Christina (Tinx) Najjar did not set out to be a beauty influencer, a fashion influencer or anything of the like. But, with 1.4 million followers on TikTok and 365,000 on Instagram, the 31-year-old’s big-sister-you-wish-you-had persona is attracting the attention of the beauty and fashion industries nevertheless. Perhaps more so than most influencers, Tinx takes this power — and resulting responsibility — seriously. Her next biggest challenge may just be maintaining the realness and relatability that made her so popular. After all, she’s now walking the red carpet at traditional Hollywood events like the amfAR Gala and the People’s Choice Awards.
“Audiences are completely tired of this unrealistic life standard we got from the influencers that I had to look up to in my 20s. It was that perfect Instagram grid with tanned bodies, always on vacation, every outfit is designer, perfect boyfriend, perfect hair — that’s so unpalatable to people at this point,” she said. “Especially in a pandemic. It’s not only unrealistic, but it’s also just not entertaining. It’s not real. It’s not funny or cool. So I wanted to avoid that.”
“But I avoid it pretty naturally,” she added.
Tinx is known best for content that has nothing to do with fashion or beauty. Her posts include parodies of rich moms from different locales (see: a recent cameo by Gwyneth Paltrow) and lots of dating advice. And yet, products she loves, like a humble sold-on-Amazon water bottle from Simple Modern, frequently become cult favorites. So it’s no surprise that brands have started to reach out. In August, she partnered with Kiehl’s on a limited-edition kit of her favorite products from the brand, called “The Tinx Edit.” In November, she hosted a dinner for Bliss.
“I told my manager at the beginning, ‘I never want to promote any brands that I haven’t talked about naturally or that I don’t really love,’” she said. “And he said, ‘Well, that’s going to be an uphill battle. That’s not the name of the game in the influencer world.’ And I was like, ‘I don’t care.’”
She called working with brands that she truly loves “amazing brand marketing.” For example, “I had done a rant about Laura Mercier’s setting powder and how much I loved it. A year later, they invited me on a trip. And I was like, ‘This is so cool. Thank you for inviting me.’ And they said, ‘Well we saw that you always use our setting powder.’ And that just makes sense — because I’m happy to talk about it until I’m blue in the face, because it really is the best setting powder.”
And, true to her intent, Tinx, unlike almost every other influencer, does not use affiliate links. “Audiences are smart, and they can tell when an influencer is just in a cash grab,” she said. “All you have is the trust of your followers. Like, that’s all I have is my word.”