Ah, TikTok fame — something that all strive for, but few will ever grasp. In 2021, it’s fair to say that brands across the board have come to understand the power of a viral moment on TikTok. From multinational corporations to new kids on the block, a product going viral on TikTok means global reach, free publicity and often waitlists for sold out products.
As we wrap up the year, here are the winning “TikTok Made Me Buy It” products from 2021.
Makeup: Maybelline Sky High Mascara
It’s hard to talk about products that sold out because of TikTok without mentioning the Maybelline Sky High Mascara. Demand for this mascara soared after a TikTok posted by @jessica.eid trying out the product went viral in January. What followed could only be described as cult popularity, as makeup lovers on TikTok flocked to buy the mascara and film their own reviews. The hashtag #skyhighmascara currently has over 440.7 million views, and the mascara has sold out four times in the US, each time in only two weeks. Behold, the power of TikTok.
Skincare: Glow Recipe Watermelon Dew Drops
TikTok has done wonders for skincare brands as well. With skincare and skin health information more accessible than ever before, combined with a pandemic leaving more time for self care and downtime, the skincare era is well and truly thriving. While Cerave may have taken the cake for 2020, this year, the frontrunner for a viral skincare product has to be the Glow Recipe Watermelon Dew Drops. Containing niacinamide and hyaluronic acid, this serum impressed skincare junkies with its dewy finish, and received rave reviews on TikTok.
Haircare: Dyson Airwrap
The Revlon One-Step brush took the prize last year, but this year the tides have changed in favour of the Dyson Airwrap to achieve the same trending 90s blow-out. In the days following Christmas, it was hard to come by a “What I Got For Christmas” video that didn’t include this fan favourite. And what’s the point in owning a viral product if not to make TikToks with, right? This glam hair tool has been featured in plenty of tutorials, reviews and GRWM videos on TikTok as users show others how to style their luscious locks.
Fashion: Skims Soft Lounge Long Slip Dress
We know that Kim Kardashian has the Midas touch (or should we say, Kris Jenner does). But even the most strategic marketer has nothing on the elusive TikTok algorithm, which seems to pick its favourites as it pleases. As fate would have it, the Skims Soft Lounge Long Slip Dress became the must-have but sold-out clothing item of 2021, thanks to TikTok. It’s form-fitting and buttery soft material seemed to flatter all shapes and sizes, with women rushing to film a try-on video for TikTok once they got their hands on one.
Home: Sunset Lamp
With much of the year spent at home, trust TikTok to suggest the perfect lighting solution to get those golden hour snaps. As the generation that became known for decorating our rooms with multi-colour LEDs and galaxy lights, are we really surprised we ate this one up too?
Book: It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover
You know a book has gone viral when even Kylie Jenner posts about it. As life has slowed down since the COVID-19 pandemic, many people have reclaimed the simple pleasures of sitting down and reading a book. But not without the influence of TikTok, of course. As I discovered this year, books can be trending as well, and the book I could not get away from on TikTok was none other than Colleen Hoover’s heartbreaking romance novel, ‘It Ends With Us’.
Food: Emily Mariko’s Salmon Rice Bowl
Finally, while not a product per se, Emily Mariko’s salmon rice bowl was surely responsible for an increase in Omega 3 intake among teens and 20 somethings this year. Her original video in all its aesthetic and ASMR glory was truly a cultural reset, having a stronghold on the FYP for a solid month…which we know is no mean feat. It inspired countless others to recreate the recipe, with largely positive reviews. We’re all still wondering how the ice cube doesn’t melt.
Which of these viral products have you tried? And which ones do you think we will see in the new year?