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.
Welcome to Beauty In A Tik, where each week we put TikTok's viral beauty hacks and innovative trends to the test.
TikTok's beauty trendsetters are over heavy makeup. With summer around the corner, painstaking contouring and intricate cut creases are making way for more minimal movements. Take the 'clean' look inspired by Kendall Jenner, for example, or how TikTokers are swerving foundation and making their own lightweight BB cream.
This week it's all about lashes, specifically how to make them look long, lifted and full without a slick of mascara in sight. TikTokers are using one affordable, multipurpose beauty product: Vaseline — and the results are nothing short of impressive.
Influencer @wearsbri was one of the first to try out the lash trick. In a video which has amassed 3.9 million views so far, Bri daubs a little Vaseline onto her lashes and applies an eyelash curler, gently clamping down for 10 seconds. When she pulls the curler away, her straight lashes are transformed. They're more defined, voluminous and appear darker, as though she has had a professional lash lift. "If you are not using Vaseline to curl your lashes, you are doing yourself a disservice," Bri told her followers. "I have zero mascara on right now. None."
Since Bri's video went viral, countless TikTokers have jumped on the bandwagon. @beauty.with.cait noticed a "huge difference" in her lashes and claimed that they survived an eight-hour work day, while TikToker @aayoub__'s before and after video hit 3.2 million views. "I have no lashes," she captioned her clip. "Instead of lash lifting, grab one of these," she said, holding up a spoolie brush. She applies Vaseline while her lashes are in the curler and brushes them using the spoolie as she continues to press down. The result? Lashes that look professionally tinted and lifted in moments.
Before I get into how the hack worked for me, a caveat: Vaseline is simply petroleum jelly, which doesn't have the ability to make eyelashes grow longer. That one's a myth. While it can be used to moisturise and soften brittle hairs, this trick is just a quick fix to enhance your natural eyelashes without mascara, and with rainy, humid weather taking hold right now, it makes sense that we're keen to avoid panda eyes...
My lashes are poker straight and on a makeup artist's recommendation I picked up Kevyn Aucoin's The Eyelash Curler, $31. But really, lash curlers are pretty similar across the board (I also like the Brushworks Eyelash Curler, $6.75). I already had a tub of Vaseline Original Petroleum Jelly, $4.49, to hand, having tried (and loved) the recent 'hand slugging' trend, which went viral for transforming dry skin. Instead of applying it directly onto my eyelashes, I made like TikToker @.rosangelica and dabbed a little onto the soft pad of the eyelash curler before pressing my lashes for a total of 15 seconds to achieve maximum lift and then using a spoolie brush to comb the hairs upwards.
I'm used to TikTok beauty hacks falling short. Using a jade roller to apply foundation and using lube as a makeup primer are both useless, for instance. But this one lives up to the hype. The shine from the Vaseline made my lashes look so much darker, as though they'd just been tinted or I'd given them a sweep of jet-black mascara. I thought I'd put my perky lashes through their paces throughout the day, including two train journeys and a long walk. I expected them to drop after a couple of hours, but surprisingly, they survived the sweaty commute and the majority of the day. After a good 8 hours, they were still going strong, but I noticed that they were slightly defeated by gravity when I went to wash my face at the end of the day.
Compared to my trusty mascara (Jones Road The Mascara), Vaseline lasts well. It makes for an easy, smudge-free and natural-looking alternative. This is a trick I'll enlist to make me look awake on Zoom calls or if I'm on holiday somewhere hot and I don't want to pile on the makeup.
While it works a treat, I know there's probably one question on everyone's lips. Is this safe? TikTok dermatologist @skinbydrazi shared her thoughts on the trend in a duet with TikToker @rebekahisabel_'s video. "Vaseline is safe to use around the eyes," Dr Azi captioned the clip. "Vaseline creates a barrier that prevents water loss and it keeps the hair bonds in place when the lash is curled." In a video with 8 million views, Dr Muneeb Shah (aka @dermdoctor) who specialises in dermatology revealed that he also uses Vaseline around his eyes alongside moisturiser to quench dry skin.
If you're going to try the lash trick at home, just be careful not to get any Vaseline inside your eyes. It's also always a good idea to wash your hands before touching your eye area and keeping Vaseline to a minimum if you're prone to breakouts, as Dr Shah explains that you could develop milia around your eyes. They appear to be little whiteheads but are actually hard, white bumps made up of trapped keratin under the skin. Heavy skincare can block pores and increase the likelihood of developing milia.
A handful of TikTok comments point out that this hack might not be the best option for those with lighter lashes. The slick texture of the Vaseline does make hairs appear a little darker but if you're not sold, a natural mascara might be your best bet. If you want defined lashes sans clumps or all the drama, try Kevyn Aucoin's The Volume Mascara, $42. The brush is so skinny, it weaves in and out of individual hairs, separating, lengthening and accentuating in one sweep. If minimal makeup is your thing, you'll also love Florence by Mills Built To Lash Mascara, $16.60, which subtly fluffs out sparse lashes, and Glossier Lash Slick, $US16, which lifts lashes without sticking them together.
The final verdict? Vaseline really is an all-rounder and just like 'hand slugging' I think this is set to become a regular step in my stripped-back, summer makeup routine.