Welcome to Beauty In A Tik, where each week we put TikTok's viral beauty hacks and innovative trends to the test.
Whether you're into beauty or not, if you have a TikTok account it's highly likely you'll have liked, saved or shared at least one smart hack. Skincare is huge (apparently we're all using hyaluronic acid serums wrong), as is hair (here's how to get the perfect ponytail every time). But with life almost back to normal, it seems we're experimenting a little more with makeup.
Last month, the bow and arrow hack went viral for plumping lips using cream contour and lip liner, while the app's beauty enthusiasts still can't get enough of the all-in-one bronzer trick, which will absolutely convince you to ditch foundation. This week it's all about the magic of concealer — specifically, how clever placement can give your face a serious boost.
You might usually enlist concealer to tuck away spots or hide dark under-eye circles but according to TikToker Sarah Wolak, applying it strategically can give you the bone structure of your dreams. In a video which has reached 1.4 million views (and still going), Sarah starts at the outer corner of her eye and traces a thick line of concealer that frames her nose, cups her cheekbones, hugs her Cupid's bow and finishes underneath her chin. A touch of bronzer completes the look, which seems to lift, sculpt and define her face. "I start with foundation on and then I do a little bit of cream bronzer," says Sarah in an explainer video. "I use an angled brush and messily apply this all over my cheeks, forehead and jawline. This gives us a little bit of an outline as to where to apply the concealer." Sarah then reaches for Maybelline Eraser Eye Concealer, £8.99. "This concealer is maybe one shade lighter than my actual skin tone," she continues. "If you go too light, you might look a little crazy." She then goes in with a foundation brush and smooths out all the straight lines of concealer, blending everything in thoroughly with a damp makeup sponge. A dusting of powder bronzer completes the look.
TikTokers are impressed to say the least and Sarah's comments section is overflowing with people who are willing to give the hack — basically a DIY face lift without the scary bits — a good go. "This is amazing 🤌you earned urself a follow!!!!! I can't wait to try this," wrote one. Another commented: "I have tried this and OMG it's amazing 😏🥰." Since posting the original tutorial, Sarah has continued to go viral for posting similar videos in which she breaks down the hack slowly and speeds it up (incredibly satisfying to watch, as you might imagine).
You may know that I'm partial to a TikTok concealer hack. In the name of Beauty In A Tik, I've drawn a pair of concealer glasses on my face (don't knock it 'til you've tried it) and used bright white concealer to blanket dark circles (it actually works). This looked a lot more fiddly than anything I'd tried in the past, however. Looking back through Sarah's videos, I traced the concealer line using my finger first, sweeping the eyes, down the nose, along the cheekbone and underneath the chin. After a handful of failed attempts I grabbed my concealer and decided to wing it.
Sarah starts on a full face of foundation, which looks to be full coverage. If you're not a big makeup wearer, you could use tinted moisturiser or BB cream. I settled on Charlotte Tilbury Beautiful Skin Foundation, £34, which provides medium coverage and makes skin appear dewy. Next step: bronzer. Sarah packs on a little cream colour here but I have acne-prone skin, which doesn't do too well with lots of product. Instead, I dusted on a little Kevyn Aucoin The Neo-Bronzer, £30. If you're on a budget, I also really rate Physicians Formula Murumuru Butter Bronzer, £14.29, and Sleek Makeup's Face Form Bronzer, £6.99.
Finally, concealer. Sarah's lines are quite thick thanks to the sponge applicator on her Maybelline product so I reached for my trusty Tarte Shape Tape Concealer, £22, which has quite a large doe-foot applicator that holds on to lots of product. By some miracle I didn't completely eff this up and managed to get the shape right in one go (albeit a very slow one). I used my dense foundation brush to buff the lines into my foundation base, starting underneath my eyes and finishing at my jaw, before applying another layer of bronzer powder to my cheekbones, then liquid liner and mascara.
I've got to say, Sarah is on to something here. Contouring with cream bronzer can often leave a patchy finish but this was pretty seamless. The lighter shade hoisted up both my cheekbones and my brows, proving that it's good for blanketing blemishes and expertly contouring, too. Snatched! Another gripe I have with cream bronzer is that it can become darker in colour the longer you wear it. Concealer made my face look brighter and more radiant throughout the day, without accentuating my pores, spots or acne scars. It's so easy to customise the hack, too. I have light olive skin and much prefer a rosy glow to my face so I'll use blush next time. If you're not keen on the matte look, you could always daub on a touch of highlighter to give your skin more dimension.
Would I practise this hack on the daily? I can't deny it works to lift, sculpt and enhance features but I'd probably swerve it when half asleep and doing my makeup in the morning. That said, the finish is a bit heavier than I'm used to, though really great for selfies, so perhaps before a special occasion or a night out.
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