Tuesday 21 May 2019

Ireland's top 10 'influencers' in numbers: Who are they and how are they doing it?

(L to R) Pippa O'Connor, Chloe Boucher and Lauren Arthurs
(L to R) Pippa O'Connor, Chloe Boucher and Lauren Arthurs
Georgia Penna spends St Patrick's Day in the sun in Dubai. Instagram @GeorgiaPenna
Chloe Boucher at the L’Oréal Paris Colorista launch at the L’Oréal Hair Academy Hatch Street Dublin. Picture: Anthony Woods.
Irish Love Island contestant Rob Lipsett
Pippa O'Connor presents Connacht Gold Best Dressed Lady at Taste of Dublin 2017
Joanne Larby. Picture: Instagram
Rosie Connolly at the Peter Mark VIP Style Awards 2017 at The Marker Hotel Dublin. Picture: Brian McEvoy
Grace Mongey at the Tesco Finest Mid-Summer BBQ at Everleigh Garden, Dublin. Picture: Brian McEvoy
Blogger Erika Fox at Coachella. Picture: Instagram
Lisa Jordan at the Peter Mark VIP Style Awards 2017 at The Marker Hotel Dublin. Picture: Brian McEvoy
Maeve Madden shared her health and fitness tips at the launch of Vitality Foods. Picture: Kevin Goss-Ross
Marissa Carter
Pictured here is Anouska Proetta Brandon at the 2015 Dublin Fashion Festival Young Designer of the Year Show
Image: Louise O'Reilly/Instagram
Louise Cooney at the Penneys A/W '17 preview at Primark HQ Dublin. Picture: Anthony Woods
Lauren Arthurs at the launch of the M&S Mediterranean inspired Spirit of Summer Food and Drink Collection. Picture: Kieran Harnett
Lorna Weightman at the launch of Mint Velvet’s new autumn / winter 2017 collection, at Minus One, John Dillion Street, Dublin 8. Picture: Kieran Harnett
Courtney Smith at the Penneys A/W '17 preview at Primark HQ Dublin. Picture: Anthony Woods
Caitlin McBride

Caitlin McBride

Influencer has become something of a dirty word in certain circles.

There was a time not so long ago that showbiz journalists just had to compete with each other for scoops and initiations; but  now they’re up against a seemingly never-ending array of Insta-famous folk who are hot on our heels, and in some cases, have already surpassed, in terms of reach.

In Ireland, 28% of residents use Instagram and another 74% use Facebook, the two biggest online social media tools for marketers, and influencing is big business on both sides of the coin.

Lynn Hunter, founder of Hunter Communications, launched The Collaborations Agency in January, a firm focused entirely on syncing brands with the right personalities.

"We are different from everybody else -  I have worked in the industry for over 15 years as a marketing manager, PR and above the line agency; we are the first full service agency in Ireland," she told Independent.ie Style.

"I understand exactly what is required from the brand manager and agency side. We join the correct influencer with the correct brand; sometimes the wrong influencers are tied with the wrong brand and then it doesn’t sit right with consumers. Their ethos has to be on the same page."

Lynn's roster of clients is impressive – she has been representing MMA superstar Conor McGregor for years, in addition to his coach John Kavanagh and now Owen Roddy; but the expansion with TCA now includes lifestyle partnerships with some of Ireland's biggest names in fashion and beauty.

"We’re all about strategic alignments, relevance and results driven. Each collaboration is unique and that’s where my experience comes in," Lynn adds.

"Our key pillars are reach, relevance, engagement. I’ve refused some pitches because I don’t feel any of my talent represented it because I’m in it for the long term. I would rather say no than take a campaign I can’t stand over."

So, who comes out on top in the fashio, beauty and lifestyle game online?

Note: This list is focused entirely on the ‘influencer’ and not those successful Irish people who are known for achievements in their field and have corresponding followings to match, e.g. Amy Huberman, Vogue Williams, Laura Whitmore and Una Healy. It also doesn’t include Snapchat as there are no independent networks for this social network. All figures were correct at the time of publication.

Georgia Penna

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A post shared by Georgia Penna (@georgiapenna) on


Instagram: 350,000

Facebook: 1,296,173

Twitter: 263,000

Total reach: 1,909,173

What’s the appeal? Georgia Penna (née Salpa) is the token enigma on this list. Her popularity is obvious – she’s drop dead gorgeous with a designer wardrobe to boot and enough YSL shoes that would make Imelda Marcos blush. Her vast reach is largely credited to her time as the reigning queen of the Irish photocall during the Celtic Tiger. But since marrying millionaire hubby Joe Penna  in 2015 and welcoming their twins in 2016, we see less and less of the increasingly private Georgia. Which only seems to make her followers want her more.

Chloe Boucher


Instagram: 234,000

Facebook: 54,643

Twitter: 4,494

YouTube subscribers: 449,974

Total reach: 743,111

What’s the appeal? This 24-year-old makeup guru is one of the more low-key entries to storm the top five. Chloe was just 20 years old when her profile began to grow online (she even did a few beauty tutorials for Independent.ie back in the day of 2015) and she quickly amassed a dedicated following of makeup lovers. Not to mention the lucrative beauty collaborations she’s part of.

Rob Lipsett

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Evening swims 💙🌊 #LovinDublin

A post shared by ROB LIPSETT (@roblipsett) on


Instagram: 306,000

Facebook: 29,750

Twitter: 27,100

YouTube subscribers: 292,061

Total reach: 654,911

What’s the appeal? Rob Lipsett is ripped and wants you to be too. The personal trainer has amassed an impressive following of more than half a million people across his social media channels thanks to his food and workout videos. After a very brief turn in ITV’s Love Island in July, he’s back to the day job.

Pippa O’Connor Ormond


Instagram: 234,000

Facebook: 239,916

Twitter: 68,700

YouTube subscribers: 7,358

Total reach: 549,974

What’s the appeal? Pippa is one a handful of Irish models who successfully transitioned from go-to photocall girl into an even more lucrative second career. And lucrative it has been. Since launching her website Pippa.ie in 2013, the mother-of-two has cornered the 'mummy market' and her husband Brian Ormond has ditched his tv presenting career to work as her business partner. According to her 2016 financial statement, Pippa made €288,294 last year. This year, she launched her hugely successful POCO denim range and continues to host her Fashion Factories, not to forget her best-selling Pippa Palette.

Joanne Larby (Make Up Fairy)

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Self confidence. You would think from my social media accounts that I have it in buckets right? Wrong. Lately I've been experiencing a severe lack in self confidence; I've been doubting myself and my capabilities, picking at aesthetics flaws constantly and letting exterior situations determine how I feel in my own skin. Sometimes when we feel low we seek validation, but the truth is no one can make you feel any better when your own head is repetitively telling you you're flawed. You may have the most beautiful personality, extensive skill set, ambitious nature and a body others work towards achieving, but just like hundreds of positive comments that one negative sticks. I promised to share a healthy, but honest account of my prep journey. And today I'm being honest. Do I worry about my mental health throughout this journey? Everyday. Do I want to win the competition? More than anything. Do I want to lose myself in the process, absolutely not. Ups and downs are part of any process and trying to achieve something totally new is challenging. Some days I'll feel lean and 'good enough'. Others I'll feel like I'll never be ready to step on that stage. I've started to look at bodies online and in person and constantly compare myself even though I know that's detrimental and you're suppose to simply love who you are. But how can you truly love the body you're in if you're wanting to change it so severely and dramatically? Food for thought. Some days I'll wake up and think I look nice while others I'll hold onto every negative thing said about me online or in person and remind myself I'm not 'enough'. I don't want to be commended for having abs, I want to be known for my kindness, generosity and work ethic. For the empire I've built not the quads. But in the same breath I'm stubborn and determined and I plan to plough through these thoughts as they arise and train towards my goal none the less. This industry ain't easy kids, and there's no point posting a selfie everyday without something worth admitting below it 😔

A post shared by 𝐉𝐎𝐀𝐍𝐍𝐄 𝐋𝐀𝐑𝐁𝐘 (@makeupfairypro) on


Instagram: 117,000

Facebook: 115,523

Twitter: 17,300

YouTube subscribers: 16,737

Total reach: 266,560 followers

What’s the appeal? Joanne knows her stuff. Her initial appeal was down to her extensive knowledge of all things makeup and beauty, but her strong opinions and physical transformation (she lost three stone and dropped four dress sizes) has helped her cultivate a new audience and corner yet another market. She launched a makeup brush range Enchantil earlier this year.

Rosie Connolly

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Last nights G L A M ✨ So many questions about my hair this weekend.. I used the @instylerireland_uk to style it, and as always, used the @lovekmireland Blonde Angel shampoo to keep it ashy and bright ✨ It's the best one I've tried by a mile! I used the @inglotireland Candy palette and @stilacosmetics liquid glitter in Kitten Karma on my eyes ✨ Foundation is @narsissist sheer glow in shade Stromboli and lips are a mix of Pure Zen and Runway Hit from @maccosmetics with spice liner 💄💋 Also have to say a huge hello👋🏼 and thank you to all the girls who came up to say hi last night when we were out...❤ I love meeting you all 👯 #AboutLastNight #Makeup #MakeupArtist #ProductList

A post shared by Rosie Connolly-Quinn (@rosieconxxx) on


Instagram: 145,000

Facebook: 66,457

Twitter: 10,300

YouTube subscribers: 10,889

Total reach: 232,646

What’s the appeal? Rosie Connolly started out blogging on Hearts, Heels and Handbags and noticed a surge in her popularity when she was expecting her son Harry, now two. She’s committed to glamour and her sunglasses range Aluxe reflects that.

Grace Mongey (Faces by Grace)


Instagram: 108,000

Facebook: 70,524

Twitter: 13,400

YouTube subscribers: 13,907

Total reach: 205,831 followers

What’s the appeal? Grace has built a career on being the girl next door. A trained makeup artist who holds nothing back in her sometimes hilariously honest dialogue - remember when she live Snapchatted her labour last September? She's now on a weight loss journey and earning praise for some inspiring before and after shots.

Erika Fox (Retro Flame)


Instagram: 92,300

Facebook: 29,063

Twitter: 11,000

YouTube subscribers: 31,997

Total reach: 164,360

What’s the appeal? In a city filled with dreamers, Kerry native Erika has carved out an impressive niche as a full-time fashion blogger living in New York City since first moving there five years ago. Her early career in the Big Apple saw her working for Olivia Palermo and Stuart Weitzman, but these days, her main brand is herself and her feed is filled with envy inducing snaps of her life stateside. And a Kate Middleton style wardrobe on a Zara budget.

Lisa Jordan (Just Jordan)

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These moments 💕🙌🏻

A post shared by Lisa Jordan (@justjordan.ie) on


Instagram: 93,500

Facebook: 77,222

Twitter: N/A

YouTube subscribers: 4,972

Total reach: 175,694 followers

What’s the appeal? This mother-of-one from Cork divides her time working as a makeup artist with MAC and helping others dress like Kim Kardashian with pieces from Penneys.

Maeve Madden


Instagram: 124,000

Facebook: 8,842

Twitter: 5,166

YouTube subscribers: 191

Total reach: 138,199

What’s the appeal? When it comes to fitness, Maeve, from Newry, Co Down, is a beast. She’s super strong and her workout videos would inspire the laziest of couch potatoes to hit the gym and grab some weights. She’s a recently qualified personal trainer who lives in London with her brothers. But it’s her honesty that keeps people coming back for more –since being diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and coeliac disease, she’s been keeping followers up to date with her bloat battles.

The runners up

Marissa Carter


Instagram: 107,000

Facebook: N/A

Twitter: 20,700

YouTube subscribers: N/A

Total reach: 127,000

What’s the appeal? Cocoa Brown founder and overall marketing genius Marissa has managed to cultivate a personal profile most businesspeople would kill for while creating global awareness for her brand. She offers advice to aspiring businesswomen in particular and has mastered the art of creating intriguing tutorials using her products without feeling like they’re being rammed down your throat. Not to mention her 2016 shoutout from Kylie Jenner.

Anouska Proetta Bandon

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Casual Friday 👖

A post shared by Λ N O U S K Λ (@anouskapb) on


Instagram: 101,000

Facebook: N/A

Twitter: 9,261

YouTube subscribers: 8,507

Total reach: 118,768

What’s the appeal? Anoushka (pronounced A-noosh-ka as her bio states) has one of the most beautiful Instagram feeds in the land. She was ahead of the mark in cultivating her audience who appreciate her  uncomplicated aesthetic, and it helps that she’s a killer photographer.

Terrie McEvoy


Instagram: 90,700

Facebook: 4,173

Twitter: 1,560

YouTube subscribers: 3,323

Total reach: 99,756

What’s the appeal? Terrie had the guts to do what most of us want – to up sticks and move to sunnier climes; in her case, Australia, with her boyfriend David Fitzpatrick. Since being bitten by the travel bug, followers expect her to see her in a swimsuit somewhere in the Philippines sprinkled between the occasional picture of her in scrubs (she’s a general nurse).

Ones to watch out for

Louise O’Reilly (Style Me Curvy)

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One consistent thing I notice when it comes to low body confidence is the amount of opportunities and possibilities people talk themselves out of, whether its avoiding going out to events, holidays, fun days out, totally trying to avoid buying a bikini or swimsuit and just laying on a beach!! . A vital part to helping your body confidence and self-esteem is cutting out the negative talk where possible... especially cutting out the negative talk with yourself or putting yourself down in front of other people. All these little things add up like "I can never wear a bikini just look at my cellulite"  or “ I’ll never go to the beach.. what if I'm the biggest there".. when the reality is no one else has even noticed as they are so wrapped up in being in a swimsuit themselves! Slow small changes every day and limiting negativity will make a MASSIVE difference to your confidence and self esteem... Life is so short.. make every single day count... go to that beach!! 💖☺️💃🏼 #bodylove #sundaythoughts #stylemecurvy #effyourbeautystandards #everybodyisabeachbody

A post shared by Louise O'Reilly (@stylemecurvy) on


Instagram: 40,800

Facebook: 16,938

Twitter: 10,500

YouTube subscribers: N/A

Total reach: 68,238

What’s the appeal? Louise burst onto the scene seven years as a plus-size model, one of the only in Ireland, and soon capitalised on her appeal with her Style Me Curvy blog, which was named Cosmopolitan’s Blog of the Year. She’s a body activist with tips and tricks for dressing for your shape - not to mention she’s drop dead gorgeous and quite possibly the nicest person in the industry.

Louise Cooney


Instagram: 60,900

Facebook: N/A

Twitter: 2,518

YouTube subscribers: 1,846

Total reach: 65,264

What’s the appeal? Louise’s appeal can be summed up by the aspirational nature of Instagram. She has model good looks with the down-to-earth attitude of your typical Irish girl. She recently quit her job at Tourism Ireland to pursue her career full-time and within weeks, she was off to the Seychelles with Emirates. Not bad work if you can get it.

Lauren Arthurs (Love Lauren)


Instagram: 75,400

Facebook: 41,117

Twitter: 3,483

YouTube subscribers: 497

Total reach: 120,497

What’s the appeal? Lauren’s feed sums up the Instagram aesthetic – bold, colourful and visually inspiring. The Cork native shows an all-natural girl, posing in drop-dead-gorgeous locations, usually alongside her BFF Louise Cooney.

Courtney Smith


Instagram: 42,900

Facebook: 12,369

Twitter: 21,500

Total reach: 76,769

What’s the appeal? Courtney made her name on TV3 with styling gigs on Xpose and Ireland AM and is now a brand of her own – she launched her debut shoe range with Buffalo last year to critical and customer acclaim and is a wealth of knowledge in the homegrown industry. Her boho style is worthy of its own Instagram account.

Lorna Claire Weightman


Instagram: 17,200

Facebook: 4,364

Twitter: 10,200

YouTube subscribers: N/A

Total reach: 31,764

What’s the appeal? Lorna was working as an accountant in 2011 when she decided to change direction entirely and pursue a career in fashion. Fast forward six years and she’s a successful stylist, working with some of the biggest brands and her down-to-earth OOTD posts are perfect for the high street girl looking for high fashion inspo.

Online Editors

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