These Cult Classic Beauty Products Are a Hit with Gen Z Customers

Fuelled by social media and the spending power of Gen Z, the beauty market is experiencing a bona fide boom
(Photography: Kate Ince, Styling: Nicole Billark)

From “glass skin” to “latte lips,” viral beauty trends are made on social media—the hashtag “BeautyTok” has nearly five million posts on TikTok, and the platform’s top content creators are routinely responsible for which products will sell out next. Lately, that includes classics that first launched as far back as the ’80s and are now experiencing a resurgence in popularity thanks to a new customer base in Gen Z. Today, the global beauty market is worth US$646 billion, and it’s projected to reach US$737 billion by 2028. Here, a few of the iconic products supporting that growth.

Related: These TikTok-Famous Cleaning Products Are Worth the Hype

M.A.C “Ruby Woo” Lipstick
This iconic red lipstick, which debuted in 1999, is beloved by Taylor Swift, so it’s no wonder that it’s still M.A.C’s bestselling shade in the U.S. (and number two globally).

Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Serum
The Advanced Night Repair Serum was developed in 1982 and was the first-ever product to be marketed as a night serum. Today, 22 bottles are sold every minute.

Shiseido Eyelash Curler
The award-winning beauty tool first became a cult favourite in Japan before making its way overseas. Now, it’s the top-selling lash curler in the U.S.

Armani Beauty Luminous Silk Foundation
First popularized nearly 25 years ago when makeup artists used it on runway models, this foundation is now a viral sensation: Pinterest searches for it have increased by 70 per cent since last year.

Nars “Orgasm” Blush
A sensation since ’99—when its provocative name caused a stir—this powder blush remains a bestseller and even inspired a series of NFTs released by the brand last year.

Dyson Airwrap Multi-styler
Dyson invested US$31 million to develop this all-in-one hairstyling tool, launched in 2018.

Kosas Revealer Concealer
After being spotted in the hands of Hailey Bieber, this concealer became a staple of social media’s “clean girl” trend.

Drunk Elephant D-Bronzi Drops
TikTok megastar Alix Earle popularized this bronzing marula-oil serum in a viral 2023 video.

Rare Beauty Liquid Blush
This liquid blush is the star product from Selena Gomez’s beauty company, which tripled its annual sales last year.

Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask
Laneige was one of the first K-beauty brands to become popular outside Korea, and this bestselling lip treatment put it on the map.

Ingrie Williams
Ingrie Williams
Ingrie Williams is a freelance writer and digital content creator who covers all things beauty, wellness and style. A regular contributor to national outlets, she loves a good profile piece whether that means interviewing an A-list celebrity or an inspiring entrepreneur. Born and raised in Toronto, she now resides in Thunder Bay, Ont. Follow her on Instagram at @ingriewilliams