Try TikTok’s Holiday Makeup Trends Without Damaging Your Skin

When you imagine costume makeup, color contact lenses, and bold face pigments, you may immediately think of Halloween. But TikTok makeup artists are celebrating the winter holidays. Some artists have gone viral with bedazzled ice queen costumes and Grinch-green faces. These designs may inspire social media followers to try out new makeup trends.

Like many people, Natasha Jane Wood loves makeup. But Wood is a makeup artist who has earned TikTok fame with her body art. During the holiday season, she’s transformed herself into the Grinch, an elf, and other festive characters. In one video, she became an icy queen who could give Jack Frost a run for his money.

Makeup art can be extreme on TikTok, and dermatologists worry about extreme skin complications.

How professional makeup artists protect their skin

Wood followed up her popular icy queen video with another clip showing the process of peeling off the layers of makeup and cosmetic paint from her face and decolletage. By watching this video, viewers receive a rare behind-the-scenes glace into the number of products and techniques that a makeup artist might use for one single look.


The artist begins by peeling away the clear, teardrop-shaped icicle ornaments from her cheeks. Then, Wood uses a specialty makeup remover to loosen the paint and pigment from her skin. She removes her eye makeup, her false eyelashes, and her color contacts. When Wood is left with a bare face and neck, she applies a moisturizing serum.

During this process, Wood takes several steps to protect her skin. The skin on your face is sensitive. Why? The skin cells in your face are smaller than the skin cells in other parts of your body. While you can cover your body with clothing, your face needs to be at least partially exposed so you can eat, smell, and see. Smaller skin cells help prevent your facial skin from absorbing unwelcome chemicals you might encounter in your everyday life. But when you use heavy makeup for long periods of time, you can irritate your skin.

Most makeup products contain a combination of minerals, dyes, waxes, oils, and perfumes. Dr. Purvisha Patel, a dermatologist, told Teen Vogue about the potential dangers of costume makeup. In the article, Patel is quoted as saying, “These heavier products can clog the pores and cause allergic reactions.”

To keep their skin clean and clear, artists like Wood avoid wearing their heavy makeup for long periods of time. They also use moisturizers because costume makeup and face paints can leave skin feeling dry and inflamed.

For some costumes, artists will change the shape of their face by wearing prosthetic devices. When Wood impersonated the Grinch, she glued a mask over her nose and cheeks to provide the Grinch’s telltale wrinkles and pug nose. These costumes often need special, skin-safe glues and cosmetic adhesive removers.

Potential complications from improper makeup use

While some viewers may want to create their own outrageous makeup costumes, these viewers may not know about makeup safety. The Try Guys, a popular group of YouTubers, tried to recreate popular beauty blogger looks. In the images that the Try Guys attempted to recreate, the beauty bloggers have layers of powder and liquid products, rhinestones, heavy color pigments, and even paint covering their faces.

One of the Try Guys, Eugene Lee Yang, has been comfortable wearing makeup to events and in other videos. But the video earned millions of views (and perhaps just as many laughs) because three of the men had no idea what some of makeup products were or how to apply them. As Zach Kornfeld squirts paint to his chest and face to mimic a James Charles look, he asks, “Is this ever going to wash off of me? Like, ever?”

If you are planning on creating your own makeup costume, you will likely have more basic makeup knowledge than the Try Guys. However, this video provides some insight into the common mistakes that a makeup novice can make. The men apply makeup to their faces with their fingers, rubbing their eyes and mouths with their hands instead of with brushes or sponges. Your hands can carry over 3,000 germs at any point in the day. Many of these germs are harmless bacteria and fungi, but some (like viruses) can make you sick. Touching your face with your hands can spread these germs into your eyes, nose, and mouth.

In the Try Guys video, most of the men do not know what the makeup products are, much less if their sensitive could be sensitive to some of the ingredients in the makeup products. Many makeup artists will visit a dermatologist before trying out new cosmetics to make sure that they are safe to use. The dermatologist may recommend that the artist test out new makeup on a small portion of the arm or another spot that’s not on the face. That way, a makeup artist can assess if a new makeup product makes their skin itchy, red, or irritated before they’ve applied the product to their entire face.

Even if you’re not allergic to makeup when you first purchase it, old makeup can cause you to break out. If you wear expired mascara or eyeliner, your eyes may water. Patel warns against using old makeup or face paints: “You want to be sure that there hasn’t been enough time for bacteria to accrue on the makeup, so that way you aren’t going to contaminate the skin. Products, such as makeup and creams that are not used, can incubate bacteria over a course of time.” Make sure that all of your products are still in date before you reuse last year’s Halloween face paints or the eyeshadow pallete that you haven’t touched since Pride Month.

Tips for safer costume makeup

You may want to celebrate the holiday season by going undercover as Santa, the Grinch, or other holiday characters. Follow these safety tips to stay on your dermatologist’s “Nice” list:

  • When in doubt, throw it out. Never wear expired makeup.
  • Inspect all prosthetic devices, masks, and other costume cosmetics for latex if you have a latex allergy.
  • Apply moisturizer before your makeup.
  • Apply moisturizer after you remove your makeup.
  • Consult with your dermatologist before trying out new cosmetic products.
  • Test new makeup products on a small spot of skin before you apply to your face.
  • If you tend to have sensitive skin, consider having an allergy test lab run to find out if you have any skin allergies.
  • When you need to affix false eyelashes or prosthetics, ALWAYS make sure that your glue is nontoxic and safe for use on your skin.
  • Consult with your optometrist before trying out new cosmetic contact lenses.
  • Use a clean makeup brush or sponge to apply your makeup.
  • Wash your hands before touching your face.
  • Limit your time wearing your costume or makeup art; the longer you wear it, the higher your chance of having skin irritation like acne.
  • While baby oil can loosen makeup, use a makeup remover to avoid adding too much extra oil to your skin.

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