Fantastic or Flop? Makeup Hacks Examined

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When it comes to makeup routines, we’ve trusted the wisdom of our mothers, learned from top makeup artists on tv and in our favorite magazines, and found helpful tips from friends.  These days, everyone is turning to social media for everything from pasta with feta and tomato recipes to makeup tricks.

From the weird to the wonderful, Fashion Reverie asked a group of top makeup artists to give their take on some of these viral trends, and while they don’t always agree, their responses just might surprise you.

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Hack #1: Using a bobby pin for a perfect winged eyeliner look for hooded eyes

Seen over 2.2M times, our experts agree that this hack is indeed one to try!

“This hack can be extremely useful [for those of us] who struggle with hooded eyes, myself included!” Booksy Ambassador and makeup expert Nikki La Rose shares. “I think this is a great hack especially for beginners when it comes to wing liner.  It will also teach you to look straight ahead in the mirror when applying your liner which is KEY when applying a wing liner on hooded eyes! Think of this hack as training wheels for eyeliner, once you get it down, you can then skip the bobby pin and no one will ever have to know.”

“Love this hack.  It’s a great way for a beginner to learn the art of creating a wing eyeliner,” explains fellow Booksy Ambassador and makeup expert, Jacen Bowman.  “I’m not a big fan of the shape, it could have been cleaned up a bit, but a great hack for a beginner.”

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Hack #2: Contour your nose with a fork

This kitchen utensil trick made the rounds first on Instagram, but this TikTok video alone has garnered over 3.1M views showing off a new use for a fork. (Arial would be proud!)

Makeup artist Jaleesa Jaikaran, who helped develop the fresh face looked at Jason Wu and the super glossy pouts at Tom Ford, weighs in, “I always feel like there’s something new and fun to try.  According to the size of space within the fork, I’m not entirely sure it’ll be good. There’s other ways to contour without using a fork … it’s kind of an accident waiting to happen.”

“This hack is hilarious to me and also border line GENIUS!,” La Rose exclaims.  “Just be careful with this hack, since noses are not one size fits all like forks are.  You may need to play around with the placement of the fork and shift it on either side depending on the width of your nose.”

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Hack #3: Mix your foundation for thicker full-coverage foundation

According to La Rose, “this is an interesting hack for sure and also kind of an old makeup artist trick back in the day. It will definitely thicken your foundation, but will also, in turn, make it feel very ‘cakey’ in the process. I say skip this hack and go the more traditional route of foundation first THEN setting it with loose powder.  Can’t go wrong!”

“Not trying this, it’s stupid,” Bowman professes. “If you want a full coverage look and a polished finish, you still need to set foundation with a powder. If you’re [looking for] full coverage foundation, just use full coverage foundation. It’s a no for me!”

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Hack #4: Define your lower lashes by applying mascara with tweezers

Struggling with clumpy mascara particularly along the lower lashes?  TikTok has an answer for you … but does it really work?

“I like the idea behind this hack; however, I see it being more dangerous than good.  You can easily pull out your bottom lashes if you are not super careful. Ouch!” explains La Rose.  “You can get the same effect as this hack by simply using the pointy tip of your mascara wand and gently gliding it straight across your lashes till you have the desired look.  Plus, who wants to clean mascara off of tweezers every time?”

But fellow Booksy ambassador Bowman does see the value in this alternate use for tweezers.  “Cute hack. Simple, easy and affective! Great job.”

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Hack #5:  Keep your foundation smooth and make it last longer by changing the order you apply products

While most of us add a setting spray or translucent powder after our makeup is completely done, with over 10.5M views we’re beginning to wonder if this video shows that we’ve had it wrong the whole time.

But Bowman is convinced this new order is not the secret to better looking foundation.  “Hate this hack. I’ve seen this done for people who only have severely oily skin. But [there are] so many items on the market that you can use [for that] filter-free look.  If you’re someone with textured skin, this will make your face look cakey.  It’s a hard no for me!”


Hack #6: Give yourself a vibrant, rosy blush by applying lipstick to your face

“This is a classic pro makeup trick, layering lipsticks, cream blushes under complexion makes for a seamless blend, explains Jaikaran. “This trend is a definite for me!”

Lindsey Coffey, model and environmental activist crowned Miss Earth in 2020, also is a fan of this trick. “The lipstick holds for a little longer. It’s a great way for added color other than using powder that rubs off more easily.”

Victoria Stiles, award-winning celebrity makeup artist and creative director of ShikSona explains that you can “get a jumpstart on sun-kissed skin for summer with this easy makeup hack. Fake a day at the beach by applying a red color lipstick to the forehead, cheeks, and nose before foundation. This naturally flushed look is also a safe alternative to avoid skin damage from harmful UV rays. When choosing a red color lipstick, stick with a product with clean ingredients such as ShikSona’s lipstick in Barrier Breaking Beauty.  By choosing a product with all-natural ingredients, it will be less likely to clog pores and irritate the skin.”

La Rose, however, isn’t a huge fan of this trick.  “This hack is a no for me simply because it’s just not necessary.  By applying a lipstick before foundation, you run the risk of it clogging your pores, since it’s NOT formulated for your skin.”  Instead, to make this work, La Rose explains, “this would be a great hack if it were used AFTER your foundation is applied. I actually love, love this hack for a vibrant blush look, but in my opinion, you’ll get much better results and will need way less product, if you apply it on top.”

Bowman also is worried about the effects of red lipstick on your complexion.  “Red stands for STOP!!!  Hate this hack because for someone not as [experienced with makeup] they will end up looking like Raggedy Anne and Andy.  It’s a no for me.”

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Hack #7: Give your face an airbrushed effect by blending in your setting spray

We all want a clean, soft finish from our makeup, but is mixing setting spray the way to achieve it?

Bowman’s take on this trend is plain and simple “It’s a no for me!!  What did I just watch???”

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Hack #8: Get perfect brows with a bar of soap

According to Jaikaran, “Soap on the brow is a trick that was initially seen in drag culture; the trend moved to social media and took off. A lot of brands now make products to mimic this look.” 

“This is an amazing hack! Probably in all honesty one of my all-time favorites, it’s cheap, easy and literally will hold your brows all day long!” La Rose gushes.  “To make this hack work even better, make sure you are using a long-lasting makeup setting spray or even waterproof setting spray.  This will give you the most control and lasting effect!”

“Love this hack! Soap brows are life!!  She gets tens across the board!!!” exclaims Bowman.

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Hack #9: Use makeup for an instant face lift

Non-surgical face lifts are all the rage, and it’s no surprise that tips that enhance our faces without having to go under the knife have racked up so many views.

“I’m such a fan of makeup being used to accentuate and not cover up,” shares Jaikaran.  “Proper concealer placement can change the shape and look of the face drastically.” 

“This hack is in my opinion not a hack, but a technique professional makeup artists having been using for AGES!” explains La Rose.  “It’s called “highlighting.” Nothing new here! Sorry TikTok, but this has been around since black and white film!  You can get an incredible lifted and brightened effect with this one when done correctly!”

Not every viral trend is worth pursuing, especially at the risk of clogging your pores.  However, makeup is meant to be fun!  So, take our experts’ advice and experiment away (and be sure to share your favorite beauty videos with us!)  Just maybe don’t try them out when you have somewhere important to go!

—Janine Silver


  1. I’ve tried the lipstick on my face hack before. Great for when you’re out of blush.

  2. I need to show my sister this article. She’s famous for drawing her eyebrows on her face and needs to see this brow trick with makeup remover! Thanks for sharing.

  3. I am so bad at these types of things, so I appreciate all of the tips and hacks I can find!

  4. Hihi….wow, some of the hacks are this simple but effective? Like the one with the fork? Marvellous! Thanks for sharing about them.

  5. Never never never would I use a fork to help me apply make up most especially near my eyes. And I have to admit that I have done the lipstick check before but mostly because I forgot plush and my face that looks so pale that I almost look like a ghost.

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