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I Tried TikTok’s Fake Tan Lip Liner Hack & I’m Obsessed With The Result

Welcome to Beauty In A Tik, where each week we put TikTok's viral beauty hacks and innovative trends to the test.
On TikTok, self-tan is the gift that keeps on giving, with beauty experts using it for countless clever makeup hacks. Faux tan freckles recently took the app by storm, giving the appearance of a youthful, sun-kissed complexion, while applying the product in place of bronzer is said to create a contoured effect that lasts so much longer than makeup. Now there's another use for the popular tanning product, and it's actually pretty smart: temporary lip liner.

What is TikTok's fake tan lip liner hack and why has it gone viral?

TikTok's obsession with plump lips knows no bounds. We've spotted TikTokers filling their lip gloss with chilli flakes (definitely not recommended for fear of potential skin reactions) and using cupping tools to boost blood circulation (also not advocated, as the skin here is very thin and sensitive). The app's self-tan lip liner hack, on the other hand, seems a lot safer, cuts a step from your makeup routine and looks like it really does work.
The smart trick consists of taking a thin lip brush, dipping it into a self-tan of your choice and carefully painting the formula around the lip line, just as you would trace a lip pencil before applying lipstick. When wiped away after a couple of hours, the tan temporarily changes the colour of the outline of the lips, making them seem fuller and more defined for longer. Following with nude lipstick appears to gives lips a pillowy boost and the videos have gone viral, with TikTokers like Tina Prokas and Alexa Almraz leading the trend.

I did this a couple days ago and it still looks really good 10/10 recommend ##faketan ##faketanliner ##lipliner ##fyp

♬ talking to the moon sickmix - Sickickmusic

How do you do TikTok's fake tan lip liner hack and does it work?

I'm a big fan of self-tan as it transforms my confidence in the summer so I was intrigued by TikTok's viral lip defining hack. If I had just a couple of minutes to do my makeup, I'd always reach for lip pencil, which makes me feel a bit more put-together. As a beauty editor, it's my job to try lots of self-tan products but I always come back to one: Bondi Sands Aero Aerated Tanning Foam Ultra Dark. It dries quickly and lends skin a truly believable glow sans streaks or marks, so I hoped it would work.
Immediately After Applying Tan
Before Removing Tan
After Removing Tan
Final Result with Lipstick
I sprayed very little tan into the lid and waited for the bubbles to pop before dipping in a very thin, angled makeup brush and tapping off any excess in a bid to keep mess and drips to a minimum. I thought applying the product outside my lip line (as I usually do) could give me an unwanted clown effect, so I traced ever so slightly inside my lips and let the product dry.
I have a very unsteady hand and even balancing my elbow on a surface made it quite tricky to achieve a thin line, so it ended up being a lot thicker than I'd imagined. Still, I continued. The tan ran ever so slightly towards the centre of my lips and collected in my creases but because the product is fast drying, it didn't go absolutely everywhere. I'd also suggest leaving your lips free from lip balm or gloss so that the pigment can grasp onto your skin.
In regard to the body, the bottle suggests leaving the tan on for six hours to develop properly but I got thirsty and hungry so I used a damp cotton pad to wipe away the tan after four hours. The result was subtle but I can't deny it worked! The outline made it so easy to apply my nude lipstick and the next day, I rolled out of bed looking more glamorous than washed out. So is it the next best thing to semi-permanent lip liner? Yes, I'm calling it.

What are the best lip liner pencils?

If you're into self-tan lips, I'd suggest choosing a product suitable for sensitive skin and face. Try Tan-Luxe The Face Illuminating Self-Tan Drops, or St. Tropez Gradual Tan Mousse. Lots of self-tan formulas are colourless but I'd suggest opting for something with a tint, so you can see exactly where you're applying the product.
While the hack is pretty smart, lip liner is a lot easier to apply. According to MAC Cosmetics, sales of nude lip liner in particular have increased this past year, with bestsellers including Spice, Whirl, Cork, Soar and Stripdown. Not only does lip pencil maximize the shape of lips but it gives lipstick a base to cling on to for longer (something tan doesn't do) and helps make lipstick application a lot more precise and flawless. In my honest opinion, MAC's are the creamiest and most pigmented of all the lip pencils out there but I also love Victoria Beckham Beauty's Lip Definer, which is just as precise; NYX Professional Makeup Lip Liner Pencil, which defines without snagging; and NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil, which doubles up as a matte lipstick.
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This story was originally published on Refinery29 UK.

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