Though TikTok is perhaps best known for producing viral dances and making Donald Trump mad, the app has quietly morphed into a next-generation QVC, unearthing useful doodads and oddball gadgets you didn’t know you needed. A product that goes viral on TikTok can sell out for months at a time, and the hashtag #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt has racked up 645.1 million views (and probably as many dollars in sales).
No products sell faster on TikTok than beauty products, whether it’s a DIY eyebrow lamination kit, men’s shaving powder, or a shower jelly that costs exactly $1. And because the app is dominated by teens, many of these things are easy on the wallet (or the allowance, as it were). To find out what lives up to the hype, we spent hours exchanging hundreds of DMs with TikTok influencers, asking just one question: What’s the best beauty product you’ve bought because of TikTok?
This scrub, formulated to tackle keratosis pilaris (also known as chicken skin), is all over TikTok — even though, at $28, it’s one of the pricier items on the list. TikToker Kayla likes that the glycolic and lactic acid help loosen skin that congests hair follicles and pores. “I use it for so many things! I fight hyperpigmentation everywhere (underarms, knees, elbows, strawberry legs), so it’s nice to have a product that I can get multiple uses out of.” Gisele, Andrea, Shannon, and Candace swear by it, too.
TikTok tipped Priscilla Alaniz — and millions of other people — off to Magic Shaving Powder, an under-$10 depilatory that’s been around since 1964 and gotten a new audience thanks to the app. “I’d seen it several times at the store but never paid attention to it,” she says. “My hair is very thick, so the typical ‘female’ products weren’t cutting it for now. But this leaves my skin smooth, and it exfoliates.” It’s worth noting that this is not a shaving cream — like other depilatories, this contains a chemical that literally strips the hair from your skin.
The cleverness of Venus’s waterless razor is obvious (it’s waterless!), but that hasn’t stopped the product from going viral on TikTok. Lexie Magnus, whose video about the razor has more than 100,000 likes, says it really is “the best invention ever.” She likes that it can be used on the go, and has even shaved in the car: Just “open the door and pour water over the blades,” she says. Each razor’s handle holds enough gel for two uses, and, Lexie notes, “it doesn’t run out as quickly as you’d think, so squeeze a good amount of it out to avoid razor burn.”
A lot of the beauty products hyped on TikTok don’t actually work, as many #fail videos show. This goopy cleanser is an exception. After seeing the jelly on the app, Careen was intrigued, if skeptical. “I thought the quality would be horrible because it’s a dollar,” she says, but the formula turned out to be great. And a little goes a long way, she says: “You think you’d have to use a lot, but you don’t — it suds up.” The jelly is exactly one buck at Dollar Tree, according to commenters, but it’ll cost you a little more than that online. Either way, it’s cheaper than Lush’s Conga, another TikTok famous “shower jelly.”
To supercharge the AHA scrubbing — without harming your skin — TikToker Kaelyn uses an exfoliating glove, which is a favorite product among #showertok, a popular hashtag that’s exactly what it sounds like. The appeal, Kaelyn explains, is that “you can literally see the dead skin coming off,” adding that it leaves your skin baby soft. “I love exfoliation, because KP is a buildup of keratin on the skin, and these cloths make the scrubs really effective,” she says.
Kayla follows up her AHA with this gritty sugar scrub. “I used to be a huge coffee-scrub fan — who doesn’t love that smell? — but I learned about microtears, and it didn’t take long for me to switch to something more gentle,” she says, and this one came recommended by fellow TikTokers. (The #TreeHut tag has more than 6 million views.) The brand has frequent “scent drops,” but from the comments on Leek’s popular post, coconut lime and mango are favorites.
“My face is so oily, you could point a flashlight on it and the shine would light up a room,” says Kaivalya “Kiki” Gorla, whose TikTok featuring Revlon’s Oil-Absorbing Volcanic Roller has 100,000-plus likes. “While some oil is picked up by those absorption sheets, the rest can get pushed into your pores,” she explains, plus they’re single-use. This little invention appears to soak up every last drop of oil, and it’s reusable. “All you have to do is wash it with soap and water, so it’s better for the environment,” Kiki adds.
With salons closed this spring, at-home #browlamination clips spiked on TikTok. This microblading alternative, which is actually marketed as a lash-lift kit, chemically straightens each brow hair and sets them in a shape you create with a clean mascara wand, giving the illusion of fullness in a noninvasive way. TikToker Ash watched a few videos “and just winged it,” she says. The treatment can last up to a month, so Ash suggests practicing shaping your brows with body lotion first; once you start, you have to move pretty fast. She was impressed with the results: “I have a lot of really thick brow hair, and it lasted for three weeks.”
Another popular brow product (that’s actually not a brow product) is Just for Men Beard and Mustache Dye, which astute TikTokers discovered works on more than five o’clock shadows. After Hannah showed off her new darker, fuller brows, courtesy of Just for Men, the trick made the rounds on TikTok. “Don’t use the brush that comes with it. Use a pointed eye-shadow brush instead,” she advises. “It helps you stay inside the lines.” But even if you mess up, Hannah points out that semi-permanent dye will fade over a few weeks.
Contouring one’s face with self-tanner is quite the trend on TikTok — #selftannercontour has more than a million views — but results vary. Inspired by Britt’s impressive tutorial, fellow TikToker Tressa tried the trick … unsuccessfully. Her advice: “Invest in the Loving Tan foam Britt used. I used Jergens, the cheapest tanner you could buy, and it shows,” she says. “Also, blend that shit!”
There’s no shortage of zit stickers on the market, but Hero Cosmetics Mighty Patches are perhaps the most TikTok famous. When they showed up on beauty blogger Sabrina Molu’s “For You” page, she was wasn’t convinced, having already been disappointed by another TikTok recommendation, Nexcare’s acne-absorbing covers. But the thousands of comments promised her that Hero’s patches would be great — and the comments didn’t lie, she reports. “They’re cheaper than other brands and they’re thin enough that I can put them along my nose or on my hairline without killing when I take them off,” she says.