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I Tried 5 Spring Beauty Trends From TikTok So You Don’t Have To: Here’s What I Learned

TikTok is the driving force behind beauty trends in 2021. As the old insta-baddie aesthetic fades in popularity, influencers on TikTok are spreading fresher, more creative makeup and nail art aesthetics. These colorful techniques are perfect for springtime looks, so I’m interested in giving TikTok make-up a shot. After examining viral TikToks for inspiration, I tried out five beauty trends to test if they’re doable for us non-beauty gurus and see if they actually look cute irl. After a week of testing the hottest trends, here are my reviews:

Gradient Lips

This K-beauty inspired trend has gone viral on TikTok, with creators like @torichange garnering millions of views on their gradient lip tutorials. The soft, blended colors make this lipstick technique perfect for spring, so it was at the top of my list of looks to try out. To achieve the gradient effect, I first covered my lips in a concealer to cancel out the natural color. I then dabbed on a pink-tinted lip balm and layered a deep red liquid lipstick just in the very center of my lips. Finally, I finished the gradient off with a thin layer of the shimmering gloss from Winky Lux. Overall, I’m pleased with the final look. I like how this trend flips the current Western beauty standard of full lips on its head by actually concealing the lip line to make the mouth look smaller. The glossy finish looks great in photos and the just-bitten effect is really unique. However, the gradient lip takes a lot of time compared to normal lipstick application and it doesn’t wear very well. I found the gradient effect disappearing quite quickly as I moved my mouth and the colors over blended. If you want to take some cute selfies, gradient lips are worth a try but don’t bother with this trend on a day-to-day basis. 

Negative Space Manis

Playing with leaving parts of your nails exposed is a fresh, abstract twist on the french manicure and an easy way to add a pop of spring pastels to your look. I found inspiration for achieving my negative space mani from accounts like @nailartbysig which have been blowing up on TikTok. I followed her tutorial and applied a base coat, a swipe of alternating colors on each nail, and then a glossy top coat. Before applying the top coat, I dipped a clean-up brush in acetone and tidied up my cuticles and the curved lines I created. The process was super easy, even for a nail art novice like myself, and I’m really happy with how it turned out! The wavy negative space shapes give me retro vibes and the array of colors makes a bold statement with little effort. I would highly recommend this trend, especially if you’re like me and struggle to find nail art looks that work on short nails. 

Lifting Blush

If you know anything about TikTok makeup, you know that it’s all about the blush! The e-girl look is famously blush-heavy, and recently, TikTok’s makeup artists have been obsessing over new types of blush placement. Draping (aka contouring with blush) is now the hit way to fake a face-lift and add sculpted definition to your cheeks. As a round-faced girl who has never fully got the hang of countering, I was eager to give the lifting technique a try. Inspired by the likes of @helin.dxski, I focussed my blush application on the tops of my cheekbones and blended the pigment up into my temples. This felt really foreign to me given I’ve always been taught to smile and put my blush on the apples of my cheeks. To get an e-girl reminiscent blush look, I proceeded to layer on multiple colors, including KimChi Chic Beauty’s Sunkissed and Nars Orgasm, in order to get maximum blush impact. I was shocked to see how well the draping added definition to my face shape, and I think that the cheerful, rosy cheeked glow is perfect for spring! That being said, the amount of blush necessary to make this technique work was quite intense. Wearing the lifting blush style might be a bit much for everyday looks, but if you like bold makeup, you should give it a try.

Double Cleansing

When springtime rolls around, I always lean into lighter makeup looks and begin doubling down on my skincare routine. Good thing a major subset of the TikTok beauty community is dedicated to skincare content! The biggest trend I’m seeing emphasized by TikTok creators is double cleansing. As described by the iconic content creator @themichellephan, double cleansing is when you wash your face twice: first with an oil-based cleanser, like a balm, and then with a water-based cleanser. This way you can remove all of your makeup and the impurities from your skin without missing anything. Inspired by other TikTokers like @skincarebyhyram and @dermguru, I’ve put an effort into remembering to double cleanse this week. I’ve been using Farmacy’s Green Clean Makeup Removing Cleansing Balm then following it up with my go-to Cerave Renewing SA Cleanser. It can seem redundant to wash your face twice, and I’m totally guilty of mostly just using one cleanser at a time, but double cleansing has made my skin feel amazing this week! My skin actually seems cleaner and softer and I’ve not had any pesky makeup residue left when I go to bed. Though it’s hard to attribute the general state of my skin to just these two products, I have noticed my skin has been looking pretty clear these past few days. This trend definitely gets an A+ from me, and I plan to stick to my double cleansing routine in the months to come. 

Puppy Liner

TikTok is home to a whole host of trendy eyeliner techniques. Fox eyes made a splash last year (and stirred up some cultural appropriation controversy), but I feel like puppy liner is where it’s at this spring. As explained on TikTok by @lenkalul, opposed to the traditional cat eyeliner and the ultra-uplifted and pointy fox eyeliner, puppy eyeliner is actually down-turned. The style emphasizes creating rounded, youthful eyes with a more soft look which fits well with playful spring styles. To try out this eyeliner shape, I used my trusty NYX felt-tip eyeliner pen and dragged the outer corner of my eyeliner downwards in a flat wing, rather than pointing the line up towards the tail of my eyebrow. To emphasize the round, puppy eye look, I added a shimmering inner corner highlight, white pencil liner to my waterline, and plenty of lower lash mascara. The final puppy liner look was probably my favorite technique that I tested! I often struggle to create sharp, angled eyeliner shapes given my hooded eyes, but this style was accessible to me and easy to do. Puppy liner is super wearable and subtle for everyday makeup wearers who just want to add a little oomph to their beauty routines. I’ll definitely start going for puppy eyes more than cat eyes going forward!

TikTok beauty accounts are creating so much amazing, innovative content, and I’m so glad that I tried these trends out. I really enjoyed experimenting with all five of them, and I can honestly see myself coming back to these trends throughout the warmer months. In particular, I’ll definitely continue to rock negative space manis and puppy liner, and the double cleansing system is now a must for me. If you’re looking for ways to spice up your beauty routine this season, experiment with some of these techniques!

Kate is a San Francisco native and third-year English major at UCLA. When she's not writing articles for Her Campus at UCLA, she enjoys getting lost in a good book and experimenting with vegan recipes.
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