For internet lovers like myself, there’s been nothing that’s had quite such an enormous impact in recent years as TikTok. What I originally dismissed as a Vine ripoff has spawned an entire internet movement—and the best part is, there’s something for everyone. Obviously, for me, the most exciting possibilities lurk in the realm of beauty.
Beauty TikTok is a truly exciting place. After years of millennial-themed beauty content (think shelfies, pink product shots, and pricey candles), the youth of today are offering some super exciting switch-ups. Say what you want about Gen Z, but when it comes to beauty products, they aren’t here to mess around. Even a beauty aficionado like myself can learn from this platform—so here’s everything I’ve learned from the world of TikTok beauty.
Knowledge is power
The first thing you’ll start to notice in the world of TikTok beauty is just how much stuff these youngsters seem to know. And it makes sense—being brought up on the internet means many of these famous TikTokers have had unprecedented access to information of all types. While in the past, high-end makeup and skincare were seen to be the territory of a select few, now teens across the world have not only heard of niacinamide but also can tell you three things it does for the complexion.
No longer can brands make unfounded, lofty claims about a product—one look at the ingredients list is all TikTok influencers need to know whether something is worth buying or not. To me, this is amazing—not only because it means young people will have greater product satisfaction in their lives, but also because it means brands will be forced to step their ingredient game up.
Democratizing of products
Another benefit of ingredient literacy is that it can help you save some serious cash. Rather than being led by fancy labels and exciting ad campaigns, TikTok favors products purely for their results. This means a lot of TikTok’s favorite beauty products are affordable. CeraVe (a skincare line I’ve always loved) is having a serious moment thanks to TikTok, with new skincare techniques such as slugging (coating the face in mineral oil before bed) aided by items like the Healing Ointment.
On top of this, drugstore makeup is gaining some serious clout. L’Oreal’s Telescopic Mascara and Infallible Fresh Wear Foundation are two of TikTok’s biggest favorites, and honestly, they live up to the hype. Finding affordable products that work like something you’d pay thrice the price for is a rare joy—and if TikTok helps to make it a more common occurrence, then I’m all for it.
Skin is in
In the past, skincare was seen as the “boring” part of beauty. True, applying a serum yields less instant gratification than applying a glittery eyeshadow—but for TikTok, caring about your skin is growing more popular by the minute. It seems like everyone has a skincare routine these days, and that’s amazing. Thanks to new skinfluencers like Hyram, skincare is a more accessible pursuit than ever. It’s going to be pretty cool in fifty years to see a generation all glowing and glossy.
Creativity is king
Instagram makeup fell into a boring rut in recent years, with contouring, cut creases, and heavy highlights all just feeling a little bit dated. TikTok has allowed a whole new world of makeup inspiration. Everything goes, from blush on the nose to stenciled patterns around the eyes, and honestly. Skincare is still semi-serious—but when it comes to makeup, it’s time to have fun again!
The death of Instagram
Speaking of Instagram, it really does seem like the previous queen of apps may be dying out. TikTok just seems like Instagram’s fun, cool little sister, while Instagram increasingly feels like an online store nobody asked for. As likes are taken away and the new shopping tab comes to the fore, spending time on Instagram is just not as fun as it used to be—and that extends to its beauty community.
With accounts like @celebface showing just how much of Insta beauty is a sham, the shine of the app seems to be wearing off. Meanwhile, on TikTok, people are genuinely learning, teaching, and having fun with beauty. It seems obvious where I’d rather spend my time.
A new sort of community
The online beauty community has suffered real problems with its reputation as of late. What used to be a place to try out trends and recommend products had become infused with toxicity and drama—including the whole embarrassing, depressing nonsense that took place this summer involving Jeffree Star, James Charles, Shane Dawson, and Tati Westbrook.
TikTok is reminiscent of what YouTube and Instagram used to be for beauty lovers. Sure, there’s drama there, too—but honestly, it seems like the majority of beauty TikTokers are just nice people sharing what they’re passionate about. Why would we want anything more?