Blame TikTok’s latest unhinged hack on Netflix’s explosively popular Wednesday series, where the titular character Wednesday Addams, played by Jenna Ortega, wears a gothy deep purple stain on her lips throughout the first season. That specific color, a light wash of black and purple that manages to be both impactful and subtle, was what led me to dip my mascara brush into clear lip gloss for the perfect black cherry color.
Yes, you read that right—the latest unconventional beauty technique to hit the video platform is a mascara and lip gloss combination that promises to give your lips a unique, but still wearable and subtle hint of deep color whether you’re wearing it solo or applying it on top of your favorite lip colors. Ahead, everything you need to know about the trick, plus my honest review.
TikTok creators discovered that when you combine a basic black mascara with an equally simple clear gloss, it turns into a flattering dark (but not overwhelming) purple-berry color that works on its own, layered with liner or paired with lipstick. If you’re a lip gloss aficionado, chances are you probably have a few tubes of clear gloss laying around waiting for their moment in the spotlight—could this unexpected concoction be it? The lip gloss mascara hack has millions upon millions of impressions on TikTok, leading us to believe that this hack does indeed have legs.
(Or is it lips?)
The magic of the pairing is that it works on a few levels. One of the first creators to share the hack, user @molchanovamua, applied their concoction over lipstick; her video currently has more than 4 million impressions.
Others have tried it on bare lips; still others prep with a nude liner that matches their natural lip color, which adds yet another layer of color and texture to the gloss. TikToker Tyler Schmitt applied it over a pink gloss for a gorgeous custom effect. It’s easy to tweak the viral formula for something that suits your lip color preferences.
Not all creators have fallen for their shade, though; one found her combination a bit too pigmented for her liking, while @katiehub.org called it a “trend that should be outlawed” though she didn’t end up totally hating the look. Even Julia Fox weighed in, letting users know you can get a similar effect with her favorite lip gloss, the Isamaya Beauty Lip Lacq Maximizing Lip Serum ($38).
As a certified Red Lipstick Girl, I don’t often wear gloss—but I did have a fresh new tube of Victoria Beckham’s Posh Gloss ($28) in Ice burning a hole in my beauty drawer. I took a deep breath and plunged the wand of my Rare Beauty mascara in the gloss, swirled it around once and hoped for the best as the crystalline liquid turned black. Obviously, for sanitary reasons I had to toss the mascara afterward, so be sure you’re using a product you’re almost done with and not a fresh tube! (Thank you for your service, mascara.)
For my first attempt, I skipped the lip liner and applied the gloss to my bare lips. At first I thought, “Oh God, what have I done to that expensive lip gloss!” But as time wore on, the black cherry color grew on me, and the luxe formula of the Posh Gloss didn’t hurt, either. (If you’re looking for a splurge-worthy lip gloss that lasts and doesn’t feel sticky or messy, this is your sign to buy Posh Gloss.) On me, the color looks like a slightly darker version of Clinique’s viral Black Honey Almost Lipstick, albeit more black than purple.
After the initial test run, I tried the hack with liner, lining my lips with a neutral pencil before slicking on the black gloss. This gave me a maple brown color that I was way into, much to my surprise.
While it may be a little scary to stab your favorite lip gloss with a mascara brush and turn it completely black, it’s a fun way to mix up your lip looks and pretend you’re a cosmetic chemist.