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3D Illustration of a blush palette with hearts with the South African flag around it as the title image for our blog about South African beauty influencers

Top Beauty Influencers in South Africa 2024


Katherine McInnes

Dec 4, 2023

South Africa is home to a wealth of incredibly talented beauty influencers. A focus that ranges from makeup and skincare to hair and nails, South African beauty influencers understand how to capture the attention of an audience both locally and internationally.

With attention to transparency and authenticity, beauty influencers in South Africa are in a position to challenge the traditional standards of the industry. Brands that embrace and work with this cultural shift stand to gain from the exciting and highly successful channel that is influencer marketing.

Table of Contents

Tip: We also have a global list of 50 Top Beauty Influencers to Inspire You.

Five Top Channels for South African Beauty Influencers

South African beauty influencers have a strong presence across numerous different platforms, with a specific focus on using each platform with the audience and algorithm in mind.

The five biggest channels are, somewhat unsurprisingly:

  1. YouTube. An excellent channel for longer content such as in-depth reviews, full length tutorials, and vlogging.
  2. Instagram. Perfect for shorter shareable content (videos and static images) such as product reviews, short tutorials and quick tips.
  3. TikTok. Most suited to shorter video content.
  4. Pinterest. The ideal platform for image sharing to generate inspiration and showcase looks.
  5. Facebook. Often used for product reviews, service reviews, and launching events.

Top 5 Makeup & Skincare Influencers in South Africa

# Name Instagram Handle Followers Following True Reach Engagement Rate
1 Mihlali Ndamase @mihlalii_n 2.1M 1,185 2.2M 2.7%
2 Snikiwe Mhlongo @snimhlongo 334K 493 467K 9.4%
3 Naledi Mallela @naledimofficial 142K 2,649 410K 9.8%
4 MKay Yarms @kay.yarms 471K 1,336 704K 6.8%
5 Mrs Linda “Oyena” M @linda_mtoba 1.8M 3,864 662K 2.5%

Makeup influencers have an engaged audience with whom they have worked to build loyalty. These followers look for tips, insights, and product recommendations. Because authenticity is a key contributor to an influencer’s reputation, they often partner with the same brands for multiple campaigns, cementing long-standing collaborative trust.

Table with stats of the top 5 makeup influencers in South Africa in our list of the top South African beauty influencers

Let's look at the top 5 makeup and skincare influencers in South Africa:

1. Mihlali Ndamase

Top beauty influencers in South Africa: Mihlali Ndamase Instagram Profile

Mihlali Ndamase IG Stats

  • IG Handle: @mihlalii_n
  • Followers: 2.1M
  • Following: 1,185
  • True reach: 2.2M
  • Engagement rate: 2.7%

Mihlali Ndamase Bio

A titan of the industry, Mihlali Ndamase is on the Forbes Africa 30 Under 30 list, recognised for her innovative and award-winning creative content. As a certified makeup artist with a wealth of experience in brand strategy, her content is created mainly for YouTube and Instagram and focuses on beauty, lifestyle and travel.

2. Snikiwe Mhlongo

Top beauty influencers in South Africa: Snikiwe Mhlongo Instagram Profile

Snikiwe Mhlongo IG Stats

  • IG Handle: @snimhlongo
  • Followers: 334K
  • Following: 493
  • True reach: 467K
  • Engagement rate: 9.4%

Snikiwe Mhlongo Bio

Snikiwe Mhlongo, known by her followers as Sni, hails from Kwa-Zulu Natal and graduated from the University of Cape Town. Sni gained popularity at 21 and has built her personal brand with creative content on YouTube and Instagram, highly focused on fashion and make-up.

3. Naledi Mallela

Top beauty influencers in South Africa: Naledi Mallela Instagram Profile

Naledi Mallela IG Stats

  • IG Handle: @naledimofficial
  • Followers: 142K
  • Following: 2,649
  • True reach: 410K
  • Engagement rate: 9.8%

Naledi Mallela Bio

Naledi Mallela is a South African social media influencer, known for her vlogs, and makeup and skincare proficiency. As a TV host on DStv’s Channel O, and with a double degree in marketing and business science, Mallela knows how to speak to her broad following with confidence and expertise.

4. Kay Yarms

Top beauty influencers in South Africa: Key Yarms Instagram Profile

Kay Yarms IG Stats

  • IG Handle: @kay.yarms
  • Followers: 471K
  • Following: 1,336
  • True reach: 704K
  • Engagement rate: 6.8%

Kay Yarms Bio

Khethokuhle Ngonyama, known as Kay Yarms, is on the Forbes Africa 30 Under 30 list. She has made an enormous impact on the beauty industry in South Africa with inspiring make-up content.

5. Mrs Linda “Oyena” M

Top beauty influencers in South Africa: Linda Mtoba Instagram Profile

Linda Mtoba IG Stats

  • IG Handle: @linda_mtoba
  • Followers: 1.8M
  • Following: 3,864
  • True reach: 662K
  • Engagement rate: 2.5%

Linda Mtoba Bio

Linda Mtoba is a South African actress, best known for her role as Zama from Isibaya. With a talent for natural-looking make-up, she has established herself as one of the top beauty influencers in South Africa.

Top 5 Hair Influencers in South Africa

# Name Instagram Handle Followers Following True Reach Engagement Rate
1 Sammie Heavens @sammieheavens 306K 98 221K 4.1%
2 Yolenda Jawe @yolzchannel 110K 1,067 65K 4.2%
3 Liezel van der Westhuizen @liezelonline 30.5K 618 22K 0.4%
4 MKim Jayde @kimjayde 328K 497 83K 1.3%
5 Rushana Isaacs @rushanaisaacs 122K 1,305 61K 2.7%

Hair care and hair style influencers are well known for their interactive community, with whom they've bonded over a shared passion for hair trends and techniques. As with makeup influencers, authenticity and trust (and relatable, effective hair care advice), leads hair influencers to form long-term collaborations with their preferred hair care brands.

Table with stats of the top 5 hair influencers in South Africa in our list of the top South African beauty influencers

Let's look at the top 5 hair influencers in South Africa:

1. Sammie Heavens

Top beauty influencers in South Africa: Sam Instagram Profile

Sammie Heavens IG Stats

  • IG Handle: @sammieheavens
  • Followers: 306K
  • Following: 98
  • True reach: 221K
  • Engagement rate: 4.1%

Sammie Heavens Bio

Sammie Heavens is a South African beauty influencer and fashion enthusiast with an aptitude for writing and poetry. While she rose to fame because of her relationship with local rapper Nasty C, she has established her identity as a leading natural hair influencer in South Africa in her own right.

2. Yolenda Jawe

Top beauty influencers in South Africa: Yolenda Jawe Instagram Profile

Yolenda Jawe IG Stats

  • IG Handle: @yolzchannel
  • Followers: 110K
  • Following: 1,067
  • True reach: 65K
  • Engagement rate: 4.2%

Yolenda Jawe Bio

Yolenda Jawe’s love of the spotlight started years ago when she appeared as a top five finalist on “Hectic Nine 9” in 2010. With her successful business Yolzbeauty, a beauty brand with a range of skincare, hair care, scrubs, and essential oils, Jawe is a top-performing skincare influencer in South Africa.

3. Liezel van der Westhuizen

Top beauty influencers in South Africa: Liezel van der Weshuizen Instagram Profile

Liezel van der Westhuizen IG Stats

  • IG Handle: @liezelonline
  • Followers: 30.5K
  • Following: 618
  • True reach: 22K
  • Engagement rate: 0.4%

Liezel van der Westhuizen Bio

Best known as a radio presenter on Kfm, Liezel van der Westhuizen has a loyal fanbase. With experience in presenting for both radio and television, Liezel’s unique style has established her as one of the top hair influencers in South Africa.

4. Kim Jayde

Top beauty influencers in South Africa: Kim Jayde Instagram Profile

Kim Jayde IG Stats

  • IG Handle: @kimjayde
  • Followers: 328K
  • Following: 497
  • True reach: 83K
  • Engagement rate: 1.3%

Kim Jayde Bio

A former MTV Base VJ and fashion blogger, Kim Jayde is on the Forbes Africa 30 Under 30 list. Claiming the “Most Innovative Style Award” at the SA Style Awards, she is a well-esteemed trendsetter and beauty influencer in South Africa.

5. Rushana Isaacs

Top beauty influencers in South Africa: Rushana Isaacs Instagram Profile

Rushana Isaacs IG Stats

  • IG Handle: @rushanaisaacs
  • Followers: 122K
  • Following: 1,305
  • True reach: 61K
  • Engagement rate: 2.7%

Rushana Isaacs Bio

Professional makeup artist Rushana Isaacs is a well established hair and beauty influencer in South Africa. Her educational style of posts makes her content authentic and relatable, and she has successfully partnered with skincare, hair care and makeup brands.

How Meltwater Can Help You Find South African Beauty Influencers

Meltwater’s all-in-one suite is designed to help marketing teams understand the digital content environment and create high performance, high-quality content. Our Influencer Marketing Tool helps you discover creators, expand your audience, connect with your customers, grow your brand loyalty and build your brand with the right audience.

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For more information about managing influencer and creator relationships, contact us today and we’ll help you navigate the world of content creation and curation from start to finish.

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