At Refinery29 Australia, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team, but we may earn commission or other compensation from the links on this page.
Lips are big news on TikTok. Whether you're after a beauty hack that banishes chronically chapped lips in moments or want to try a makeup trick that plumps lips naturally, you can bet there's a tutorial for you. One of my personal favourites is using fake tan as semi-permanent lip liner (hey, it works), not to mention the 'lip lift' trick popularised by Kardashian makeup artist Mario Dedivanovic. This month, the app's beauty enthusiasts are obsessed with finding the perfect lip shade — one that'll always complement their skin tone and look natural.
You might have spotted similar videos before. Not long ago, a claim that your most natural, nude lipstick shade is the colour of your nipples (really) went viral, for example. Now, TikTokers have dreamed up another hack that seems to be working just as well: using your eyebrow pencil, blush and a gloss to form the ultimate lip colour combination. TikToker @yokenzieb is the original trendsetter, her video amassing 4.7 million views so far. "I have a little tip for the girlies," she says. "Your perfect lip shade will be your eyebrow liner — eyebrow pencil — lining your lip. And then whatever you use for blush on the middle of your lip. And then a gloss. It will always be the perfect lip shade."
Since posting her video, countless makeup lovers have jumped on the brow pencil and blush bandwagon, including makeup artist Abby Roberts and influencers Meredith Duxbury and Kali Ledger, all of whom have garnered thousands of likes and shares. The results are surprisingly good, though each look is definitely a nod to the early '90s thanks to the dark liner effect and lighter shade occupying the middle of the lip.
Trying to find the ultimate nude lipstick shade to match me perfectly has been a chore of late, just because there are so many colours, textures and finishes out there right now. Many of the lip colours I own are far too pink or too brown and mixing them never lends the right tone. In short, I couldn't let this hack pass me by. I was a bit worried at first as my brows are very dark (almost black) but I reached for my trusty Rare Beauty Brow Harmony Pencil & Gel, $34. Unlike other brow pencils, it isn't crumbly or too soft, so you can easily control the pigment. With a light and steady hand, I traced my lips using the pencil and enlisted a fluffy brush to diffuse the lines into the centre of my lips so that the finished look wouldn't be too harsh.
Ahead of spring I'm really into cream blush but TikTokers are even using powder versions. I gave the hack a try using one of my go-tos for very natural makeup: Hourglass Vanish Blush Stick in Wonder, $69, which is a light coral-pink. Though it looks gorgeous on my cheeks, it gave my lips a frosty pink finish — and I hated it. I went back to the drawing board and reached for another of my favourites: Westman Atelier Baby Cheeks Blush Stick in Dou Dou, $72, which is a couple of shades darker. The bullet is precise so you could apply this straight to your lips, use your finger to swipe it on or take a flat brush and apply it that way, like I did. Happily, the colour suited me a lot better. The last step is a slick of lip gloss and I opted for NYX Professional Makeup Juice Gloss in Watermelon Suga, $14.36. Though it appears tinted, it's very sheer and basically goes on clear, enhancing the colour of the blush underneath.
I can't deny the colour suited me well. Why wouldn't it? This is the brow pencil and blush I use most days. The colour was a little rosy compared to the more taupe-brown lip shades I usually gravitate towards but it worked and it actually looked really pretty! I love the addition of the gloss, too, something I wouldn't usually try. It felt nourishing, not sticky, and gave my lips dimension. I've got to admit, though, a proper lip liner has much better staying power.
There are plenty of instances where the hack hasn't gone to plan for TikTokers. Charli D'Amelio uses black brow pomade to enhance her arches and bronzer instead of blush. Though her followers said the look "has potential", Charli wasn't convinced. TikToker @shawtysin captioned her video: "Wouldn't say this is my perfect nude but it's pretty. Guess my brows are too dark." Her followers loved the look, however: "It's literally your lips, but ✨BETTER✨."
I have to agree. While I wouldn't call it the ultimate nude shade, the hack enhances lips beautifully. Would I try it again? For sure. I'm a big fan of multipurpose beauty products and it's great to know that my brow pencil and blush both work on my lips. But if you're after staying power (or you're just not keen on using your brow product) it has to be lip liner. NYX Professional Makeup Lip Liner Pencil, $8.96 is available in a wealth of nude shades to suit all skin tones or, try MAC Lip Pencil, $30, in Instagram-worthy shades like Spice, Chestnut and Nightmoth.