What are the e-commerce beauty trends in China?

What are the e-Commerce cosmetics and beauty Trends in China in 2019? A full analysis of this industry and benchmark of brands best practices.  China is set to become the world’s largest market for beauty products. As customers become more sophisticated and develop more unique tastes the rise of China’s consumer class has presented something even more promising for beauty brands: a massive, fast-growing market of people who increasingly want to buy expensive products.


  1. The rise of the Chinese middle class and its appetite for all consumer goods- especially Beauty brands.

  2. Total Cosmetics &Beauty Products revenues retail sales of skincare products in China reached RMB255 billion in 2018.

  3. China Market is one of the fastest growing countries among major beauty market for growth.


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Chinese Cosmetics Brands vs International Cosmetics Brands

Typical foreign brands such as LancomeEstee LauderSK-II, and Olay topped the sales rankings on Tmall during last year’s Singles Day, but local Chinese brands such as Pechoin, Chando, and One leaf also placed in the top ten

Chinese brands represented 23.1percent of the market for China’s top 30 brands last year, up from 12.9 percent in 2012 and 5.1 percent in 2008, according to a report from Euromonitor. And yet international brands still occupied 92.3 percent of the high-end (> RMB 200 per item) market for skincare and cosmetics last year.

While international brands have more capital to invest in research and technological development and long-term branding, Chinese brands are known for their high quality-to-price ratios and are popular in smaller cities, where they tend to have stronger offline retail networks.

A generation ago, most Chinese consumers bought almost everything at local state-owned stores, where both selection and supply were limited. Today, the preferences have changed. They not only have access to a wider selection of local retailers selling products from around the world, but also online retailers available at the touch of their smartphones. Consumers are becoming more sophisticated and with rising incomes, Chinese shopping tours to Paris, Milan, New York, and London have become very trendy entertainment.


Cosmetics Brands Will Benefit from Consumers Upgrading Their Makeup Routines

36 percent of Chinese cosmetics customers are adding steps to their makeup routines, according to a report published by the Chinese e-commerce site Ebrun.com. They are progressing from “basic” makeup items including lipstick, BB cream, and perfume, and starting to purchase “advanced” items such as foundation, makeup tools, and eyeshadow. These items often require makeup tutorials. And here are KOLs to provide live streaming or short videos to educate customers.

Ex Lana

A famous beauty makeup blogger under contract from Chinese media. Lana has huge influential power to go with her massive fan base.  Her blog content mainly focuses on cosmetics recommendations and makeup tips.

安利小能手Lana; 9,610,000 followers

Ex: Pony

Pony is a Korean beauty queen and writer for a best-selling beauty book in China. She started her personal beauty makeup blog in 2008 and it is rightly characterized as easy-to-use, ultra-practical, gorgeous design, and super effective, resulting in her booming popularity.

Brands with Bold Offerings Let Consumers Differentiate Themselves

Chinese want to differentiate themselves from their peers and are more open to adopting bolder looks.

For example, strawberry pink lipstick has been most popular in past years, but this year bold red has become the dominant color of choice for women’s first lipstick purchases. Popular product lines include M.A.C.’s Ruby Woo, Dior 999, and Tom Ford’s Ruby Rush #07. Other emerging colors also include mermaid pink, grapefruit, and pumpkin, all eclectic colors that indicate Chinese consumers’ growing interest in differentiating themselves.

Of course, some lipstick products have become popular after being associated with certain characters on TV dramas, such as The Legend of Fuyao, a popular ancient China drama series that stars celebrity Yang Mi, who is also an ambassador for Estee Lauder and Michael Kors. Estee Lauder and Yang Mi launched a new line of lipsticks that have been boomed on the popular TV series.

The same goes for color cosmetics. Nars Cosmetics, owned by Japan-based Shiseido, launched an “Orgasm” makeup line late last year.

The line includes provocatively named products such as “Do Me Baby” lip pencil and “Sexy Fantasy” blush.

One more example is one skincare brand The Ordinary. The brand has become known amongst Chinese beauty trendsetters for selling simple, high-quality products at near-cost prices.

Chinese Brands Are Growing Rapidly, But International Brands Will Still Dominate the High-End Market

While some famous foreign brands succeed in integrating into the Chinese cosmetics market, they have to share it with local ones which has huge benefits.

Chinese consumers have higher demands and expect them to be satisfied. Consequently, local brands get more keys in order to understand their needs. Then, local brands have the possibility to study the society around them. It’s easier to communicate with them and to adapt strategy quickly.

However, Chinese consumers are more and more connected and spend a lot of time on e-commerce platforms and social media. So, despite Chinese brands will continue to grow rapidly, international brands will still dominate the high-end skincare and cosmetics market.

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