Sustainability made simple

7 Eco-Friendly TikTok Makeup Trends

Tiktok makeup trends
Foto: CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash / Chalo Garcia

Have you always wanted to try TikTok makeup trends but in an eco-friendly way? We show you six sustainable and cruelty-free ways to create siren eyes, bleached brows and more.

TikTok is a breeding ground for various fashion, beauty, dance, and music trends. Once you’ve seen or heard them a couple of times, it’s hard to block them out. But concerning clothes and beauty, these viral trends can get problematic when we think we always need to buy something new to participate. If you use TikTok, you’ve surely come across wordings like “run, don’t walk” to a shop or “things you didn’t know you needed” — when the truth is you probably don’t need anything new.

The beauty industry’s environmental impact is often overlooked as opposed to that of the fashion industry, but the overconsumption through TikTok’s beauty hauls massively affects the environment. Beauty brands are far away from producing zero-waste makeup and it’s still common practice for many beauty brands to test their products on animals.

That’s why we’ve compiled a list of viral TikTok makeup trends and want to show you an eco-friendly and cruelty-free way to try them out. These trends are mostly about techniques, so you might not even need to buy new products. If you do find you’re missing a few key products for a trend you’re interested in, we provide suggestions that neither harm the planet nor test on animals.

1. Siren Eyes

In Greek mythology, a siren is a seductive creature that lures approaching sailors to their deaths with its angelic singing. You can follow the “siren eyes” viral TikTok makeup trend by elongating your eyes’ outer and inner corners with black liner. Adding a liner to both corners creates an edgy shape that seemingly drags the eyes upwards and outwards, giving a lifted cat eye effect that suits any eye shape. All you need for this technique is a black liner or black eyeshadow that you can apply with an angled brush to keep it eco-friendly and avoid buying new products.

How to do Siren Eyes:

  1. Create a line from the outer corner of your eyes towards the end of your brow with a cruelty-free liquid or felt-tip liner (if you don’t have one yet, try this liquid liner by Elate Beauty, a Certified B-Corporation).
  2. Connect the line starting from the outer third of your lash line (both upper and lower), leaving the middle part of your eyes (right above your pupil) blank to avoid a rounded effect.
  3. Add a liner to the inner corner of your eyes and drag it a bit further towards the bridge of your nose — so that the line is almost parallel with the line on the outer corner.
  4. If desired, add black eyeshadow and clean up with a bit of concealer or makeup remover afterward.

2. Reverse Contour Technique

Mary Philipps is a renowned makeup artist for stars like Kendall Jenner and Hailey Baldwin. Her looks are part of the so-called “clean girl aesthetic”, focusing on flawless glowy skin and glossy lips.

In this context, it’s worth mentioning that the “clean girl aesthetic” aesthetic has provoked backlash since it mostly features skinny, white people that are conventionally attractive and lacks representation in a diversity of skin colors or body types. It has created an illusion of almost unattainable and uninclusive perfection that doesn’t allow for unwashed hair, blemishes, or coarse hair. The wording alone suggests that anyone who doesn’t fit within these standards would be unclean.

But back to reverse contouring which is a makeup technique that can truly work for everybody. This TikTok makeup trend creates natural, sculpted skin by reversing the order of contour application. Instead of applying contour over foundation like many of us probably do, she uses a contour stick or liquid contour product first. She blends foundation on top of that to create a more natural, seamless effect.

One important note is to use a creamy or liquid product like this vegan and cruelty-free contour stick by Nudestix because your liquid foundation won’t blend well over a powder contour. Be aware that this stick contains the problematic mineral mica, and that the brand does not provide any information on how it was sourced.

3. TikTok Makeup Trends: Editorial Blush

Moving away from a natural look, this next TikTok makeup trend is for the more daring ones: instead of applying a small amount of natural-looking blush, this trend is all about blush overload. Colors lean towards a cooler pink and are applied right on the cheekbones, where the highlighter usually goes. You don’t have to leave it at the cheeks: apply blush to your eyelids, the bridge of your nose, or even your temples to get that editorial look.

How to do Editorial Blush:

  1. Apply your liquid blush first with a clean makeup brush to create the base (if you need a new blush, there are vegan options like this liquid blush by Covergirl, also available on Amazon**).
  2. Set your work with a pink powder blush.
  3. If you want, add more to different areas of the face to tie the look together.

4. 2000’s Brown Overlined Lips

Matching TikTok’s Y2K fashion moment, beauty influencers joined the club and brought back the juicy, overlined lips typical of the late 90s and early 2000s. This TikTok makeup trend usually entails a dark brown liner and a clear or subtly colored gloss in the center of the lips. Rooted in Black and Latinx culture, this look works well on darker skin tones, so you may want to adjust the color of the liner if your complexion is lighter.

How to do overlined lips:

  1. Go over your natural lip contour with a brown lip liner of your choice, like this one by Elate Beauty.
  2. Either leave the line sharp or blend the color inward on the outer corners of your mouth.
  3. Add gloss to the center of the lips (if you need one, try this eco-friendly and vegan lip gloss by Honest Beauty, available on Amazon**).

Some Elate Beauty products contain mica, but the brand says they are sourced from suppliers in the Responsible Mica Initiative.

5. Glazed Donut Look

If you lean towards a more classic look, you’ll love this next beauty trend. After Hailey Baldwin’s shimmering rose nails went viral, everyone talked about the “glazed donut” aesthetic. What people mean by that is a light rose color with a glossy, soft shimmering finish.

This TikTok makeup trend works for both nails and skin products: achieve the glazed donut look by using a natural dewy highlight by Glossier on the tops of your cheekbones. Like using a highlighter on your cheeks, you can create a glossy lid with clear lip gloss and add any shimmering product on top for that editorial vibe. Top it off with a glazed lip for an added glow.

Even better: Achieve the glossy look makeup-free by applying a little more moisturizer than usual on your skin or by applying skin oil.

Be aware that the dew by Glossier also contains mica, and they do not provide any information on how it was sourced.

6. TikTok Makeup Trends: Soft Goth Makeup

Since the success of the Netflix hit series Wednesday, TikTok has turned towards an edgy grunge look. This soft version still has somewhat feminine elements, but it’s safe to say that Soft Goth makeup is the counterpart to the bronzed and freckled healthy Californian aesthetic. This TikTok makeup trend is an homage to goth kids but elevates their pale grunge aesthetic to a more grown-up, softer level. The essentials for this look are a soft black smoky eye, an evenly pale base, and a dark berry-toned matte lipstick.

How to do the Soft Goth TikTok makeup trend:

  1. Apply foundation that is your shade or one shade lighter to your entire face.
  2. Add a cool-toned contour to enhance your cheekbones, but don’t add any other colored product to your cheeks.
  3. Create a soft smoky eye with black eyeshadow or smudged black pencil liner.
  4. Apply matte lipstick in a darker tone (think blood or red wine) and smudge it if you wish. If you don’t have one, we recommend this vegan and cruelty-free lipstick by Milani, also available on Amazon**.

Milani also uses mica of undisclosed origin.

TikTok Makeup Trends Honorable Mention: Bleached Brows

Bleached brows went viral in winter/spring 2023, so they definitely deserve to be mentioned in this article. However, this TikTok trend can irritate your skin, as bleach contains harsh chemicals, so you should get it done professionally. It’s important to know that bleach might cause temporary thinning or weaken your brows. Since there are no particularly eco-friendly options for bleach, there won’t be any product recommendations either.

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