I Tested the 9 Biggest TikTok Makeup Hacks So You Don't Have To

Brooke Shunatona
·12 min read

From Cosmopolitan

When it comes to beauty hacks, I'll try anything once—even if it means barely sleeping because I tied a robe sash around my hair, or going broke for buying TikTok beauty products that a 15-year-old influencer told me to. Seriously, at this point in my career, I've been testing makeup hacks since the dawn of time, and while most of the TikTok beauty tricks I've tried have been complete failures, I have found a few that I actually use on a regular basis.

So after weeding through (and ruling out) countless viral trends, I present to you the nine best TikTok makeup hacks of all time, along with all the products and steps you need to try 'em yourself. But first! Grab your phone, because you're gonna want to duet these TikToks ASAP.

1. The TikTok foundation hack

What it is:

A trick to layering your foundation over setting powder to get long-lasting, crease-less coverage. Allegedly. If you have oily skin and you want your makeup to have a super-matte finish, or if you just like the look of full-coverage foundation, you'll wanna try out this hack.

How to do it:

  1. Moisturize. Apply a thin layer of moisturizer all over your face, because even oily skin needs to be moisturized, k?

  2. Powder up. Dust a small amount of setting powder all over your face, paying special attention to areas that get extra oily, like your T-zone.

  3. Add the setting spray. I'm aware this goes against everything you know about the correct order of applying makeup, but trust the process—or at least try it once. After powdering, you'll want to mist your face with setting spray, then wait for it to dry completely.

  4. Prime. Now that you've essentially created an oil-absorbing buffer on your skin, you may proceed with your foundation routine as usual, starting with a thin layer of your favorite makeup primer.

  5. Blend your foundation. Using a makeup blending brush or a beauty sponge, blend your foundation into your skin as usual, and, as you've seen on TikTok, prepare to be amazed by a magically flawless foundation application.

Does it work?

Personally, this hack put my dry, snake-like flakey skin on blast. If you also have dry skin or prefer a foundation with dewier finish and lighter coverage, I wouldn't recommend this trick, TBH. Instead, I'd try one of these hydrating foundations for dry skin instead, and just dust some setting powder over your T-zone to keep shine away. With that said, I can appreciate a good hack when I see one, and although this one was not for me, I love it for all my oily friends out there.

2. The color-theory foundation TikTok hack

What it is:

A trick for customizing your skin's exact foundation shade by blending a combo of white, red, blue, and yellow pigment over your face. It takes a bit of trial and error to find the right combination of colors for your skin tone and your undertone, but once you do, it's a pretty cool one to try. So if you've got a color-correcting palette and a lot of time on your hands, here are the six steps you need to follow:

How to do it:

  1. Apply white or black cream makeup. Depending on your skin tone, you'll want to dab a few dots of white or black pigments (see options below) around your face. Not sure how much to use? This is where the trial and error comes in. Try it once, take note of how much you used, then add more or less on the next go.

  2. Dot on the yellow. Now, add yellow dots evenly across your face. If you have a warm undertone, add a few extra yellow dots.

  3. Add red. Now add your red dots. Add a few extra if you have a cooler undertone.

  4. Add blue. If you have a cool skin tone, add a few extra blue dots. If you have a neutral undertone, use equal amounts of yellow with red and blue.

  5. Blend. Before everything dries and sets, grab your foundation makeup brush and begin swirling all the colors together to mix your custom foundation shade.

Does it work?

Is this going to be your new way to do your base makeup? Probably not, especially because color correctors aren't necessarily designed to be used as all-over foundation every day. I also didn't particularly like the finish I got after blending the zillion dots, and I found some of the pigments started drying too quickly, making some areas look a little patchy after I blended. Still, a fun one to try out for yourself.

3. The color-theory concealer TikTok hack

What it is:

Obsessed with color theory now?! Welp, here's the concealer version of it. This concealer hack supposedly helps you find the right shade for your under-eye circles. You might think that your eye bags are blue, but if you use a color wheel as a rough guideline for finding the actual shade of your under-eye area, you might be surprised to find that the undertone is actually more of a purple. Here's how to use a color wheel to find the right color-correcting concealer.

How to do it:

  1. Compare your eye circles to a color wheel. Hold the wheel up to your face and find the shade that most closely matches the undertones of your under eyes.

  2. Neutralize the color. Now that you know the actual shade underneath your eyes, find the shade on the opposite side of the color wheel. Use a concealer with those undertones to cancel out the shadows under your eyes.

Does it work?

Yup, this one really does work, since it's essentially just color-correcting, which is used by makeup pros and newbies everywhere. If you're actually using the right shade, you'll find that you don't have to use as much concealer to cover your under-eyes, meaning your skin will look a lot more natural (less product!) in the end.

4. This TikTok concealer placement trick

What it is:

The TikTok way of applying concealer in 2020—i.e., just on the sides of your eyes, instead of in a triangle underneath. If you feel like your eyes look tired and you want to create the illusion of a lifted eye area without a ton of makeup, try this TikTok hack.

How to do it:

  1. Apply concealer on the inner corner of your under eye. No triangles here, sry. Use just a little bit of product and only apply it on the inside corner and against the side of your nose.

  2. Apply concealer to the outside corner. Use your wand or a concealer brush to swipe on the product in a diagonal line and in an upward direction.

  3. Blend. Use your makeup sponge to blend the concealer out and up—vs. down and under—for a lifted effect.

Does it work?

Honestly, I say there's a time and a place for both the triangle and the outer-corner technique. This hack does work—it made my face look a bit more lifted—but it didn't exactly cover my dark circles. But if you're not a fan of the super-bright under-eye, or you're going for an ultra-minimal makeup look, you might prefer this more precise concealer technique instead.

5. This TikTok makeup order trick

What it is:

A trick for looking ~naturally~ sculpted and brightened by applying your concealer and bronzer before your foundation. If you've been doing your makeup the same way for years and feel like you need a revamp, this hack is a cool way to switch up your routine without buying all new makeup products.

How to do it:

  1. Swipe on concealer. After you've prepped your skin and primed your face, go in with your concealer first and apply it to all the areas you want to highlight. You could use a much lighter concealer than usual, but I found this works even with my normal concealer shade.

  2. Apply a liquid bronzer or contour. Dab a liquid or cream formula over the areas you typically contour or bronze, like under your cheekbones, along your jawline, and around your temples and hairline.

  3. Blend it. Spray your makeup sponge with a setting spray, then gently blend the harsh edges into your skin. The goal isn't to fully blend the product to a natural finish—you still want some obvious contrast.

  4. Layer on foundation. Now, blend a thin layer of liquid foundation all over your face like usual. As you blend, your concealer and bronzer will melt into your skin, leaving you with a natural-looking contoured face, without the harsh edges.

Does it work?

It might seem a little backwards to you, but pro makeup artists have been using this layering trick for years to create that glowing-from-within finish that doesn't leave you with creasy, cakey makeup. I, for one, am a fan of this hack.

6. This TikTok hack for patchy nose foundation

What it is:

A hack for preventing makeup from sliding off your nose by using full-coverage concealer. If you have oily skin, you're all too familiar with the dysfunctional relationship between your nose and your foundation—lots of separation, lots of breaking up. And now, you've got yourself a fix. Supposedly.

How to do it:

  1. Prime. Start by priming your nose with a silicone primer to fill in and smooth out the lovely pores all over your nose. This TikTok user didn't mention this step, but I'm going to because I always think a silicone primer works best for prepping your face for slip-proof makeup.

  2. Add concealer. Use a thick, creamy concealer (like the kind that comes in a little pot) and blend a generous amount over your entire nose area.

  3. Blend on foundation. Now, apply your foundation and the rest of your makeup as normal, and notice how the foundation actually sticks to your nose, thanks to the base you've created for it.

Does it work?

Yes and no. For me and my super-dry skin? It all felt too heavy on my nose—though, I will say, my foundation didn't look as creased around my nose by the end of the day as it usually does. I think this hack is skippable for drier skin types, but if an oily T-zone is the bane of your existence? Definitely worth testing out.

7. The soap brows TikTok hack

What it is:

A hack for getting fluffy, brushed-up brows using a bar of soap. If you have yet to try soap brows, you clearly were not bored enough during quarantine. Thankfully, I was, and now I'm an unofficial expert on TikTok eyebrows.

How to do it:

  1. Spray a spoolie brush with a facial mist. Dampen a clean spoolie (the less moisture, the thicker the paste you’ll create with the bar soap).

  2. Rub the bristles against the soap. To create a lather, rub the spoolie back and forth against the bar of soap. Start with a little; you can always add more.

  3. Brush your brows. Use the spoolie to shape your eyebrows how you want them. The residue on the bristles will hold them in place as it dries.

  4. Fill in your brows. Use your brow pencil to fill in sparse areas of your brows.

Does it work?

100 percent yes, this hack works, and it's actually my new favorite way to set my brows. How's that for an incentive? But don't just grab the gross soap that's been sitting in your shower since 2018—use one of these skin-approved ones, pls:

8. The TikTok hack for covering a pimple

What it is:

A hack for covering a pimple by letting a blob of concealer dry to form an opaque "patch" over your zits that doesn't slip or slide away under your foundation.

How to do it:

  1. Dab on the concealer. Before you apply your foundation, use a clean concealer brush to cover your pimple with a layer of full-coverage concealer that matches your skin (any shade lighter or darker will only draw more attention to your zit). Apply enough concealer so you can't see any redness at all.

  2. Let it dry. Don't blend the concealer as soon as you apply it. The idea behind this hack is to give the product ample time to set before blending it, or else you'll just wipe away all the product. I usually wait a full 2-3 minutes before moving on.

  3. Add your foundation. Apply thin layer of foundation all over your face, being careful not to blend too much over the zit and disrupt the patch of concealer underneath.

Does it work?

I can assure you I've tried it, and this is the only concealer hack I go back to all the time. I also use this trick to cover my post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (those dark spots or acne scars left behind after a pimple). Works like a charm.

9. This TikTok eyeshadow lip liner hack

What it is:

A trick for creating a custom lip-liner shade with an eyeshadow palette and a small brush. When you don't have a lip liner in the exact shade you want, you've now got the TikTok way to make one yourself.

How to do it:

  1. Apply lip balm. Because even the best lip hacks are ruined by crusty lips.

  2. Add liquid lipstick. Now that your lips are all moisturized, apply your liquid lipstick in whatever shade you want.

  3. Top it with lip gloss. Go for one in a matching shade.

  4. Line your lips. Now for the hack! If you love a diffused yet still defined lip, dip your liner brush in eyeshadow and use it to line your lips. Press your lips together to softly blend the formulas together.

Does it work?

As long as you're careful not to overdraw your lips, the eyeshadow won't get all smudged and messy throughout the day and will fade nicely with the rest of your lip products. I also like that it's less "severe" than a perfectly drawn line of lip liner.

You Might Also Like