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I Tried TikTok’s Semi-Permanent Lip Liner & Have Many Regrets

Welcome to Beauty In A Tik, where each week we put TikTok's viral beauty hacks and innovative trends to the test.
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Some of TikTok's beauty hacks are downright questionable, like using lube as makeup primer (fail) and setting makeup with a wet cloth (mega fail). On the other hand, others such as reapplying sunscreen with a makeup sponge and making your own skin tint from scratch are particularly clever. In other words, I never know how a viral makeup trick is going to go until I try it out for myself.
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I was a little wary of this week's buzziest beauty hack, which sees TikTokers enlisting Maybelline Tattoo Brow Long Lasting Gel Tint — a semi-permanent brow tint — as a lip liner. The likes of @itskalaaaa, @jazrabarnes and @leilanigreen have racked up thousands of views for slicking the sticky formula onto their lip line and allowing it to work its magic for 20 minutes before peeling it off to reveal what appears to look like a normal, brown lip liner. A little gloss or lipstick in the centre plus some strategic blending and you'd be none the wiser that anyone had used brow tint over an actual lip liner pencil.
If you're an R29 regular you'll know that I've tried pretty much all the lip-enhancing hacks out there. Last year it was all about using fake tan to enhance the shape, while Huda Kattan's 'bow and arrow' lip plumping hack and makeup artist Mario Dedivanovic's speedy lip lift trick both did numbers. I rated all of them, especially the fake tan. How different could this be?
Before I go any further, I have to say that Brow Tattoo does exactly what it says on the tin and is excellent on scant brows. It tints light hairs and fills in any gaps, making brows appear fuller and more defined. It's a brilliant product for the intended use.
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Perhaps my first rookie error was choosing the shade 'warm brown', which is probably the closest to my brow colour. As I lifted the brush out of the tube, the gel appeared very dark and stringy, which made lining my lips really difficult. How TikTokers manage to achieve such a flawless line, I'll never know. Still, I persisted, over-lining my lips ever so slightly to enhance the shape.
As the tint dried, I found it difficult to move my lips out of fear of them cracking. Twenty minutes went by pretty quickly though and peeling off the tint was seriously satisfying. What I was left with, however, wasn't anything akin to the warm brown shade the tube suggested.
On me, it looked almost black, as though I'd traced my lips with liquid eyeliner. If I've learned anything from Beauty In A Tik, though, it's that makeup can be salvaged. I grabbed a nude lipstick and piled it on, going over the black lines like I usually would with lip liner. At this point, I didn't give any thought to what my lips would look like sans lipstick...
While this worked for a little while, the lines were just too obvious and peeked through the lipstick, no matter how many layers I applied throughout the day. That, of course, is a testament to the staying power of the product when used correctly — on brows. But with it on my lips, I'm sad to report that I resembled pop art.
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The real panic ensued when I took off my makeup at the end of the day and realised that my very dark lip line was still going strong. Having come to the conclusion that the look wasn't for me, I poured micellar water onto a cotton pad and started scrubbing until the majority of the tint had come off. Usually, I'd advise taking caution. The skin on your lips is super fragile and prone to uncomfortable splitting. But I had to give it some vigour. When the majority of the tint was gone I treated my lips to some serious conditioning.
If you are going to try this hack using semi-permanent tint, reach for a product that's at least one shade lighter than you'd usually go for. I'd also suggest leaving the tint on for less time than TikTok recommends — perhaps five to 10 minutes to be on the safe side. Alternatively, I stand by my word that self-tan makes the best, long-lasting lip liner. I often use Bondi Sands Self Tan Foam in Dark, on a small, flat brush, as it looks so natural. It's also very easy to control, making application a doddle.
Lastly, if neither of these lip-plumping hacks gets your vote, invest in a good lip liner pencil. Having tried pretty much all of them, I can safely say that Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Lip Pencil, NYX Professional Makeup Lip Liner Pencil are among the very best.
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