In our CHat Speakers series, we take a look at some of the people whose lives and careers have been shaped by WeChat. Find them at CHat Shanghai, a two-day conference designed to educate and inspire use of the WeChat ecosystem on September 21 and 22 at The Place near Xintiandi.
Not just a pretty face, Melilim Fu is a successful makeup artist and social media beauty influencer, best known for her signature makeup tutorial videos and livestreaming shows. Her makeup art has been featured on the front cover of GQ, Marie Claire, Vogue, Bazaar and many other China publications.
With over 476,000 followers, Melilim’s Weibo account is consistently ranked in the top 100 beauty accounts by GS Data. Her weekly livestream on Meipai showcasing new, trending foreign makeup styles receives an average viewership of 50,000 per episode.
Melilim will be in Shanghai later this month for the CHina CHat conference, a two-day conference designed to educate and inspire use of the WeChat ecosystem on September 21 and 22 at The Place near Xintiandi. We spoke with Melilim about her success in building her own personal brand on social media and where she draws inspiration from for her makeup.
How did you first become a makeup blogger?
When I first started dating my now boyfriend and KOL business partner, he asked me what my professional goals were. I told him I wanted to have my own makeup brand. He is a video creator and marketer and works with KOLs in China for an ad agency. He had recently read a book called Content Inc. by Joe Pulizzi, which proposes the idea that businesses should first start with building an audience via content so they can eventually sell products. So we decided to combine our strengths and started producing social content to build my KOL business, and very soon we will be releasing our first Melilim Fu branded product.
How would you describe your makeup style?
My makeup style is very different than what typical Chinese find beautiful. I reject the whole snow white skin and plastic surgery approach that has become so common in China. I see makeup as paint, the face as a canvas, and makeup style as form of self-expression. My own form of self-expression is influenced heavily by Western pop culture. I’ll take the look of a pop star like Rihanna, and recreate her look for an Asian face. Recently, I have been working on developing a style that is strongly influenced by Latin American culture. My style is bold and uninhibited by others’ perception of beauty.
Why do you think your work appeals to so many girls?
I think there are a lot of girls that feel just like me. They reject modern China’s perception of beauty and replace it with bold, Western-inspired looks. I think China is coming out of its shell, and that means accepting influence from others to create your own unique style. Great artists steal. So me, and so many others are taking the best the world has to offer and making it our own.
How has leveraging communication and social media tools (such as WeChat) helped you build your brand and audience?
I manage six phones with personal WeChat accounts to connect with my closest fans. Without social media, I wouldn’t be a KOL. KOLs have done something brands didn’t do by providing people with niche interests high value content for free, and that’s why KOLs now have all the attention. Social media is amazing and it has changed my life and career path. I’m so very grateful.
What kind of posts seem to do the best on your Weibo account?
Any post with giveaways performs really well. Girls like free stuff! Besides that, new product reviews are always very popular. It’s important to be the first to talk about a product.
People want to know what’s new and trending. KOLs have become an important part of the decision to buy curtain products. People would rather have an expert they trust test the product before they buy it.
How do you prepare for filming or livestreaming?
This is definitely not the glamorous part of being a KOL. It’s a lot of preparation, and setting up things like makeup, lights, and cameras. It’s like the large photo shoots I do for magazines, just smaller and in our home studio. Livestreaming is a lot easier for sure. With video or pictures all the really hard work is in post-production editing and design.
Find Melilim at a KOL panel at CHina CHat, a two-day conference designed to educate and inspire use of the WeChat ecosystem on September 21 and 22 at The Place near Xintiandi. Check out our preview here.
China Channel provides workshops and training to organizations looking to enter and make better use of WeChat.
Read more interviews in our CHat Speakers series here.