From “made in China” to “created in China”, China has become a rich creative ground for both local and international entities. China is the world’s second largest cosmetics market after the United States. In the “Greater Bay Area”, this region of the 9 largest cities in southern China, there is a beauty business hub: in Hong Kong, Canton or Shenzhen, new make-up brands are exploding!
Perfect Diary, the Chinese gloss empire !
Founded in 2016 by the Yatsen company and based in Guangzhou, Perfect Diary (wánměi rìjì 完美日记) is one of the most popular makeup brands on Chinese social networks for its high-end but accessible makeup. Lately, it is literally THE brand worn on everyone’s lips. How ? Thanks to a winning influencer strategy, she was early endorsed by China’s “Lipstick King”, Li Jiaqi, one of the country’s biggest beauty influencers. On November 11, 2019 (11/11 is a major commercial holiday in China), the brand was the first to register 100 million yuan (about $15.4 million) in sales in just 13 minutes. Perfect Diary also imposes itself thanks to innovative collaborations with unexpected brands: the British Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Discovery Channel, or even the China National Geography on a collection of breathtaking Chinese landscapes by surfing on the trend of guochao (taste of the Chinese for the made in China). The success was confirmed in 2020, when the company was valued at over $2 billion after its IPO.
Colorkey, the 200 million yuan “sweet-cool”
Colorkey is a young makeup brand founded in 2018 in Canton, in the southern region of China. The brand wants to be trendy, affordable – the price of a lipstick is 59 yuan, or about 8 euros – and resolutely turned towards Millennials and Gen-Zers. The concept ? Use colors as keys to open the door to a new “sweet-cool” beauty. Indeed, Colorkey wants to make makeup more fun in terms of textures and colors, more playful in the experience of the product and the creation of looks. By mixing trends and cultures, Colorkey managed to reach more than 200 million yuan in sales in the first year of its launch. It only took 6 months for the brand to become one of the top 5 best-selling make-up brands on Tmall. Three years later, always in line with the trends which in China are changing at full speed, the brand has given itself a new visual identity with a new, more premium, cooler and sweeter packaging, created of course, with Centdegrés.
Water, style and colors: the new LA effect!
Letsaqua or “LA!” is the own brand belonging to the distributor Watsons. Surfing on liquid cosmetics, it offers a modern and trendy look “aqua-glossy” luminous, shiny, with a wet and pearly effect. Its complete make-up range, made up of glosses, lip lacquers, lip balms, eye shadows, foundations, blushes, mascara and eye liners, is “aqua-centric”: created entirely from a base liquid containing more than 70% water. The brand focuses more on a young profile of the “water” type (emotional, dreamy, whimsical) than on the “fire” type (impulsive, dominant, determined). To strengthen its positioning, the design of the brand’s logo and packaging has been completely redesigned with the help of the French agency centdegrés. LA!’s new brand image is inspired by the Californian style, colorful and minimalist, that can be found among the new indie brands born on Instagram. A gen-Z look, trendy and sunny to further seduce its target and to make itself, in the very competitive but booming Chinese make-up market, a place of choice.
This article was made in collaboration with Chine-Info.com