E-Commerce Trend: Let’s Meet Li Jiaqi, better known as “Lipstick Brother”


The male beauty industry is exploding in China. It is expected to raise over $ 166 billion by 2022. Male makeup is already a new e-commerce trend.


Sales of male beauty products increased by 140% over the past year including male makeup, whose top three most popular products are the foundation, eyeliner, and concealer. Along with the quest for a professional look, the increase in male beauty and health products sales is also due to the post-’90s men’s pressure of work and education.

Therefore, the Chinese male stereotype and the concept of masculinity has also radically changed. If in Chinese filmography masculine men were once depicted as physically tough and fiercely patriotic heroes, nowadays, serial dramas prefer to show androgynously good-looking successful professionals.




In China, the hottest lipstick sale person is not a woman. It’s a man. Let’s meet Li Jiaqi, better known as “Lipstick Brother”. Today Li is an internet celebrity and the number 1 seller of lipstick online. He even took on Alibaba Chairman Jack Ma to see who could sell thee most lipstick. And of course, Li won the challenge.




As Li Jiaqi stated at Alizila when he first “started live-streaming, there was a lot of negative feedback, questioning why a guy was doing makeup. But recently, when I go on live, many people say I have become more beautiful, sophisticated and handsome”.  In one world, public opinion accepted that guys can wear makeup.




But makeup for men, is not far from Chinese traditional culture. The focus on male beauty is not an entirely new phenomenon in China. The use of cosmetic products dates back to the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD), when it was customary for high-ranking men to apply a powder made from rice and oil to theirs neck to cover wrinkles and appear younger. And today, following the trend in Japan and South Korea, a new generation of young Chinese men who care a lot about how they look let male makeup market booming.

According to Alibaba, The total number of Chinese men who are buying personal-care products is growing faster than that of women (31% year-on-year in 2018 versus 29%, respectively). The total value of the personal-care items that men are purchasing on Tmall is soaring across all categories – even makeup (see graphics in the article).



Makeup purchases on Tmall by men have doubled over the past year, while guys are actively seeking out premium brands. And if there are products made especially for men, then China’s male consumers want them. Like other millennials, Li Jiaqi applies base makeup and draws his eyebrows before he goes out. And he’s not alone.



“There is definitely a growing trend in male beauty”, argued Li. “Although most of my viewers are female, I found that since last June my male followers are also growing”, said Li Jiaqi. Now men are the 20% of Li’s audience. The reason? The demand for male beauty is huge. But according to Li there is one big problem: “Chinese market isn’t producing enough products specifically for men to meet the demand”.



“If you go to the mall, you can only find female makeup brands and none that are specialized in male makeup products,” Jiaqi said. That’s why the majority of millennials are buying Japanese, Korean or French brands online. The market is arising and Li’s advice to beauty brands is don’t miss this opportunity.



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