This is an excerpt from Please Like Me, BuzzFeed News’ newsletter about influencers and internet culture. You can sign up here. In our new column, Social Media Made Me Do It, we try a new trend, product, or tip from the feed.
The term “Douyin makeup” has taken over my TikTok For You page, and nothing makes me want to try something more than a bunch of people telling me I should.
Douyin makeup combines several East Asian beauty trends into one specific look that has trended all over the app and is now being popularized in the West. The style has been called the Xiao Hong Shu look, or “Little Red Book look,” because of its pink pigmentation. Asian American creators have primarily taken it up and made it viral on TikTok.
In case you weren’t familiar, TikTok is the international version of the app Douyin. They're both owned by ByteDance, and TikTok in essence has the same function as Douyin, but how you add people (Douyin has ID numbers, not usernames), how you discover trends and hashtags, and how you search and find content is all different. Which means Douyin trends that trickle over to TikTok are hard to trace back because the infrastructure is unique to the domestic version of the app.
There are a few key features to the Douyin makeup trend. Pink eyeshadow under the eye and blush placed high on the cheeks is a must. The eye look has to highlight the undereye fat known in Korea as aegyo sal. Distinct and sparse eyelashes that are longest in the middle of the eye (think K-pop idol lashes) is achieved with individual fake lashes clumped together with mascara. The center of the lips is pigmented but fades out toward the upper and lower edges — the gradient lip look that has been one of the most recognizable East Asian makeup tricks since the early 2010s. And glitter. Lots of glitter.
I had to try the Douyin makeup look twice, largely because it’s far more finicky than I anticipated (here was my inspo photo). My fingers were smudged with mascara from trying to clump my lashes together, and I could have concealed the edges of my lips a bit better. Next time I think I might try to buy strip lashes specifically for this kind of look! Also, while I looked really pink IRL, it didn’t exactly pick up on camera. However I think my aegyo sal is more highlighted here, and I did smack on a ton of glitter, which I think is the most important part. The Douyin makeup trend is so fun and introduces many interesting techniques that differ from the American ones I’m used to. I will be attempting it again!