TikTokers in The Beauty World: Is There Space For Them?

TikTok has become one of the most-used social media platforms, experiencing exponential growth like nothing else. What started out as Musical.ly, a platform for former Viners, quickly developed into an app that has taken the world by storm. 

The influencers who popularized TikTok are creating opportunities for themselves in fields that were once closed to them. One of these industries is in the world of makeup and beauty. However, this brings up the question: is there enough room for them?

TikTok is a great source of inspiration for both makeup artists and regular people. Believe me, during quarantine, makeup hacks from TikTok have made life so much easier (especially when it comes to learning winged eyeliner!). Addison Rae and the D’Amelio sisters are some of the most popular influencers on TikTok, and recently, they’ve come out with their own makeup brands and partnerships. Addison Rae’s brand, ITEM Beauty, promotes clean products that are good for the environment and even better for your skin (which we love!). Similarly, Charli and Dixie D’Amelio have partnered up with Morphe to create several colorful and youthful eyeshadow palettes, lip glosses, and more. There are many other TikTokers involved in the makeup industry, though these three figures have gained the greatest publicity and popularity for their ventures (they’re also my favorite!).

What I love about TikTok influencers entering the makeup game is that they know what I want. Because TikTok is dominated by Gen Z, many of the most popular TikTok celebrities are around my age. They know the kinds of makeup trends people my age gravitate towards. Gen Z is also very socially- and environmentally-conscious, so cosmetics that benefit certain causes or put the environment first are definitely something I’d be first in line to pay for. 

TikTok is also a great place to foster creativity when it comes to makeup. The videos are relatively short, so people can discover new brands and find quick reviews for products they’re interested in. I’ve been able to find amazing products from brands like Rare Beauty by Selena Gomez and Tarte Cosmetics thanks to TikTok reviews. 

The industry has also seen a greater shift toward inclusivity in makeup. Young people on TikTok insist that every skin color should be represented in makeup, and so makeup brands make the effort to better represent all skin tones.  

Although the TikTok makeup world is diverse and an amazing resource available to all, there is a small disconnect between influencers and the audience. The short video length is great for convenience, but it lacks the personal connection we see from makeup gurus on YouTube. It also seems as though the TikTok influencers who are creating/partnering up with makeup brands are just the face of the brand and not personally involved with the development or creation of the makeup. 

On the other hand, we have YouTube, which has always been an important platform for all creators, but especially significant for makeup gurus and artists. I’m not a makeup expert by any means, but I still enjoy watching makeup tutorials and experimenting with beauty products. Also, what TikTok lacks is what YouTube has always had: YouTubers like James Charles and Manny Mua have made videos about makeup so enjoyable because of their ability to relate to their audience through their personal experiences and stories.. 

Makeup used to seem like such a scary thing to me: there’s foundation, primer, concealer, and a million other things. However, watching James Charles tackle each step makes the process seem less daunting. I think it’s really important that I connect with the makeup guru and enjoy myself while watching or trying their tutorial. This is an important lesson TikTok influencers need to learn from their YouTube counterparts. 

Makeup is not only an art form, but also an expression of oneself. Because the makeup world is defined by its tight-knit community, it’s important that influencers from all platforms understand their audience and ensure their tutorials are not only fun, but also personal to their journeys. So, while I do think there’s plenty of room for everybody to be part of the makeup community, it’s essential that TikTokers especially work on being more relatable and appealing to their target audience.