Xiaohongshu (aka RED or Little Red Book) is one of China’s go-to platforms for beauty KOLs and brands looking to develop communities. Fortunately for beauty brands and KOLs, the platform seems to have rebounded since being pulled off app stores for 3 months in mid-2019. We expect the platform to continue its beauty space relevancy in 2020. So now let’s take a look at some of the most trending beauty hashtags on Xiaohongshu and consider how brands might use them as a hook for KOL campaigns.
“First Makeup of the Year” (#新年第一妆)
31.3k participants, 60m views
Brands should always anticipate potential intersections between their product categories and upcoming holidays to discover trending beauty hashtags on Xiaohongshu. Brands should ask questions like:
- How will consumers be using products at that time?
- What talking points might the holiday generate?
- What trending beauty hashtags were used the previous year?
This recent example illustrates the point perfectly. In the past month, RED users have marked both the arrival of 2020 and the Lunar New Year by posting videos and photos under the hashtag “First makeup of the year.”
Some users posted content with a specific new year connection, but others simply used the tag as a timely hook for their business-as-usual output: makeup tutorials, product recommendations, and demos.
The most popular video was posted by user @圆圆er and featured actress and singer Tan Songyun (谭松韵) dancing jubilantly in front of the camera. The video received almost 600 comments and over 30,000 likes. Brands should always consult with KOL collaborators about opportunities to feature their products in posts tied in with major events.
“Today’s Makeup” (#今日妆容)
22k participants, 170m views
This hashtag can obviously be used year-round and is a favourite of Xiaohongshu bloggers sharing their own makeup routines. The Xiaohongshu posts in this category tend to be a mix of both photos and videos, usually shot up-close to highlight the results of the routines and techniques discussed in the post. In one of the most popular recent posts, actress Zhang Li (@张俪) details her day spent on a magazine shoot.
“Today’s Makeup” tag is great for brands running product seeding campaigns. Some of the most popular content is from Korean blogger Park Hye-Min, who also goes by the name Pony Makeup (@泡泡糖课堂). Park has around 35,000 fans on Xiaohongshu, and her videos generally run to around 4-5 minutes as she walks viewers through her makeup routine, from concealer to eyelashes.
“My skincare routine” (#我的护肤日常)
269k participants, 510m views
As the numbers suggest, this is one of the most active trending beauty hashtags on Xiaohongshu. The notes are a mix of photos and videos, and there are clear content-to-commerce opportunities for brands. Many posts in this hashtag feature a link for users to click through and buy the featured products.
One of the biggest KOLs using this hashtag is @爱臭美的狗甜儿 (1.1m followers), whose animated, effusive delivery makes her fast-paced recommendation videos compelling watching. Another star of the skincare routine space is Korean blogger @YOULI有丽 (384,000 followers). She speaks enough Chinese to introduce her videos in Mandarin, before switching to Korean for the more detailed product explanations. Male beauty blogger @韩承浩LeoBeauty (1.4m followers) goes into more depth with his tutorials, often carrying out makeovers on guests.
“My bargains” (#我的平价好物)
84k participants, 320m views
Although content under this hashtag is not limited to the beauty category, you’ll find a lot of skincare and cosmetics featured. The emphasis is on value for money, and a lot of the content predictably targets the student demographic. Some of the posts include hacks and workarounds using everyday products—in one example, a blogger talks about using Vaseline as a moisturiser.
As with other categories, the more eye-catching content tends to be a short video. For example, blogger @志宇美妆快报 (31,000 followers) highlights the benefits and uses of lipsticks, facial and skin care products in a style reminiscent of an infomercial sales pitch. There are also more photo-based posts in this category, with some users simply posting screenshots of bargains they’ve found on other platforms.
This hashtag could be an outlet for brands to funnel discounted items into their Xiaohongshu campaigns, working with KOLs to focus the content around the product’s value. Usefully, the homepage for this hashtag also links to a ranking of the top products relevant to the category. Users can explore the rankings and view product pages or proceed straight to making a purchase.
“Makeup Tips For Beginners” (#新手化妆技巧)
23k participants, 370m views
This hashtag focuses on techniques like applying foundation and concealer and dealing with tricky areas like noses and eyes. Male beauty influencer @LeoBeauty pops up regularly again here, applying his deep-dive approach (3-minute videos being relatively long for RED, at least) to share his expertise with cosmetics and makeup. With 1.4 million followers, @肉雯 has similar reach, and her explainer videos offer tips tailored to the individual—for example, how to adjust your approach depending on the size of your face or nose, how the effect you’re going for dictates the technique you’ll use, and so on. @Rika0_0 also enjoys a following in the region of 1.4 million, but her 30-second clips get straight to the point of how to pull off a particular effect or technique.
“Eyeshadow Test” (#眼影试色)
70k participants, 330m views
This is a key hashtag for any brand with eyeshadow products. The content is evenly balanced between photos and videos, and the emphasis tends to be on showing the variety of shades offered by the brand in question. There are lots of demos of how different shades show up against the skin, as well as reviews of cosmetics and brushes, and tutorials on how to apply eyeshadow to achieve desired effects.
As with “My Bargains,” the “Eyeshadow Test” hashtag lists a ranking of the top ten products in the category according to numerous metrics, with links to e-commerce.
“Not Picky About My Lipstick” (#我的口红不挑皮)
7.6k participants 250m views
Though this hashtag is one of trending beauty hashtags on Xiaohongshu and attracts a healthy number of viewers, the number of participants to this hashtag is relatively small in comparison to the others on this list. The upshot of that is that a few star influencers dominate the lipstick-related content on RED. Among the most prolific at present are @认真少女_颜九 (1.36m followers) and @ShirleyWWW (440,000 followers). The content itself is similar in style to the “Eyeshadow Test” content—highly product-focused, with a lot of closeup photos to convey the effectiveness of the lipsticks featured. No shortage of video recommendations and explainers, either, and once again the hashtag homepage displays the top ten best-ranked products.
Trending Beauty Hashtags on Xiaohongshu
Brands should consider trending beauty hashtags carefully when working with KOLs to get the most out of their marketing campaigns, as well as do their research to understand what are some of the most highly discussed topics in their industry. These trending beauty hashtags also provide insights into the different content strategies KOLs use when interacting with their followers—you can read more about that here.