Facebook’s live video capability is changing the game for beauty publishers.

Beauty magazines and online publications are all experimenting with Facebook Live for tutorials, tips, product reviews, and interviews with influencers and beauty experts through unscripted and behind-the-scenes video.

In an age where the internet is saturated with video — for beauty in particular — publishers are using the live element to differentiate from competitors and many are placing their editors and other staff on front and centre stage. The audience interaction element allows publishers to answer questions its audience specifically want to know, in real time, as well personalizing what traditionally has come in the form of written articles. 

Here’s a look at what five beauty publishers are doing with Facebook Live:

Elle.com
“Facebook Live is changing the way we can present beauty information,” said Gena Kaufman, Elle.com’s social media manager. “Instead of doing a backstage interview at a fashion show with the makeup artist, then compiling that interview into tips for an article, we’re doing the tutorial live, backstage so the audience can see what it’s actually like.”

For example, the publication live-streamed a smokey-eye tutorial with one of the makeup artists backstage at Dior’s 2017 Cruise, a month ago. The 16 minute video, which featured Elle’s senior beauty and fitness editor, Julie Schott, was viewed 52,000 times, with 468 people commenting and asking questions.“This really helps us get our audience the answers they want, instead of having to anticipate what will interest them,” Kaufman said.

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Teen Vogue
For Teen Vogue, which caters to a slightly younger audience, beauty videos, along with celebrity content, is most popular among viewers, said digital editorial director Phil Picardi. Videos including how to cover up pimples and discussing new beauty products, (one of its most popular ones recently was a look at Kylie Jenner’s lip kits) feature on the publication’s live video feed.

“Celebrities and influencers drive traffic to the website and the ability to record them live is a huge pull for audience,” he said, but he also noted how popular using Teen Vogue editors and staff is. One of the publication’s most popular videos, with 77,000 views, was an impromptu video he did on how to conceal a pimple and his skin care routine. He said Facebook Live offers a raw and unedited take on topics — something Instagram or YouTube can’t provide. “Instagram and YouTube have become flooded with heavy makeup routines, ultra-filtered shots, and super high-end editing.”

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Elite Daily
The Daily Mail-owned publication has created “Beauty Happy Hour,” a half-hour show that began in April. A team of editors discuss anything from cruelty free makeup, to the best budget drug store makeup and booze, to date night looks, with cocktails in hand on the show, which airs on Friday afternoons.“Beauty Happy Hour was inspired by the conversations you have with your girlfriends over a glass of wine,” Elite Daily women’s editor Emily Arata said. “We wanted to bring that conversational tone to a show, and invite our viewers to interact with the team. It’s fun to have the audience see us and get to know us.”

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Allure
Allure is bullish on Facebook Live: The publisher features videos from editors’ favorite beauty products of the week, to model Chantel Jeffries’ eyebrow tips, and blow drying and hair curling techniques. It has also created a game, “Lipstick Roulette,” where five staff editors, all ranging in age and skin tones, blindly chose new Maybelline lipsticks.

“It had far more engagement than we’ve seen with other videos, [8,200 views, 477 comments; compared with one of its editors’ favorite beauty products for the week, which had 7159 views and 144 comments] including ones with beauty industry experts, like celebrity stylists, and I think that’s because there was realism to it,” deputy digital editor Rachel Jacoby Zoldan said. “Not only are lipsticks part of the mass category, meaning they’re more affordable and accessible, but we gave users a real-life look at how we’re wearing these colors.”

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The Scene
Conde Nast’s new digital entertainment platform, The Scene, runs a series called “Makeover Monday,” where a woman gets her makeup and or hair done live. Digital director Lauren Lumsden, said the popularity and audience engagement of the videos has lead The Scene to roll these out every week (Its second ‘Makeover Monday’ episode had 4,499 views and 108 comments). “Viewers like the ability to interact with talent; the comments in particular skyrocket with people asking about products, offering suggestions and giving opinions,” Lumsden said.

However, she said Facebook Live videos still get slightly fewer views than pre-recorded videos (for example, a video on an inside look into olympic swimmer, Natalie Coughlin’s routine received 10,000 views) and said viewers are still getting used to the lo-fi format, but when a video performs well, they try to work out what elements made it so popular, whether it was a production technique, or publishing time.

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