The age of the influencer is shapeshifting — literally. 

An emerging group of Gen X and Baby Boomer creators are taking over the beauty and wellness social media spheres, drawing not just the attention of fellow mature consumers, but Gen Z and Millennial audiences, too. 

The cohort’s rise comes at a pivotal time on two levels: The beauty industry at large is being made to rethink ageist marketing practices which have long isolated mature consumers — who are ripe with spending power — while simultaneously, TikTok has seemingly fueled an obsessive fear of aging among many of beauty’s youngest consumers — Gen Z.

Related Articles

“The downfall [of social media] is that it’s increased comparison between one another and fueled this perfectionist, curated life,” said Santa Monica-based therapist Alyssa Mancao, who specializes in anxiety, depression and relationships. “When you think about all these filters that make you look younger — they smooth your skin, change your eyebrows — much of that plays into making women feel small.”

With many of these 45-plus creators’ social media forays serving as their third, fourth, even fifth career acts, their emergence offers a potentially much-needed wave of representation for both mature consumers looking to see themselves in the beauty industry, and young consumers who stand to benefit from “seeing what womanhood can look like after 40 or 50,” Mancao said.

Take 63-year-old Gym Tan. 

After spending much of her career heading up international operations at apparel companies Esprit and DKNY Jeans in Asia, Tan and her family relocated to San Francisco in 2016, where she eventually pivoted to consulting work just before the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Every project was like pulling teeth,” recalled Singapore-born Tan. “Nobody was really hiring at the time — I had been working at such a high level, and I had all this momentum, then suddenly the momentum stopped.” 

Around the same time, Tan’s college-age daughter, Mya, was building a platform on TikTok as a lifestyle creator, and suggested that Tan, too, take to the app.

“My daughter saw me struggling and was like, ‘oh my god, this is not the mom that I know,’ — so she helped me film my first video,” said Tan, who began sharing instructional styling videos and, within three weeks of posting daily, had garnered 10,000 followers. 

“I wasn’t even thinking about growing or about followers — it was kind of just, you know, ‘what if?,’” said Tan, who now has 248,000 followers and is one of 68 creators comprising Sephora’s 2023 cohort of its ambassadorship program, the Sephora Squad.  “I also felt that I had this message that was important to spread, which is that getting older can be fun, that being engaged with your life has huge benefits.” 

Two other members of the Sephora Squad — Texas-based Kalondia Casey and New York-based Patti Roberts — also represent the 50-plus consumer, who, according to AARP’s Longevity Economic Outlook Report, contribute $8.3 trillion each year to the U.S. economy. Data from NIQ, meanwhile, shows that Gen X consumers outspent Gen Z when it came to beauty purchases from July 2022 through July 2023.

“Companies need to realize we [mature consumers] have a lot of spending power,” said 63-year-old Casey, who, like Tan, took to TikTok during the pandemic.

Casey had been using the app to promote beauty products by direct seller Farmasi when she received an email from Sephora inviting her to apply to join the Squad in 2021. Though she had worked in human resources for much of her career, Casey obtained her makeup artistry certification at age 58 — she’s now 63 — and had long sought to show older women how to create makeup looks that would suit their evolving features. 

Kalondia Casey

Kalondia Casey


“Teaching mature women how to apply makeup, or how not to apply makeup — that seems to be the golden goose right there — is my passion,” said Casey, who has developed hooded eyelids with age and makes a dedicated effort to create eye makeup tutorials tailored specifically to the needs of those who have experienced the same.

Meanwhile, Roberts, formerly a Zumba instructor, found herself drawn to TikTok’s early dance-related content. After uploading a video of herself samba dancing in 2020, she steadily ventured into other forms of content (“I wasn’t specifically beauty — I was just out here doing my thing”) and soon found herself fielding lifestyle questions from viewers of all ages. 


Long story short… it’s what feels right in my spirit as the next best steps that lead to my greater good. 🥰 …and when the steps all began to line up, and sometimes even when they don’t – I know when I am called “to move” #innervoice #intuition @s@smashboxcosmetics- photo finish @makeuprevolution – irl filter finish @danessamyricksbeauty – blurring balm powder @thelipbar – bronzer & blush duo / stuntin face palette / show stopper lipgloss @billiondollarbrows – brow gel (clear) Abide in Love ✨ Patti 🥰 PS – All who wander are not lost… ☺️

♬ Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia) – Us3

“I was getting the full gamut of questions, from — ‘how is it that you’re 57 and you look so happy and free?’ to ‘what do you use on your hair?’ to ‘do you have kids?,’” said Roberts, who does indeed have a 30-year-old daughter named Tamaria, and for whom joining the Sephora Squad has been a way to boost visibility not just of Baby Boomer women in beauty, but more specifically, Baby Boomer women who look like her. 

“There aren’t a whole lot of us Black women with gray hair out there — I wanted visibility for myself but also representation for my community,” said Roberts, who has 193,000 followers and added that she has seen “pockets of [progress]” when it comes to age inclusivity in beauty, but that brands are still not quite nailing it.

Casey echoed the sentiment, adding the disparity between where the industry is versus where it should be is particularly clear when it comes to brands’ influencer marketing efforts. 

“There’s nothing more frustrating to me than seeing a very young beauty influencer talking about an antiaging product,” she said. “It doesn’t have to be me, but let’s have some representation of mature women. We have the buying power — we’re ready to spend that $200 on a La Mer moisturizer, or on an eye cream.”

For 45-year-old creator and Sephora Squad alum Sonia Ramos, dishing out menopause-related content has been key to building a TikTok audience of more than 618,000. “When I post, I just want for someone to see it and be like, ‘OK, I’m not alone.’ It’s the stuff you wish your mom would have said. Like, ‘Hey, when you’re in your 40s, you’re going to go through some sh—t girl,’” said Ramos, who wields her filter-free wit in addressing the impact of menopause.

She’s heavy on makeup and skin care content, too, but when it comes to paid partnerships — of which she does around two per month — Ramos has found skin care deals are somewhat easier to come by. “It’s very hard to get makeup campaigns because of our age. Skin care and hair care a little less so since we’re the ones dealing with the textured skin, the hyperpigmentation, the hair thinning — but most makeup is not created equal. A lot of makeup products are meant for younger, smoother skin.”

Beauty veterans Camille Katona and Stephanie Spence founded color cosmetics brand 19/99 Beauty in 2020 aiming to challenge this standard, harnessing age-inclusive marketing techniques to make sure everyone — from Gen Alpha to Baby Boomers — feel invited to participate.

“We’ve felt like there was a disconnect between how cosmetics are being marketed to us as something corrective, and how we actually feel about cosmetics as something that is joyful, and meant to be fun and played with,” said Spence, who met Katona during their shared time at Kendo-owned Bite Beauty.

Billing itself as striving to “bridge the generational beauty gap,” 19/99 sells at retailers including SpaceNK and Revolve, and has a consumer base that is roughly 60 percent age 35 and up, with those between the ages of 45 and 50 being the brand’s most represented consumer group.

19/99 Beauty

19/99 Beauty


“For a long time, there’s been a lot of tokenism around age representation, or any kind of inclusivity representation,” said Katona, adding the industry’s prevailing tendency to “only ever feature models who are either 18 or 80 years old” inadvertently leads to “caricatures of different age groups,” leaving many consumers inevitably feeling unseen.

Brands like Jones Road Beauty, Trinny London and Dove, via its long-standing Self-esteem Project, have also made steady efforts to bring age-inclusive beauty to the forefront. RMS Beauty, the brand founded in 2009 by 68-year-old celebrity makeup artist Rose-Marie Swift, gained meteoric momentum in 2023 after Swift herself took took to the brand’s TikTok page to begin sharing her expertise.

“To be honest, I thought nobody would be interested in watching me doing makeup on myself, because of my age,” said Swift, who in May was convinced by RMS’ chief strategic officer, Elaine Sack, to take to TikTok to demonstrate how to use her products to demonstrate tips including how to prevent lipstick from bleeding, blush shade recommendations and how to fill in one’s brows.

“I’m going raw, I’m showing my wrinkles and the wrinkles around my lips, and I’m not being embarrassed. In fact, I’m commenting on them myself — who’s going to do that? Only a maniac would do that. So I’ve taken on the task of being a makeup maniac on there,” said Swift. 

In a short period of time, her stripped-down strategy has paid off in a big way.  The brand’s digital business has grown 350 percent versus last year, with retail sales growing 120 percent during the period. Though Swift didn’t specify the brand’s sales, industry sources peg the brand to be on track to do between $55 million to $65 million in sales in 2023. On TikTok, RMS beauty counts 245,000 followers and while the brand features creators of all ages on its page, videos featuring Swift herself are those which most often garner hundreds of thousands — sometimes millions — of views.

“Creating content is just making me happy, where, before, I was like, ‘look at my wrinkles — ew,’ or ‘look at my age spot — ew.’ I don’t do that anymore. I’ve learned to just accept, and it’s nice to see people are accepting with me,” said Swift.

“Real Housewives” star turned somewhat-accidental TikToker Bethenny Frankel has also wielded her cross-generational appeal to build a 1.5 million-user-strong community on the platform. 

“I wanted to feel some level of competence with my makeup, so I got on TikTok just to try to learn something,” said Frankel, who downloaded the app in January 2021 and that April began uploading videos in which she compared the performance of drugstore versus luxury beauty products. “I thought I was discovering America — I didn’t realize at the time that was something everybody was doing, but either the freshness and the shock of it, or the ‘what the hell is Bethenny Frankel doing talking about beauty?’ — it just made me go viral,” said Frankel, who has been steadily pumping out product reviews and chatty “Get Ready/Unready With Me” videos since then.

Bethenny Frankel

Bethenny Frankel


“People think I’m like their crazy aunt,” said Frankel, who helms two podcasts and consumer goods brands, and sees TikTok as a means to cultivate joy. For Tan, content creation has been also forged a pathway to joy — and new purpose.

“The amount of confidence you have when you’ve had this whole life, this big career, a wonderful family, great kids — and then to be able to have this second career in your 60s — I mean, hell yes,” said Tan.

EMV Generated for Beauty Brands YTD:

  1. Bethenny Frankel, @bethennyfrankel: $11.5 million total
    • L’Oréal Paris: $1.8 million
    • Maybelline New York: $1.2 million
    • NYX Professional Makeup: $932,500
  2. Sonia Ramos, @officiallysoniaramos: $1.2 million total
    • Philosophy: $149,700
    • Sephora Collection: $143,300
    • Estée Lauder: $99,100
  3. Kalondia Casey, @kalcasey60: $915,400 total
    • Makeup by Mario: $122,200
    • Charlotte Tilbury: $81,900
    • La Mer: $69,200
  4. Patti Roberts, @taskyourself: $545,100 total
    • Make Up For Ever: $163,000
    • Revolution Beauty: $105,600
    • Danessa Myricks Beauty: $91,800
  5. Gym Tan, @californiaistoocasual: $535,800 total
    • Drunk Elephant: $114,700
    • bareMinerals: $98,700
    • Glossier: $72,100

CreatorIQ’s Top 10 global beauty brands by Earned Media Value driven by creators with a >30 percent 35-plus audience:

  1. L’Oréal Paris: $13 million
  2. MAC Cosmetics: $12.8 million
  3. Charlotte Tilbury: $9.3 million
  4. Lancôme: $9.2 million
  5. Dior Beauty: $9.1 million
  6. Maybelline New York: $7.9 million
  7. BK Beauty: $7.5 million
  8. Bobbi Brown Cosmetics: $7 million
  9. Nyx Professional Makeup: $6.9 million
  10. Nars Cosmetics: $6.2 million