I review “game-changing” TikTok makeup hacks to see if they actually work
Blame it on the fact that my first-ever exposure to TikTok involved the convoluted, pelvic-thrusting dance routine that was Renegade, but I've been terrified of the app ever since. Maybe it has to do with how the coordinated, rhythmically-blessed teenagers of today act as a sharp contrast to my gawky pre-pubescent days, or maybe I just don't like people who can dance in public without having downed six shots of tequila. Either way, it stands to reason that I didn't think I'd ever join TikTok — let alone enjoy it, for that matter. But there's something being in a crisis that changes things: it makes you brave. Or, well, at least more susceptible to questionable decisions, since I've recently made an account. And boy, am I glad I did.
As it turns out, there's a lot more to TikTok than members of Gen-Z gyrating to the latest G-Eazy bop. Off the top of my head, there's also a professional perfumer who regularly doles out advice on which fragrance has better longevity and character; a rich aunt who teaches you to style sweatpants in a way where it appears professional; as well as slew of soothing Dalgona coffee-making compilations that always has me convinced that I can be a barista (spoiler alert: I can't). Making hand gestures to whatever top-charting single is just the tip of the TikTok iceberg; it is, in fact, a wealth of information when it comes to all things fashion, entertainment, and, naturally, beauty.
It comes as no surprise, then, that I chanced upon many a viral makeup tutorial during my TikTok trawl. And so, in the name of self-improvement during self-isolation, I decided to give them a go –– from instructional vids that promise matte, filtered skin if I apply my base products out of order (!) to helpful guides on how to get Bella Hadid's upturned lids without the need for surgical enhancement. My findings, below.
Using brow tint to acquire semi-permanent eyeliner
I'll be remiss not to point out that the hack in question seems to work exclusively with one product: the Maybelline Brow Tattoo Gel Tint, a peel-off solution that gives defined, coloured arches that lasts up to three days. Instead of using it to fill in sparse brows, however, you're supposed to take the applicator to the eye line and give yourself a sharp, sleek wing instead. Apply, let it set for 20 minutes, then peel off the tint to witness results. This, hence, grants semi-permanent eyeliner to last you for days, no matter the weather. I'm sufficiently intrigued, alright.
This hack is not for those with butter fingers. While the applicator resembles the sharp, fine point found on gel-type eyeliners, it is imbued with a heck ton of product. This makes drawing a clean, precise flick a downright challenging task, no matter your patience or wrist stability. Still, I'm no quitter. Multiple attempts later, I found myself with a subtle, smoky wing that lasted up to two days with no touch-ups required. Ingenious, indeed — though it's certainly a hack requiring finesse and composure.
Watch the full video here.
Dyeing your hair using makeup
Quarantine-induced hair changes are the new normal, so it makes sense that TikTok has come up with a (relatively) safe way to experiment with your tresses. Begin by separating the sections of hair you'd like to dye. Then, apply a generous helping of primer and a heavy-duty concealer on said segments. Once that's done, reach for an eyeshadow in the desired shade, and brush it on those painted portions. Seal it off with a setting spray to ensure it all stays in place.
Remember when hair chalk was all the rage back during festival season? Well, I'm pleased to report that this method delivers the same results. It works on dark hair, too — though it should be noted that you have to opt for a bright eyeshadow shade to witness optimal results. Think pigment-packed options that veer towards neon on the colour spectrum. I've also observed that this method works best if you go for a mattifying primer and full-coverage concealer combo. A safe and foolproof way to play around with new hair hues? I'm into it.
Colour theory foundation hack
Originating from makeup artist, Hannah Rosie Bennet, this trick supposedly gives you the perfect foundation shade every time. First things first: grab a cream eyeshadow palette or colour-correcting palette that has white, red, blue, and yellow hues in it. Then, using a brush, apply it in dots across your face; be sure there is an even number of each shade. All you have to do next is grab your trusty blending brush and diffuse it all out.
I had my doubts about this hack — but much like the clown contouring tip that circulated circa 2016 — this proved to be ridiculously effective. As it turns out, this is because all colour pigments (such as your foundations and concealers) are actually made from a mix of these four primary colours. Neat. However, I'd be remiss not to point out that it doesn't provide a smooth or mattifying finish that you often get with store-bought options. Might I suggest utilising this method on good skin days instead?
Flawless base hack
This is by far the most popular TikTok makeup hack to date. Essentially, it tells users to completely reorder their base makeup products for a flawless, airbrushed complexion. Instead of primer, start with a moisturiser instead. This is then followed by a light dusting of powder, and setting spray. Once it dries, put on primer and top it off with foundation.
Floored pretty much sums up my reaction. I have staved off foundation for the longest time, but I might get back into it seeing how good my skin looks with this trick. But then again, I tried it with concealer too and liked how it sat on my skin, so it really depends on how my mien is looking on the day. Personally, I found the finish more matte than it was velvety/airbrushed — so it probably works better for those with oily skin types. A friend with a dry, sensitised complexion pointed out that her makeup began to crack around her nose and mouth after several hours (an issue I didn't face) so it's probably not suitable for all skin types.
Voluminous AF lashes
No eyelash curler, no problem. Just apply your mascara as per normal, then set your hairdryer to a cool setting before blasting it directly under your lids for several minutes. This supposedly helps lift and curl 'em, thus "opening" up your peepers.
It worked! And very well, I might add. Though, several caveats: this works best if your lashes are of a significant length. Mine have been growing out thanks to my rigorous application of lash serum. It might have been attributed to my mascara of choice too — aka Benefit's Badgal! Blowout Volumising Mascara — which is instrumental in getting them to look long and fluttery. My sister tried this with her hack with her slick-straight, shorter lashes to no avail.
Bella Hadid's upturned lids
Technically the official name is fox eyes, but I feel vaguely weirded out about the possible racial connotation there so I'll pass on calling it that. Apparently, it has all to do with the positioning of your falsies — line them up along the middle of your lid rather than the front, then fill in any bare spots with eyeliner to give it a "lifted" effect.
Another win, though I'd like to point out that this might be difficult for anyone who hasn't attempted putting on falsies before. Trying to get the lash band to lay flat along the middle of your lid instead of the front is a humongous challenge on its own. You've got nothing to worry about once you've mastered that.