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Midnights, sunsets, cups of coffee — there are famously plenty of ways to measure a year, but TikTok trends might be the most illuminating of all. For better or worse, the FYP has become the destination for discovering hacks, tips, and recommendations, igniting a new craze every other day. 2022’s TikTok beauty trends might be the most extreme year yet for the social media app, introducing users to concepts like skin cycling, siren eyes, and octopus haircuts, all of which easily became part of our collective, beauty-loving parlance. In fact, 2022 might be the year beauty truly democratized, with everyday users able to weild as much power and influence as actual celebrities — sometimes more. The result? Tons of creative, out-of-the-box hair, skin, and makeup trends straight from your digital peers.
The thing that makes TikTok so special, though, is how well its most popular beauty videos seem to mirror our attitudes and thoughts at any given time. While “skinimalism” ruled the early pandemic years, 2022 saw an explosion of innovative new application techniques and products crowding bathroom counters once again. Mask-friendly makeup gave way to bold lip looks and creative blush placements, all of which feel more than a little joyful with the past few years finally in the rearview. TikTok isn’t an oracle, but it is more elucidating that you’d think. Here, TZR looks back at 2022’s biggest TikTok beauty trends — the good, the bad, and the screenshot-worthy.
Siren Eyes vs. Doe Eyes
Inspired by on-screen femme fatales, TikTok spent months obsessing over sultry siren eyes — until doe eyes came along, that is. While siren eyes is all about creating a lifted, elongated effect for sexy intensity, doe eyes aim to look as innocent as possible.
The best part of the entire trend was how well the looks lended themselves to mashup videos in which both amateur and professional makeup artists tried their hands at both — at the same time, too.
Often also called the octopus haircut or the butterfly haircut, it all means the same thing: tons of layers working together for serious body, movement, and shape. Think of it like the 2022 version of The Rachel haircut, even counting celebrities like Billie Eilish, Kelly Rowland, and Jennifer Lopez as fans.
Originally coined by dermatologist and brand founder Dr. Whitney Bowe, “skin cycling” is to 2022 as slugging was the year before. Designed to counteract the stripping side effects of ingredients like retinoids, the practice incorporates highly moisturizing “rest days” in between exfoliation and powerful actives.
Racking up billions of views on TikTok alone, it seems the skin care trend is one of the few derm-approved hacks on the app — and doesn’t seem to be going anywhere in 2023.
This year, niche fragrances and scents got a well-deserved spotlight with the rise of PerfumeTok. Ordinary users and classic influencers alike hopped on the app to share their favorite perfumes of the moment, often describing them in visceral, picture-painting terms that turned the scents into cult-favorites.
Among the year’s favorites were indie scents like Phlur Missing Person, Modern Vanilla’s Le Petite Skunk, and D.S. & Durga’s Debaser, alongside more expected additions like Fenty’s first perfume, Tom Ford Lost Cherry, and celebrity-favorite Maison Francis Kurkdjian Baccarat Rouge.
If 2022 belonged to a single makeup product, it’s surely blush. In fact, this year alone spurred several distinct blush trends, including “I’m Cold” makeup applied to look wind-bitten and blustery, and its exact opposite, sunburn blush.
Savvy TikTok users applied their blush where under-eye concealer typically goes to yield a bright, camouflaging effect, and others brilliantly matched their blush to their lipsticks for a blurred, cohesive look all-over.
Clean Girl Buns
Ah, the controversial clean girl — TikTok anthropologists know her as a close cousin of fellow aesthetics like “pink pilates princess”, but with a girlbossian twist. Whatever your feelings about the aesthetic in general, everyone seemed united by a love for the ultimate clean-girl hairstyle: the slicked bun.
Largely inspired by Hailey Bieber’s distinct brand of minimalism, the updo was defined by upswept — not backswept — hair for a lifted effect, with the bun firmly fixed to the head. The most important piece of the look, though, is slicking down any frizz, flyaways, baby hairs, or breakage with the help of a gel or pomade. It’s sleek, studious, and refreshingly easy to recreate.
Glazed Donut Nails
Thank (or blame, your choice) Mrs. Bieber for this one, too. While glazed donut everything — from dewy skin to even extra hair shine — ruled 2022, none of them came close to being as big as glazed donut nails. Achieved by rubbing special, iridescent chrome flakes over polish, the glistening look took the world by storm this past spring.
Kicking off with a muted pearly-pink, the trend quickly blossomed to include tons of other shades, including the wildly popular brown nails craze beloved by celebrities like Lily Collins, Rihanna, and J.Lo.
A BeautyTok trend doesn’t have to be especially glamorous to gain serious traction on the app. But in the case of armpit detoxing and armpit masks, what they lack in frivolity they make up for in efficacy. Users share when switching to an aluminum-free deodorant, a “detox” is needed to purge the body of any lingering remnants. While Dr. Alicia Zalka, board certified dermatologist and founder of Surface Deep, told TZR earlier this year that clarifying the armpits (like you would clarify your scalp or skin) is a solid idea, there are other ways to go about it rather than slathering pits in stuff like bentonite clay.
Instead, Dr. Zalka says, try cleansing armpits with a regular glycolic-based cleanser. It does the same thing but saves more than a little mess upon application.