I will admit it — I’m a TikTok convert. Similar to many 90s kids on social media, my initial reaction to TikTok was “ugh, how lame and childish”. But a boredom-filled foray into the app spiralled me into a full-on addiction. Not a day goes by without me accessing it, and I’m proud to say that I’ve learnt much from peers younger (hello 2000s!) and older than me. Aside from the Renegade and how to be a “savage”, here are my favourite TikTok hacks that have impacted my life some way or another: 

1. Take Interesting Product Shots with a Mirror

@munopiaportraitsA creative way to use mirror in ##productphotography ##photographer ##phototips ##photoideas ##homephotoshoot ##phototutorial♬ オリジナル楽曲 – 🐷きょっちゃん🐽

Ever thought of running your own Instagram boutique or simply want cool pictures for your Instagram feed? Then this simple photo idea can elevate your product pictures to a new level (specifically to sky-high one). All you need is a mirror, your item of choice and the Internet to produce a gallery of images that seem to take more effort than it required. Play around with various stock images and videos to produce visuals that complement your aesthetic. 

I’ve tried this out myself, and even as an amateur photographer, I managed to capture some unique shots of my earrings in starry space or on top of mountainous rocks. The only tip I have is to make sure that your mirror is really, really clean. With the high-definition capabilities of our phones these days, any speck of dust takes away from the clean illusion this photo trick has. Wiping down your glass surfaces with some toner is an easy way to rid of any dirt! 

2. Never trip over your shoelaces again

@jessicawangofficialLacing hack (best for round shoelaces). Great for adults and kids. ##sneakers ##styletips ##fashionhacks ##fyp ##alwayslearning♬ original sound – jessicawangofficial

I abhor retying my shoelaces in public, especially when my hands are full. It’s just all-around awkward, and I always make sure to double knot all my sneakers’ laces. But this becomes frustrating when you need to take off your shoes, and a few weeks down the road, you end up with a loose shoe that no longer fits quite right. That’s why I find this hack an absolute lifesaver for my first-world woes — it’s easy, looks like an intentional fashion choice, and fuss-free. Just note that this only works for round shoelaces, but not so much flat ones. 

3. Create Aesthetic Instagram Stories 

@catbaooInstastory Tips! 💘 ##diy ##instagram ##instagramstory ##editing101 ##fyp ##foryou♬ ROXANNE – Arizona Zervas

With the introduction of Instagram Stories came a whole new space to express your creativity and aesthetic. This hack dishes tricks on how to stand out from the crowd of Snapchat-esque, blurry Stories without downloading any extra apps. An additional tip: the best way to get interesting GIFs is to know the search terms that bring them up. These are my favourites that I frequently type into the search bar: odsanyu, hylianjackie, kapebeans, washi, borders

4. Clean Your Makeup Brushes With Olive Oil

@chrisellelimIf you’re watching this and haven’t cleaned your brushes.. you better do so this week! ##cleaningszn ##quarantine ##quaratinelife ##makeup ##beauty♬ original sound – chrisellelim

As someone who grew up watching Chriselle Lim lay out fashion advice on YouTube, I was understandably excited when I found her TikTok account. I was glad to find that her useful tips haven’t stopped since your YouTube days — she just made them a lot more condensed a la Tiktok. 

This is one of my favourite makeup hacks among her trove of content (which she brands rich mom advice). It is extremely cost-efficient, with just olive oil and dish soap needed, and does not damage my brushes. Such a mixture works as the antibacterial properties of the soap sanitises the brush while the oil conditions its bristles so that they are not dried out.  

5. How to Have Waist-hugging Jeans

@viluongthis hack has changed my life ##lifehack ##diyhack ##hack ##highwaistjeans ##highwaistedjeans ##jeans♬ Opaul – Freddie Dredd

This is one of those “why didn’t I think of that?!” TikTok hacks. For curvier or bottom-heavy girls, I’m sure you can relate — if the jeans fit your bum and thighs perfectly, then you bet the waist will be loose. And sometimes, we just want to forego the belt, be it for fashion sake or because we bolted out of the house and forgot it (or is this a just-me problem?). This is an easy fix that also works as a means to transform your low-waisted jeans into high-waisted ones. 

I immediately tested out this hack after chancing upon it, and while it took a few tries to get it right, it is definitely life-changing. But what I found is that this works best for jeans that are slightly loose around your thighs and baggy around your waist. This trick also sinches in your waist for a more defined waistline. 

6. How to Get Face-framing Hair Without Heat

@apt_of_dereonlearned this trick years ago backstage at a fashion show🤩 ##hairlover ##hairblowout ##hairstyling ##hairtips♬ cant erase – weeping.audios

If there’s a way to avoid using hot tools for my hair, my clumsy (and heat-traumatised) fingers are all for it. As someone with flat hair, this trick is one I would definitely incorporate into my routine once work-from-home lifts. While the amount of hairspray used may be off-putting to some, I personally only need two to three sprays to get it in place. However, that could just be because my locks are thinner than his! 

Also, am I the only one pumped to receive such hair tips from someone that looks like a brown-eyed Jared Leto? 

7. Avoid Awkward Hands in Photos

@imjamiestonehope this helps!! @fashionnova ##alwayslearning ##vibewithme ##fyp ##tips♬ Sexy – JoeVille

We’ve all been there — a photo has a stunning backdrop, our outfit and makeup are on point, the lighting is flawless… And then we see our arms hanging awkwardly by our sides. Unless we are Photoshop masters, it’s hard to do anything with them post-photo taking. Instagram influencer Jamie Stone reveals her own tricks for transforming hanging hands into intentional, chic-looking ones. 

(I secretly did a self-timer photoshoot to test out these tricks, and lo and behold — they actually make my hands look less out of place! Now all I need is to find a TikTok tutorial to learn how to make my expressions more natural and chic…) 

8. Clean Your Strawberries with Saltwater

@colleenewwww i can’t believe this! 🤢♬ original sound – colleensingsstuff

What’s the first thing you do before eating your fruits? For myself, I rinse them with some water or soak them for a bit. But TikTok has proven why such measures are not enough, and that there could be some creepy crawlies nestled in our precious red rubies. After various TikTok users have tried dumping their strawberries in saltwater, the collective discovery of dirt and bugs makes it an undeniable fact. There are nasties in our fresh fruits! 

While experts have said that it is totally fine to be eating them as we have previously done, the idea of insects in your fruits is not so easy to forget. If you are hopping on the saltwater train and will be washing your fruits with it from here on, perhaps rinse them a second time to get rid of the salty taste! 

And that’s it, folks! Eight nifty life hacks I would not have known had I not ventured into the chaotic fun of TikTok. While the primary reason I scroll through TikTok is not to learn something (to be honest, it’s probably for the dry humour that runs through the app), it is definitely an “oooh!” moment when I see one. What TikTok hacks have you seen and tried out yourselves? Let us know in the comments below! 

Sassy, moody, nasty,


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