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In 2021, TikTok went mainstream. No longer was it just “that video app the kids were on” or a mysterious descendent of Vine. And that meant that nearly everyone, not just those actively on the app, became aware of its proliferation of beauty tricks, hacks and, in some cases, potentially dangerous DIYs. As TikTok hacks and trends become more commonplace, traditionally trained professionals have watched, sometimes in horror. (Highlighting with SPF — gasp!) Fortunately, with makeup, having fun and expressing yourself don’t do much harm. Still, we thought it would be fun to take a look back at 2021’s viral makeup hacks — with none other than Violette [Serrat], Guerlain’s creative director of makeup, founder of her eponymous makeup line VIOLETTE_FR, and famous French cool girl (430,000 followers on Instagram).
Applying foundation with a jade roller
What is it: Exactly what it sounds like. In early November, TikToker @Avonnasunshine (73.9K followers) posted a video demonstrating the “hack” and called it a “GAMECHANGER.” The post has 1.2 million views. “When you’re using a sponge or a brush, it’s soaking up some of that product. But with the quartz roller, it’s just evenly distributing that product — you’re gonna use less product and you’re gonna get a fuller coverage,” she says in the post.
Violette’s take: “You can do it with a jade roller…but you’re just gonna make your life so hard. You can apply it like paint, but you can’t blend. So that’s why, for me, it’s [always] a brush, fingers or a blender. I prefer a blender. A Beautyblender better mimics your own skin, and it melts really well. It’s even OK that it absorbs a little bit of the formula. The formula releases as you put pressure on your skin, and you want that. It just makes it easier and smooth.”
The Mario Dedivanovic “lip lift” liner trend
What is it: Simply put, it’s the selective overlining of the lips. You use lip liner only at the center of the Cupid’s bow and in the middle of the bottom lip. It’s meant to mimic the effects of a lip flip.
Violette’s take: “So, it works. But, to me, I don’t like makeup that’s used to be a plastic surgeon or to transform yourself. I like using makeup as a celebration. Contouring, too, it’s just the opposite of my culture. Creating an ombré effect is another way to make a difference — having a darker shade on the sides and lighter in the center. My fear with changing your features is that, when you take it off, you don’t like what you see. My goal is for you to love who you are without makeup and to use makeup as a way to enjoy yourself — but not as a performance.”
The eyeshadow hack
What is it: Taking an eyeshadow palette and creating small stripes, going from lightest to darkest shades — then simply blending the hell out of it to cheat your way to a gradient look that would typically require a higher skill level.
Violette’s take: “This is how ombré works — you go from dark to light. So I’m not surprised this works. And I think this is what TikTok is. As a makeup artist, I don’t need a trick like this, but I understand it. The idea is for people to have fun with makeup, and that’s great. If it encourages you to have fun and try new colors, then do it! As far as other tricks for ombré, you can really do it in two seconds with one color. So, for example, if you use a bold blue — a very strong color — you just apply it as a veil. And then you take more and you pad it on — just more of it — in the middle of your eyelid. In my culture, though, we’re not fans of smoky eyes with the liner and the transition shades and all these colors. It’s too much time. I enjoy one color, and then I’m out the door.”
Draping — aka, blush contour
What is it: TikTok went crazy for blush draping (aka, blush contour or side-eye blush) over the summer. “It’s about using blush to sculpt and enhance your face instead of your regular contour shade,” said TikToker @Feliciamariemakeup. She also explained that this is an old-school technique that was popularized by Cher’s makeup artist at the time, Way Bandy.
Violette’s take: “That’s TikTok. They use things that are very basic in makeup and make it seem new! I’m in line with this. The place you put your blush can be used to enhance what you want to enhance. For example, for me, I have dark circles that go pretty low and cut into the volume of my cheek. And so what I do is I put the blush really round. But, if you have more of a round face and you want to create this more oval, high-cheek look, then you put the blush higher up. With makeup, you’re always tricking the eye. Maybe people will get out of contouring a bit and do this more — that’s a healthy trend. Because contour is often done with these sharp lines and a heavy technique, this is a way to better enhance the cheekbones, without it being such a strong transformation.”
Under-eye circles…on purpose
What is it: At the start of the year, Gen-Z TikTokers made headlines for using makeup to accentuate their dark circles. “Dark under-eye circles? The kids say it’s cool,” declared a February New York Times article. The technique is essentially the opposite of using concealer: intentionally using a darker pigment to exaggerate the color under the eyes.
Violette’s take: “A little darkness can be really cool, actually. Having a little bit of darkness there is like having an eyeshadow. I also think it’s healthy to think about it that way, because some people feel so shitty about having dark circles, and they shouldn’t. They look great with it, but they don’t see it. This is another trend that could actually be very healthy…but putting red lipstick under your eyes? What the hell? No.”
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“Emily in Paris” x Lancome
As we wait for season two of Patricia Field’s latest project (no, it’s not “And Just Like That”), there’s makeup to tide us over. A smart collaboration between the iconic French makeup brand Lancôme and “Emily in Paris,” the Netflix hit starring Lily Collins, offers fans a simple solution to French girl-chic makeup — the theme of this week’s newsletter, clearly. The collection includes “Emily in Paris”-branded Lancôme products, but the obvious hero is the heart-shaped palette. It’s divided into three looks: Born in France, Parisien at heart, and Paris à la folie. The collection is available on lancome-usa.com and at Ulta Beauty, and prices range from $32-$105. Shop it here.
Lisa x MAC
On December 3, Blackpink star Lisa [Manobal] released an 11-piece collection with MAC inspired by her stage looks. In other words, there’s a lot of glitz and glam. It includes a 12-pan eyeshadow palette, two liners, one blush, a highlighter and a number of shades of MAC’s Powder Kiss Liquid Lip Color, which is her go-to when performing. The collection is available on maccosmetics.com and ranges in price from $24-$54. Shop it here.
Melissa x Larroude
Brazilian shoe brand Melissa has collaborated with just about everyone, but that doesn’t make its latest partnership, with contemporary shoe brand Larroude, any less appealing. The two brands just came together to release a pair of slides, rendered in colorful, retro floral prints. Each pair is $90 and available at shopmelissa.com and larroude.com. Shop it here.
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