Introducing The First TikTok-Native Beauty Brand: Gloss Twins

Influencer beauty brands are not new to us at all. Some of the biggest makeup lines we know today like Huda Beauty, Jeffree Star Cosmetics, and ColourPop were started by beauty influencers on Instagram / YouTube. With the rapid rise of TikTok, it was only a matter of time before another influencer-backed beauty brand found its start on the platform. 

Meet @shanaeandrenae, also known as The Nel Twins on TikTok. They have 1.2M followers on the platform, and their product is known as Gloss Twins. Let’s take a closer look at who they are, and 5 strategies they used to market their lip gloss. 

Who Are Shanae & Renae? 

Influencers with audience sizes in the millions are typically quite common, since the following patterns differ from that on Instagram. With 1.2M followers, The Nel Twins are definitely not the biggest influencers on the platform, but that hasn’t stopped them from starting their own brand. 

They are based in the UK and take part in most of the popular challenges such as the Acting Challenge, Transitions, Bored In The House and so on. 

How Did They Market Gloss Twins? 

1 – Leveraging on TikTok Trends 🎵

Shanae and Renae are primarily marketing their lip gloss on their TikTok page, and here is one of their posts announcing the launch: 

@shanaeandrenae

GUYS! We have our own lipgloss so get the gloss and jump on the trend ##glosstwinstrend and tag us for a duet! You can get it at www.glosstwins.com💛

♬ The Ting Goes SKRRAAA – лизагруничева

Without too long a video or lengthy captions, the twins managed to create a relatable basis on which to create further hype around their product. They used the common “I’m late because I’m still getting ready” gag line along with a trending sound byte from Man’s Not Hot by Big Shaq (also a popular UK artist). Both ‘The Ting Goes’ and ‘Where’s My Juul’ are viral memes that the twins have used in their marketing strategies. 

We can see how successful this strategy is in their collaborations with other brands, for example. 

@shanaeandrenae

Want to win £250 to spend on PLT?😱💰 simply follow @prettylittlething and comment my username on their latest post to ##WIN 💕🦄 ##foryoupage ##foryou

♬ Over it Chinese New Year Remix by JohhnyG – kingvader

This sponsored post for Pretty Little Thing also revolves around a popular dance challenge, and over 6.2M videos have been created using this audio. 

The whole appeal of TikTok revolves around re-creating challenges and using trending audio, so by incorporating both elements into their marketing strategy, the Twins have set the stage for their product to go viral very quickly and easily.

2 – Twin Influencer Strategy 👭

Another marketing strategy that we talked about before is working with Twin Influencers — something that was fleshed out in the #Gymshark66 campaign. While this strategy hasn’t been explored by many other brands yet, there is no denying that twins are very popular on TikTok. 

The tag #twins currently has 18.5 Billion views, and a quick scroll through will reveal just how many twin siblings from various parts of the world have taken to the platform. 

via GIPHY

Perhaps it is the magic of double vision, or our collective enthusiasm for symmetry, but there is something about watching twins perform a perfectly executed dance that hits different. For brands that are interested to work with influencers, another incentive to consider is how price-smart it is, because you are able to work with double the number of influencers for less than double the cost. 

3 – Merchandising ✊

Another ingenious way to increase sales and interest in a product is to market it as ‘merch’ — typically associated with branded products that are used to promote films, celebrities, and even fictional characters. 

Here I’d like to draw a comparison to Kylie Jenner’s LipKit, which was so much more than just a mere liquid lip. Kylie Cosmetics was an extension of Jenner herself, and purchasing her products was almost like buying a t-shirt from a band you really like. 

@shanaeandrenae

NEW YOUTUBE VIDEO! Of behind the scenes of launching our LIPGLOSS!🥰 – ( nel.twinnys )##foryou

♬ Infinity – Jaymes Young

By sharing behind the scenes footage of their Gloss Twins launch, Shenae and Renae are effectively doing the same thing. They are creating an ‘in-group’ for their fans to be a part of, which is the same appeal behind merch. 

via GIPHY

4 – Vegan + Cruelty Free 🙈

The twins have also taken the liberty of making their products both vegan and cruelty free. While the latter has been around for quite some time, the recent rise in vegan diets and lifestyles due to the climate crisis makes their product extra relevant. 

via GIPHY

Ever since Greta Thunberg’s Fridays For Future Revolution, climate activism on Instagram has become a big deal. From meme accounts to Instagram-based thrift stores, to sustainable fashion nano influencers, influencers are trying to incorporate sustainability into their brand visions/actions as much as possible. 

It is therefore no surprise that this aspect of the Gloss Twins product will be attractive to fans and other potential customers.

5 – Riding On The 90s Comeback 💄

Welcome back to the Y2K era. Smokey eye and clear gloss looks are making a comeback, so there is no better time to market a 90s-inspired product than now. 

A lot of makeup brands are focusing on this aesthetic — take KKW Beauty’s Smokey Volume I Palette for example:

The E-Girl aesthetic that has found its home on TikTok borrows very heavily from 90s fashion. From baby tees and mom jeans to scrunchies, chokers and clear gloss, a lot of Gen Z influencers seem to be inspired by the looks their moms would have donned at their age. This creates a prime opportunity for influencers like the Nel Twins to market a product everybody will want their hands on. 

Supply is only as good as it’s demand, and it seems like Shenae and Renae have identified a product that is in high demand due to the 90s wave. 

Lessons Learnt 

The Gloss Twins case study has given us quite a bit to think about: from understanding the platform you choose to work with as well as the demands of your target audience, there is a lot that goes into successfully marketing a product (especially for the first time). Nevertheless, we trust that these 5 tangible steps will be useful for you as you think about your next marketing campaign.

If you’re looking for some help with a cross-genre collaboration, check out our article on the Louis Vuitton x League of Legends Capsule Collection. For more information about effective hashtags, here is our Case Study on #ShareBlackStories.

Written by Deesha Menon

Influencer Marketing at Popular Chips. Interested in social issues, narratives, books, social media, and machine learning.

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