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TikTok vs Instagram – which one should I use to boost my beauty business?

A woman holding her phone with it on self portrait

The 21st Century has seen social media’s rise to immense popularity. A huge percentage of the media and content we absorb, news stories we hear about, or even just how we communicate or promote ourselves has been massively boosted by social media platforms such as Instagram and TikTok.

It is important to recognise that social media has become an incredibly powerful tool, with information suddenly able to spread like wildfire. 

However, when used with good intentions and a bit of creative flair, social media platforms can be an excellent way to show the world what you can do, promoting your business, products and services to reach a wider audience.

In this blog, we are going to talk about two of the most popular platforms of the moment: TikTok vs Instagram. We will explore how the platforms are used, what features are involved, some of our favourite top beauty influencers and famous TikTok influences…as well as hopefully help you to decide which platform you feel would best suit the vibe and trajectory of your business. 

Who knows, you might even want to try both!


Released in 2016, the short video platform TikTok has risen to extraordinary fame, gaining increasing usage during the 2020 covid-19 pandemic. It’s home to a whole variety of content genres, with everything from dance and short films, to comedy, self-help and cooking tutorials – this app is an endless sea of content to suit every need. 

Our UK neighbours over at The Guardian have even shed light on just how much of an impact TikTok has had on the world of social media.

Arguably the most sought-after genre on TikTok is beauty content, with makeup tutorials, hacks and inspiration for looks having become one of the most expansive and eclectic across the platform. 

Top beauty influencers such as TikTok makeup artist Rose Gallagher have reached notable popularity through their engaging yet easy-to-follow videos, taking viewers through different style tips and looks and empowering them to get passionate about makeup at home. 

With more and more people turning to makeup influencing in order to promote their skills and services, it seems that TikTok beauty is here to stay!

Here are a few of our favourite top beauty TikTokers, to give you an idea of how this platform can help to promote your business:


@theoliviasaurusrexsoftly-spoken videos that are all about the natural look, with soft lighting and clear, focused tutorials, Olivia talks her viewers through each step of the routine and the products she is using. Right down to the shade numbers so you can find the exact colour she used. She tries out lots of different products and gives her opinion on how they feel and look on her skin.

@charbarkerChar’s detailed videos, often set to a great soundtrack, offer up specific look ideas for every occasion. From ‘makeup ideas for NYE’ to GRWM (Get Ready With Me) videos showing her daily routine before heading out, Char’s content is snappy and to the point. There is no messing around here! 

@ashleyquiroz_ – rosy cheeks, neutral tones and plum lips a-plenty. Ashley’s makeup looks are both bold and sleek, with a penchant for flawless cat eyeliner and sculpted browns, she takes you step by step through her looks, making it easy to follow and try out at home.

@hollymurraymakeup – Holly takes makeup to a whole new level with her exceptionally detailed and realistic SFX looks. She makes everything from cult film references, and horror characters to softer glam looks with a twist – Holly does it all! Even if it isn’t for a costume party, she demonstrates how to create the looks of some of your favourite style inspirations, such as Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, Molly Ringwald in The Breakfast Club, and intricate looks inspired by nature.

@katesjamboree – with looks largely inspired by natural elements and zodiac signs, Kate merges pop culture references with her own unique takes on imaginative styles. Becoming known for creating playlists of work revolving around the signs of the zodiac presented as different witches, fairies, Greek Monsters, classic fairytales and many more.

Hair and nails

As well as makeup, TikTok hair influencers and the increasingly popular nail art storytime TikToks – in which intricate and thrilling stories are told over the top of a video of nail art creations – have become more and more watched by the masses. 

Why not check out:

@lovekelly – for colourful, dazzling nail art

@vivxue – for intricate pop culture-inspired press on nails

@faithchappelle – for perfecting your curls

@ellissakincade – for advice on hair thinning and loss, as well as creating luscious swoopy locks looks.


From humble beginnings as a simple photo-sharing platform, Instagram has gone from strength to strength. With the addition of features such as stories, reels, live streams and shops, it has become something of a one-stop-wonder when it comes to inspiration and business promotion.

The clear and easy-to-use layout of Instagram makes it a favourite with businesses – people can like, comment and share posts, contact sellers and businesses directly through messenger, as well as follow links and hashtags towards business websites and online shops. 

The use of Instagram stories and reels is what has really been bringing home the bacon in recent years. People like to know what is going on in our lives, and having short snappy videos, either for educational or creative purposes, is always appealing for viewers. 

Looking for a little inspiration from those who are already using Instagram to build their beauty business? Take a look at Pixi’s fantastic list of some of the best New Zealand Instagram influencers in different genres of work.

Tiktok vs Instagram

TikTok vs Instagram: Which platform is best for me?

It is easy to see how both platforms have merit. However, social media self-promotion will have a very different look and vibe for each business. Here are a few things to consider when choosing the right social media platform for you and your business, as well as some ideas to get your business up and running online:

  • Think carefully about what you want to say about your business – what are your morals? What message are you trying to give? How do you want to be perceived? How do you want to make a difference?
  • Aesthetic – what is the vibe and feel of your business? Do you have a colour scheme? What effect do you want to create through your social media presence?
  • Types of posts – whether you would prefer to have a more reserved approach, putting information and energy into creating engaging and informative photo posts, or perhaps you want to go all out with reels, promotional videos and live streams? Whatever you want to create, be sure to make a game plan. Maybe look into creating a social media calendar and planning posts ahead of time to help with upkeep and avoid lags in interest between posts.
  • Audience engagement – how much do you want to engage with your audience through social media? Will you be active in the comments section and quick to reply to DMs? Do you want to do collaborations or competition call-outs?
How to decide which platform is best for you

Want to know more?

Like the idea of teaching people how to create bold and exciting new hair, makeup and nail looks? Look no further than any one of our online beauty courses! 

With everything from nail tech courses, eyebrow lamination and eyelash tinting to a certificate in hair extensions, facials and professional makeup artistry, there is no shortage of beauty inspiration here at New Zealand Beauty School.

Each of our courses comes with a downloadable brochure with further information about your chosen course, how our online learning works, as well as information about course fee payment plans and tutor support.

Start your beauty adventure today!

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