From eyeliner inspired by puppies to using classic household items as part of an (unconventional) skincare routine, the weird and wonderful worlds of TikTok, YouTube and Instagram are constant sources of wonder when it comes to the latest big thing in beauty. Here, we round up some of the strangest beauty trends to have gone viral in 2022, and whether they’re best embraced or steered clear of entirely.
First, Doja Cat shaved off her brows during an Instagram Live in August, using her new blank canvas to experiment with creative brow art, including tiny painted apple emojis and space-inspired swirls. Then, model Amelia Gray had hers razored off on the set of a shoot in October. And at Paris Fashion Week that same month, everyone from Kylie Jenner to Nicola Peltz-Beckham and Maisie Williams sported dramatically bleached brows, while make-up artist Diane Kendal gave Victoria Beckham’s models otherworldly dye jobs.
But while it’s a trend many have embraced, those who lived through the ’90s—and have the sparse, over-plucked brows to prove it—may have some pretty well-founded reservations about making such a long-term change. If you find yourself tempted to reach for the razor, consider bleaching your brows first and living with the results for a week or two, so that you can check you really, truly do like how your face looks naked. To put it kindly, shaved brows aren’t a look for everyone.
Make-up artists and TikTok influencers have long played around with over-lined lips—using lip liner outside the natural lip line to create the illusion of a fuller or more shapely pout. This autumn, though, it was all about “cherub lips”, which went viral on TikTok after make-up artist @ehlieluna shared a tutorial for a “doll-like, cherub lip” created by emphasising the Cupid’s bow and rounding out the bottom lip for a slightly downturned, Bratz doll look.
Cherub lip aka doll lip tutorial
Calamine lotion as primer
We’re pretty sure that even some of the biggest season finales on television this year would struggle to match the 3.3million (and counting) views TikTok creator @therealembree has racked up on her unconventional tutorial. Swapping traditional make-up primer for a chalky wash of calamine lotion—yes, the pastel pink stuff your parents used to dab onto insect bites when you were a child—she then applies a layer of foundation over the top for a flawless, matte finish.
But is it a good idea? Firstly, calamine lotion’s mild astringent action means it leaves skin feeling pretty taut and strange—not comfortable (not to mention the potentially drying effects of wearing it daily for a prolonged period). Secondly, it leaves a pinkish-white cast on the face, which means it could only realistically be used under a fairly heavy-duty foundation without peeping through. And thirdly, there are so many good, affordable primers out there already, which do an amazing job of prepping skin for make-up without the downsides. Give this one a swerve.
Who’s your beauty icon? Rihanna? Audrey Hepburn? A small dog? Yes, puppies are the unlikely new pin-ups of the beauty world when it comes to eyeliner inspiration, with the #puppyeyeliner tag on TikTok garnering an impressive 97.3 million views.
The reality of the look, which originated in Korea, is a lot less bizarre than it sounds. It focuses on liner that slopes downwards at the outer corners of the eyes, rather than upwards like it would in a traditional cat-eye look. In fact, it suits some eye shapes much better than an upwards eyeliner flick would, and arguably has a more modern feel. So really, it’s just about deciding whether you’re a dog person or a cat person.
Since Hailey Bieber rocked her glazed donut nails at the 2022 Met Gala, the shimmery nail trend has pretty much dominated mani moodboards since. But as we round out the year, there’s another nail trend sweeping TikTok and racking up over 11 million views: velvet nails.
Taking its cues from the divisive party-season fabric, the velvet nail trend is all about the use of reflective light to create the illusion of furry-soft texture, thanks to specific magnetic nail polishes. Going on like a classic glitter, these polishes feature tiny particles which move and react when you sweep a magnet above the nail surface, creating a velvet-like effect that you can adapt however you choose. Nails Inc sells several shades, whilst Mylee has a different magnetic gel formula for every star sign, including the copper and purple Leo, which looks just like the sort of crushed-velvet colour combo that would have been everywhere at a ’90s prom. It feels pretty retro, but in a way that’s quite fun for the festive period.
Yes, you read that right, mewing. TikTok influencers and YouTubers in their millions are claiming that “orthotropics” or mewing—named after the orthodontist, Dr John Mew, who is credited with first having come up with the idea in the ’70s—has given them more defined, sculpted jawlines, and even straightened crooked teeth.
So what does it involve? Mewing essentially means lifting your tongue to the roof of the mouth, closing the lips, and holding the position, as often as you can throughout the day. TikTok users claim noticeable results, and online tutorials on the technique abound. However mewing doesn’t come without controversy. In fact, Dr Mew’s licence was revoked by the General Dental Council in 2017, while his son, Michael Mew—also an orthodontist—is currently facing legal proceedings over his own orthotropic practices. Not to mention how impractical and uncomfortable it sounds to hold your jaw in an unnatural position throughout much of the day. We’ll steer clear of this one, thanks.
You might feel like you don’t need a tutorial to tell you how to achieve “cold-girl beauty”—take one sub-zero commute and you’ve got the look for free. But creator @zoekimkenealy has become something of a legend for the remarkable specificity of her TikTok beauty tutorials, from make-up for “the perfect cool-girl spa selfie” to her famous “crying make-up tutorial”, designed to replicate the pink-ringed eyes and flushed skin brought about by a bout of sobbing.
#greenscreen I think this is my favorite TikTok I’ve ever made even tho I felt so basic going outside and taking selfies with my Starbucks it was also the highlight of my day hehe it’s Makeup for serotonin feels and hallmark movie time! It’s the im cold it’s winter and the holidays and fall makeup look tutorial. #wintermakeup #fallmakeuplook #coldmakeup #maccosmetics #benefitcosmetics #makeupforever #wintermakeuplook
Cold-girl beauty will, however, speak to anyone who has spent recent weeks tucked up on the sofa watching Cameron Diaz in The Holiday, or Keira Knightley in her cream fluffy jumper in Love Actually. Blush is applied liberally to the nose and cheeks to mimic the effects of an icy wind, whilst an autumnal lip and brushed-up brows add to the wholesome effect. “Today, we’re making ourselves look cold!” Kenealy exclaims joyfully. And it seems the 2.4 million people who’ve viewed the tutorial approve.
This story originally appeared on British Vogue.