I Tried a Viral TikTok Hack to Apply My Lipstick—Here's How It Went

byrdie writer bonnie azoulay tries a viral tik tok lipstick hack

Bonnie Azoulay

I got my makeup done for all of my bridal events for my wedding, which took place during the pandemic. Still, it felt like ages since I'd applied my own lipstick. Because I wore a mask everywhere I went, there was no need to wear anything on my lips. Even before I covered my lips in public, I rarely wore lipstick. Once I got used to staying indoors and hardly going out, lipstick became even more of a rarity. 

Nowadays, I've gotten used to the no-makeup look, which consists of the occasional coverup under my eyes and a dash of blush on my cheeks. However, staying at home also meant spending lots of time on #BeautyTikTok, where I found a handful of hacks that made me excited about the possibility of wearing lipstick again. 

One particular makeup tutorial posted in August—which demonstrated how to apply lipstick with dental floss—caught my eye. Though I'm not a makeup aficionado by any means, I was intrigued by this step-by-step lipstick guide which eased me back into wearing lipstick again. Ahead, learn about my experience with this dental floss lipstick hack.

The Hack

In this TikTok, creator @beautifulmakeup.1 utilized dental floss to outline her pout before applying color and smudging the perimeter for a blurred effect. The hack currently has over six million "hearts" and 31.2 thousand shares.

The Process

To practice the viral hack, you'll need:

  • You favorite lipstick
  • Lipgloss
  • A dental floss pick
  • A cotton swab

I used one of my favorite NARS Powermatte lip colors, and a lipstick tube and clear gloss found in my medicine cabinet.

NARS Powermatte Lip Pigment
Nars Powermatte Lip Pigment in Under My Thumb $28.00

Add Concealer to Your Lips

I was late in my lip-lining experiment when I realized the subject in the TikTok video had concealer on their lips (some users thought her lips were just chapped.) So, unbeknownst to me, I completely omitted this step. A nude base would have helped my lipstick last longer and add definition to my lip shape. So, I recommend adding concealer before you apply lipstick, especially if you have a long night ahead of you.

Smear Lipstick on Floss

Dab your lipstick of choice on a floss pick. Make sure the entire floss is covered in lipstick without forming any clumps. Take it from me: Things got a bit messy when my floss got clumpy. You want to keep your dental floss as smooth as possible. Even if you feel like your floss is not picking up enough lipstick, you’d be surprised by how much pigment it can hold. 

Outline Your Lips with Floss

Essentially, the floss will act as your lip liner. Outline your bottom lip, top lips, and cupid bow (with an X shape). Similar to a coloring book, these lines will allow you to color in your lipstick with ease. 

In my opinion, this is the most crucial step because it’s the foundation for your lipstick and determines how your lips will look once you complete the final step. Don’t worry about being entirely within your lip lines because later, you can dab it away with a cotton swab. The goal is not perfection—the goal is to set yourself up for more defined lips. 

Color Between the Lines

This is the fun part. Color in your floss-stained lines with your lipstick of choice. As someone who doesn’t apply lipstick every day and needs a little extra help with my makeup, I felt like I was really able to stay within the parameters I set up for myself. My cupid’s bow, especially, looked more defined and full.

Clean Up with Cotton

Things got messy here. I needed to add makeup remover to the cotton swab because the extra lipstick beyond my lip lines was tough to remove. The tutorial makes this step look way more effortless, and I’m sure they had a few trial runs before they hit post. In the video, the cotton swab blends the smeared lipstick to look airy, fuller, and ethereal. My lips did not look like that, but with a few more tries, I landed pretty close.

Apply Lipgloss

Before adding lipgloss, I applied a liquid lipstick because the matte tube I used didn't get the corners between my lips or the back of my bottom lip. Once I felt like I covered all my bases, I dove in with the clear lipgloss I had sitting at the back of my bathroom cabinet. After that, I made sure to apply more lipgloss with my finger to add extra shine, as seen in the video.

The Final Result

bonnie azoulay before and after trying a viral tik tok hack

Bonnie Azoulay

When I removed my lipstick at the end of the night, my liner was magically still there. Still, it didn't erase the thought of why someone would use dental floss instead of lip liner. But, hey, beauty is about experimenting, and if you find a hack that may work for you—or might just be fun to test out—why not give it a go?

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