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Mona Kattan lipstick
YouTube/Huda Beauty

Testing the TikTok q-tip hack that promises to give you perfect lipstick


TextAlex Peters

An old trick from a Huda Beauty video to help apply lipstick pristinely is making the rounds on TikTok – but does it actually work?

Achieving the perfect lipstick requires a steady hand and, in my experience, a good lip liner. One wobble or twitch and suddenly your lipstick is uneven, asymmetrical, or way out of bounds. It can also be tricky to get the line right in the corners without causing a smeary mess. 

Now a hack that promises an easy, low-budget solution to applying the perfect lip has been making the rounds on TikTok. It’s very simple. All you need to do is grab a cotton swab from your bathroom and then place it between your lips like you are a horse with a bit in your mouth. Apply your lipstick or liquid lip as normal, using the ends of the q-tip as a guide of where to stop. When you take the swab away, you will be left with a pristine, neat lip – supposedly. 

The origins of this trick comes from Huda Kattan, founder of Huda Beauty, who tested it out with her sister Mona back in 2018 in a video called “Testing Weird Beauty Hacks”. “I don't know if this is a hack that I find to be phenomenal,” Huda says in the video, expressing doubt that it will change anyone’s life. Mona, on the other hand, is a fan and says it helped make her lipstick look a lot better than usual.

A clip of Huda and Mona trying out the method then found its way to the hack-obsessed world of TikTok when it was reposted by user @theanoughceke and has since been viewed over 1.5 million times and led to many others testing it for themselves, with mostly positive results. “Y’all it works,” says user Tessla Marie

But is it actually worth the effort? In my opinion, no. Apart from making me feel a bit like The Joker, I found that the q-tip didn’t make much of a difference and if anything made it harder to get the lip straight because the ends kept getting in my way. I don’t apply my lipstick with a closed mouth and when I parted my lips the cotton bud threatened to fall out. It also left a gap without colour in the corners which I personally don’t like the look of. All in all, I would say you can give this hack a miss. If you struggle a lot with the corners, a lipstick brush could be the answer to your problems. Try this square tipped one from Charlotte Tilbury.

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