We tried 6 of TikTok’s weirdest beauty trends… and the results were wild!
We put our skin and hair on the line, so you don’t have to.
The internet is full of handy hints – but do all of them stack up? We investigate.
From rubbing lube on their faces to washing their hair in rice water, the Body+Soul beauty team put their skin and locks on the line to test some of the strangest crazes from TikTok this year.
This is how they worked out…
1. Rice water hair bath
TikTok says what? Hair influencers (yes, that’s a thing) on TikTok swear by this practice – and they all have hair to rival Rapunzel. You boil rice in 5 cups of water with a piece of orange rind, strain the rice out and discard, let the water cool and ferment for 1-2 days. Pour this liquid over your hair, leave on for an hour, rinse out then follow with conditioner.
Bree says: I saw results the first time, and it only got silkier and glossier each time I did it. The only downside for me was the smell, but that went away when I’d rinse it out.
The expert says: According to Anthony Nader, the creative director at Sydney’s Raw salon, “This ancient Chinese tradition is the perfect recipe for detangling long hair. It makes hair strands smoother, increases shine, strengthens and helps hair growth.” Nader says it works best on hair types that are lack-lustre, and those with long hair who undergo long colouring sessions. But he also warns it’s not for everyone.
“As nutrient-filled as rice water is, it also can be pretty damaging to your hair due to the amount of protein that the water absorbs. You may end up with protein overload. For heavily coloured, bleached hair, be mindful of taking too many rice baths here, as you need to apply more hydrating masques than protein ones.”
2. Silk heatless hair curler
TikTok says what? Part your hair down the middle into two bunches, place a thick silk curling ribbon (we tried Strands of Silk) around your head like a headband and then wrap the bunches around each side.
Fasten it in place with silk scrunchies, go to sleep and wake up with curls.
Bree says: I was shocked that this actually worked on my hair, which typically doesn’t hold a curl. It lasted most of the day, but had dropped by the evening.
The expert says: Nader loves this curling method: “You’re basically styling your hair while you sleep.”
And while he says it’s effective, he advises that “you won’t get that nice, crisp wave that will stick around for days compared to, say, a hot tong or iron.
The end result of using the silk curler is a gorgeously soft and almost dream-like ‘touchable’ texture. It also benefits your hair to see healthier days ahead without all the excess heat from other styling tools.”
3. Soap brow with Pears soap
TikTok says what? The internet went wild when it found out you can achieve the lifted, “laminated” brow look, with a $3 bar of Pears soap. The trick works by using the waxy texture of the soap to make sure the brows stick upwards (and stay there).
Add a few spritzes of water on to the soap, wait for it to go a little tacky, then rub a spoolie against the bar to coat in soap. Brush through your eyebrows in the direction of choice, increasing the pressure as you get the placement right, so they stick down.
Cassandra says: While I’m not sure it’s great to have soap on your eyebrows all day, this bloody well works. I’d say not to add any pencil to your brow until after they’re set, because otherwise it goes everywhere. Since trying this hack, a bar of Pears has consistently sat on my make-up tray. That says it all.
The expert says: Make-up artist Nicola Johnson uses this for her photo shoots. “It keeps the brows in place through multiple outfit changes and gives the look an editorial edge,” she says.
“I do this step last, after foundation and powder; if you powder the face after the soap you run the risk of losing hair definition and the eyebrow losing its shine.”
4. Lube as a primer
TikTok says what? One of the more bizarre make-up trends to come out of 2021, TikTok users are opting to switch out their favourite primer for lube (yes, we said lube).
Thousands are slathering on household lube underneath their foundation, hoping to mimic the same blurring and long-lasting effects as primer.
Francesca says: I was horrified. I used a silicone-based lube, which admittedly did have a very similar consistency and tackiness to my usual primer. But once I applied my foundation on top, I realised that’s where the similarities ended.
As the day progressed, my foundation appeared to slide (it is a lubricant, after all) and I was left a patchy and oily mess.
The expert says: Make-up artist Kristyan Low is also not a fan of this trend. “I have never used lube as a make-up primer. For hair? Yes. It’s great for a slicked, wet look. But make-up will cling on to the lube as the sticky texture sets and it will be hard to blend make-up on top. I would recommend investing in an actual primer.”
TikTok says what? In the pursuit of streamlined beauty routines and achieving a semi-permanent chisel, “tantouring” has taken over. True to sound, the trend involves applying self-tanner where you’d typically apply your contour and bronzer, and letting it develop.
The desired result? Natural- looking sculpt and long-lasting bronzer.
Francesca says: This is a trend I can get behind. This was a huge time-saver and did indeed add definition and a glowy warmth to my face. I should note here: this didn’t last as long as body self-tanning would and needed to be reapplied after a couple of days.
The expert says: Low says while this can achieve the desired results, it’s not the most effective method. “It could work if you’re extremely detailed and you have the right shading colour.
Contouring should be a shadow, so will look better when using an ashy, cool-toned shade.”
6. Red lipstick under foundation as a ‘sunburnt’ blush
TikTok says what? “Sunburnt” skin has been trending in 2021, but without actually going out into the sun, of course. TikTok users have been applying red lipstick where you would naturally get burnt (across the nose, high points of the cheeks, forehead), followed by their normal base products on top for a summer look.
Cassandra says: It’s a no from me! It’s counterintuitive to put a waxy lipstick under your base. It looked like a murder scene before I added the foundation and then lost its “pop” when I did.
I’d stick to cream blush to get this look.
The expert says: “This trend is best left to TikTok,” says Johnson. “Summer skin is meant to be fresh and vibrant. The lipstick under a layer of foundation will look too heavy… and will most likely lead to breakouts.”