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TikTok/@makeupbyabbyk, @makeupmetamorphos, @saracarstens

#PutAFaceOn: recapping TikTok’s most memorable beauty trends

TextAlex Peters

The good, the funny, and the pointless

Over the past two years, TikTok has seen lots of beauty trends come and go. While some have been rather short-lived – after a while, everyone realised they were just wasting their money, time, and purple shampoo – others have stuck around. #PutAFaceOn, for example, has become an enduring beauty format, hosting transformations involving everything from Harley Quinn to full-head braces and the hashtag now has over 1.8 billion views.

We looked back over some of our most memorable trends.


Picture this: it’s 2000, you’ve just celebrated the new millenium and the fact that the Y2K bug didn’t actually bring about the end of the world. A 19-year-old Britney Spears has released her second album and your favourite couple Brad and Jen have just tied the knot in a lavish ceremony in Malibu.

That was the look being served in the 00s challenge last summer which saw TikTok users giving themselves 2000s makeovers. Soundtracked to Britney’s “Oops!... I Did It Again,” the frosty blue eyeshadow, butterfly clips, and brown lip liner were out in full force. 


Going back to the time Britney Spears ruled the earth ##foryou ##90schallenge

♬ Oops!...I Did It Again - Britney Spears


As anyone with bleached hair knows, purple shampoo can help tone your hair and remove any warm brassy undertones. If your hair isn’t blonde, however, purple shampoo will mostly do a whole lot of nothing as many people found out during the #PurpleShampooChallenge.

The challenge saw girls, boys, and horses using entire bottles of purple shampoo on their dry, oftentimes very brown, hair for an end result that was – more often than not – not at all different to the original hair. Save your money, kids!


PURPLE SHAMPOO WITH DIRTY BROWN HAIR. i’ll post the results in an hour so check back. ##fyp

♬ original sound - emmadaanielss


Sountracked to Lil Darkie’s “Haha,” the #PutAFaceOn format has become a staple of the beauty community on TikTok hosting every kind of transformation you can think of. Scary clowns, Disney characters, full-face glam. Even Sid the sloth is represented.

With 1.8 billion views and 161.9K creations in the hashtag, it's one of the most popular beauty trends on the platform. 


##PutAFaceOn the cosplay y’all have been waiting for 💖 IB @buncharoses ##harleyquinn ##makeup ##ukfashion

♬ HAHA - lil darkie


Thanks to TikTok, a centuries old trick to curling your hair got a modern day revival. Robe curls, or sock curls, involve weaving long pieces of fabric into your damp hair with the end result being curls that don’t depend on hair-damaging heat.

The hack became incredibly popular, with users taking to the app to document their process and transformations. #SockCurls currently has 50 million views while #RobeCurls has over 17 million. 


because a few of you asked me how I do my sock curls 😇 ##foryou ##trend ##sockcurls ##tutorial

♬ ROXANNE - Arizona Zervas


While the majority of TikTok experiments – gluing your upper lip to make it bigger, for example – are blessedly temporary, this next challenge saw results that were a bit more long-term.

The #piercingchallenge found users cycling through the Snapchat filter of facial piercings – including a bridge, septum, labret, or dimple – to decide on which to get. A roulette of body mods. They would then film themselves having the piercing done in real life. 


Make-up hacks has become its own, huge category on TikTok with 414M views. One of the most interesting came from a user by the name of Jarida AKA @ridaaaamat who put forward the suggestion of using setting powder before your foundation instead of after.

“Just see what happens and how amazing your fucking makeup is going to look,” she says in the video which has been viewed 4.6 million times. “It's going to stay on 24/7, and it's not going to crease.”


Social media often has a negative affect on our self-esteem, but this next trend was all about celebrating and uplifting the features that make us who we are.

The trend saw TikTok users sharing historical images and works of art that highlight the features they are insecure about, from strong noses to rosy cheeks, and show that those same features have long been celebrated and thought of as beautiful. Not only that, but they are strong connections to our history and the legacy of our ancestors.


sometimes i envy others but then i remember who made me so beautiful ##greenscreen ##fyp ##native ##indigenous ##nativeamerican ##mmiw ##navajo

♬ original sound - jake25.17

aquiline/hooked noses are beautiful & apart of so many nations & cultures around the world and it would be an injustice if i hated mine like i use 2💖

♬ original sound - jake25.17


Set to a clip from my personal most favourite YouTube tutorial ever “Contouring 101” by user Sailor J AKA Jahkara Smith, this shapeshift trend sees TikTok users doing heavy contour make-up including snatched noses, strong jawlines and highlighted under eyes. It currently has over 20K creations, however Smith has spoken out against the trend making it clear she doesn't approve of any of her content being used. “Absolutely no one on TikTok or any other platform has my permission to strip this video for any audio or visual purposes,” she wrote and has since devastatingly removed her original videos from YouTube.

“If the men find out we can shapeshift they are going to tell the church.”


The very popular Toon Me challenge involves transforming yourself into a cartoon character either through make-up or art. From highly stylised Roy Lichenstein-inspired looks to anime, the styles vary but with 2.5 billion views and 179.2K creations, the trend shows no signs of slowing down. 


what do you think of my version of the ##toonme challenge ? share if you like 🤗. half hair half face. ##toonmechallenge

♬ original sound - laetiky96
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