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CAIA Cosmetics: The Influencer Marketing Strategy Behind the $50M Nordic Beauty Brand 

8 minute read

Move over, big beauty brands—there's a new player in town! CAIA Cosmetics, founded in Stockholm in 2018, is shaking up the makeup world. Founded by social media star Bianca Ingrosso and her team, CAIA is the fastest-growing beauty brand in the Nordics. 

In just five years, CAIA Cosmetics has skyrocketed to success, reaching $50 million in annual revenue. And with nearly half a million Instagram followers and over 190,000 TikTok fans, social media has clearly played a key role in that growth. 

Stick around as we use Storyclash data to dive into CAIA's story, uncover their influencer marketing strategy, and see how they're making waves on Instagram and TikTok. 

CAIA Cosmetics: History of the brand

CAIA Cosmetics started with a simple idea: great makeup shouldn't cost a fortune. Bianca Ingrosso, a well-known influencer in the Nordics, teamed up with Vanessa Lindblad and beauty industry pros Jesper Matsch and Mikael Snabb to make this dream a reality.

Bianca has been passionate about makeup since she was a kid. Growing up around TV and theater, she spent tons of time in makeup rooms because her parents were entertainment stars. In fact, Business Insider called her family the “Kardashians of Sweden.”

After trying various fancy beauty products, Bianca thought, "Why not create something amazing that everyone can afford?" And boom—CAIA was born.

Bianca's creativity and bubbly personality have been key to CAIA's success. With over 1.4 million Instagram followers, she's built a loyal fan base that's helped CAIA gain traction. She’s not just the CEO. She also stars in the brand’s impactful, signature-pink ad campaigns and music videos, that she also shares on her Insta. Like this:

Interestingly, CAIA isn’t Bianca’s only business venture. She's also the entrepreneur behind successful DTC brands ANI Jewels and Avora Studio. 

Why We're Loving CAIA

Let’s run through a few key reasons why CAIA is doing so well, beyond the fact they have a star CEO:

  • Quality meets affordability: CAIA works with factories in France, Italy, and Korea to create high-quality products at accessible prices. This commitment to excellence without the luxury price tag is democratizing beauty for all.
  • Empowering beauty philosophy: With a mission to inspire women to bring out their "inner superstar," CAIA goes beyond selling makeup. They're building a community that celebrates looking and feeling your best.
  • Innovative products: CAIA’s award-winning, clean beauty products do things differently. Take their “Twist Me Up Mascara,” which is the only mascara to have a brush you can use in four ways. Or their bestselling concealer which contains hyaluronic acid to improve your skin rather than just covering it up.
  • Strong branding: Who doesn’t love pink?
  • Creator marketing: The brand doesn’t just have a famous CEO. Their influencer marketing strategy features inspiring creators from around the world who showcase the brand’s products. 

Influencer marketing at CAIA: Collaborations and strategy

CAIA influencer strategy on Instagram

Let’s take a look at the brand’s Instagram strategy. In the last 12 months, 1.8k creators mentioned CAIA in 13.7k IG posts. The engagement rate for creator content on Instagram is 2.7%, and the potential audience size is 761M. 

The brand has been mentioned by creators of all sizes. 52% of the mentions are from micro influencers with 10k-100k followers. The average follower count is higher, falling into the macro category with 434k.

Storyclash data shows that CAIA mainly works with creators in European countries like Germany, their native Sweden, and Norway. However, the brand also works with some creators in the U.S. This makes sense, since the brand is looking to expand to the U.S and UK, according to Forbes.

CAIA seems to prefer repeat collabs. 30% are short term (up to 6 months) and 26% are long term. This means less than half of their collabs are one-offs. 

Who does CAIA work with?

As you can probably imagine, Bianca appears in many of CAIA’s posts, reels and Instagram stories. But the brand works with many other creators, too.

Here are the top 10 (according to the number of brand mentions):

The main creator after Bianca is Vanessa Lindblad, who has 99.7K followers and has posted about the brand 130 times:

CAIA has also worked with a number of star influencers, including German model Stefanie Giesinger (5.2M followers). She regularly shares the brand’s products in her stories:

CAIA influencer strategy on TikTok

Moving onto the brand’s TikTok strategy. In the last 12 months, 368 creators mentioned CAIA in 1.1k TikTok videos, with each getting 45K views on average. The potential audience size is 43.5M. 

This is significantly less than the brand’s Instagram channel, despite the fact that the brand’s declared target audience in Gen Z, who loves TikTok. 

On TikTok, popular content topics include testing different products, unboxing, and GRWM videos. Often, CAIA is not mentioned exclusively, and it’s not clear if it’s a paid collab. 

Like in this TikTok video from Bella Krys, who shares a summer makeup tutorial using products from CAIA, Kylie Cosmetics, Chanel Beauty, and others:

Here are the brand’s top ten creators (based on the number of mentions):

Interestingly, Bianca is not one of them because she doesn’t have a TikTok account. CAIA does sometimes share IGC content of Bianca on the brand account, though.

Overall, the brand currently has a stronger creator presence on Insta than TikTok.

CAIA Cosmetics: What is their social media strategy?

Now we’ve seen the brand’s creator strategy, let’s take a quick peek at their owned channels. CAIA is active on Instagram (488.7K), TikTok (191.9K, and YouTube (26.7K9).

On Instagram, the brand has seen significant follower growth over the last six months:

However, engagement doesn’t seem to have increased at the same rate. The brand currently has an engagement rate of 0.9%. While this could be higher, it’s still higher than rivals like Kylie Cosmetics (0.3%) or E.L.F Cosmetics (0.5%).

The brand’s Instagram strategy heavily relies on stories, which make up 86% of the brand’s Insta content.  

The brand takes a highly creative approach to their content. For example, they recently released a music video, “Boys in the Sea” featuring Bianca.

Recently, the brand seems to be stepping away slightly from its superstar CEO to share the spotlight with other creators and celebrities. Like this collection with Norwegian singer, Astrid S:


On TikTok, the brand has also seen solid growth:

The brand posts almost daily on TikTok, sharing behind the scenes snippets, sales, and other tidbits. This has generated an engagement rate of 1.8% and 5k likes on average:

Their TikTok content tends to be product-focused, promoting sales or new collections. Like this TikTok from Bianca showing the brand’s new tanning mousse:

What can your brand learn from CAIA?

CAIA's rapid rise in the beauty industry offers valuable lessons for brands looking to make their mark. Here are key takeaways from CAIA's success story:

  • Leverage founder authenticity: CAIA's success is closely tied to Bianca Ingrosso's genuine passion and authenticity. Brands should consider how they can showcase their founders' personalities and stories to build stronger connections with their audience.
  • Embrace big, fun ideas: CAIA isn't afraid to think outside the box, like collaborating with MTV on a cover of Jamelia's "Superstar" and creating their own music videos. While not every brand can partner with MTV, the lesson is clear: if you have a big, crazy, out-of-the-box idea, go for it! 
  • Focus on community building: CAIA's mission to inspire and empower women has helped create a loyal customer base. Brands should consider how they can foster a sense of community and shared values among their customers.

What could CAIA do better?

While CAIA has achieved impressive growth, there's always room for improvement, especially as they expand into competitive markets like the US and UK. Let's explore some areas where CAIA could strengthen their approach to stand out among global beauty giants:

  • Strengthen TikTok presence: While their current content showing new collections, sales, and behind-the-scenes glimpses is good, they could do more to boost engagement. Creating fun and educational content like makeup hacks, beauty challenges, and interactive contests could help CAIA connect with their Gen Z audience. 
  • Expand influencer partnerships in new markets: As CAIA doubles down on the US and UK markets, they should seek out partnerships with local creators. Of course, it’s important to find the right influencers who align with the brand’s brand values.
  • Leverage Bianca's personal brand even more: Bianca tends to promote her fashion and jewelry lines more often on her Insta, so CAIA could benefit from increased visibility. Additionally, CAIA should showcase Bianca’s role as an entrepreneur, leader, and mother to create aspirational content that goes beyond makeup.

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About Storyclash - the brand behind the insights

Storyclash is the AI-powered Influencer Marketing Platform that helps your team drive sales and brand awareness. Discover authentic creators, measure the impact of your campaigns and manage all your data in one place. Fast-growing DTCs like Everdrop, Wild and Junglück, as well as large, established companies like Samsung and Adidas use Storyclash to get more out of their influencer marketing.