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A Twenty-Something’s Guide to Make-Up Tricks & Trends from TikTok

A Gen Z guide to must-have make-up staples and fresh indie brands, according to the newest beauty bible on the internet: TikTok.

Admit it. We all downloaded TikTok in March! Sure, some have stuck around for longer than others and some deleted the app months ago. As for me, I still snuggle up in my blanket every night to wind down the day with some TikTok scrolling. As a result, I am guilty of making multiple TikTok references in conversation and driving my roommate crazy with my allegedly “typical Gen Z” behavior. She’s literally only three years older than me, but this is besides the point.

I get lots of things from TikTok, from my sense of humor to cleaning hacks to recipes to fitness routines. As a beauty junkie, I also discover lots of new skincare products, indie brands and must-have cosmetics. While my bank account has taken a bit of a hit, I’ve discovered several new products that are becoming routine purchases. As the holiday season is fast approaching, I also always have something ready to go on my wishlist. Don’t knock TikTok before you try it! And before you judge me for all my scrolling, read below to see all the products you’re missing out on.

Stick it to the Pandemic

If you’re a die hard make-up junkie, this pandemic certainly has not been too kind to you. While you can trust that your eye makeup will last the day, applying foundation is quite the gamble. When I take my mask off, I often find makeup residue lining the inside. As for my face, my cheeks have often looked uneven and patchy due to the uninvited makeup removal. One way to combat this is a high quality primer with a sticky, dewy consistency. Before the pandemic, I would often use watery hydrating primers for my dry skin. But, these kinds of primers just don’t cut it for wearing a mask. Instead of slick and smooth, your face should be sticky if you want to hold onto your pigment for the day.

Enter: Milk’s Hydro Grip Primer. This is a no nonsense product that so many beauty influencers swear by as a regular staple. It’s a longwear product that doesn’t dry you out and a hydrating product that isn’t too thin or watery. If you’re looking for a more affordable dupe, the e.l.f. Jelly Pop Dew Primer is a strong contender with skin nourishing ingredients like hyaluronic acid and niacinamide.

When you’re done applying your make-up, you’re going to want a powerhouse setting spray to finish the job. This will give your face the final seal it needs to hold your pigment under your mask all day. Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Setting Spray feels like a light film over the face and it boasts 16-hour wear for no-slip coverage. If you want to stick with Milk, you also can’t go wrong with the second half of the hydrating dynamic duo: Milk’s Hydro Grip Setting & Refreshing Spray.

Snap, Crackle, Color Pop

I’m just going to come out and say it. I don’t think we give Colour Pop enough credit! At the low-end of the price range, Colour Pop is an affordable brand with a wide variety of products. If TikTok has taught me anything about this brand, it’s that price doesn’t always speak to quality. Colour Pop has a full range of powerhouse products that you have been certainly sleeping on.

Gen Zs are just as into skincare as moms and millennials. As such, Colour Pop’s line of hyaluronic acid products is a major game changer. If you’re on TikTok, chances are you’ve heard everyone raving about The Ordinary’s Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 — which is certainly worth all the hype. But, you may be wondering what hyaluronic acid is and why Colour Pop has saturated an entire makeup routine with this skincare ingredient. Hyaluronic acid is actually a substance that your body naturally produces in order to assist water retention. In other words, it is a saving grace ingredient that helps reduce the appearance of anything from dry skin to wrinkles and fine lines.

If you really want to dive right into hyaluronic acid heaven, Colour Pop’s Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Primer, Setting Mist, Tinted Moisturizer, Concealer and Fresh Foundation is certainly a good place to start. Now that you have your face base, you can go in with the Colour Pop BFF Lip Liner, Super Shock Highlight, and Super Shock Blush. If you love Tarte, Huda Beauty, NYX or even Charlotte Tilbury, Colour Pop probably has a more affordable dupe of your favorite products — without sacrificing efficacy and quality.

As an extra skincare tip, I also discovered Evening Primrose Oil Vitamins. In fact, I’ve taken them every day for the past few months and have experienced significantly fewer breakouts or inflammation. While this may not be as fun as make-up, youngsters have to remember to take their vitamins as well!

Ult(r)a Beauty

TikTok reminds me each and every day why I love Ulta Beauty. In fact, I didn’t need a reason to shop at Ulta before TikTok — but since downloading the app, I’ve easily accumulated hundreds of reasons. And products.

I’ve been contemplating dying my hair pink recently, but I wanted a way to see how I would look with the color before making the jump. Scrolling on my TikTok feed, I found a solution that washes out after one shampoo: L’Oreal Colorista Hair Make-Up 1-Day Hair Color. It’s the perfect quarantine day activity! No one has to know if it goes wrong, and it washes right out. But, the real game changer for me was how well the color shows up on brown hair. You heard it here first, brunettes. Vibrant color without bleach!

I’m not the biggest lip gloss person, but the Lancôme Juicy Tubes just might convert me. Sparkly glitter, buttery soft finish, sweet scents and a yummy taste. Each gloss is like a marshmallow in a tube. In fact, one shade is even called Marshmallow Electro.

If you’re a scatter-brained college graduate like myself, chances are you may forget to wash your make-up brushes as often as you should. However, like always, Ulta makes it easy. Pick up the IT Cosmetics Brush Bath the next time you’re doing a cosmetics haul. All you have to do is spray your brushes and wipe the residue off with a tissue. The formula instantly dissolves any leftover makeup or dirt lurking on the surface of your brush. And if you’re in the market for a new brush entirely, the IT Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe Complexion Perfection Brush #7 is one of the best 2-in-1 foundation and concealer brushes you can get at Ulta.

All Eyes on You

We’ve tried our fair share of eye products at BWB, especially when it came to quarantine eye-centered looks. One of the biggest trends on TikTok is magnetic eyelashes, which totally revolutionizes the falsies community. Goodbye, glue! Hello, magnetism? If you’re looking to see if magnets will really hold your lashes up all day, give MoxieLash a try. Combine their Cheeky Lash with Magnetic Eyeliner for ultimate drama and full-day wear, brought to you by the power of magnetism.

Give your lashes some extra plump with the Essence Lash Princess —another affordable option for a no-clump lengthening mascara. When it comes to liner, I am a die hard fan of liquid liner. But, it does get messy sometimes. Through Tikok, I’ve learned that gel liner might be an even better option for precise liner that stays in place. If you want a smudge-proof product that melts into your skin, the Inglot Eyeliner Gel is the way to go. In fact, the product comes in multiple, high-intensity pigments that don’t crease. This liner is perfect for creating vibrant geometric eye looks, which is another huge make-up trend on TikTok that nods to the seventies.

For a bright and bold statement, indie beauty brands are the way to go when you want a change from your neutral eyeshadow palettes. Chaotic Cosmetics has a Pastel-Hazard Hydro Palette with eight neon shades, and the formulation is like nothing I’ve ever seen before! In order to use the palette, you need to dip your brush into water before placing it into the product and swirl it around to create a creamy consistency. This allows you to easily create any eye look with interesting lining and shading. Once you’re done applying the product, it sets into your eyelid and is there to stay all day long! Like many things that I find on TikTok, this palette is often sold out. So, you have to catch it at the right time!

Teresa Deely

Teresa Deely is a graduate from Columbia University with majors in English and Creative Writing. She is a freelance writer and marketing assistant working for clients in the wellness, jewelry, creative, and sports industries. She believes that one’s skin is yet another canvas and vehicle for art, and has loved styling her hair and applying makeup from a young age. Spending much of her time in educating youth and leading enrichment programs for children, she is highly motivated in discovering new ways to care for herself and sharing them with others.

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