TikTok: 10 Times It Gave Completely Contradictory Advice

TikTok is no doubt a source of endless inspiration, procrastination material and let’s face it, some pretty bizarre internet trends… but it’s also kind of a confusing place to wile away some scrolling time. 

We can thank TikTok for plenty of fun and (mainly) harmless crazes, from dance routines to strange beauty hacks and lifestyle regimes – but in reality, the app has served up some pretty conflicting advice. There was the ‘that girl’ aesthetic, and then the ‘anti-that girl’ movement; there’s the countless makeup hacks that are constantly contradicting each other – not to mention the various ‘cores’ and ‘eras’ that are on rotation.

Of course, most of us know we can take TikTok with a pinch of salt at the best of times, but we can all be a little guilty of getting sucked in – so it’s useful to step back and take stock of all the contradictory advice we might have found ourselves reading into every now and then. Luckily, life is rarely black and white, so there’s room for nuance between plenty of these…

Be influenced, but don’t be influenced

Anyone that’s a TikTok fan will know that it’s an influencer’s playground, and that you can discover some pretty amazing products through genuine recommendations. From viral powder puffs to nifty Amazon buys, TikTok’s selling power can not be denied – but in doing so, the app’s users have also coined a new trend: de-influencing.

Now, plenty of TikTokers are trying to persuade their followers not to buy the products that are circulating from video to video, in a bid to stop overconsumption. Someone had to.

Pile on the thickest layer of foundation ever… or just dot on a tiny amount of concealer

Avid beauty tokkers will know makeup creator Meredith Duxbury and her very heavy foundation technique very well – essentially, you slather ten pumps of foundation on your face and blend it out with a healthy helping of concealer, contour and bronzer.

Over on the other side of TikTok, there’s the Hailey Bieber-esque ‘clean girl’ aesthetic, which encourages minimal amounts of concealer in place of foundation, so you “never, ever look like you’re wearing too much makeup”.

Be ‘that girl’, but don’t be ‘that girl’

The ‘that girl’ concept dates back to around April 2021, and essentially glamourises a wellness-driven lifestyle. ‘That girl’ gets up at 5am, makes her bed, journals, makes a smoothie and goes to the gym in a matching activewear set – she makes healthy recipes, lights candles and always nails her skincare routine. And she lives in an immaculate and aesthetic home, of course.

The antithesis to that? Not feeling pressure to achieve these standards every day and knowing that it’s okay. Appealing.

Practice intuitive eating… but count your macros

The notion of intuitive eating has become popular on TikTok, encouraging users to have a healthy relationship with food and release the influence of harmful diet culture – but there’s also a popular focus on weight loss and macro counting. Both can have benefits when practiced with care and kindness to yourself, of course.