TikTok has taught us many things: how to perfect a cut crease, why you don’t ever need to substitute your primer with lube, and that looking “cold” can be cute. Of the countless makeup tips and tricks that have emerged from the app, one that has maintained an active (and growing) fan base is #douyinmakeup.
Douyin makeup is actually an umbrella term for a broad makeup style, defined by soft and ethereal looks that give a doll-like appearance. The name comes from the social media app, Douyin, which ByteDance created in 2016 and is exclusive to China. While, like with any beauty trend, the look varies depending on who creates it, three aspects remain near constants: sparkly shadow and subtle liner that opens up the eyes, heavily flushed cheeks, and a diffused lip. A lot of the techniques that become trends are depicted via illustrated charts with placement guides. This makes it easier for users to adapt to their own faces, which likely helped with its virality.
Here’s a little background on Douyin and TikTok. Two years after ByteDance launched Douyin, the company created a separate but nearly identical app to Douyin for an international audience and named it TikTok. However, the name of the trend is a bit misleading: Yes, many of these looks come from creators on Douyin, butsome are sourced from other social media apps, namely: Xiaohongshu (also exclusive to China), Instagram, and Pinterest, according to TikToker Vivian Hoang, who often uses Douyin makeup techniques in her own content.
When Hoang first saw Douyin makeup trending on TikTok, she was excited because she believes the techniques are better catered to East Asian features. “Once Douyin makeup became the new hot topic within the TikTok beauty community, I jumped onto the trend to see how the techniques will look on my epicanthic, hooded eyes,” she tells Allure. “I fell in love with how flattering Douyin looked. I no longer felt insecure about not having large, double-lidded eyes.”
Hoang says the eyes are often the focus of Douyin makeup. Shimmery or glittery pigments on the lids or even below the waterline are common among a lot of these looks; Hoang demonstrates one version of this — a beginner-friendly swipe of champagne shadow with silver glitter accents — in the video below.