Ever since I first downloaded TikTok in the early days of quarantine, my free time has been filled with an addictive stream of on-demand entertainment. While it certainly has been a time suck, I’ve also surprisingly picked up a lot of tips and tricks — from fashion advice to healthy recipes — that have made my life a little bit better. I learned the most in the beauty department from the countless new skin care and makeup tips that fill my feed every week. Here is a power-ranking of the most viral trends from the past year, so you know which ones are worth the hype and which don’t make the cut.
1. Curtain bangs
Curtain bangs became a viral hairstyle trend last summer due to the voluminous and effortlessly chic look that they provide. As the name suggests, they are bangs that frame your face when parted down the middle — yes, like a curtain — and are totally gorgeous. I was quite late to this trend and decided to finally get the chop a few weeks ago after sporting my overgrown, side-parted hair for all of quarantine. And voila, they deserve all of the hype they receive and more. The middle part helps my face look more symmetrical, and the bangs add amazing volume and frame my face beautifully. This hairstyle will flatter all face shapes and hair types.
2. Fluffy eyebrows
I’ve always had thick and bushy eyebrows. However, on one fateful afternoon before my senior prom, I made the grave error of tweezing my eyebrows to half their size. Since that day, I’ve been trying to regrow my brows, and I was delighted to find the fluffy soap brows hack on TikTok. This involves rubbing a clean mascara wand against a bar of soap using it to style your brows to achieve a fluffy, feathery look. This trend has been amazing for me while I try to grow out my brows and makes my face look snatched.
3. Lots of blush, everywhere
As a brown-skinned person who doesn’t easily flush, blush is my favorite step in my makeup routine. This trend just takes the love of blush to a whole new level. I decided to try it, and layered two different cream blushes all over my cheeks and nose. Then, I lightly dusted some powder blush over it, and some on my forehead too. The result was a beautiful, warm sun-kissed look — one that I’m now not willing to give up.
4. Ice facial
Rubbing an ice cube all over your face is apparently supposed to calm inflammation and reduce the appearance of pores. I tried it for a few nights and have mixed feelings. While the ice facial did appear to help reduce redness in my face and slightly smoothen my complexion, the results were not earth-shattering. Perhaps the best results can only be achieved with regular use, but for me, the discomfort of applying the freezing cube to my face every night wasn’t worth the potential benefits.
“Slugging” is a skin care hack where you apply a layer of Vaseline or Aquaphor to your face after all of your skincare products. It is supposed to seal all of the moisture in and prevent water from evaporating from your skin’s surface overnight. I saw people raving about this technique on TikTok and decided to try it on my dry and dehydrated skin. I saw pretty great results after the first few days: my skin looked plump and dewy after I washed it in the morning. However, on warmer nights, my skin felt extremely greasy and sweaty, making me want to rub it off my face. Therefore, I would recommend this hack only in the dry, winter months.
6. Heatless curls
There are many different versions of this trend, but the one that I saw all over my TikTok page involved socks. This method, which instructs you to twist sections of your damp hair around a sock, is supposed to help you naturally curl your hair overnight. While I’ve seen videos with amazing results, the style was too uncomfortable for me to sleep in. Feel free to try this trend if you don’t mind sleeping with a bunch of socks sticking out of your head when you’re sleeping, but it’s a pass for me.
I guess the moral of this story is simple: TikTok is maybe not so great when you’re supposed to be studying for a test, but it can be your best resource if you want to serve looks. Hopefully, this ranking has helped you determine which beauty hacks are worth your time, so at least if you spent your entire day scrolling through your feed, you won’t waste any more time trying out uncomfortable or ineffective tricks.