Be honest: you have been tempted at least once to purchase a trending beauty product that has been flooding your TikTok For You Page. Influencers talk about how much they love the product and claim that it has become a staple in their lives. But is the product all that they claim? Villanova students have been interviewed and asked to rate products to get a campus-wide consensus on some recently trending items.
Arguably the most popular hair styling tool of the past few years has been the Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer and Volumizer. It is most commonly praised for its convenience as a blow dryer and brush all-in-one. Some users also rave that their blowouts look similar to those done at a hair salon. The product ranges from $40-50 and is sold at Ulta, Bed Bath and Beyond, Amazon, Walmart and most other beauty retailers. Various students shared their opinions on the product and seemed to bring up negative aspects of it that are not mentioned on TikTok and other platforms.
“My hair looks amazing when I use it to blow dry my hair, but I feel that it is really damaging my hair,” freshman Olivia Morin said. “It is great to use every once in a while for an easy blow out look, but I would not use it every day.”
While it can be used for styling and curling, some students, like freshman Olivia Bernheisel, just use it as a drying tool.
“It does a good job of drying my hair but does not leave my hair with any curl,” Bernheisel said.
Others, like freshman Caroline Mondelli, love the product and did not bring up any initial concerns.
“It makes you feel like you went to the hair salon, and it does not take long to use,” Mondelli said.
The blow dryer’s reviews seem to depend on the user’s hair type and what they use it for. If one is just looking for a blow drying alternative, this product may work better than if one is interested in styling benefits. Its convenience, time efficiency and price seemed to trump the damaging concerns, leaving the Revlon One Step Hair Dryer and Volumizer with an average rating of 7.5/10 among the 18 students asked.
Villanova students come from many different backgrounds, but the one thing that seems to unite all female students is the use of hair claw clips. Trending on TikTok and on social media in general, these clips are adored for their low price and convenience. The most popular place to purchase them from is Amazon, where almost all are under $10 and come in packs with multiple colors. The overwhelming majority of students interviewed shared positive feedback, but similar to the blow dryer, the individual’s hair type affected their response.
“I wear them every day. They are so cute,” freshman Emma Caesar said. “They make it so easy to throw my hair up when I do not have time to do it.”
Freshman Maria Fair agrees with the fashion aspect of the clips but does not find them useful for her own hair.
“They are super cute but never hold up my hair,” Fair said.
These clips’ effectiveness seem to depend on the thickness of individuals’ hair. However, all students seem to agree that these clips are a very stylish add-on to an outfit and an easy way to fix a bad hair day. These clips were rated an average review of 8.7/10 out of the 17 students asked.
TikTok user Skincare by Hyram gained popularity over quarantine for his skincare review videos as well as his introduction of a skincare routine that countless individuals quickly adopted. The main brand included in this regime was CeraVe, a relatively inexpensive brand known for its simple and gentle products. Villanova students had mixed reviews on the cleanser and moisturizer.
“I have used it, but I have switched my skincare routine to Versed, a brand carried at Target,” freshman Emily Amirata said.
Freshman Sophia Warner makes an interesting point about the brand and a possible marketing strategy it may be using.
“Its job is to be average,” Warner said. “It never does too much or too little. It is basic on purpose, I think. It might be marketing towards the ‘simple lifestyle’ movement.”
Another student has quite a different opinion on the product.
“I have acne-prone skin but it keeps it clear,” an anonymous freshman said. “I still get occasional acne, but nothing like the breakouts I experienced before using it.”
CeraVe’s products do not seem to necessarily be bad for one’s skin, just simple. If searching for a gentle and basic skin care routine, this seems like it would be a worthwhile purchase. The 16 students interviewed rated the cleanser and moisturizer CeraVe a 6.1/10.
Although it just became popular over the past few months, the gua sha facial tool has been around for more than 700 years. It is an East Asian medicine practice that can be used on all parts of the body to circulate blood flow and reduce pain. Influencers on TikTok advertise it mostly through use on the face to accentuate their jawline and promote lymphatic drainage. This tool is typically made of jade or rose quartz and can be purchased from Amazon, Sephora, CVS and most other beauty retailers for $10-20. Among all the students interviewed, none of them shared any discontent with the product.
“I like it because there is concrete evidence that it works,” Warner said. “You can see the results and it really wakes up my face.”
Freshman Caroline Casey raves about her gua sha as well.
“I love my gua sha because it helps as a stress reliever at the end of a long day and it works,” Casey said. “I have seen good results in my facial structure.”
While a smaller number of students actually use a gua sha and were able to rate it, its average rating was a 8/10 among the six people asked. If one is looking for a DIY face lift, be sure to purchase this tool and implement it into a self-care routine.
These student responses have demonstrated how reviews can vary based on the person using the product. It seems like these trending products do have a reason to be trending, but there are flaws that are not advertised by the influencers on TikTok. So, as you get lost for hours on TikTok flooding in trends, be sure to ask friends and read reviews before making any impulsive purchases.