TQE’s FYP: Mascara, the Other Mascara, and the Rise of Deinfluencing

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This week on TQE's FYP:

  • An influencer came under fire for using false eyelashes to market a mascara.
  • Influencers are reclaiming the product space by “deinfluencing” and telling you which products were not worth the buy.
  • Pass, pass, smash — a quick way to show preferences in a newly trending TikTok format.
  • Audios go viral on TikTok, elevating popular videos with sound. Check out our trending Spotify playlist below!
  • This week's trending products: a ($350) toaster, color-changing blush, and others have captured attention. Shop the edit for the full scoop.

Welcome to TQE’s FYP, (that’s For You Page for you Tik Tok luddites) where we bring you the latest and greatest TikTok and Reels trends to hit our phone screens—because scrolling through them all should take five minutes instead of five hours. This week, we’re talking about the mysterious use of mascara as slang, an actual mascara yikes, deinfluencing, trending audios and the most viral products on Tik Tok this week. Let’s dive in.

Somehow I don’t think they’re talking about makeup products.

Recently, a new vocabulary word entered the cultural lexicon. Unfortunately, it seems to have many many meanings. You may have noticed—or, blissfully, you may not have seen—that TikTok users have started using #mascara as a synonym for sex and sexual assault. Since then, videos tagged with the term have racked up over 100 million views. The metaphor continued with other related terminology, with users comparing wand sizes, formulas, and more, making it difficult to tell what exactly each term is referring to. Significant others? Babies? Someone’s penis?

A mascara example. Credit: @bookemonk_

Some (relevant) inside baseball to get you up-to-speed: The TikTok algorithm frequently bans content discussing more sensitive topics, and users have figured out how to get around the censorship. For example, it’s been a longtime habit that users will replace the words “dead” or “kill” with “unalive.” Similarly, content creators refer to sex as “seggs so as not to offend the algorithm.

The obvious critique of the use of a cosmetic product is that “mascara” is an actual object, and it’s not immediately clear to many that these posts are not referring to mascara, making it easy to misconstrue comments and reactions to the initial post. “Seggs” and “unalive” are both similar enough to the original use. Should we really be expected to know the context of each TikTok vocabulary word?

A screenshot of the ill-fated comment. Credit: @big_whip13

Celebrity Julia Fox was criticized for commenting on a user’s TikTok about someone using someone else’s mascara without his consent saying, “Idk why but I don’t feel bad for u lol.” The actress later apologized, explaining she hadn’t understood that the video was talking about sexual assault rather than friends borrowing beauty products without asking.

Okay, this time we’re actually talking about mascara, or rather: MascaraGate.

In terms of literal, actual beauty content, an influencer recently came under fire for promoting a mascara product while using false lashes. The chorus of backlash stemmed from  long-building frustration and exhaustion with the way that creators recommend products online. (Solution: read our recs.)

On January 14, Boston-based Mikayla Nogueria created a video discussing the effects of L'Oréal's Telescopic Lift mascara using the line, "This literally just changed my life. This looks like false lashes."

@mikaylanogueira THESE ARE THE LASHES OF MY DREAMS!! @lorealparisusa never lets me down 😭 #TelescopicLift #LorealParisPartner #LorealParis @zoehonsinger ♬ original sound - Mikayla Nogueira

Um, because they were? TikTok users flocked to the comment section to point out that it appeared that Nogueira had applied false eyelashes between the before and after sections of her video, rendering her review inauthentic. Commenters theorized that the lashes in question were Ardell Wispies, with Ardell responding with a stitched transition video using Nogueira’s after image and a photo of their own product. P.S. That Stranger Things x Give It To Me audio transition sequence is taking off. Because Stranger Things is always trendy.

Nogueira took a brief hiatus after the incident, but has since returned to her TikTok—with no acknowledgement of the gaff. Her video is still up. After all, she does have 14 million followers that undoubtedly comprise much of her income. Still, she has a long way to go in rebuilding the trust in her community. Which brings us to…

Influencers are reclaiming the product space by “deinfluencing.”

Mirroring a serious disillusionment with the lack of authenticity in the influencer space—can every product really be the best ever?—some have pushed back by “deinfluencing.” Which brings us to the first entry in our FYP lexicon:

Deinfluence (v.) — to describe why you shouldn’t buy a specific product instead of recommending that you do.

The trend’s been refreshing for users, who cut through the clutter and noise of positive feedback on products to discover which ones don’t live up to the hype. Since its inception, the hashtag #deinfluencing has racked up over 20 million views.

Deinfluencing at its finest. Credit: @_lillewski

This trend is especially prominent in the beauty world as creators talk about items like an overly-pigmented blush, cakey fake tan, and more. Because real talk: not everything we test should make it to the site (and so it doesn’t). We only pick the tried-and-true best of the best, curated by editors across interests, price points, and aesthetics. Want The Quality Edit to jump in on the #deinfluencing trend and share some of the non-starters for us? Let us know.

Pass, pass, smash.

Many hop on a trend via TikTok audio, the soundtrack of sorts to the video, and some trending audios have easy enough instruction that they can blow up quickly: like this “pass, pass, smash” version in which users turn down several options and choose the one they like (often used for humor). Pass or smash is collecting 95k+ views and climbing.

For example, this video’s topic is after-work activities. Work out? Pass. Try a new restaurant? Pass. Fold laundry? Pass. Rot in bed for the rest of the night? Smash.

For more trending audios—especially songs blowing up on Instagram and Reels—check out our handy-dandy Spotify playlist curated just for you, featuring Miley Cyrus, Miguel, (freshly crowned) Grammy-winner Lizzo and more.

What’s a Tik Tok trends digest without some trending product reccs? Below are some products blowing up at the moment (and we’re thrilled to see they’re direct-to-consumer goodies).

Trending Products

  • Brazilian Crush Cheirosa 62 Perfume Mist ($38) — Users are flocking to this sweet-smelling perfume, evoking the “smells like dessert” trends of the early aughts.
  • Youthforia BYO Blush Color Changing Blush Oil ($36) — Growth of this personalized blush, which adapts to your skin and tone, skyrocketed by 500% this month. As someone who’s been lusting after this blush for months, I see why.
  • Manta Sound Sleep Mask ($159) — Searches for Bluetooth sleep masks skyrocketed by 8,700+%, and after all, winter is the time for extra rest and hibernation. I recently tried the Manta Sound Sleep Mask, a brand beloved by one of my favorite celebs Noah Kahan, and loved its adjustable blackout qualities. Plus, I can listen to audiobooks before I drift off to sleep.
  • Revolution InstaGLO R180 Toaster ($350) — Y’all. With products like these, it’s understandable why deinfluencing is becoming so popular. No shade to the toaster, but do you really need a touchscreen? As someone who appreciates a high-quality kitchen appliance, the boujee in me loves it though. Experiencing 1,700%+ growth this month, this über fancy device is clearly winning over users.

Happy scrolling! Email me directly – grace@thequalityedit.com – with any trends or products you think should be included, or DM us over @thequalityedit.

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