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From using hair grips as stencils to create winged eyeliner to face shaving for seamless foundation, TikTok's viral makeup hacks are unconventional yet fascinating to watch. Beauty lovers, influencers and professional makeup artists alike are flooding the app with clever shortcuts and tricks that take the chore out of application, help keep makeup in place for longer and create attention-grabbing looks. Right now, the most popular technique taking the app by storm is 'lipstick blush' and the videos are racking up thousands of views.
What is TikTok's 'lipstick blush' trend and why has it gone viral?
According to resident TikTok makeup artist Felicia Marie, whose lipstick blush video has racked up 204.5k views and counting, the hack consists of using a bright red lipstick to contour with. The first step is applying your chosen lipstick to your forehead, cheekbones and down the centre of your nose and using a brush to blend the product into the skin. Granted, this initially makes it look as though the TikTokers trying the trend have awfully painful sunburn, but the next moves are important for pulling the finished result together.
Once the lipstick is blended well, the first step is meant to be repeated using a bronze contouring stick (blended into the skin just like the lipstick) and followed by concealer (under the eyes, cheekbones, down the centre of the nose and on the chin and forehead). Finally, it's a layer of your chosen foundation, blended out with a fluffy brush or sponge.
So what's the point? We're not entirely sure but judging by the finished result, it makes for a more convincing flush which meshes a lot better with the skin, rather than a layer of blush on top of foundation, which can otherwise look quite doll-like, severe or even flat if you're using powder. Anyway, it's gaining traction among countless TikTok stars and if they're loving the way it looks IRL, surely it has to be worth a try...
How do you do TikTok's 'lipstick blush' technique and does it work?
I started with bare skin, save for a touch of very light moisturiser (Caudalie Vinoperfect Instant Brightening Moisturiser, $77) as there were many layers of makeup to follow and my skin gets clogged easily. My lipstick of choice was the HIGHR Collective Lipstick in Chiltern, for its intense candy red pigment and creamy texture thanks to lots of nourishing plant-based oils. [If you live in Australia, where HIGHR isn't available yet, a great red lipstick to try this with is the MAC Red.] It felt alien to draw all over my face with it but even weirder when I worked it into the skin. I reached for the Clè de Peau High Coverage Foundation Brush, $118.80, which is one of the best quality blending brushes out there. The soft but sturdy bristles helped blend the lipstick easily but I have to admit, it did take some work.
As you can see, I too emerged from the process with a lobster-esque complexion. The lipstick had defined my cheekbones well, though, so I decided to skip the contouring step and go straight in with concealer: Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion Concealer, $41. I looked absolutely terrifying, like a ventriloquist's dummy, but when I pulled everything together with my trusty Gucci Beauty Fluide De Beauté Fini Naturel Foundation, $100, and did my eye makeup, I started to see the appeal.
The flush on my cheeks appeared entirely natural and believable, and I can't deny the lit-from-within glow! However, I wish I'd avoided my forehead and nose because I looked as though I'd spent a little too long in the sun. Also, the multiple steps make this a real faff so I wouldn't make the technique part of my daily beauty routine. Maybe next time I'd dab a little lipstick on top of my foundation for a pretty, sun-dappled finish.
What liquid and cream blush can I use for this trick?
Like TikToker Felicia, I found the lipstick enhanced my skin texture including my acne scars and pores, as it's not really designed to be used anywhere but lips. If I were to try the trend in future, I'd suggest using liquid or cream blush instead, which merges with skin a lot better. A little goes a long way, too, so you can swerve the swathes of lipstick everyone's applying.
Try Hourglass's Vanish Blush Stick, $65. It glides on as a cream but when blended into the skin, feels more like a powder and imparts a believable flushed finish. Finally, a clever hack I've learned from makeup artists is to apply a very light layer of powder blush over liquid or cream versions to dial up the intensity and to keep it from slipping and sliding. My favourites are Illamasqua Powder Blusher, $35 and the VIEVE Sunset Blush, $45.54 which both look natural and don't budge an inch.