Social media has become one of the primary channels for consumers to obtain beauty and makeup information. According to NPD 92% of makeup users get information on products from online YouTube video by online influencers. Social media marketing is the largest shift we have seen in the beauty industry in terms of driving growth. Recently, Isentia’s China team released the “2017 Q2 China beauty trends study”. The report shows that during the second quarter of 2017 the organic buzz in the beauty sector in China’s mainstream social media reached 48 million posts], 17% more than the first quarter, and the online discussion related to makeup/cosmetic products jumped four times compared with the previous quarter.
The trends study ranked the digital presence of 51 well-known beauty brands by aggregating and filtering the organic buzz from China’s major social media, including Weibo, Wechat, Q&A, blogs, forums, website and apps such as “The little Red Book”and summarized the most-recent five major skin care and makeup trends in China.
Beauty digital buzz ranking:
L’Oreal and Estee Lauder are at the center of the China’s beauty discussions so much so they were listed the number one and two in the ranking. The organic buzz of L’Oreal’s brand and products is almost double compared with Kiehl’s, which is at third place. (Please view the full report for the 51 brands rank)
It’s not hard to see that the result somehow reflects the brands’ input in the Chinese digital marketing sector. 2017 marks the 20th year of L’Oreal in the China market. Since 2015 L’Oreal has been shifting its marketing focus to digital media. In 2016 the brand successfully conducted several promotion campaigns by embracing cutting edge digital marketing tactics, from cooperating with online influencers to applying live streaming and AI technologies.
5 major makeup and skincare trends in China
The beauty trend 1: Pursing whitening, radiance, and glowing skin
Through the analysis we found out that Chinese consumers do not only desire fair but also radiant and glowing skin. Watery glowing skin, girly skin and lustrous skin have become the hot key words for consumers trying to describe their desired skin.
To promote products with hydrant and glowing effects, cosmetic brands are frequently using key words such as “Watery glowing skin” which means the skin is hydrated, full of radiance.. The study reveals that in China Estee Lauder and YSL are the brands that leverage the key words for product promotion and also receive high online discussions.
The beauty trends 2: Blurred lines between skincare and makeup
Adding skincare function into foundation is not a new concept. Since 2012 high-end makeup brands such as La mer and Sisely’s foundation products have been called “Skincare foundation” as their foundations have nourishing or replenishing properties.. Since 2017, “Serum/Essential oil foundation” and “Instant age rewind foundation” have become the new hot key words for foundation products. With essential oils added to create a flawless translucent glow..
Through buzz analysis we can see that the expectations of consumers for essential oil foundations are majorly focused on the radiance, smoothness and moisturizing effects. Currently the most discussed product is Armani maestro glow nourishing fusion makeup product.
The beauty trends 3: Strong needs for shortcuts to daily beauty routines
In 2015, “Su Yan Shuang” (素颜霜) which is a combined product of makeup and skincare, catering to women who wanted the “fake bare face(伪素颜)”effect. . It is a cream which modifies the skin color, improves skin texture and optimizes the skin's clarity while promoting inner radiance.
The online discussion on “Su Yan Shuang” during 2017 Q2 surged 15 times compared with the previous quarter. Below are the rank of the top products related to “ Su Yan Shuang”.
The beauty trends 4: Matte as new makeup trend and hottest lipstick colors
On 2017 Q2, the organic buzz volume on “matte makeup” soared by 17% compared to Q1. As opposed to shimmer, glow, or shiny makeup, matte makeup is a kind of makeup that i mostly just flat. It is void of any excess oils, and has a more velvety finish that pulls light inward, often with a powdery texture.
Based on the analysis of consumer discussions on lipstick products, we can see the top 3 hottest lipstick colors by Chinese neitizen’s discussions in Q2 are matte , pink and red. Compared to the last quarter, colors such as “mermaid color” and “peach blossom red” that were popular due to the popular TV dramas are gradually deminished due to the finish of the show.
The beauty trends 5: Social media slang in beauty emerged as hot communication language
When online influencers and social media key accounts are reviewing beauty products, they like to use social media words or nick-names of the products. As more brands are tapping into social media marketing, they tend to use “beauty slangs” and adapt the similar tone of voice for content creation to better engage with their consumers online. The Isentia beauty trend study lists the recent hottest beauty slang with explanations. For example the hottest and commonly used word is "Zhong cao 种草" （plant weeds）, which means the idea of influencing, or being influenced to fall in love with a particular product. A product recommendation shared by KOL or netizens to stimulate the intention of purchasing. The most co-mentioned products with “Zhong cao”is lipstick, followed by eye and facial makeup, and then skin care products.
Another word “Kong ping 空瓶“（empty bottle）means use out the product, are often appears at the product evaluation related post. Many China beauty influencers are posing content with themes such as “kong ping Ji 空瓶记”（Empty bottle diary）for product review content.
“By pinpointing and understanding the trendy hot key words brands can adjust their social media listening plans accordingly to better identify consumers insight for business actions. “Says Renie zhang， Isentia associate insight director.
She added：”Social media is rapidly changing the way beauty brands connect and communicate with consumers. The Chinese post 80s and 90s generations have become the core consumers of beauty products, and they are also active social media users. At least half of their purchase decisions are based on word of mouth, with social media having a major impact on their entire purchase journey. From understanding market trends, consumer presences, identify personas or influential promotion channels, brands can leverage social media analysis and obtain different levels of insights.
To download the full report, please click here