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Baptise LESEQUE 02.27.23

TikTok Beauty Trends - March 2023

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

Beauty Hacks

TikTok users are always on the lookout for new beauty tricks, and they enjoy trying out new routines, products, and techniques. For example, contouring really took off first with Kim Kardashian, and next Bella Hadid inspired a new way of applying bronzer under the cheekbones (#ModelCheekBones). The latest contouring trend can be found under a very popular content category called #BeautyHack. The hashtag has 25 billion views on TikTok, and right now it’s about using products in ways not originally intended.

Users have recently adopted a creative approach called self-tanning face. The idea is to replace regular bronzers with self-tanning products for semi-permanent results. The tip, which has already racked up over 818 million views, is giving self-tanning products a surprising new use. In the same vein, the slugging trend, with 872 million views, has turned Vaseline into a facial moisturizing cream and mascara as well as a way to style eyebrows and make fragrance last longer.

TikTok is a hub for sharing tricks and tips, and when it comes to testing new products or finding new ways to use products, Gen Zers trust each other the most. For brands, it’s an opportunity to surf new, viral techniques, suggest the right products, and get inspiration from new tutorials.

@abbybaffoe Replying to @happiestnatalieonearth selftan face contour in depth tutorial 😙🫶🏼 #selftan #selftanner #selftanface #facecontouring #beautyhacks ♬ original sound – Abby Baffoe

Irony is the new communication code

Marlène Masure, General Manager Operations for TikTok France, is clear, “You don’t check TikTok, you watch TikTok.” In fact, users spend almost as much time on Netflix as on TikTok, with an average of 89 minutes per day on the streaming platform and 90 minutes watching short videos, according to a 2021 TechCrunch Report. Their main motivation for participating in TikTok is entertainment. They like to be in the spotlight and especially show off their irony, as proven by the 10 billion views for the #Parody hashtag.

Generally, an ironic communication style is very much appreciated by Gen Z. For example, an internaut used ridicule to present fragrances she didn’t recommend, since they could provoke waves of compliments, create a feeling of wellbeing, and attract too many admirers. In this case, humor moves away from the traditional communication styles that Gen Z no longer identifies with.

When irony is an integral part of a brand’s communication strategy, it can influence how Gen Z perceives the brand. A 2022 report from Kyra Media showed that Elf Cosmetics is Gen Z’s favorite beauty brand. The preference can, in part, be explained by the humor in the brand’s DNA and communication codes. In its Super Bowl ad, Elf used irony to promote the benefits of its star product, known for smoothing skin and helping makeup last longer. In the commercial, actress Jennifer Coolidge (back in the spotlight with The White Lotus series) compares her skin to a dolphin’s and then imitates its cry. Next, viewers see that since the cream is so clingy and its texture so sticky, she can’t remove the phone stuck to her face.

The challenge for brands on TikTok is to break away from traditional communication codes and establish a strong connection with Gen Z. The humorous, even ironic tone throughout the platform presents an opportunity for brands to take a more authentic approach and adapt to the diversity of this generation.

@elfyeah IT’S GAME DAY. IT’S PRIME TIME. AND IT’S E.L.F.IN’ STICKY. @jennifercoolidge #elfcosmetics #stickyaself ♬ original sound – elfyeah

The end of the clean girl?

The TikTok platform has an overabundance of inspiring routines reflecting idealized lives that border on perfection. Under the #MorningRoutine hashtag, which boasts over 14 billion views, internauts share videos of their morning rituals (which can last more than four hours), where they perform a series of household chores and personal care routines before going to work.

The phenomenon is also present in the beauty sphere with regimens that include up to 10 steps and makeup tutorials that are part of the #CleanGirlMakeUp movement. The 489-million-view-strong hashtag presents tips for the “cleanest” results possible: contouring sculpts the face, corrector brightens the eyes, and blush makes skin look natural and fresh.

But some members of the young generation are questioning this “clean” idea and think the routines encourage beauty standards that are unattainable on a daily basis. The response is “dirtier” looks, appearing under the #MessyMakeUp (37.7 million views) and #DirtyMakeUp hashtags (22.4 million views). Internauts apply eyeshadow with their fingers and smear black under their eyes for a disheveled look that requires significantly fewer steps. The trend is a throwback to the grunge movement with its appetite for protest.

TikTok is not just a learning tool for Gen Zers, it’s also a space where they can express their opinions, oppose trends that don’t suit them … and then create new ones.

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