The Glossy 50 celebrates individual changemakers. They include executives who took their companies into new, competitive categories, industry newcomers who disrupted age-old processes, dealmakers who led groundbreaking partnerships and creatives whose work managed to cut through the noise. More from the series →
The New Class: It was a breakout year for these founders, designers and TikTokers.
Has anyone had a crazier year than Alix Earle? The 22-year-old TikTok star and podcaster started rapidly amassing followers back in January 2023. That was largely thanks to her relatability while taking followers along for the ride as she got ready for nights out as a University of Miami senior. Her candor about her struggles with acne and her journey taking Accutane also contributed to her climb. To date, she’s accumulated 6.1 million followers on TikTok and 3.2 million on Instagram.
Now, along with Madeline Argy, she’s one of the first two hosts to launch a podcast on podcaster Alex Cooper’s new podcast network, Unwell. Earle’s podcast, “Hot Mess with Alix Earle,” debuted on September 21.
“A lot of people will credit it as an overnight success,” Earle said of her popularity. “But I was trying for many years on TikTok, … [focusing on] many different niches. It wasn’t until my third, almost fourth year on TikTok that my videos started to get views.”
Once Earle hit her stride, she wound up reinventing a genre: Get Ready With Me. Formerly a staid content format for a makeup tutorial, she reimagined it as a conduit for storytelling while engaging in a daily beauty ritual. “Being entertaining and being a fun outlet for people to go to” were big reasons Earle’s take on the trend took off, she said.
Of her new podcast, Earle said, “I was looking for another path to go down in this post-grad era, and I wanted my audience to get to know me better — that was a huge thing for me this year. I thought a podcast would be the perfect platform [for] that.”
Other highlights of Earle’s whirlwind year have included traveling to Paris with L’Oréal and hitting Dubai for Tarte’s now-famous influencer trip. In August, she collaborated with Benefit Cosmetics on a curated, limited-edition makeup set with a case that reads, “Alix made me buy it.” And in July, she appeared in Tarte’s in-store ads at Ulta. The brand impact when Earle validates a product is so powerful that it’s earned a label throughout beauty: “the Alix Earle effect.”
Earle said working with the “massive” brands that she grew up wearing and loving, like Victoria’s Secret and L’Oréal, has been surreal.
In September, she was named to Forbes’s Top Creators 2023 List. The media brand stated that Earle had earned $5 million this year. On Reddit, and according to industry sources, it is said that Earle commands around $250,000 for a single TikTok post.
But “the most insane thing that has happened is being able to give back,” Earle said, referencing the scholarship she established in her name at her alma mater. “It’s been a great way to stay connected with the school, meet students that are still [there] and do more than just be in the traditional alumni crowd.”
As for what’s next, “I would love to start and build my own brand,” Earle said, noting that she’d want to share the behind-the-scenes process of doing so on her podcast. “[I am] definitely connected with beauty due to my content,” she said.
Click here to see all 2023 Glossy 50 honorees.