Social Influencer
Photo Credit: Li Si

Pretty Talks: Talk Like a Chinese Beauty Influencer

Considering a career as a beauty influencer? Talk like one first.

How many lipsticks can you sell in five minutes? 15,000 was the record for Li Jiaqi, formerly one of China’s top 美妆博主 (měizhuāng bózhǔ), or beauty influencers.

Li, with 30 million followers on microblogging platform Weibo, became a household name soon after he started sharing creative makeup tutorials (美妆教程 měizhuāng jiàochéng) and beauty product reviews (美妆测评 měizhuāng cèpíng) in 2016. But he is not the only beauty influencer making waves. A makeup tutorial from last year, in which blogger Ruby Youxi recreates the look of actress Zhao Lusi in The Long Ballad, a 2021 TV show set in the Tang dynasty (618–907), has attracted almost 27 million views at the time of writing.

In 2021 alone, Chinese consumers spent over 400 billion yuan on cosmetics according to the National Bureau of Statistics, and China has become the second largest consumer market for cosmetics in the world. Li alone raked in 8 billion yuan in just one night on November 11 last year, during Alibaba’s annual “Singles’ Day” shopping festival.

Tempted to try your hand at selling some cosmetics? Anyone can set up accounts on Weibo, lifestyle app Xiaohongshu (or RED), or other social media platforms, and start sharing daily makeup looks, skincare tips, makeup techniques, and trendy cosmetic product insights, or even holler at viewers to click on the product purchase links embedded in posts or livestreaming sessions.

But before you rush to buy tripods or fancy spotlights, you might want to first get familiar with the lingo required to be successful in this highly competitive market.

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Pretty Talks: Talk Like a Chinese Beauty Influencer is a story from our issue, “Public Affairs.” To read the entire issue, become a subscriber and receive the full magazine. Alternatively, you can purchase the digital version from the App Store.


author Yang Tingting (杨婷婷)

Yang Tingting is a Chinese editor at The World of Chinese. Interested in telling Chinese stories, she writes mainly about culture, language, and society.

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