Written by Morgan Fargo
From how to achieve the perfect blow dry to the proper way to use an eyelash curler, don’t sleep on TikTok.
In my world, there are things I learn from books, things I learn from my friends, things I learn from experience and, crucially, things I learn from TikTok. A veritable micro-world of information, how-tos and graphic-filled explanations, I frequently incorporate my learnings into my offline life. Notably, my make-up, hair and skincare routines have benefitted the most, with my ability to make a delicious salmon bowl a close second. Here are the five I use on the daily and they don’t cost the earth or require expertise beyond a little patience and experimentation.
1. How to use rollers for big, fluffy hair
I’ve long been a fan of the bouncy 90s blowout but spending 40 minutes accurately blow-drying my hair only for it to look lacklustre isn’t the one. Enter my trusty £8 Amazon jumbo rollers. They give my roots much-needed volume and help set my hair into big, fluffy curls. Make sure to roll them away from the face – starting right at the end of the hair for an open, “bombshell” effect. When the hair is completely cool (and not before), gently remove and brush through with a bristle brush.
2. Why you should use an eyelash curler upside down
This trick felt less intuitive – surely using my eyelash curler upside down would result in even straighter lashes than I started with? Well, kind of. In actual fact, first using an eyelash curler upside down, followed by curling upwards from the root, gave me the straightest, most awake-looking lashes of my life, thanks to TikTok user @audboos. Best practise: don’t tug on your eyelashes or apply excess pressure, instead gently clamp and unclamp as you go.
3. Banana clips > claw clips
Tight and high hairstyles can cause damage to the hair, think buns and ponytails. While a silk scrunchie can help minimise mechanical damage, a banana clip is a great option too. It gathers the hair across a wider area and reduces the pressure or tugging felt along the hairline. Plus, it’s chic as hell and makes hair look longer.
4. A brown eyeliner pencil can double as a contour
In a pinch or on the go, a brown eyeliner can double up as a 90s lip liner, brow pencil, or surprisingly as a nose contour. Apply softly and build up, blending with your fingers – the heat from your skin will warm up the pigment and help it to settle into the skin.
5. Body tape works wonders for bigger busts too
A few times a year I do battle with my strapless bra. I wear it, it slides down, I yank it up, it slides down. It doesn’t look particularly good in photos and clothes never sit the way I would like them to over the top. Because of this, I avoided anything that would require one, including open-backed, single strap or sheer tops and dresses.
However, since discovering body tape (specifically, Booby Tape), my entire wardrobe is back in play – including clothes I just prefer not to wear a bra underneath. Yes, it takes practice (and a little setting powder to soak up any moisture before applying the tape) but it lasts all day/night – I’ve even slept in it, feels wonderful and doesn’t require the tugging of a strapless bra that’s somehow ended up nearer to your belly button.
6. Taming flyaways with hairspray isn’t the right approach
Hands up if you have wispy hair, tons of baby hairs or a persistent halo of flyaways? Welcome to our special club. Years of trying to flatten them down with hairspray, toothbrushes and hair oil has often resulted in a seal-like appearance, with wet-looking roots with fluffy ends. Not the one.
Fortunately, there’s a simple solution: the Slick Stick. Created by Mia Plecic, the mascara wand and clear gel duo sets even the smallest of hairs. Use for tied-back styles or to finish a fluffy flyaway-free blow dry.
7. Instant root volume doesn’t require tons of product
Struggling to create lift and volume at the root using dry shampoo or volumising spray? This speedy hairdryer hack makes so much sense – simply set the volume into your hair using a brush, warm and then cold air and a concentrated dryer nozzle.
8. An eyeshadow primer can prevent concealer creasing
Finding an under-eye concealer that doesn’t crease is hard graft. Fortunately, you don’t have to work too hard to change that. Mix a small amount of eyeshadow primer with your usual concealer for crease-free all-day wear.
9. The skincare ingredients you should never mix with retinol
Active ingredients are powerful compounds that cause observable changes in the skin. Therefore, it makes sense that we shouldn’t be slapping them on pick and mix style. Specifically, being conscious of the ways we apply them, sun exposure after application and in which order can save a world of problems. For example, did you know that applying vitamin C and retinol in the same routine could cause sensitised, irritated skin? Or that AHA and BHA acids should be used on alternate days to retinol? Learning about when to use what will serve you (and your skin) better in the long term.
10. Selena Gomez’s secret to doll-like eyelashes is a pair of tweezers
Rare Beauty founder, actor and performer Selena Gomez took to TikTok like a fish to water. A blend of humorous skits, cooking videos and make-up tutorials, she recently dropped the secret to her defined, almost doll-like lashes – a tweezer coated in mascara to pinch together eyelash hairs at the root for an updated Twiggy effect.
11. Scrunching curly hair will revive it after wash day
Day two (or any day after the first day, really) curly hair can be a nightmare. If you go without a bonnet or forget to pineapple, the curl pattern can become severely compressed by pillows and partners. The “scrunch” (a gentle clasping of the curls from the tip to the root) helps bring movement, body and volume back to the hair.
Sometimes, if my hair feels particularly dry or crunchy, I’ll apply a drop of Olaplex No.7 Oil, Amika Curl Corps Defining Cream or Aveda Smooth Infusion Styling Cream to my palm beforehand.
Main image: Morgan Fargo
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