Beauty trends on Tiktok: the weirdest skincare, hair and makeup fads of 2021

Written by Lea DolanMegan C. Hills, CNN

Another year of masks, the face “Zoom” and excessive screen time seem to have destabilized the beauty industry.

In 2021, TikTok – the video platform with an experience of catapulting cosmetics so successful they stay sold for weeks on end – was inundated with weird, wonderful, and downright skin-care tips and beauty tips. strange.

The app has proven to be a major player in the beauty industry over the past two years, influencing consumer habits by rekindling interest in products released years ago (research for this concealer by color released in 2016 are now reaching historic highs thanks to TikTok) and also pushing new trends forward – including a few that still have IRL beauty junkies scratching their heads.

A dizzying mix of hairstyles, slimy creatures, and theatrical makeup, here are some of the weirdest TikTok beauty fashions of the year.

Beauty trends on the app have taken an often unexpected turn. Credit: Abby Roberts, Ameliaolivia09, Blinkaria


It became clear as early as 2021 that masks were going nowhere.

The nose remained hidden in many situations: covered with tissue when traveling on public transport and during errands. Some more than others seemed to have missed this central facial feature: point out the meteoric rise in blush.

Dabbing or applying hot pink blush to the base of your nose was a makeup trend that no one could have predicted. It all started on TikTok as part of the app’s E-Girl look – an internet subculture characterized by thick eyeliner, thick eyebrows, and usually a heart-shaped fake freckle.

But this year the blush has entered the mainstream – the hashtag has more over 850,000 views – as a growing number of TikTokers have reached levels of Rudolf pigmentation on the tip of their nose.

‘Squid Game’ makeup

A dystopian drama filled with blood, sweat and masks may not seem like a natural source of beauty inspiration, but Netflix’s surprise hit “Squid Game” – about a competition in which players compete in children’s games with life and death issues – – removed it.

On social media, users, including YouTubers James Charles and Raiza Contawi, created their own makeup looks inspired by the show’s fictional contestants, such as the suspicious North Korean refugee Kang Sae-Byok. The looks mimicked the “Squid Game” characters’ eye bags, clammy glow, and even wounds – complemented by a handful of fake freckles to match Sae-Byok’s.

Of course, the terrifying Red Light doll, Green Light from the series was also a popular Halloween costume choice for stars such as Blackpink’s Lisa, who completed the look with larger-than-life drawn eyes and pigtails.

“Happy” eyebags

Rather than the dewy, youthful glow once popular on social media, Gen Z began to champion carefully constructed eye bags painted in bronzer or eye shadow.

However, some of them hunted down a very specific type of pocket form under the eyes known as “aegyosal” in South Korea. Roughly translating as “cute fat,” aegyosal is a puffy eye bag that, according to K-Beauty’s website Soko Glam, helps you “look younger and your eyes more cheerful and inviting.”

Along with TikTok tutorials and aegyosal-specific products launched by brands like Etude House, longer term cosmetic procedures like filler injections and plastic surgery treatments to achieve the look have also popped up. in the USA.

On TikTok, a popular filter known as “Belle” – which layers aegyosal on users’ faces – has also done the trick, creating a buzz to defend an Asian beauty standard, as opposed to a Western standard.

From DIY home tips to smart editing software, the app has given beauty new meaning.

From DIY home tips to smart editing software, the app has given beauty new meaning. Credit: Courtneeypark, Chloewolchock, Audreyvictoria_

Lubricant as a primer

It’s not unusual for TikTokers to turn to random objects in the name of a beauty hack, but the lube is perhaps one of the most unexpected.

After TikTok user Lukáš Kohutek apparently started the trend this year – starting her beauty tutorials with a smear of Durex – others have jumped on the bandwagon. The gel is applied either with a brush or with your hands all over your face, and after drying, the foundation and the rest of your beauty look are applied on top.

According to YouTuber Grwady, the lubricant helps create a “smooth, fine texture” on your skin.

Rice water hair tips

Most people usually throw out the water after they finish washing their rice. But some savvy social media users started fermenting and bottling the milky liquid instead.

While the practice of beauty has existed in Japan since ancient times, researchers say, it became popular around the world this year after social media influencers said washing hair with rice water had made them grow faster. Instagramer @anisasojka claimed that in a coil, her locks grew “3 inches in a month.”

Snail facials

Snail mucin – the viscous, protein-rich secretion that comes from the mucous glands of a snail – has long been a popular ingredient in K-beauty for its glow-inducing qualities.

This year, TikTok appeared to hear about snail mucin as a holy grail product. Corsx, a snail slime skin care maker, has its own hashtag on TikTok with 3 million views. Google searches for their product “Cosrx Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence” have also increased by 140% this year.

But users have found a cheaper way to get their hands on this beautified substance: straight from the snail.

Some TikTokkers have started putting snails directly on their face and letting them progress across the surface, before massaging the glistening trail into their skin. Many have realized that their giant African snails can serve as a home beauty treatment, while others have rolled up their sleeves and harvested ordinary garden snails.


Perhaps the most astounding beauty trend of 2021, in fact, had almost nothing to do with our actual faces. The “Yassification” meme was technically born on twitter, after someone posts two images side-by-side: a screenshot of actor Toni Collette from the 2018 horror movie “Hereditary”, and the same screenshot after a few rounds of FaceApp editing.

Collette’s round mouth is still gaping in terror, only now has it been plumped up by scarlet red lipstick. The disconnect between the context (“Hereditary” is a horror movie) and the altered subject (Collette looks like a digital influencer) was what caused the original meme to spread like wildfire.

Now the yassification has migrated to TikTok, where users laugh at clever editing software that leaves their face unrecognizable through layers of AI-generated airbrush, lip liner, and thickening hair.

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