People Are Now Buying Beauty Products on . . . TikTok?

If you're among the one billion people on TikTok, chances are you probably spend much longer than you care to admit scrolling through the app. From beauty tips like the lip-gloss eyeshadow hack to easy and affordable recipes, there's plenty to discover. You're also likely to have seen content creators talking about TikTok Shop. Not only is the social media app full of weird and wonderful viral crazes, but it's also a place where you can buy your favorite mascara.

Although you might have seen it popping up on your FYP, you might be a little skeptical about buying via the same app that took you down a rabbit hole about reincarnation (just us?). Still, it's worth getting clued up about what it is and how to use it, especially if you're a beauty fan. While there's lots available through TikTok Shop, from tech to parenting goodies, it's the beauty realm that has really taken off. From independent TikTok-famous beauty brands generating buzz to big-name retailers launching exclusive products, it's time to have TikTok Shop on your radar.

What Is TikTok Shop?

TikTok shop allows users to buy products through the social media app. The e-commerce business launched in the US in September 2023 after massive growth in other markets (it launched in the UK in 2021 and saw a 295 percent increase in usage over the last 12 months).

Retailers and content creators with over 1,000 followers can recommend products and brands on their short-form videos, allowing followers to click on the shopping basket icon while watching the video to purchase the products mentioned.

There's also the opportunity to shop curated products via the Showcase tab of a content creator or seller, which allows users to browse a list of products that can be purchased with a simple click. Plus, creators can go live, allowing followers to buy mentioned products in real time. Think of it as the social media version of a shopping TV channel.

Why Should I Use TikTok Shop?

First and foremost, it's easy. Perhaps a little too easy. We've all been victims of a late-night TikTok scroll leading to a niche foundation arriving on your doorstep before you know it. But in our ever-busier lives, it's a seamless, fuss-free shopping experience. It's particularly handy if you've been frantically searching for the best holiday gifts, only to stumble across the Dyson Airwrap on your FYP.

There's also the opportunity to see products being used on a diverse range of content creators. Particularly for the beauty community, it's helpful to see products used on different skin tones and hair types, for example, helping you to make more of an informed purchase. Of course, it's worth bearing in mind that content creators will earn a small commission from your purchase and may be getting paid by the brand to promote its products, so keep a lookout for hashtags and follow creators who you trust.

Plus, there are more brands that are set to offer exclusive deals and products on TikTok Shop. Maybelline launched its Lifter Plump gloss exclusively on the app in November, for example, so it's worth keeping an eye out for viral products that you're able to purchase while scrolling.

What Brands Use TikTok Shop?

There's huge amounts of beauty brands available via TikTok Shop, and there's set to be more in 2024. According to Cosmetify, Huda Beauty is the most popular makeup brand on the app and The Ordinary is the most popular skin-care brand, with products available to buy through the shop. There's Gen Z brands like E.L.F. Cosmetics, which recently tapped TikTok-famous singer-songwriter Caity Baser to front its campaign, as well as smaller start-ups like Mallows Beauty.

Is TikTok Shop Legit?

Like with anything online, it pays to do your research. Sellers are vetted by the TikTok app, and fraudulent ads are removed as soon as possible, but sadly that doesn't stop scams from happening. Check reviews of content sellers and make comparisons elsewhere.

All products bought on TikTok Shop should be new. TikTok itself doesn't sell products, it facilitates the sale, so any issues need to be taken up with the seller directly. In general, TikTok Shop is safe to use, but it's worth being mindful of authentic offers and being wary of any too-good-to-be-true offers.