Can Beauty Brands Capitalize on Euphoria’s Popularity in China?

What Happened: HBO’s breakout hit series Euphoria returned for its second season in January after an almost two-and-a-half-year wait. The TV series, created by Sam Levinson, explores Gen-Z life by following a group of high school students’ romantic relationships and friendships in a world of drugs, sex, trauma, and addiction.

Even though the show doesn’t have an official broadcast channel in China (obsessed viewers watch it through a VPN), the second season has had high engagement on Chinese social platforms. The hashtag #EuphoriaComeback has garnered 256 million reads and 270,000 comments on Weibo. Moreover, some fans made short videos sharing the TV drama through Douyin, which have enjoyed more than 770 million views to date.

The Jing Take: In addition to its dramatic plotlines, the popularity of Euphoria has opened up a unique opportunity in the makeup market, mainly inspired by Euphoria’s main character, Jules (a transgender teen played by Hunter Schafer). She has won over Gen-Z hearts on the mainland with a unique makeup style that usually employs sequins, glitter, sharp eyeliner, and colorful eyeshadow. 

Imitating the various looks from the show has already become a hot internet beauty trend. More importantly, discussing the look has been a great strategy for KOLs to get more traffic. “No matter the party, Euphoria makeup can make me a queen, especially at a Halloween party,” said @秦碧凤 on Xiaohongshu in a video that received 13,000 likes.

Xiaohongshu user @秦碧凤 shares makeup looks inspired by Euphoria. Photo: Screenshots

Meanwhile, several beauty bloggers shared tutorials and introduced multiple beauty products to followers, including Girlcult and Colourpop eyeshadow palettes and MAC eyeshadow powder. Meanwhile, many Tmall merchants have also used the look to sell glitter makeup products. Thus far, the hashtag #EuphoriaMakeup already has 320 million and 112 million views on Douyin and Xiaohongshu, respectively.

Recommended ReadingC-Beauty Brand Girlcult Taps the Euphoria HypeBy Wenzhuo Wu

The State Food and Drug Administration revealed that China has become the second-largest beauty market in the world in 2020. Given China’s huge marketplace, releasing relevant goods in conjunction with TV shows is not new; last year, the popular Netflix TV series Emily in Paris collaborated with Lancôme to launch a beauty line, Lancôme Emily in Paris Palette. Today, as Chinese fans become more and more obsessed with Euphoria’s style and makeup looks, collaborative beauty launches with the show would be a smart move in China — and beyond. 

The Jing Take reports on a piece of the leading news and presents our editorial team’s analysis of the key implications for the luxury industry. In the recurring column, we analyze everything from product drops and mergers to heated debate sprouting on Chinese social media.