Rockstar Girlfriends, Latte Makeup And Glazed Donut Nails: How Are Brands Keeping Up With Microtrends on TikTok?September 7th, 2023 by Socially Powerful
We are in the era of microtrends on TikTok.
With viral aesthetic trends blowing up and falling out of fashion just as quickly, brands and creators have a very small window within which to make their mark.
This is where microtrends offer the perfect alternative.
Despite moving through the socialsphere even faster than a regular trend, their more subdued nature makes them easier to be taken on. Oftentimes, these microtrends will call on partakers to offer makeup or clothing recommendations to emulate the trend. In comparison to bigger, viral trends – which may call upon someone to learn a dance or try out a new editing technique – microtrends take up a lot less time, ensuring users can get their submission in before the ship sets sail.
But if microtrends on TikTok are merely fleeting, what are their benefits?
To better understand the impact of microtrends, we must turn to no other than the queen of aesthetics herself, Hailey Bieber.
When taking to Instagram donning a berry-toned, flushed makeup look in several posts, the season of ‘strawberry girl summer’ was officially declared, attracting 279.8M views to the hashtag #strawberrymakeup.
Naturally, her 50.3M followers began speculating the consistency of this stand-out look, but it wasn’t until Hailey posted the look featuring a Rhode sticker that they concluded that the “strawberry girl” aesthetic was, in fact, hinting at her skincare line’s pending release of berry-toned products.
Bieber has since posted a makeup tutorial on TikTok featuring the strawberry glaze peptide lip treatment, while soft launching an upcoming cream blusher line.
Everday Strawberry Makeup 🍓💋
Hailey’s use of “strawberry girl summer” for the purpose of business is just one of the many examples that have followed other famed aesthetic microtrends on TikTok.
But with an endless list of things to try, how can brands ensure that they are authentically keeping up?
How can brands authentically tap into aesthetic microtrends on TikTok?
As previously mentioned, microtrends call upon partakers to list makeup products or fashion items that emulate that particular aesthetic trend. If brands don’t find themselves appearing in these lists, they may feel it necessary to insert themselves into the conversation by launching campaigns or posting content inspired by these microtrends on TikTok.
Take the “cherry cola lips” makeup trend, for example. Inspired by Kylie Jenner, makeup influencers each offered up their own “cherry cola” lip combo, earning the hashtag #cherrycolalips 37.8M views on TikTok.
The trend has not stopped at influencers, however. Notable makeup brands have since come forward with their offerings of products from their own selected lines.
Done in its usual content style – through real time swatches and close ups of each product – NYX’s contribution to this trend is able to read as authentic. By using pre-existing products, rather than launching anything new, the brand sells itself as trendy and aesthetic, proving that its products are worthy of microtrend status.
Similarly, L’Oreal offered its own take on the “latte makeup” trend rapidly circulating TikTok in recent months.
Leaning into tones of copper and brown to create a blown-out, smokey makeup look, the brand created a “latte face” using only L’Oreal products. That’s a major flex in our books! Combining its regular makeup masterclass content with a TikTok microtrend puts L’Oreal at the forefront of trending content and secures its position as a go-to brand for achieving such looks.
To what extent a brand wishes to partake in microtrends on TikTok, is entirely up to them. As shown above, some opt just for a post or two alluding to their contribution, but there are others that feel it necessary to allow the trend to dictate the creative direction of a campaign.
REFY beauty’s latest campaign, shot on the Amalfi coast, heavily drew inspiration from the “tomato girl” look which features crisp cottons, linens, romantic silhouettes and pops of red. Honing in on the Mediterranean landscapes and blushed makeup looks, REFY saw huge spikes in engagement and reach across all channels, ultimately making its newly released tinted lip gloss collection a huge success. This is indicative of the power of microtrends on TikTok and how, if approached correctly, they can garner huge online success.
Current microtrends on TikTok to look out for
Rat girl summer
Glazed donut nails
Clean girl aesthetic
Can microtrends on TikTok offer more than just trendy content?
According to multiple sources, Gen Z are the loneliest generation. It’s no wonder they seek to romanticise the mundane, and TikTok provides them with the perfect tool to do so.
Their penchant for online movements allows them to connect with others, while ultimately expressing themselves through their own spins on aesthetic trends. The benefit of microtrends is that “there are no barriers to entry”, states senior foresight analyst Marta Indeka. Anyone and everyone can participate with their own take, presenting their true, authentic selves to the online world and, thus, blurring the lines between spectator and insider.
With Gen Z being in their “up and coming” era, still figuring out who they are/want to be, playing around with microtrends on TikTok offers an outlet to do so. Lola Kolade, the originator of “rat girl summer” – an antithesis to the famed hot girl summer – expresses her thoughts on aesthetic microtrends actually being a tool for self-realisation, saying that “having a little character to play with while you figure out what works for you” is relieving and desired.
This notion also extends to brands looking to develop – or even find – their image, voice and/or aesthetic. TikTok provides the wiggle room for them to play around with new concepts, test new visuals and generally find their feet in front of a more forgiving audience than they would find on other social media platforms.
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