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Last year, I was also a naysayer. To other millennials looking to join Gen Z’s favourite social media platform, I would say “Turn this tack-tick Off.” “You’re too old.” But as it turns out, in addition to memes that will make you ugly laugh, TikTok is full of genuinely useful life hacks, from delicious recipe ideas to DIY tutorials. It’s not surprising that teens are so interested in fashion and beauty hacks.

I decided to take a look at some of the videos I had saved and see if they worked. Some might be enough to make it into my daily routine. I did that with rosewater and gua sha.

red lipstick on white table

Face Shaving

Growing up with a mum who would consistently tell me that shaving would make the hairs grow back twice as thick and triply evil, this viral technique gave me shivers. The algorithm saw that I had sent examples of people using a facial razor to show that it could be used effectively and that makeup could be applied smooth and brighten their skin. A pack of three was only PS2.99 at Superdrug, so my fears were dispelled. I chose a lilac razor in order to match my Backstreet Boys t-shirt. Although it took me a while to finish the job, I was able to see that my face was smoother than ever. With each stroke, so much hair and skin fell off. Although it was both a wonderful and horrible experience, my skin did feel a bit sensitive the next day, and there were noticeable bumps and blemishes.

Verdict: 4/10 Won’t do again.

Fake Tan Freckles

Freckles are the hottest beauty trend on the internet. To get more views on Instagram, augmented reality creators include freckles in their filters. There are many tutorials on TikTok that show you how to create a cute cluster of fake pigment cells across your nose and cheeks. There were many fake tan, bronzer and henna versions of this idea on my For You page. I chose fake tan because it would be less permanent than henna and last longer than bronzer.

I have never considered fake tan a cosmetic option after living my entire life as a borderline goth. I didn’t know where to begin so I asked my editor. She mentioned that Amanda Harrington is a great brand for self tan. I chose the palest shade in the range, and purchased some brushes at the local art shop. They looked good enough to create decent stippling effects. What a mistake! The tools simply weren’t up to the task and instead created an uneven pattern across the forehead and nose of my face. I quickly removed the rest and left them to bake for six hours. Although some of the freckles were genuine, one side of my face had more specks than another. Amanda Harrington deserves sincere compliments for the color, and our sincere apologies that they weren’t used in the right way.

Verdict: 5/10. I wonder how long they will last…

Concealer for “Foxy” Facelift

It doesn’t matter how toxic, beauty trends have always been inseparable from celeb culture. Teens are now trying to imitate Bella Hadid’s flawless skin using makeup, You can lift your features in a cat-like or foxy shape by using a lighter concealer that you would normally use. The e.l.f. The 16HR Camo Concealer is a great product, but I found the shade I used to be too dark and warm for this effect. It clashed with my freckles, and ended up looking quite patchy around the mouth. It worked well around my eyes. I would definitely try it again. However, I forgot to apply foundation before I started. Just call me Bella Hadidn’t.

Verdict: 6/10. You need a lighter concealer.

Eyeliner for Hooded Eyes

women's blue denim jacket

As a teenager, winged eyeliner was my favorite look. However, when the liquid liner made a smudged line that echoed the shape of my eyelids, I would smear it across grungily to make the look complete. This trick for hooded eyes would have saved me a lot of trouble 14 years ago. It all started with some eyeshadow and a thin line containing e.l.f. Cosmetics Waterproof Gel Eyeliner slightly pointed at the inner corner, adding to the fox effect. The first line was drawn following the concealer’s curve. The second and third lines were curved to minimize the amount of liner required for the crease. Writing this in the evening following application in the morning, I’m happy to announce that no smudging has occurred.

Rating: 8/10. It was not bad for a first try.

Dry Shampoo Trick

It is usually a nightmare to get dry shampoo on hair that has been dyed. It doesn’t work or it works but it has a surprising dandruff effect. Cora, in this TikTok tells us that dry shampoo is not the right product before we start the simple but effective method of getting clean hair. Spray the product liberally on your roots, and let it sit for 10 minutes. Then, rub the product through your roots with your fingertips. Finally, go about your day.

Verdict: 8/10. Ideal for emergency situations.

These viral beauty tips have made it clear that these young women are far more skilled in cosmetics than me. Although I won’t be using razors on my face anytime soon, I will remember the dry shampoo demonstration. TikTok has some of the best makeup hacks available right now. While Gen Z might have the advantage, there are still many tricks that can be used by people of all ages.