When it comes to viral beauty products, there's one place to go if you want to know what's trending right now: TikTok. I'll admit that I'm still getting to grips with the social media platform, but it's clearly becoming the coolest platform to spot both fashion trends and beauty ones. So in a quest to get to know the app that I'd previously written off as the domain of Gen Z, I decided to delve headfirst into the world of TikTok beauty to decipher which viral beauty products genuinely live up to the hype.
From lip glosses to Kylie Jenner–approved blushers, I abandoned all preconceptions in an attempt to give you an honest rundown on which of these trending beauty products are worth your cash. After all, a product might have millions of views, but is it genuinely worth making a space for it in your makeup bag? (Spoiler: I'll make that a firm no for at least one of these products.)
So, in no particular order, keep scrolling for my honest review of 10 of the most popular viral products on TikTok right now.
Nyx Shine Loud Lip Gloss
I love a good lip product, and they don't come more hyped than the Nyx Shine Loud Lip Gloss, which currently has around 68 million views of its hashtag on TikTok. Its USP? Once applied, it does not budge. The product itself is double-ended with an intensely pigmented color at one end that you apply first (I'm wearing the shade On a Mission) before layering the clear, high-shine gloss on top. This is a way shinier lip product than I'm used to, but I have to say I'm kind of into it. And there's no denying that the color itself really does stay put. As for the gloss? It feels slightly tackier on the lips than I'd like, but it's a minor compromise to make for all-day wear. This is definitely worth the hype.
With over 385 million views of the #beautyblender hashtag, it is undeniable that this cult makeup sponge is the most popular beauty product on TikTok right now. But not all of the viral content out there is positive. In fact, a huge amount of Beautyblender content is dedicated to uncovering just how dirty your makeup sponge actually is—along with some interesting hacks on how to clean it. (Fancy putting your Beautyblender in the microwave, anyone?) I already use and love the Beautyblender and vouch for it over any other makeup sponge that I've tried. The trick is to run it under the tap first so it's slightly damp, and then bounce it over your skin to stipple in your foundation. It gives a really even, full-coverage finish that manages to still look natural, and I don't think I'll ever be without one.
L'Oréal Paris Infallible Foundation
I'm always open to a decent high-street foundation and really rate L'Oréal Paris's offering. However, I have always been loyal to its True Match Liquid Foundation ($11) so have been willfully ignoring the TikTok hype about its Infallible range, which currently has over 20 million views of the hashtag. It's the powder foundation that seems to have the biggest buzz, and despite having totally avoided powder foundations since my teenage years, I was quite surprised by this formula. It's extremely high-coverage and managed to cover up an enormous chin breakout, which you'll see in some of my upcoming photos, and has a surprisingly velvety finish—not powdery at all. However, by the end of the day, this did look a little cakey around blemishes, and the extremely limited shade range means that I couldn't find a perfect match, so I think deeper skin tones would really struggle. In better news, though, the liquid version comes in 26 shades and just might be my new favorite full-coverage foundation. I'm wearing the shade Linen in the photo above and love how even my skin looks despite not having any concealer on.
Another huge hit on TikTok comes via the most unassuming beauty product on the list—good old-fashioned Vaseline. Yes, it might have been around for 150 years, but Gen Z is buying up this classic blue-and-white tin in droves. Why? Well, it turns out, Vaseline has been woefully underrated all these years. In fact, just a quick scroll of TikTok taught me that Vaseline is way more than a basic lip balm. Apply it to wrists before applying your perfume to boost longevity, smooth it onto cuticles before painting nails for a neater mani, use it as a brow gel to fake a laminated look, and some people even use the tin lid to curl their lashes. (Yes, really.) While I can't vouch for all of those, I did find that applying a slick of Vaseline around my nails before painting them did mean that I could quickly wipe away any mishaps with ease. Oh, and it still makes a decent lip balm after all these years.
Isle of Paradise Self-Tanning Drops
Mica Ricketts before applying the Isle of Paradise Self-Tanning Drops.
When it comes to tan, there is one brand that reigns supreme on TikTok: Isle of Paradise. The British brand has racked up over 22 million views so far, but its Self-Tanning Drops receive the most hype. As August has been, quite frankly, a total washout, I was quite looking forward to faking something of a sun-kissed glow. The drops are available in three shades, and I went for Light, as I'm naturally quite pale. You simply mix anywhere from one to 12 drops into your usual moisturizer—I went for six to hedge my bets—then wait for your tan to develop overnight.
Mica Ricketts after applying the Isle of Paradise Self-Tanning Drops.
Come morning, I was truly delighted by how much dewier and radiant my skin looked. For me, the level of tan is perfect—just a natural tint—but I love that this product is totally customizable, so I could build it up or apply less next time. When I tested this product, I was also in the midst of a major hormonal breakout,so I was quite nervous about testing a tanning product. However, it didn't exacerbate the blemishes or cause anymore to spring up—and I actually feel like it masked some of the redness, which is a total win. A huge thumbs-up from me.
Too Faced Lip Injection
I'm going to preface this one with a disclaimer: I really don't like lip-plumping products. And that's not to throw shade at anyone who swears by them or wants to make their lips look fuller, but getting plumper lips just isn't a concern of mine personally. Plus, maybe I'm just a total wimp, but I hate the tingly feeling that they give when applied. Too Faced's Lip Injection is probably the most recognizable lip plumper on the market and has over 53 million views on TikTok. However, I wiped it off after probably about 60 seconds of wearing it. For me, the tingle was just too much to take—despite some people sharing seriously impressive results—and my lips had already started to turn a rather unwarranted shade of red. Not for me.
L'Oréal Paris Telescopic Mascara
Mica Ricketts wearing the L'Oréal Paris Telescopic Mascara on one eye.
I always go on and on about how I'm not fussed about mascara, but I was intrigued by the popularity of this classic high-street formula on TikTok. Boasting over 46 million views of the #telescopicmascara hashtag, it was the narrow, plastic wand of Telescopic Mascara that piqued my interest. Well, that and the videos of people with insanely long lashes dominating my TikTok feed. I have quite small eyes and my lashes are sparse, short, and curly, but I found this mascara really easy to apply thanks to its thin wand. I'm wearing it just on my left eye in the photo above, and I really think it has done a brilliant job of elongating and defining each lash.
Mica Ricketts wearing the L'Oréal Paris Telescopic Mascara on both eyes.
The formula itself is intensely black and layered up really well without clumping, but the thing that I loved most about is how long and fluttery it left my notoriously short and stubborn lashes. I'd definitely reach for this mascara again on days where I really want to up my eye makeup.
Whenever I see a Denman brush, my heart immediately starts racing, as it reminds me of my grandma brushing my knotty hair as a child. I haven't used one for years (I'm loyal to my Wet Brush these days, which I find so much gentler to use), but there are so many TikTok hacks showing how to create defined curls using the Denman brush that I was willing to overlook any negative childhood associations. Oh, how wrong I was. Despite watching countless videos of people twisting their hair into perfect waves using this, I just couldn't get the hang of it. In fact, my freshly washed hair ended up knottier than before I'd started. I'm willing to try again because some of the hairstyles I've seen look so good, but for now, I don't get the hype.
Dior Rosy Glow Blush
When makeup artist Ariel Tejada revealed that they used this Dior blush on Kylie Jenner, TikTok went wild. In fact, the product keeps selling out ever since. Luckily, I had one in my beauty stash already—although, I have to be honest and say that I hadn't given it much thought until I saw that the #diorblush had accrued over 33 million views. Yikes. The interesting thing about this blush is that despite it looking really pastel pink in the pan, it's actually formulated with Dior's Color Reviver technology, which reacts to your skin's moisture levels to create a customized rosy effect. I tend to opt for peachier blushes on a day-to-day basis, but I actually love how fresh and bright this looks on me. Yes, I might have been a little heavier-handed with the application than intended, but the finished effect is surprisingly cheery. I'll definitely wear this again.
Dr. Jart+ Cicapair Tiger Grass Color Correcting Treatment
Last but by no means least, the breakout success story of TikTok 2021 has to come in the form of this color-correcting skincare product from Dr. Jart. I had actually already written a full review of this product when it first started trending, and I still feel the same—this is a wonderfully innovative skincare-makeup hybrid that does a brilliant job at concealing redness and evening skin tone. Just pat the green cream onto bare skin and watch as discoloration dissipates. I'll often wear just this on days that I'm working from home and think it's one of my best TikTok beauty discoveries of the year.