The latest viral craze in China is a collection of reverse makeup tutorials called the Makeup Removal Challenge.
Chinese video app Douyin, also known as Tik Tok, is being filled with first-person videos of people showing, instead of a Before & After, an After & Before. Though the posts don’t reference it specifically, the idea appears to be to show the real human beauty under the layers of makeup. This isn’t just taking off some foundation and mascara – these are removals of fake eyelashes, wigs and even prosthetic noses.
The makeup removal videos are among some of the biggest trends on Tik Tok, which was the most downloaded app in the world in the first quarter of 2018. In June alone, they had 150 million monthly active users.
However, despite its popularity in China, we haven’t seen the Makeup Removal Challenge taking off in the U.S.
Are we more vain? Are people afraid to show what they really look like when they wake up?
The videos may be partially a response to the Karma’s A Bitch Challenge, another Chinese makeup transformation trend using a sound clip from the show Riverdale. In that trend, you’d throw a sheet over your head and go from no-makeup to full-makeup in a single cut.
Now, there are of course videos from North America and Europe of people removing their makeup, though they’re more centered around product reviews and skin health instead of just showing the process. In 2016, British YouTuber Sophia Mitchell started a challenge with the same title, encouraging her fans to take off their makeup on camera.
Of course, this really lived up to its name as a “challenge,” as it takes a considerable amount of bravery for a lot of young women to reveal themselves online without makeup.
Though the videos from China are shorter and shared only within the app, they likely take the same amount of courage for those who are used to only being in public with makeup on.
There are definitely issues of perception when it comes to how we view others wearing makeup. A 2016 showed that men perceive women who wear makeup as more prestigious, but when women perceive other women wearing makeup as more dominant.
These perceptions are really important to keep in mind so that, when you meet someone, you can meet the person instead of just the appearance.
Do you guys think the makeup removal challenge will catch on in the U.S.? Let us know in the comments and follow us on Twitter at @WhatsTrending for more.