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Special Project

Special Project
From the 16th Annual Shorty Awards

e.l.f. Cosmetics on TikTok

Finalist in TikTok Presence


e.l.f. Cosmetics has been a prominent force and frontrunner on TikTok since 2020, long before many competitor brands saw the platform as a place to build community and create a meaningful impact.  In 2023, e.l.f. Cosmetics set out to take that impact to the next level, beyond the beauty industry, and to be a leading force on TikTok at large. The brand sought to not just be a different kind of beauty company, but a different type of company period. This meant surpassing 1 million followers, taking part in the broader cultural conversation, and catapulting content onto the For You Pages beyond the beautyverse.

Strategy and Execution

In 2023, e.l.f. Cosmetics embarked on a journey to dominate TikTok beyond the beauty industry. To make it happen, we unleashed a content strategy that set TikTok ablaze with excitement and engagement. Rather than merely following trends, we helped elf pioneer them, capturing the essence of TikTok culture in every video.

The strategy was simple yet brilliant: tap into the zeitgeist of TikTok and make e.l.f. Cosmetics synonymous with cultural relevance. We didn't just create content; we sparked conversations, inspired trends, and left an indelible mark on the platform. From the infectious energy of 'Girl Math' to the frenzy of 'Dupe Culture,' our content resonated with audiences on a visceral level, driving engagement and brand affinity.

But what truly set elf’s TikTok strategy apart was its ability to transcend trends and create content with lasting impact. By actively listening to the brand's audience and tapping into their desires, we crafted evergreen content that continued to captivate long after its initial posting. This authentic approach not only deepened the brand’s bond with its community, but also positioned e.l.f. Cosmetics as a cultural icon on TikTok.

Our integration of TikTok Shop and other platform features demonstrated our status as pioneers in consumer engagement. Leveraging tools like Reply With Video and polls, we transformed product launches into interactive experiences, directly involving the audience in the journey. This immersive approach not only drove product innovation but also cemented e.l.f. Cosmetics as a frontrunner in consumer-centric engagement.

Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of our strategy and execution was our community management approach. We didn't just engage with our audience; we embraced them as partners in our TikTok journey. By actively participating in cultural moments and sparking unexpected conversations, we showcased e.l.f. Cosmetics' versatility and authenticity. This dynamic engagement not only expanded our reach but also solidified our position as a leading force on TikTok.

Over the past year, e.l.f. Cosmetics didn't just break out of the beauty industry; we redefined it. Our strategy wasn't just about capturing attention; it was about capturing community. By tapping into the essence of TikTok culture and fostering genuine connections with our audience, we achieved that success, setting a new standard for brand excellence and innovation on the platform.


The results achieved in 2023 speak volumes to the success of our strategy. By prioritizing authentic engagement and community-building, e.l.f. Cosmetics achieved significant milestones on TikTok. Surpassing our initial goal, we reached 1 million followers by August 2023, with continued growth propelling us to 1.27 million followers by year's end.

But the success extends beyond mere follower counts. With a staggering 96% follower growth rate in 2023 and a median engagement rate of 6.61%, e.l.f. outpaced the brand’s beauty competitors, solidifying its position as a frontrunner in brand engagement on TikTok. e.l.f.’s content resonated deeply with its audience, garnering 25 million likes in total and averaging 1.25 million views per video in 2023.

Perhaps most importantly, the approach fostered a sense of community and empowerment among the brand’s audience, with 75% of organic views stemming from the For You Page (FYP). By listening to our audience and allowing their voices to shape our content, we not only achieved exceptional engagement rates but also forged genuine connections that set e.l.f. Cosmetics apart from the rest.


Entrant Company / Organization Name

Movers+Shakers, e.l.f. Cosmetics


Entry Credits