Top 10 Controversial TikTok Beauty Trends

TikTok’s beauty industry has produced a considerable amount of trends. We explore some of the most controversial trends on the app.

Top 10 Controversial TikTok Beauty Trends - f

TikTok took natural beauty to the extreme.

TikTok is home to many popular beauty trends we see in our daily lives, however many of them appear to be clouded in controversy.

Many beauty tips and tricks can appear as toxic trends that can have problematic consequences.

TikTok beauty trends don’t always appeal to the masses and aren’t always trends that individuals should cater to or learn from.

DESIblitz looks at some of the most controversial TikTok beauty trends to feature on netizens’ screens.

Brownie-Glazed Lips


So happy Hailey Bieber started this new trend wow #makeup #beauty #beautytok #makeuphacks #fyp #greenscreenvideo

? original sound – Darcei

The brownie-glazed lip look is no recent beauty trend but has been going viral on TikTok in recent months following its promotion by celebrity and model, Hailey Bieber.

The lip look is nothing new and is created using a dark lip liner which is usually a brown shade and is completed with a heavy dose of lip gloss.

However, the trending nature of this look following Hailey Bieber’s promotion of it was met with backlash from netizens.

Netizens noted that the recent popularisation of the look fails to take into consideration the criticism and harmful stereotypes many Black and Brown women faced when first adopting this lip look.

Beauty content creator, Tajia Reed was one of the many TikTok creators to note the hypocrisy and cultural appropriation of the look.

Tajia’s TikTok video mocked the idea that Hailey Bieber invented the brownie-glazed lip look, calling out the hypocrisy of the trend being popular now a White woman had adopted it.

Clean Girl Look


I think this will be my go to look with a pop of colour on the eyes ? #cleangirlmakeup #cleangirlaesthetic #cleanmakeupforblackgirls #makeup #makeuptutorial #makeuptransformation #makeupchallenge

? original sound – xolizahbeauty

TikTok beauty trends have consistently been inspired by old practices with influencers constantly creating new names for age-old styles and aesthetics.

Take the clean girl look, for example, a beauty trend which evokes a minimalist, polished look and advocates for a certain type of refined lifestyle.

However, it is a trend which is clouded in controversy due to its appropriation of age-old cultural practices from the Black and Brown communities.

The clean girl beauty look involves beauty practices which aren’t unfamiliar to Brown and Black communities who were once ridiculed for the same practices with are now trending.

The TikTok beauty trend, therefore, fails to acknowledge and pay homage to cultural practices and has since become clouded in controversy due to its glamorisation and cultural appropriation.



Tantouring with @thenudelip #contouring #selftanner #beautyhack #beautytok #skinbydrazi #greenscreenvideo

? Elevator Music – Bohoman

Fake tanning has been around for decades and now the TikTok beauty industry is jumping on the beauty product to promote it for multiple uses.

One of the uses is as a semi-permanent face contour, also known as tan-tour where individuals are now applying fake tan onto areas of their face they would contour or bronze with makeup to create a semi-permanent contour.

Using fake tanning products meant for the body on the face can lead to damaging outcomes as the chemicals used in many fake tan products are simply not meant to be applied on the face.

The over-inhalation of fake-tan fumes can also cause serious health issues meaning the trend should be approached with caution as applying excessive fake tan on the face may lead to health problems.

Whilst there is nothing drastically wrong with the trend, age-old debates about the excessive overuse of fake tan do spring to mind as it can look patchy but also create unrealistic portrayals of what faces should look like.

Fox Eyes


hm i don’t think i’m into it #fyp #makeup #foxeye

? Senile – Young Money

Whilst the beauty trend is quite a few years old, there are still many influencers and makeup artists who are using the fox eye trend.

The fox eye makeup look involves a sharp cat eye flick directed towards the temple, drawn on using black or brown eyeliner or shadow with a straight brow.

The result thereby gives a slanted, cat-eye look that resembles features most predominantly seen naturally in Asian individuals.

Whilst it first amassed popularity as an Instagram beauty trend, TikTok makeup enthusiasts jumped on the beauty trend as part of a challenge stirring controversy amongst individuals who found it to be offensive.

Members of the East-Asian community have called out makeup artists adopting this trend as it not only appropriates Asian features but the same features that were once mocked are now being glorified in trends and challenges.



??WARNING this TikTok trend may not be as sexy as you think #vabbingperfume #vabbingtrend #vabbingexplained #women #pharmacy

? Love You So – The King Khan & BBQ Show

If you thought TikTok trends couldn’t get any more baffling, then you haven’t heard of vabbing.

Vabbing is a TikTok beauty trend that involves dabbing your vaginal secretion on your body, supposedly in place of perfume.

However shocking the trend sounds, people are claiming it has certain benefits such as the pheromones from the secretion increasing sexual attraction.

TikTok doctors and pharmacists have already advised against the trend saying it is unsanitary and can cause issues if individuals aren’t washing their hands when vabbing.

For instance, if unwashed hands are partaking in vabbing then harmful bacteria and viruses could enter the vagina and in more serious cases lead to pelvic inflammatory issues.



I was shocked by how my acne prone skin reacted to slugging with @cerave ointment???? #ceravepartner #slugging #beautyhacks #acne #acneproneskin #skincare101 #Inverted

? original sound – Alessandro

Though slugging may sound questionable, it is a very popular beauty trend that has emerged on TikTok.

Slugging involves slathering a petroleum-based jelly like Vaseline over your face, usually after applying moisturiser and sleeping with the jelly on your skin overnight.

The practice is supposedly meant to smooth, hydrate and provide a healthy glow to the skin.

Despite concerns that slugging can clog pores or cause acne, it is an age-old practice in Black and Brown communities who may be familiar with slugging benefits.

However, the practice is not made for everyone and individuals with a weak skin barrier, sensitive skin or prone to acne, slugging may do more harm than good.

Henna Freckles


#stitch with @cocoverdeflor black henna contains PPD which has high allergiv potential. Please be careful! #drpimplepopper #dppreacts

? original sound – Sandra Lee, MD

Henna has been around for thousands of years having been used in beauty practices in the Middle East, India and Africa.

However, the TikTok beauty industry has taken to using henna to imitate freckles on the face and body.

It is well known that when applied, henna leaves a stain on the skin and hair, therefore individuals have begun using henna in a dotted manner to leave freckle-like stains on the skin.

However, some women have claimed they felt a burning sensation on their faces when participating in this trend resulting in chemical burns and doctors have advised against using the product on your face.

The trend has proved to be dangerous and embarrassing for individuals who may not know how henna works as they are left with irritated skin or unrealistic freckles on their faces.

Menstrual Blood Face Masks


#dayaderya ??????????

? original sound – @dayaderya

TikTok took natural beauty to the extreme when menstrual blood face masks started trending as a beauty hack and trend.

Creators like Daya Derya adopting this beauty trend claimed that there were skincare benefits to applying menstrual blood on your face due to nutrients and stem cells.

However, TikTok doctors and dermatologists like Dr Joyce Park have spoken against the menstrual mask trend and said that it is not sterile and urging people not to do it.

Menstrual blood can carry a lot of harmful bacteria and sweat which is not meant for application on the face.

There are many more natural face-mask alternatives like the Augustinus Bader Face Cream Mask made from stem cells that have been proven to rehydrate and brighten the skin.

Snail Facials


Have you tried the snail facial? #AltogetherDifferent #snailfacial #blinkaria #blinkariatests #2021recap

? Pope Is a Rockstar – SALES

An arguably strange beauty trend circulating TikTok is snail facials which involved snail mucus being applied to the face.

TikTokers like Noor Blinkaria have been putting snails on their faces claiming that the snail slime is full of healthy antioxidants and boosts collagen levels.

There are many proven benefits to snail mucin including anti-inflammatory and anti-ageing properties which is why many Korean skincare products include traces of snail mucin.

However, individuals are taking to procuring snails from their gardens or homes and placing them on their faces which can be very dangerous as ordinary outside snails may carry diseases and harmful bacteria from the environment.

Instead of participating in this trend and removing snails from their natural environment, why not try using snail mucin-based products which have been tested like Cosrx Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence Gel?

Accentuated Eyebags


Remember when I made the worldwide news for enhancing my dark circles #darkcircles #eyebags @sara carstens

? Popular – From “Wicked” Original Broadway Cast Recording/2003 – Kristin Chenoweth

If you hadn’t heard already, TikTok content creators are rebranding eyebags as a beauty accessory.

Whilst the notion may seem ridiculous content creators like Sara Carstens went viral for using lipstick to enhance her eye bags in a makeup look.

However, the TikTok trend has had a mixed reception from netizens with many pointing out that their under bags have been a constant insecurity for them.

Therefore, the trend does nothing but highlight an insecurity rather than embrace it when individuals feel as though they are natural aspects which shouldn’t go in and out of trend.

Despite the backlash Sara received, she has since posted videos explaining her intention was never to mock people’s insecurities simply to embrace a natural feature which many people have.

With over 1.7 billion views under #TikTokBeauty, the platform is only growing in its influence over beauty standards.

Whilst many trends are exciting and innovative, the TikTok beauty industry is still plagued by toxic beauty trends which can promote unhealthy and unsafe habits.

Not every trend should be followed which begs the question of why beauty standards are only restricted to the latest beauty trends on social media.

Following every beauty trend on TikTok purely because it is popular can be extremely dangerous and result in complications such as skin irritation, health issues, and even more self-esteem issues.

Tiyanna is an English Language and Literature student with a passion for travel and literature. Her motto is ‘My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive;’ by Maya Angelou.

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