In the age of highly curated (and edited) social media posts, it can sometimes be hard to feel like you're coming across something authentic online. The latest TikTok trend, however, injects some much-needed vulnerability and openness into one of the most unexpected types of content: beauty product recommendation videos. Starting the video captions off with a product question like “what mascara do you guys use?” the creators then go on to insert a confession into the sentence before ending off with their favorite product.
The results of the trend have sparked a number of viral conversations on issues surrounding personal development, mental health, and relationships. “What face wash do you use? I personally will never seek human connection again but I like Cetaphil,” posted Kelsey Soles in a video with over 2.6 million videos. The comments follow the theme of the trend. “I use Cerave, I’m exhausted of having to wake up every day and go through life like I’m okay, I really like it. Keeps my face moisturized,” commented one person on the video. “I like an oil cleanser. I’m in love with someone I can’t have. But Simple also has a good gel one I like,” wrote another.
While it’s unclear whether the trend is a serious cry for help from the younger generation (TikTok is Gen Z’s favorite app) or the start of some necessary candidness on social media, it does follow a series of trends across TikTok, Instagram, Twitter where users pretend to “hide” information they don’t want a certain audience (usually cisgender straight men) to see by starting videos with traditionally feminine topics or questions. “ladies im looking for a new foundation, any suggestions?? i’ve tried the fenty one but i think that okay girls now that the men have stopped reading im having a sleepover at my house thursday we can bake brownies and dismantle the patriarchal capitalist regime and chill c u there,” wrote one person on Twitter in 2019.
From an old Twitter trend to a new TikTok trend, it seems people need the space to speak to others who are into skin care and makeup while also discussing the nuances of life. They also seem to be giving genuine product recommendations at the end of the videos (the perpetually viral CeraVe cleanser has been shouted out a number of times). So whether you have an anxious attachment style or are struggling with feeling “desired sexually but never romantically”, this trend is for you. And you may get a new favorite lipstick shade out of it also.