We Tried 8 TikTok Beauty Trends To See If They Really Work

They claim to give you faux freckles and fuller lips, but do these hair, skin and makeup tricks really deliver?
Don't have natural freckles? Viral TikTok beauty tutorials teach you how to draw them on.
Talia Ali / EyeEm via Getty Images
Don't have natural freckles? Viral TikTok beauty tutorials teach you how to draw them on.

TikTok is littered with hair and makeup tutorials, ranging from the wacky to the “oh, this might actually be doable.” While some of them aim to solve common everyday problems (like a flat ponytail, for example), others are a little more out there (for instance, it’s a mystery why anyone would feel the need to draw fake freckles on their face, but that’s a viral tutorial nonetheless).

While no one should feel pressured to sport faux freckles or contour their face to look like a Kardashian, I wanted to see if these TikTok beauty hacks at least deliver on their claims. In that spirit, I tried eight viral TokTok beauty trends to see how they actually work.

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1. DIY skin tint (or BB cream)

The concept behind this trend is mixing creams you already own to create a custom shade of skin tint. See an original TikTok video highlighting the trend here:

BB, which stands for “beauty balm,” is meant to be a lightweight base, so mixing your foundation with other products (primers, SPF and more) makes sense. You’ll note that in the original video above, the creator added sunscreen ― but be warned that mixing sunscreen with other products diminishes the SPF factor and offers less protection. For this DIY product to work, you have to ensure your foundation and primer have the same base ingredients ― for example, if one has a silicone base, the other should too; otherwise the product will roll right off your face.

Did it work?

It did! It feels like the perfect base for summer. I found it was a little tricky applying with a brush, but it was smooth and easy when using fingers. It’s like “your skin but better.” Plus, it’s great that you can customize how much glow or moisturizer you want to add.

Here’s a video of my experiment:

2. High ponytail for long hair

This popular tutorial creates a ponytail that sits up super high and is extra voluminous. It’s done by twisting the hair tie around the bottom part of the ponytail twice. It sounds like it won’t make much difference to the height of a ponytail, but as someone with long and heavy hair, I’m willing to try anything. See an original TikTok tutorial here:

Did it work?

Not only did it work, but it was also extremely easy! And it doesn’t feel like a ponytail that’ll give you a headache. Here’s a video of my experience:

3. A makeup routine that claims to be sweat-proof

If you prep your skin and apply your base makeup products the way this tutorial suggests, it claims to be absolutely sweat-proof. This was inspired by the way drag queens do their makeup, as are many great discoveries in the beauty world. It goes like this: moisturizer, translucent powder, setting spray, makeup primer and foundation. Here’s an original TikTok tutorial:

I originally tried this trick in March 2020 and found it to be a little cake-y for my dry skin, but I was willing to give it another go.

Did it work?

Initially, yes. The base looked very good upon application. But after a while it started pilling (balling up) around my neck. I think it’s one too many layers for me, but I’d still try it again being more careful around my neck area.

Here’s a video of my experiment:

@fani_breakeven

Trying out the viral sweat proof foundation routine on a hot day - ib @jarida.bby #beautyhack #beautytiktok

♬ original sound - Jarida🖤

4. The scrunched-up tissue eye look

When I first saw this look, I thought there’d be no way it could actually look good. You take a tissue, wad it up, dip it in random colors of eyeshadow, and dab it on your eyelids to create an artistic, almost tie-dyed look. Here’s an original tutorial from TikTok:

@arisbellv

Recreando mi 1er video viral pq ya pasó 1 año 🤪 #makeuptutorial #makeup #fypp #tissuemakeup

♬ Yonaguni - Bad Bunny

Did it work?

I loved this! Who says you need expensive brushes to create something fun? All you need is a colorful makeup palette and some tissue. Sure, it looks a little messy, but it’s a fun and colorful look I’d gladly wear again. I think brighter colors work best for this beauty trend.

What I used: The NikkieTutorials x Beauty Bay palette. Here’s my take:

@fani_breakeven

Trying out #tissuemakeup 🌟 #tissuemakeupchallenge - ib: @arisbellv // @beautybay x @nikkietutorials #beautyhack #beautytiktok

♬ Smile - Lily Allen

5. A quick way to fuller lips

Overlining lips isn’t new, though it grew in popularity thanks to Kylie Jenner. Not everyone loves the overlined look ― it can look like too much (it can also look like you have a thin moustache), but this tutorial promises it’s not only easy but very quick, too. Huda Kattan of Huda Beauty recreated it, and she’s also a fan.

Essentially, you purse your lips together very tightly and apply the lipliner around and inside the lips. In essence, because the lips are stretched out, you get a more even overline more quickly. Check it out:

@lera_valesta

😍😲👍🏼 inst: lera_valesta

♬ original sound - gil

All you need is your lip pencil and a liquid lipstick or lipstick of choice. I tried it with red, as I was feeling adventurous.

Did it work?

I suppose so, but it’s a lot more overlined than I’m used to so it looked weird at first! It was quick and easy, though. I prefer not drawing over my cupid’s bow, and once I cleaned up that part, I liked it a lot more. I used the MAC lip pencil in Cherry and Colourpop Ultra Matte Lip in Creeper. Here’s my video:

6. 10-second contour

All you need is a stick bronzer, your foundation and 10 seconds to the perfect contour. Sound too easy? That’s what I thought, too. You simply contour over the lips, under the cheekbones and chin, and on the forehead, add your foundation on the rest of the face and blend in, like this:

@kyliekillzzzz

late to the trend, but you can’t go wrong with a good contour #contour

♬ original sound - 𝕄𝕒𝕣𝕧🥀🖤

Did it work?

Surprisingly, yes. It was easy and quick and blended in really nicely ― I will certainly use that hack again.

7. Using a burnt almond as eyeliner

I couldn’t believe that burning an almond could actually be used as a smoky eye liner/shadow, but apparently it works. I obviously had to try it out, as it seems like an easy and affordable way to do your eye makeup. You just take an almond, burn the tip a little bit, wait for it to cool down (this step is important!) and apply it like you would your shadow when doing a cat-eye. Watch this:

Did it work?

Somewhat so! It was a lot harder to get color out of the almond. Also, let me advise you again to wait until the almond isn’t burning hot! It’s more of a soft smoked outline and though it was a fun challenge, I think I’ll stick to my black eyeshadow and liner for future looks. Here’s my take:

8. Easy and natural-looking freckles

TikTok is full of faux freckle videos, most including fake tanning mousse, which are intimidating and can easily go wrong. However, this tutorial uses Maybelline Brow Tattoo, which is meant for your face ― so I was hoping the color whould be more natural-looking. Here’s what it claims to do:

To be on the safe side, I picked a color lighter than my hair —color Medium Brown — and applied it across my nose and cheeks.

Did it work?

It worked so well! It created a very natural-looking result ― I went over my natural nose freckles and did some more over my cheeks. I think leaving it on for two hours wasn’t necessary, but the product’s instructions recommend that for the color to last three days. I will try it again, for sure. Here’s my attempt:

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