US rapper Cardi B sees China fan base grow as increasing numbers copy singer’s iconic style, run online make-up tutorials to imitate looks

One of the world’s most famous hip-hop artists, Cardi B, is making a splash in China, triggering a fashion trend of women copying her make-up style.

The 32-year-old New York City native burst onto the scene in 2017 with the song Bodak Yellow, which has been viewed 1.1 billion times on YouTube and streamed nearly 880 million times on Spotify.

Cardi B’s popularity in China began to grow in 2020 after she began showcasing her appreciation for Chinese culture and food.

“Am I the only one who likes those chewy Chinese ginger candies?” she wrote in a December 2020 Twitter post.

Male beauty blogger Nie, from Shanghai, begins to develop one of Cardi B’s signature looks. Photo: Douyin

The same year, she used her platform to defend Chinese people against rising xenophobia in the US during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The rapper reportedly frequents Chinese grocery shops and has live-streamed herself eating chicken feet with pickled peppers.

Her most prominent appreciation of Chinese culture came in 2023 when she wore a dress designed by the Chinese designer Chen Peng to the Met Gala, one of the most influential fashion events of the year.

Recently, thanks in part to the rapper’s frank and charming attitude, her makeup style has started to take off, accelerated by social media.

A 25-year-old male beauty blogger surnamed Nie, who lives in Shanghai, has become prominent by copying Cardi B’s styles.

“Today I’m going to try and replicate her pink look,” Nie said in a Douyin video he shared with his 2.88 million followers on March 12.

He kicked off the make-up tutorial by putting in two pink-coloured contact lenses. Then, he added pink eyebrows, eyeshadow, eyelashes, blush, and lipstick.

In the pink: Nie’s final look has earned widespread praise on mainland social media, with some dubbing him China’s Cardi B. Photo: Douyin

“Sisters, give it a score. I’m Cardi B,” he tells his followers in the video.

Then he mimicked the rapper’s dance from her song Like What (freestyle). Cardi B shared the video on her Instagram story after Nie published the video.

“Wow, he looks like a real Cardi B,” said one person in response to the clip.

“He is our Chinese Cardi B, haha,” said another.

While a third added: “How does Cardi B feel when she sees him?”


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