No more beasts, only beauties! | Know China Learn Chinese

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Erik is surprised, again. This time, the reason is China’s “beauty” apps.

These apps have been around for years. But it is also surging in popularity as Chinese people brighten up their skin, enlarge their eyes and perform extreme makeovers on themselves.


Erik’s first try startled him, when he saw galaxies swirling around his face, and ghostly, glittering whales floating around his hair amid a sea of sparkles. 

He started to realize that China’s super-popular selfie apps are literally recreating the world.




His Chinese friends told him that some “beauty apps” alter reality to make it picture perfect for social media. Some automatically apply cosmetics. Users can try on virtual lipstick from the likes of Dior and Giorgio Armani, who have stores in these apps. The idea is you do not have to visit a store to try the product on. Looks great, doesn’t it?

Moreover, he was told that the biggest beauty app in China is Meitu. There are even so called “beauty smartphones”. They cost up to 8,000 yuan but their sole function is as a camera that automatically morphs your personal appearance.


This inspired Erik to download the app, and according to him, he just takes its functions to the extreme to see how far they go. He has found out the names of the selfie filters included “cheese,” “jungle” and “ethereal”. Their filters for other photogenic subjects are more generic, for now — a “food,” “scenery” and “objects” can all make photos more interesting. 

Although Erik, an American in his thirties, living in Beijing, may not use the app as frequently as Chinese young ladies, he admits it is a fun way to make himself shine on social media, and his daughter really loves it!

How frequently do you use these beauty apps? Do you only use their basic functions? Or do you create extreme makeovers on your face?

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Director: Zhong Xin  Scripts: Erik Nilsson

Photographers: Zhang Guangteng 

                            and Sun Weiwei 

Host: Erik Nilsson and Zhong Xin

Editors: Zhong Xin and Zhang Zixin (intern)

Designer: Wang Xiaoying

Subtitles: Chen Jingyi and Luo Jingxiangzi 

Copywriter: Zhang Xi  Producer: Zhang Xi

Supervisors: Ke Rongyi and Tuo Yannan

Presented by Wang Hao

Cooperation with China Daily website and 

China Daily Feature Department