors (Coral pink & red), as we can see from the snapshot. 

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Source: Instagram

But what if your brand identity has over two prominent colors as Laneige has? Then, you can rotate the color themes and design an aesthetic, as we see below in the images.

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Source: Instagram

With a little creativity, you can make your brand memorable with your Instagram aesthetic. Want to see this in action? Sign up for a Kimp Graphics subscription today! 

Choose Kimp for an attractive Instagram Aesthetic 

Wow! Designing an Instagram aesthetic sounds like a lot of work, right? Well, it can be. But the good news is if you do it right when you begin, your work is all but done. Then the design team can take over and ensure all your content follows the same aesthetic. 

Consistency is very important in content creation, especially on social media. If something goes off the mark, customers are quick to spot and react. And that is why you need a professional on the job.

Work with Kimp Graphics and Kimp Video to ensure consistency, quality design work, and creativity in your social media content. 

And with unlimited design requests, revision requests, user profiles, and services across 100+ design categories, you do not have to look anywhere else for your design needs. All this at a flat monthly fee and no hidden charges. 

We have a free trial too if you want to try our service before committing. Sign up today!