I Tried All the Trending Beauty Products on TikTok, and I Have Some Thoughts

Quick disclaimer: I love social media. Like, I really love it. I could scroll through Instagram for hours and hours and get lost in all of the wonderful beauty content that it has to offer. I love the reviews, I love the flatlays, I love the tutorials, and I love watching other people’s skincare routines. Taking all of this into consideration, it really is hard to believe that I just can’t get to grips with TikTok. 

Call me old-fashioned, but when I buy my beauty products, I like to know exactly what I’m getting myself in for. And whereas over the years, Instagram has struck the perfect balance of providing just the right amount of information while still holding attention, TikTok just doesn’t cut it for me. Sure, it makes for addictive scrolling, but as a beauty editor, something about recommending a product with such limited information just doesn’t sit right with me.


(Image credit: @SHANNONLAWLOR)

Let’s take the so-called "$1 million TikTok product,” or The Ordinary’s AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution, for example. After a couple of TikToks on the product went viral, thousands and thousands of people around the globe rushed to buy the £6 exfoliant, resulting in mass sell-out (and thus big sales). And while it is no doubt a great product, there is something inside me screaming out, "IT ONLY SOLD BECAUSE IT’S RED AND LOOKS LIKE BLOOD.” And here lies my issue. It might look cool on a 15-second-long TikTok, but it’s also an incredibly powerful product that shouldn’t be used without serious consideration.


##duet with @kaelynwhitee Also helps with acne scars and uneven skin tone✨ ##greenscreen ##AsGoodAsTheOG ##touchdowncelebration ##CleanFreshHype ##fyp

♬ Like That - Doja Cat feat. Gucci Mane

While TikTok so far mostly remains a social media platform for Gen Z-ers, as it continues to grow in popularity by the day, I sense that at some point the beauty narrative will begin to change. At the moment, beauty fans’ feeds seem to be inundated with affordable "dupes” that provide visually dramatic results. However, I imagine (and like to hope) that as time moves on and a more mature user starts to emerge, we might start getting some in-depth beauty content.

However, until that day comes, I thought it might be best that I start getting to grips with the beauty content TikTok currently has to offer me. While so many spent the long weekend sunning themselves in the garden, I spent mine cooped up inside scrolling my life away. And honestly, what I discovered just seemed to confirm my preconceptions. The majority of the content I was served showed teens playing and experimenting with various beauty products and going viral as a result.

But I wanted to find out what makes a TikTok beauty product successful. Are these products actually any good, or do they simply offer up the most instant visual result? So while a huge number of the trending products on TikTok are exclusive to the U.S. (Tatcha Kissu Lip Mask and Kaja Cheeky Stamp, I’m looking at you), I put the UK-available products to the test in a bid to give the world a beauty editor’s take on things. Keep scrolling to see what I discovered because I have some serious thoughts.

The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution

EOS Lip Balm

L'Oréal Paris Infallible Foundation

Garnier Micellar Water


Ça marche 👌🏻😉 je trouve ça trop drôle! T‘as déjà vu ma nouvelle vidéo? ##huby ##youtube ##micellarwater ##fyp ##trending ##foryoupage ##hacks

♬ 123start - cyrusaho

Someone discovered that if you blow into a flannel or towel or cotton pad after pouring on some micellar water, you can create some sort of foam river. Funny the first time you see it? Absolutely. Worth wasting perfectly great product for? I’m not so sure.

L'Oréal Paris Telescopic Mascara

E.l.f. Poreless Putty Primer 

Isle of Paradise Self-Tanning Drops

Too Faced Lip Injection Power Plumping Lip Gloss


Products I Predict Will Take Over TikTok Soon

Freelance Beauty Editor

Shannon Lawlor is a renowned beauty journalist and has contributed to Who What Wear’s beauty content since 2020. As a leading beauty editor, expert and brand consultant, she has over eight years of experience working for some of the industry’s most esteemed titles, including Who What Wear (of course), Glamour UK, Stylist, Refinery29 and Fabulous. Having also worked behind the scenes with some of the industry’s biggest brands and retailers, Shannon has a unique insight into what people really want from their beauty routines. Understanding that beauty lovers seek honest, open and responsible advice, she has it made her mission to demystify the intimidating world of beauty, taking a no-frills approach to the most relatable topics. While Shannon is the first to admit she doesn’t hold the answer to every beauty question out there, she is dedicated to sharing her expert insights in a bid to help. As a self-proclaimed lazy girl, Shannon has an affinity for easy-to-use, foolproof beauty products and has made it her mission to scope out the best of the best. When she’s not working, Shannon is likely soaking in the bath or giving no-holds-barred beauty reviews on Instagram from her bathroom floor.