Contact us
Baptiste LESEQUE 01.30.23

TikTok Beauty Trends - February 2023


Each month, NellyRodi beauty experts present their selection of the most interesting trends seen on TikTok. Here’s what’s happening in February 2023!

Red Nails Theory

Throughout time, beauty has been seen as a tool for seduction, and cosmetics have been used for personal pleasure and to please others. Recently, Gen Z (born between 1997 and 2010) has been analyzing this way of thinking and testing it for themselves. As a generation with greater awareness, they are trying to challenge ideas about seduction, as seen with the red nails theory on TikTok.

The trend, which has garnered 214 million views, suggests that red-painted nails attract more attention and consistently get compliments. The videos explain that society associates the color with female seduction, and that this mass-culture reference has taken hold in our minds. After explaining the theory to their peers, internauts put it into practice and share unedited reports of the reactions to their red nails. And, in fact, the astonished internauts report receiving numerous compliments and invitations to go out.

In the same vein, fragrances with pheromones have invaded the platform. TikTokers are having fun telling about their unusual experiences caused by perfume made with pheromones, which are substances similar to sex hormones. TikTok’s format lets viewers identify with the spontaneous reactions in the videos, add their own responses, and try the experiment for themselves.

The TikTok platform works both for learning and being entertained. And Gen Zers are using it for self-education while still enjoying the theatrical elements, immersive experiences, and authentic feedback.

@navyapassi Replying to @Unknown_123 red nail theory explained 💅🏻 @GirlBossTown #rednailtheory #rednails ♬ original sound – Navya Passi

Beauty crash tests

A 2023 Statista survey shows that 58% of consumers pay attention to the ingredients and composition of cosmetic products before spending. The health crisis had a significant impact on consumers’ trust in brands and institutions. Today they’re looking for transparency and safety, and when they want beauty advice, they’re more comfortable turning to a new category of experts instead of health professionals.

Getting advice on TikTok is evolving. On the one hand, there are professionals who have become skincare influencers (or skinfluencers); and on the other, there are consumers who have set themselves up as experts. The dialogues are helping make dermatology accessible to everyone. Consumers know which active ingredients are right for their problems and the necessary proportions for optimal efficacy. They also know which ingredient combinations to avoid.

Thanks to their growing knowledge and the fact they no longer trust brands, consumers are even going as far as using their own DIY experiments to test ingredient lists and see if they’re true. For example, an internaut added serums advertised as containing vitamin C to antiseptic solutions. If the solution turned clear, that proved the presence of the active ingredient. Otherwise, the ingredient list was not reliable. TikTok is the perfect format for conducting at-home tests, which are not inspired only by lack of trust. Internauts also like to show off their fun and entertaining experiments and play the role of chemists-in-training. Some even go so far as applying serums to apple quarters to see which ones dry out more slowly and check how well the products work.

TikTok has become a real laboratory for conducting at-home crash tests to prove or disprove a cosmetic product’s performance. Consumers’ growing expertise and demand for total transparency are forcing brands to adopt higher standards and improve the performance of their formulations.


With over 3 billion views for #PerfumeTok, TikTok has become a key space for fragrance aficionados, especially the young generations.

The Gen Z group searches TikTok on a daily basis, and the platform has become a limitless database for users who want to try out new scents. One example of the young generation’s growing interest in niche perfumes is Baccarat Rouge 540, which has around 340 million views on the platform. The fragrance’s wild and completely unplanned success is a boon to the Maison Francis Kurkdjian and its very select retail network.

This generation is also looking for authentic communication that’s a far cry from traditional marketing codes. On the platform they talk about perfume in much more practical ways, with tips for everyday life: the best perfume for flirting, for going to work, for a family dinner, etc. Feelings and sensorial information are returned to heart of these olfactory conversations, with internauts filming themselves live in front of the camera to talk about their experiences and the feelings a perfume provoked. This is what made Phlur’s Missing Person so incredibly successful: internauts smelled the perfume and then shared their intense feelings and reactions, sometimes even crying. These unfiltered discussions show spontaneous – meaning sincere – responses and let internauts identify with the speakers. The videos are fabulous buying triggers, encouraging everyone to take their turn testing a fragrance and sharing their own impressions.

TikTok represents a lucrative opportunity for brands to target Gen Z by adopting a set of more authentic codes that prioritize feelings.

@rachelrigler Adam’s reaction to Missing Person by @Phlur 💋✨ #perfume #phlur #perfumetok #fragrance ♬ original sound – Rachel Rigler

More news

Reconciling creation and responsibility

As a B Corp, NellyRodi is part of a global community of companies that adhere to high social and environmental standards.