From the '90s brown lip revival to our newfound interest in J-beauty hair care, there's a lot to recap from this year's beauty trends. We tried out face oils, skin scents, K-beauty lip tints, more cosmetically pleasing sunscreens, Arabian perfumes and a host of other self-pampering wonders to improve our beauty game. It's been an enlightening journey, and we're excited to revisit the good bits for you.
Our list brings back the best trending items to come out of TikTok in the last 12 months. This is not a glimpse into what content creators fiercely pushed for but, rather, products that have been tried and tested by thousands with clear results. Whether you missed out on viral hair care, skincare or make-up in 2023, these curated finds might introduce you to your new vanity favourites for the next year.
1. Best Viral Hand Cream: L'Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream
The squeeze-out-and-squish test with L'Occitane's iconic hand cream was enough for everyone to open their wallets and swipe their cards. It's the latest beauty product to go viral on TikTok, especially with the winter months raging on. Rich, thick, and surprisingly non-greasy, the 20 per cent shea butter formula blended with honey, almond extracts and coconut oil absorbs into the skin quickly, leaving no oily residue behind. People with extremely dry hands call it an essential they can't survive without, saying that it's magic butter for the hands.
2. Best Viral Serum: Mixsoon Bean Essence
Bean essences, like the Mixsoon product in particular, have started picking up momentum in K-beauty circles. Those who had no luck with snail mucin found Mixsoon's bean serum to be a vegan-friendly alternative. Even K-pop stars and their make-up artists can't stop raving about it. With a texture similar to snail slime, this multitasking serum uses a short ingredients list to exfoliate, hydrate and control sebum. Fermented bean, barley, pomegranate and pear juice make up a potent complex of antioxidants, vitamins and gentle acids. Unlike most serums, this essence is meant to be wiped off after massaging it in or once you feel the sebaceous filaments melting under your fingers. Reviewers mention cleaning the residue with a cotton pad and then reapplying to leave it on. If you want a do-it-all product for glass skin, this is it.
3. Best Viral Hair Mask: Fino Shiseido Premium Touch Hair Mask
Revive dull locks and split ends with TikTok's favourite hair product - the Fino Shiseido Premium Touch Hair Mask. Beauty enthusiasts try it out on camera and reveal impressive glossy locks once it's washed out, reversing damaged hair in a jiffy. The formula is rich and jelly-like since it features royal jelly extract, along with squalane, glutamine and lipidure extract. Apply a generous amount after shampoo and conditioner and leave it on for five minutes to see viral-worthy results. It tames frizz, softens strands and restores hair health after a single use, add reviewers.
4. Best Viral Beauty Cream: Embryolisse 24 Hour Concentrated Miracle Cream (Pack of 2)
The Embryolisse cream is a well-kept secret by celebrities and celebrity make-up artists. This Parisian miracle cream is used as a face mask, daily moisturiser, make-up primer, make-up remover, baby-care product and an after-shave cream. It's made with shea butter, hydrolysed soy protein and aloe vera, but it does contain fragrance. These essential fatty acids and vitamins deliver nutrients to the skin, plump it up and protect it from aggression. Most use the Embryolisse cream in the form of a face mask before applying make-up, and the best way to do this is to leave a generous amount on the skin to sit for a few minutes before massaging it in.
5. Best Viral Arabian Perfume: Yara For Women By Lattafa Eau De Parfum
Arabian perfumes stole the limelight this year, with brands like Lattafa, Gissah and Swiss Arabian taking to the global stage. Yara by Lattafa was inarguably one of the first fragrances to hit viral status. It's a sweet, powdery vanilla scent that's perfect for women, opening with hints of tangerine and orchid to a heart of fruity tropical notes and, finally, musk, sandalwood and vanilla. Many reviewers compare the scent to decadent strawberries and cream.
6. Best Viral Sunscreen: Shiseido Anessa Perfect UV Sunscreen Skincare Milk (SPF50+/PA++++)
Many of us turned to Japanese sunscreens for good because not only are they powerful, but they're cosmetically a wonder under make-up. Anessa by Shiseido is rated SPF50+/PA++++ and protects the skin, come rain or shine. This is a waterproof sunscreen that increases in strength upon contact with sweat, humidity, heat or water. It has a milky formula similar to a lightweight moisturiser, and comes off easily with some soap and water. You'll also enjoy the benefits of 50 per cent skincare ingredients, from green tea extract to sodium hyaluronate.
7. Best Viral Toner Pads: Anua Heartleaf 77% Clear Pad, 70 Pieces
This K-beauty skincare brand was everywhere in 2023. While all its products, from toners to oil cleansers, got plenty of internet attention, the Anua Heartleaf 77% Clear Toner Pad made it to most favourite lists. Toner pads are an excellent way to drench the skin in treatment essences or calming ingredients, as would a sheet mask. If you have acne-prone skin, try this Anua product. Its first ingredient is 77 per cent Houttuynia cordata water, a plant extract that brightens the skin and soothes any irritation. It's followed by a gentle exfoliating acid for cleansing pores and botanical ingredients that control excess sebum production. Those with dark spots and post-acne pigmentation vouch for this toner pad.
8. Best Viral Body Care: Naturium Smoother Glycolic Acid Exfoliating Body Wash
During the height of TikTok's 'everything shower' trend earlier this year, people shared and discussed a wide range of body products. One recommendation that stood out was Naturium's body washes. Some settled on the salicylic acid version, while others loved the multi-oil formula. But if your skin needs gentle chemical exfoliation once a week, the glycolic acid body wash should be your choice. Formulated with natural, non-toxic ingredients, this body wash contains a blend of AHA acids - 5 per cent glycolic, lactic, tartaric and pyruvic - with red algae. You're sloughing off dead skin, bumpy texture and hyperpigmentation in the shower. It's so gentle that you can even use it as a facial cleanser.
9. Best Viral Lip Tint: Rom&nd Juicy Lasting Tint 06 FigFig
Lip products were trending in and out, with people shifting to minimal glosses, balms and lip tints. When it comes to the latter, nothing can beat K-beauty lip tints. The popular make-up brand Rom&nd went viral for its Juicy Lasting Tint range, which comes in 16 flattering colours that suit all skin tones. You can choose to layer two shades to create more depth, or trial your first tint with the famous FigFig colour. These glossy lip tints intensify over time and are perfect for recreating your favourite K-pop star's make-up look. According to reviews, the texture isn't sticky and the tint stays for hours without reapplication.
10. Best Viral Cleansing Oil: ma:nyo Pure Cleansing Oil
The ma:nyo cleansing oil is hands-down one of the best of its kind, as proven by Korean beauty review apps. Packed with 14 plant-derived oils, from argan and sunflower to rice bran and jojoba, this cleansing product is full of antioxidants, essential fatty acids and anti-inflammatory properties. This means it works gently to break down make-up, blackheads, sebum and sunscreen, without irritation. Plenty of five-star reviews confirm its pore-cleansing and make-up removal abilities.
11. Best Viral Skin Tint: L'Oréal Paris True Match Nude Hyaluronic Tinted Serum
If skin minimalism is at the top of your 2024 beauty agenda, then stack up on your skincare make-up hybrids. Skin tints are a great place to start for a natural, barely-there coverage to replace heavy foundations. The L'Oreal Paris True Match tinted serum is fortified with one per cent hyaluronic acid for a luminous, non-cakey application. It's TikTok's favourite tint for being cost-effective and shade inclusive. There's no fragrance nor any pore-clogging ingredient. Simply shake the bottle, apply two to three drops and spread with your fingers. Reviewers say it's buildable enough to cover hyperpigmentation and settles well over sunscreen.
Our recommendations are independently chosen by Gulf News editors. If you decide to shop through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission, as we are part of Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.