Back in 2018, the #Shelfie took off and people started carefully staging and posting the products in their beauty cabinets. This led to a more curated and aesthetic approach from the marketing teams of beauty and wellness brands. Now, with Instagram becoming more casual again and Gen Z revolting against over-curation, the clearly staged shelfie is all but dead. However, people on TikTok are turning to the platform to create a new kind of voyeuristic product content. For instance, one specific type of video is filmed mid date, wherein beauty savvy TikTokers are posting videos of their potential partners' bathrooms and rating all the products in their cabinets.
Last month, a TikTok creator went viral for posting a video “ranking all of the products in the boy who I just hooked up with’s apartment”. In it, she praised him for using CeraVe face wash (a viral TikTok favorite) but expressed that his use of coconut milk and Morroccanoil body washes to mean he probably “sleeps with a lot of girls”. She’s since posted multiple follow-up videos as a series, including one video whispering to ask the internet if she should hook up with a guy, using only his bathroom cabinet as a criteria. Because it contained Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water, many people in the comments suggested he already had a girlfriend. As many beauty lovers on the internet will agree, skin care clearly can mean a lot more than meets the eye.
While using the bathroom of the person you’re on a date with to determine if you should pursue them is creative, it could also be seen as an invasion of privacy to post it to potentially millions of viewers on the app. With this in mind, the trend has still continued to spread on TikTok, with one user giving a glowing review of the multiple products in a man’s bathroom who was the host of a party she attended and others jumping in on the trend by going through the cosmetic bags of dates and even the bathrooms of their boyfriend's friends.
So far, all the videos on TikTok have kept the potential partner's anonymity, but we can’t tell if approval has been given to post the videos — which would be a respectful thing to do considering bathrooms are generally considered private spaces. Regardless, the trend has revealed something that many of us already do—take a peek around a date’s bathroom to look at their skincare routine. While it can give you an insight into their level of personal care and hygiene, you might want to “rank” the products in your head rather than posting them all for the world to see. After all, how many of us keep our bathrooms ready for an unexpected shelfie at all times?