Cult Brand Huda Beauty Launches on Tmall Global

    Global beauty players have been lining up to dive into China’s lucrative beauty market and cult brand Huda Beauty is the latest to try and make a splash.
    The RMB 649 ($91.6) eyeshadow palette in Huda Beauty's Tmall Global flagship store sold out in a second when it came out. Photo: Courtesy of Huda Beauty
      Published   in Beauty

    What happened

    The hyped cosmetics line Huda Beauty tapped into Mainland China’s beauty market by launching on Tmall Global on March 25. Founded by Iraqi-American makeup artist and influencer Huda Kattan, Huda Beauty has a strong following on Western social platforms such as Instagram and YouTube. The cult has spread to China as well, and 20,000 posts were already tracked on Little Red Book prior to the official launch.

    To celebrate the Tmall Global flagship store opening, Huda Beauty initiated a “Spring Eye'' challenge on Weibo along with top influencers Li Jiaqi (also known as Austin Li) and Becky Li. The brand sold over 1,112 palettes of the newly-launched “Mercury Retrograde” eyeshadow that was featured in the challenge.

    The Jing Take

    It’s good timing for Huda Beauty’s launch, as eye makeup products are appealing to Chinese beauty shoppers more than ever. Since Chinese citizens have been required to wear masks amid the COVID-19 pandemic, makeup looks with masks are going viral on China’s social platforms, and the highlight of these looks is, undoubtedly, the eye makeup. According to Tmall’s sales outcomes from January to March, eyeshadow sales increased 40 percent over the same period last year.

    However, the beauty market in China tends to be oversaturated, as local beauty players who have a decent understanding of the country’s digital channels are springing up everywhere. Whether Huda Beauty can adapt to the rules of the local e-commerce game is what will determine the brand’s lifespan in this fast-paced market.

    The Jing Take reports on a leading piece of news while presenting our editorial team’s analysis of its key implications for the luxury industry. In this recurring column, we analyze everything from product drops and mergers to heated debates that sprout up on Chinese social media.

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