Thanks to the power of both influencers and regular users, TikTok’s top trends drove sales in everything from fragrance to scandalous tote bag monograms this year.
In a new report released on Tuesday, the platform listed its top trends of the year including creators, sounds, viral moments and, of course, products. On its top-five list of viral #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt moments based on views and engagements, a viral food chopper was No. 1, but fashion and beauty rounded out the rest of the list with with MAC Cosmetics, Glossier, Birkenstock and LL Bean making the cut.
Less than a month after its March 1 launch this year, MAC Cosmetics’ MacStack mascara went viral on TikTok after being featured by TikTok beauty mega-influencers including Mikayla Nogueira, Meredith Duxbury and Patrick Starrr. Second on TikTok’s list of top items in 2022, the mascara’s hashtag received over 73 million views within the first three weeks of its launch and is currently at 268 million views. Its TikTok virality resulted in real-world sales, making it the No. 1 mascara at Ulta Beauty. It was later listed in Estée Lauder Companies’ fiscal third-quarter financial report as a star product helping to drive the conglomerate’s makeup sales comeback.
“TikTok offers an unfiltered and authentic approach to fashion and beauty content,” said Stephanie Hind, head of North America lifestyle and education at TikTok, who emphasized the ability of the platform “to amplify trends quickly.” She described beauty and fashion content as “organic, spontaneous and playful.”
It wasn’t just top TikTok influencers driving viral product trends. Glossier’s 3-year-old fragrance, Glossier You, for example, has 106.7 million views on its TikTok hashtag. It went viral in June after user @bitcoin_papi shared a post talking about the intense reactions she’d received when wearing the fragrance. They included being stopped on the street and asked about the scent, and receiving a poem about it written by a man she’d gone on two dates with. The post received over 500,000 likes.
Glossier jumped on the momentum, using TikTok’s “Spark Ads” feature to boost organic posts about the product with the creators’ authorization, adding a link-to-purchase button leading to its DTC site. It used this format to boost a post by influencer @lyssielooloo, in which she referenced @bitcoin_papi’s viral post. In it, she said the fragrance had impressed her own boyfriend so much, he was “practically on his hands and knees.” She also called it a “men magnet.” The post received 1.2 million likes.
“It was us picking up on those videos and setting a strategy from that point onward that made this impactful,” said Kleo Mack, Glossier’s svp of marketing.
A Glossier You purchase has been placed every 37 seconds since the fragrance began trending on TikTok, said Mack. The brand has now sold over 1 million bottles since launching. In addition to TikTok, Glossier’s marketing strategy for the fragrance incorporated all its social platforms, CRM channels and earned media.
Apart from branded products, TikTok’s DIY beauty culture was alive and well this year: The platform listed luxury influencer Charles Gross’s advice to use olive oil on the lips as one of the top tutorials of the year. With over 500,00 likes, the video inspired other influencers such as Alix Traeger to make it a trend. TikTok also listed makeup influencer Tia Samuda’s (@tiasamudaa) powder contour video as one of the top tutorials of the year after it received 18 million views.
On the fashion side, Birkenstock’s cult Boston clog, which has been selling out in many retailers, was listed as one of TikTok’s most viral products after being spotted on the feet of many celebrities, models and influencers.
TikTok’s penchant for both humor and viral “hacks” also helped drive renewed popularity around the monogrammable LL Bean “Boat and Tote” bag, featuring ironic phrases rather than the classic initials of the ’90s. Examples of clever monograms on the preppy bag included edgy phrases like “feral,” “slut era” and “unhinged,” as well as brand names such as Prada. First inspired by the Instagram account @ironicboatandtote, the trend took off on TikTok and caused LL Bean to have its strongest summer sales in nearly a decade.