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Makeup Brand Florasis Blends Chinese Aesthetics With Western Trends

Located at the forefront of the C-beauty movement, Florasis brings a fresh perspective to the global cosmetics industry by reviving traditional Chinese aesthetics and cultural practices

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Aug 2, 2022 4 mins read

Brandstorm is a series featuring the most notable brands in fashion, beauty, and retail in China. From edgy jewelry designers to coveted influencers, these are some of the industry’s most talked-about names.


Inspired by traditional Chinese beauty aesthetics, Chinese makeup brand Florasis is bringing C-beauty to the West with its luxurious and opulent products and, most recently, online makeup tutorials.


While Western beauty brands still dominate store shelves in China, especially in bigger cities, the market has seen an uptick in domestic alternatives in recent years. Chinese brands such as Florasis and Perfect Diary, which have been compared to Glossier in the U.S., endeavor to innovate and expand overseas by combining Chinese techniques and traditions with Western beauty trends.


florasis-blends-chinese-aesthetics-with-western-trends


Founded in Hangzhou in East China in 2017, Florasis has been at the forefront of a new C-beauty movement. It aims to bring a fresh perspective to the global beauty industry by reviving traditional Chinese aesthetics and cultural practices.

Brand Inspiration

Traditional Chinese culture, nature, and architecture inspire Florasis’ product designs and packaging.


The brand’s Chinese name, Hua Xizi (花西子), was inspired by an ancient Chinese poem and conveys that all women are naturally and equally beautiful.


Meanwhile, Florasis’ English name pays homage to Flora, the Roman goddess of flowers and spring.


If you look closely, you’ll notice how the brand’s flower-shaped logo also resembles a traditional Chinese window — a deliberate design that expresses Florasis’ mission to ‘open a window to the East’ for the rest of the world.


Meanwhile, the lotus, another recurring symbol in the brand’s products, symbolizes love and happiness in Chinese culture.


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Florasis’ Miao-inspired makeup sets


Respectively released in 2020 and 2021, two limited edition makeup collections titled ‘Impression of Miao’ and ‘Impression of Dai’ derive inspiration from Chinese minority ethnic groups, specifically the Dai and the Miao people.


The former took a cue from traditional Miao apparel and accessories, namely silver jewelry and embroidered clothing. Meanwhile, the Dai-inspired collection was emblazoned with peacock feathers, a classic Dai symbol.


The ‘impression of Dai’ makeup collection by Florasis

The ‘Impression of Dai’ makeup collection by Florasis


Aesthetics aside, Florasis also incorporates traditional cosmetic formulas and ingredients — think floral extracts, herbs, and medical elements — that have been used by women in China for centuries.

Tradition Meets Modernity

In an attempt to penetrate the Western market, Florasis launched its TikTok and Instagram accounts in April 2022. Since then, the brand’s makeup artists have used both platforms to post online tutorials on combining traditional Chinese aesthetics with modern beauty trends using Florasis products.


@makeupbyflorasis An eyeshadow that represents the colors of a butterfly, a creature that isn't only visually beautiful but also symbolises "change". #huaxizi #makeuptutorial #butterflymakeup #fypシ #cbeauty ♬ original sound - MakeupbyFlorasis


Inspired by ancient Chinese philosopher Zhuangzi, who dreamed of becoming a butterfly, one of the brand’s most striking looks involves ombre eyeshadow: A sparkly blue inner crescent is outlined with a dark rim to mimic the wings of a butterfly.


Other iconic looks by the brand (see below) tap into the Chinese principle of yin and yang, the Chinese board game Go, and traditional calligraphy.

While gold foil has traditionally been used to accent women’s dimples in ancient China, Florasis has upgraded this tradition by using gold flakes that accentuate the curvature of women’s cheeks.


The brand’s use of color and gems aligns with Western makeup trends popularized by teen drama Euphoria.


The series, which follows young Americans as they navigate the choppy waters of high school, champions individualistic and cool girl aesthetics. In fact, we wouldn’t be surprised if Jules Vaughn (portrayed by Hunter Schafer), a main character in seasons one and two, were to rock Florasis’ gold makeup look.


Euphoria-inspired makeup has garnered a following in China, with makeup enthusiasts recreating and sharing the TV characters’ signature looks on Weibo.


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c-beauty


K-beauty is arguably the first East Asian beauty trend to become mega popular in the global market. In 2020, South Korea was the fourth-largest export country for global cosmetics. Most Korean cosmetic products went to the U.S., the third-largest market for K-beauty products, followed by the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong.


Some Chinese cosmetics brands, including Florasis, hope to mimic the success of the K-beauty craze, which focuses on healthy skin and soft girlish aesthetics, to popularize C-beauty.


@9selle Reply to @itsdngrs sorry for letting u wait that asked me 😭 i hope this helps 🤍 #douyin #douyinmakeup #makeuptutorial #makeuptips #foryoupage #fyp ♬ Every Summertime - NIKI


C-beauty has been gaining traction on TikTok, especially since the recent #douyinmakeup trend — featuring Chinese and East Asian makeup techniques — began circulating the platform. The trendy look is feminine, sparkly, and doll-like, but also minimal and effortless.

Florasis Goes Global

From China’s livestreaming king Austin Li (who has been quiet online since presenting a tank-shaped cake during a livestream on June 3) to traditional makeup enthusiast Mochi Hanfu, many famous Chinese beauty influencers and celebrities have partnered with Florasis.


@mochihanfu @花西子 Florasis Makeup is literally a dream 🎋 Use code "MOCHI531" for a discount! Link in Bio for more ❤️ #florasis #chinabeauty #chinesemakeup #yangguifei #tangdynasty #makeup ♬ silk by angry apple - mochihanfu


Since expanding its overseas outreach in 2021, the brand has met much success. When Florasis launched its first overseas online shop on Amazon Japan in March 2021, its signature ‘Love Lock’ lipstick, an intricately engraved lipstick bullet with a romantic story behind it, quickly sold out and has since become one of the region’s bestsellers.


Intrigued by Florasis’ traditional Chinese aesthetics and opulent packaging linked to tales of ancient China, Western beauty YouTubers and makeup artists such as Jeffree Star, Hindash, Jesse Luxe, and Malvina Isfan have all publicly shared their approval of Florasis products.



Proving that it is possible to respect tradition while embracing trends, Florasis has adapted C-beauty to the needs of the Western market.


For instance, Florasis’s newly launched ‘Eastern Beasts Sculpting Makeup Palette’ caters to the West’s love of sculpting and bronze looks, popularized by the likes of Kim Kardashian and favored by makeup fans in the summer.


Florasis’s ‘Eastern beasts sculpting makeup palette’

Florasis’s ‘Eastern Beasts Sculpting Makeup Palette’


Florasis has found its niche in the market by building a bridge for cultural exchanges.


The brand’s spokesperson tells RADII that they hope to use makeup to expand C-beauty abroad and to share new knowledge with audiences unfamiliar with aspects of Chinese culture and whose prior knowledge of the country only touched on geopolitical issues.


As one of the first Chinese brands to break into the Western makeup market, Florasis is undoubtedly on the path to making C-beauty a global phenomenon.


All images courtesy of Florasis unless otherwise stated

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