Featured Beauty Influencer: Catherine Martinez

These days it’s not easy to stand out in the vast crowd of beauty influencers. Aspiring influencers really need to bring something unique to the table in order to be noticed. This level of uniqueness is what brings us to our next featured beauty influencer in this series. Catherine (Cat) Martinez saw a need for more inclusive content and sought to fill that need using American Sign Language.

This Month’s Featured Influencer: Catherine (Cat) Martinez


A post shared by Cat (@catthe1st) on

Where Cat’s At

Cat is currently living in New York. She recently graduated from NYU with her degree in communicative sciences and disorders. Her reach goes far beyond the East Coast, though. She has been featured in articles by People®, Life & Style©, Today©, Elle©, Bustle® and PopSugar©, just to name a few.

What Cat Does

Cat is unique because she creates makeup tutorials using American Sign Language. She has over 38,000 followers on her Instagram account, @catthe1st. She also posts her ASL tutorial videos to her YouTube channel. Cat’s following is less than 100,000 which qualifies her as a micro-influencer. What sets micro-influencers apart is their high rates of engagement. Engagement is the interaction between followers and influencers measured by likes, comments and shares. Many micro-influencers have impressive engagement rates compared to influencers with huge follower counts. Barron’s® reports that micro-influencers account for about 79% of the beauty influencer mix.

Cat is considered a micro-influencer based on her follower count, but the impact she has on her followers is huge. This is reflected in her high engagement rates, and growing audience. She gets an average of 1,500 likes and 50 comments per post! Engagement is often overlooked by brands looking to collaborate with influencers. Many times overall follower count is considered most important when brands consider partnerships with influencers. It is becoming more apparent now that engagement is actually very important to consider as well.

According to Forbes®, “engagement is the key factor in an influencer’s ultimate success when it comes to commercial viability.” This is largely due to the fact that engagement is often interpreted as high trust with an influencer. An audience that trusts an influencer is thought to be more likely to purchase products that influencer is supporting. Some major beauty brands have taken notice of Cat and have sent her products to review including MAC Cosmetics™, Urban Decay™, and Anastasia Beverly Hills®. Cat also teamed up with Wet N Wild™ for their Breaking Beauty Campaign late last year.

An Interview With Cat

Cat began learning ASL while she was studying communicative sciences and disorders at NYU. It was during this time that she noticed a lack of makeup tutorial videos tailored to the hearing impaired. She saw the need and started fixing the problem. She has received awesome feedback from her followers, especially those that are part of the deaf and hearing impaired communities.

In an interview with PizzaBottle© Cat explained what drew her to ASL and incorporating it into her videos.

“Sign language, which happens to be in the [Communicative Sciences and Disorders] program, is something that I fell in love with and was eager to learn. Many of my peers whom were either deaf or hard of hearing always complimented my makeup and were interested in the beauty industry. However, they did not feel like they fit in since there isn’t much deaf culture beauty resources or involvement.
… It just struck me one day when a few peers in my class asked me to translate what a blogger they were watching was saying, since the tutorial was auditory and had no other mode of communication. I recently started my channel to change that.”

Education Sets You Apart From the Rest

The beauty industry is becoming more competitive every day. Cat’s education is what inspired her to begin her ASL makeup tutorials. If you’re interested in beauty and even the possibility of becoming an influencer, consider getting a beauty education at Bellus Academy! Our cosmetology and makeup artistry programs could get you on the right track to your future in the beauty industry! Contact us today.

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