Lately, TikTok has been obsessed with finding easier ways to apply makeup, while also utilizing your kitchen in the process. One minute we were using frozen cucumbers to depuff our faces and the next we're DIYing coffee grounds face scrubs (which is a huge no-no, according to a derm). The platform has introduced us to the most interesting (and honestly, weirdest) hacks out there. The latest makeup trick to emerge involves freezing your Beautyblender (or any makeup sponge). According to the 2.6 million views under the #frozenbeautyblender hashtag, many people are curious about this method of applying makeup. We had Neil Scibelli, a celebrity makeup artist in New York City weigh in with his thoughts. Plus, we even tried the hack out ourselves.
TikTok Swears by Applying Makeup with a Frozen Beautyblender. Here’s What a Makeup Artist Has to Say About It
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First Off, Please Explain The Frozen Beautyblender Trick .
Tiktokers are wetting and freezing their Beautyblender (or any makeup sponge) before using it to apply their makeup. User @iki.x introduced the hack on the platform back in September and the video went viral soon after (though it did get a few mixed reactions). Many commenters claimed that freezing their sponges beforehand really did help blend their foundation better. Some even pointed to how the cooling effect soothes and calms the skin.
But why is it so popular?
Honestly, it’s the question we ask ourselves with every new TikTok trend that comes up. “There are so many trends and hacks on TikTok these days…some work, some don't,” Scibelli says. “Anytime there's a hack that is supposed to make your beauty routine easier, it's natural to want to try it out! I always find them to be interesting because people get really creative,” he adds.
So, Does It Actually Work?
As someone who watches TikTok videos religiously (especially #beautytok), I had to try this trend for myself. If it was going to give me a beauty filter finish and calmer skin, it would be a disservice to you all if I didn’t try it.
I’ll be honest, it felt weird placing my sponge in the freezer (right next to my frozen meats and Eggo waffles). It’s even weirder putting an hour timer on and waiting patiently for my sponge to be ready. The things we do for beauty, amiright?
After an hour, I took out the sponge and it felt like I was holding a small rock. (Scibelli recommends squeezing out any excess water before you pop it in the freezer so you don’t end up with a block of ice.) When I applied it onto my face, my first thought was that it was super cold on my skin. My poor hands had to keep taking turns holding the thing so they didn’t go completely numb. The old saying, “Beauty is pain” came to mind. My big takeaway from this first trial is to let it melt down a little bit before applying it onto your face.
Overall, it blended my makeup exactly the same as a normal, room temperature sponge would, and Scibelli agreed with me. “While this trend might work for some, I'm not sure how much we can credit the ‘frozen’ aspect of it,” he explains. “Beautyblenders work so well on their own!” Need further proof? The picture above shows the left side using a frozen sponge and the right side without. Spoiler alert: There’s no dramatic difference in the finish.
Are there any alternatives to this trick?
If you take a closer look at the comments section, some people suggest placing your actual foundation in the fridge instead. Think about it: When you put your sponge in the freezer, it’s more exposed than a product bottle would be. And if you don’t clean your sponge after every use, you can risk leaving bacteria behind. However, this option is not the best idea.
"In my opinion, foundations work better when they're warmed up a little bit. The formula binds best to the skin when there’s a chemistry between the product and the skin," explains Scibelli. "I think leaving it in the fridge may cause the foundation to thicken up, which would affect how well they apply."
Since one of the main goals of this trick is to have a cooling experience, an alternative can be to use a chilled face mist or prepping your skin with cooling undereye patches or a face mask beforehand. "Both of these options allow you to get the benefits of the cold without hindering the performance of your makeup," Scibelli adds.
And if a smoother finish is all you’re after, Scibelli also recommends trying a makeup brush in place of a sponge. “Brushes are a great alternative since they absorb less makeup on their bristles and give a full coverage look that’s still blended out well,” Scibelli says.
We wouldn’t call this hack life changing. You can still get the same results without popping your makeup sponge in the freezer. If anything, it requires you to spend more time waiting to start your makeup routine than actually working on it, which for many (myself included) can take hours to achieve. We’re not trying to add a whole additional hour for our sponge to be frozen.
Still, I understand the hype around the skincare component to the trend. As someone with redness, this cooling trick can be soothing for sensitive and inflamed skin. It can also help with any puffiness. For some, a frozen makeup sponge can be just the thing they need to wake up and start their day. As for me? I’ll be skipping this in my makeup routine. But when it comes to TikTok beauty trends, it never hurts to try something new at least once.