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China | ‘Made in China’ Cosmetic Brands On the Rise

Oct 26, 2018.Xueqing DingBeijing, CN
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PERFECT DIARY Official Website

Chinese young women that are cosmetic enthusiasts are on the rise year after year. Fashion trends in Korea and Japan for a long time have been the source of attention but all directions point to the West and now bringing European aesthetics into the spotlight like it has done so in the past. The importing of overseas brands stimulates the development of local brands and the competition in China's cosmetic industry is in a hostile environment. Rather than physical store fronts, brands have shifted to selling products online and at times, brands established and sold online are growing more than ever. On China’s social media RED or Weibo, hashtags, "cosmetic sampling" where one tests for colour shades are exploding with popularity. Brands called "the nation’s glory" (meaning China’s local brands) sold on China’s largest EC site, T-mall are spread through word of mouth using social media as a means rather than billboard adverts or opening brick and mortars.   

Brands such as PERFECT DIARY on T-mall has sold 1.18 million for their liquid foundation (approx. US$ 10* each) and their 9 colour eye shadow palette (approx. US$ 14* each) for 450,000 in sales. The eyebrow pencil from Marie Dalgar (approx. US$ 5* each) sold 1.89 million units, and the liquid eyeliner (approx. US$ 7* each) at 1.65 million units. Reasons why these brands are successful in sales is due to it’s keywords favorable to recent consumer trends such as "autumn leaves makeup", "hyperchromatic shades", "mermaid princess" whilst launching new products in speed. Moreover, products that are relatively similar can be obtained at a fraction of the prices compared their oversea counterparts. Rather than buying one item from a luxury brand, local brands will have it arranged in a way that can be easily obtained with similar traits.  

Due to the spread of local brands, Chinese consumers have raised more awareness and are accepting products that are “made in china”. With all productions done locally, the market can respond promptly to market trends, thus reaching consumers in a short amount of time.  Despite the expansion in the domestic cosmetic market, competition between overseas and local brands are still at a tug-o-war.