Contrary to popular belief, TikTok is more than just a Gen Z-led video-sharing app for viral dance trends; it’s also home to a growing community of beauty professionals and enthusiasts sharing their best tips and tricks. And while there are plenty of hacks we wouldn’t recommend trying at home, we must admit that TikTokers have come up with some pretty impressive techniques. Take, for example, one makeup hack that’s been making rounds lately due to its dramatic lash-enhancing effect.
In a viral video from creator @makeupbylxna, she shows viewers how she gets the most out of her mascara by first coating its bristles in setting powder, then sticking the wand back in the tube before applying it to lashes. The idea is that the setting powder helps bulk up any thin hairs for a fuller and thicker lash look, especially on those that don’t have a lot of lashes to begin with — and it appears to actually work!
Other users have since tried the trick, including TikTok star and makeup artist Mikayla Nogueira, who responded with her own video. In the clip, she uses Maybelline’s Sky High mascara (a product that also recently went viral on the app), noting that this particular product gives her tons of length but no volume. Nogueira then applies mascara as she normally would to one eye, and uses the powder trick on the other. The difference is noticeable, with the powdered lashes appearing fuller and darker than the other side.
“I personally do a see a difference in the two sides,” she says. “Subtle but it’s there.”
To get more insight into this volumizing trick and its effectiveness, we spoke with celebrity makeup artist Erika La’ Pearl. “I’ve actually never tried this technique, but it’s super interesting,” she says. “After watching this video and a few others that are hopping on the trend, I can see that it really does give the lashes some volume. The powder probably adds a layer of thickness to the mascara formula, which then coats the lashes a bit more, giving them that boost of volume.”
Understandably, a few commenters have expressed concern over the hack, mostly because it seems like the powder might cause the mascara to dry out faster. La’ Pearl says that while she doesn’t think this technique would dry out the formula completely, it may shorten the lifespan of the product or cause your mascara to flake off on the days you use this technique. “It really depends on the powder you’re using and the formula of the mascara,” she notes. “Something packed with moisturizing ingredients might not be affected at all.”
Another thing you’ll want to consider is cross contamination. Every time you move the mascara wand from tube to powder to tube to eye, you risk transferring bacteria or other contaminants from one to the other. And although unlikely, this could cause irritation, especially in and around the sensitive eye area.
If you’re skeptical of the TikTok mascara hack, there are plenty of other ways to make your lashes look their best. “I apply my first coat of mascara, let it dry, and apply again,” La’ Pearl says. “I’ve found this to work best for me and my clients. Her go-to is the Be a 10 Be Separate Mascara because of the 2-in-1 applicator. “I use the bigger wand to coat the upper lashes and the thinner wand for reinforcement, hitting the smaller, harder-to-reach hairs,” she says.
However, if you have a mascara you love, but it doesn’t necessarily give you the volume you’re looking for, this TikTok mascara hack might be worth a try.
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