CLIFTON, NJ - SEPTEMBER 12:  Atmosphere during the official opening of the Clifton Dollar General Store on September 12, 2009 in Clifton, New Jersey.  (Photo by Brian Killian/Getty Images for Procter & Gamble)
CLIFTON, NJ - SEPTEMBER 12: Atmosphere during the official opening of the Clifton Dollar General Store on September 12, 2009 in Clifton, New Jersey. (Photo by Brian Killian/Getty Images for Procter & Gamble)
PHOTO: Brian Killian/Getty Images North America
Now playing
01:34
Believe it or not, dollar stores are thriving
PHOTO: Orangetheory Fitness
Now playing
02:13
This gym is actually opening studios during the pandemic
Now playing
02:24
How holiday spirit is surging despite the Covid-19 pandemic
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 19: A view of the window display as Macy
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 19: A view of the window display as Macy's Herald Square unveils Give, Love, Believe 2020 Holiday Windows on November 19, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images for Macy's)
PHOTO: Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images North America/Getty Images for Macy's
Now playing
00:56
Macy's unveils holiday window display with gratitude theme
PHOTO: CNN/Target/Design by John General
Now playing
02:36
It's official: Black Friday is irrelevant
Now playing
02:23
Party City CEO: Consumers still want to celebrate together
NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - 2020/07/08: People wearing face masks shopping inside a retail store in Manhattan as the city enters phase 3 of reopening amid the coronavirus pandemic
As New York City enters phase 3 of reopening retail stores for indoor shopping, restaurants have been postponed for indoor dinning. The U.S. Department of Health recorded a total of 3,219,999 infections, 135,822 death and 1,426,428 recovered since the beginning of the outbreak. (Photo by Braulio Jatar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - 2020/07/08: People wearing face masks shopping inside a retail store in Manhattan as the city enters phase 3 of reopening amid the coronavirus pandemic As New York City enters phase 3 of reopening retail stores for indoor shopping, restaurants have been postponed for indoor dinning. The U.S. Department of Health recorded a total of 3,219,999 infections, 135,822 death and 1,426,428 recovered since the beginning of the outbreak. (Photo by Braulio Jatar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
PHOTO: Braulio Jatar/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images
Now playing
01:38
US retail sales improved in September
PHOTO: thehouseofdrew.com
Now playing
02:01
Justin Bieber's footwear collaboration overwhelms site
PHOTO: Walmart
Now playing
01:01
See what's new inside Walmart stores
WHEATON, MARYLAND - APRIL 16: Customers wear face masks to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus as they line up to enter a Costco Wholesale store April 16, 2020 in Wheaton, Maryland. Maryland Governor Larry Hogan ordered that all people must wear some kind of face mask to protect themselves and others from COVID-19 when on public transportation, grocery stores, retail establishments and other places where social distancing is not always possible. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
WHEATON, MARYLAND - APRIL 16: Customers wear face masks to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus as they line up to enter a Costco Wholesale store April 16, 2020 in Wheaton, Maryland. Maryland Governor Larry Hogan ordered that all people must wear some kind of face mask to protect themselves and others from COVID-19 when on public transportation, grocery stores, retail establishments and other places where social distancing is not always possible. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Now playing
02:32
How masks are reshaping the face of the retail economy
3119 E Third Street Dollar General in Dayton, OH on March 12, 2020.
3119 E Third Street Dollar General in Dayton, OH on March 12, 2020.
PHOTO: Maddie McGarvey for CNN
Now playing
06:07
Dollar General's business is booming. It's also vulnerable to crime, police say
Now playing
03:01
How private equity is gutting retail
Now playing
01:55
All retail bankruptcies are not the same. Here's what you need to know
Now playing
02:44
Is T.J.Maxx recession-proof?
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 10:  Customers carry bags from  Bed Bath & Beyond store on April 10, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. The home goods retailer is expected to release fourth-quarter earnings figures after the closing bell.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 10: Customers carry bags from Bed Bath & Beyond store on April 10, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. The home goods retailer is expected to release fourth-quarter earnings figures after the closing bell. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
Now playing
00:58
Why Bed Bath & Beyond is in big trouble
A Kohl
A Kohl's Corp. store stands in Concord, California, U.S., on Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015. Kohl's Corp. is expected to release earnings figures on Feb. 26. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images
PHOTO: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Now playing
01:25
Kohl's needs to reinvent itself. Are Aldi and Amazon the key?
(CNN Business) —  

The makeup world is filled with celebrities endorsing big brands in expensive advertisements. But Dollar General’s humble, $5-and-under cosmetics line has gone viral, thanks to social media beauty bloggers.

In the spring, Dollar General (DG) debuted Believe Beauty, an exclusive, private-label line of lipsticks, eye shadows, foundations, nail polishes and skin care accessories at the chain’s more than 15,500 US stores. Dollar General (DG) partnered with a beauty manufacturer on the brand and is giving it prime real estate at stores: It’s displaying the 150-product collection in dedicated sections at the end of store aisles, making it easy for customers to find.

The aspirational brand is “an important part of our strategy,” chief executive Todd Vasos said in March.

Dollar General executives say they developed the brand to bolster the company’s hold on existing customers and improve its thin profit margins. Dollar General also hopes to draw Millennials with the brand. Millennials probably won’t post online about snacks or a new mop they bought at Dollar General, but they have showing off their new makeup online.

The line has attracted attention from personalities with large social media followings reviewing the beauty products on YouTube and Instagram.

Dollar General has rolled out Believe Beauty, a $5 and under makeup line, to draw Millennials and gain market share in the fast-growing cosmetics industry.
Dollar General has rolled out Believe Beauty, a $5 and under makeup line, to draw Millennials and gain market share in the fast-growing cosmetics industry.
PHOTO: Dollar General

Beauty video bloggers, or vloggers, hold a lot of sway over makeup brands. Vloggers have long used YouTube and Instagram to review makeup and skincare products and to give tutorials to their followers, which for some can be up in the millions. Experts and beginners alike tune in to learn techniques, tips and to see if new products on the market are worth buying.

Dozens of Believe reviews on YouTube have already racked up hundreds of thousands of page views. One 16-minute YouTube review from a beauty vlogger has 125,000 views. Instagram is flooded with more than 3,000 posts using “#believebeauty.”

“We’re seeing really good results,” Dollar General CFO John Garratt said at a presentation in June. He pointed to “a lot of buzz on social media” about the brand. Dollar General declined to provide the brand’s sales figures for this article.

All that social media attention means free advertising for Dollar General. It boosts the company’s image with younger shoppers and is helping lift the dollar store empire.

“People like those kind of videos because it’s something different,” Taylor Horn, a blogger who reviewed Believe on her YouTube channel, told CNN Business. Her channel has more than 750,000 followers.

“It’s cool when lines like Believe Beauty launch, where it’s accessible,” she said. “I think it’s more achievable and the things that your everyday consumer can afford.”

Believe may help Dollar General gain market share against drug and grocery stores, said Stephanie Wissink, who covers the beauty industry at Jefferies.

$17 billion US cosmetics market

The majority of Dollar General’s stores are in rural communities, so offering the brand might save small-town shoppers a longer drive out to Target or Walgreens, she said.

Dollar General added its own beauty brand to an industry that is surging. Sales of cosmetics, which includes makeup, lipsticks, nail polish and eye shadow, have grown 31% in the United States since 2013 to more than $17 billion last year, according to Euromonitor.

But the industry is changing rapidly. Social media and the rise of vloggers have democratized the market, opening it to new shoppers.

“If you’re a beauty enthusiast in a small community, you can access the same content to inspire you as the metropolitan fashonista,” said Wissink. “Historically, you would have had to subscribe to a magazine or wait until a trend reached you.”

Social media has also allowed small, low-priced brands to gain loyal followings online. Brands such as ELF cosmetics, which sells for under $10, have appealed to bargain hunters and paved the way for mainstream retailers to offer their own affordable lines.

“People know that now they can get really good makeup for cheap,” said Horn. “There’s not as much of a stigma behind it.”

Dollar General is following a similar strategy to Walgreens, Target, Zara, Forever 21 and even 7-Eleven. These companies have all added their own in-house cosmetics lines in recent years.

“The barriers to building a brand are not as stringent as they were in the past,” said Wissink from Jefferies. “That’s why you’re seeing almost every retailer launching some level of beauty.”