TikTok is many things to many people — entertainment, creative outlet, educational opportunity, even outrage machine.
For Simon Fuller and e.l.f. Cosmetics, it’s a key source of talent for his new pop group, The Future X, and a platform for a new online competition for the makeup artists who can keep them looking their best.
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On Wednesday, e.l.f announced a collaboration with the “American Idol” and “So You Think You Can Dance” creator to find aspiring TikTok beauty geniuses from across the U.S. and give them their big break.
A twist on the reality TV competition, but for the social media era, the online hunt works via hashtag challenge. The cosmetics brand wants to see contestants’ “most awe-inspiring makeup looks” in videos posted with the hashtag #elfitup and backed by the company’s original song, created just for the occasion.
“This is the first group to be born on TikTok and driven by the creators on the platform. E.l.f. is a perfect founding brand because they’re driven by digital first; they understand the power of TikTok, and I am looking forward to working with them to explore how artists can work with brands to the betterment of both,” Fuller said in a statement.
In a follow-up for WWD, he also spoke about the benefit of cross-collaboration across a range fields.
“All the rules of how to be successful in the world of music, entertainment, fashion and beauty are changing. We are embracing this change,” he added. “Our partnership with e.l.f. is a great example of how a dynamic, empowering beauty company can work with an exciting new music group with a powerful voice and share a collective passion to embrace the future positively and inspire a generation.”
Fuller’s online star search in the fall worked in a similar way to the makeup challenge, with TikTok audition videos circulating under the #NextInMusic hashtag. The project nabbed more than 300 million views and brought a trove of talent to Fuller’s eyes and ears. It took five weeks to pick the final members of The Future X — singers Angie Green, Luke Brown and Maci Wood, and dancers Jayna Hughes, Sasha Marie, Tray Taylor and Drew Venegas.
He introduced the group to the public on Wednesday, and they all now live and work together in a Malibu compound, preparing to release a debut single and go on tour.
Given the monster appetite for beauty tutorials on TikTok, as well as a growing spate of creators who offer them, e.l.f.’s contest could see just as much activity, maybe even more.
“The first meeting we had with Simon gave us goose bumps,” Kory Marchisotto, chief marketing officer of e.l.f. Beauty, told WWD. “We believed in his vision, our values aligned, and we saw a partnership that mirrors our core mission. We are excited to make magic happen together at the intersection of beauty, music and entertainment.”
The #elfitup contest begins Wednesday and runs through Feb. 1, ending at 11:59 p.m. PST. For more information, the brand urges people to connect through its @elfyeah TikTok account or check out official details for the contest on its website.