When it comes to success on TikTok, it can often feel as though the algorithm works with no real rhyme or reason. After all, why does one mascara unboxing receive millions of views when your cat meowing perfectly on-beat to a Taylor Swift song all but flops?
It’s often the app’s unpredictability that keeps us scratching our heads, losing our minds and inevitably coming back for more.
For a clever and clued-in few, TikTok has helped build entire careers, with some users proudly shifting from a side hustle in content creation to a full-time job. So what is it they know that we don’t?
Well, with a collective 433k followers between the five TikTokers we spoke to, it turns out a fair bit.
From lipsticks to lighting conditions, below they share their filming day must-haves and tips for producing viral-worthy content.
Peyton Smith - @misspeytonsmith 88.6k followers
Peyton’s filming day must-haves:
1. Natural sunlight
“Natural sunlight is essential for me to capture content. As we know, Sydney weather can be unpredictable at the best of times but I find using natural light gives my content such a beautiful, soft finish — artificial light simply can’t replicate the beautiful finish the sun gives you.
I execute this by placing my desk or tripod against the window, ensuring I do so between the hours of 8am-11am as I find this is when my office has the best light."
2. An older iPhone model
“I also use my iPhone 11 [instead of] my 13 as I feel that I prefer the back-facing camera quality on this!”
Adele Maree - @adelemaree 220.9k followers
Adele’s filming day must-haves:
1. But first, coffee
“My NESCAFÉ Vanilla Latte”
2. Camera-friendly makeup
“My favourite foundation right now is the Estee Lauder Double Wear Sheer Long-Wear Makeup SPF 20 ($68 at Adore Beauty). It shows up beautifully in [both] natural light and a ring light.
My favourite lipgloss from Hourglass [is also essential]. [It’s the Unreal High Shine Volumizing Lip Gloss in the shade ‘Child’ ($53 at MECCA)”
3. Cooperative technology
“A fully-charged phone on this small and compact stand is perfect for filming a TikTok”
Adele uses the Simpeak Tablet Stand Foldable Phone Holder ($18.80 at Amazon).
Gemma Watts - @gemkwatts 43.4k followers
Gemma’s filming day must-haves:
1. Some light and a place to lean
“Honestly, nothing but a decent windowsill. I always shoot in natural light, whether it’s for a photography job or a TikTok, so I really just need a windowsill to prop my phone up and a bit of daylight and I’m set.”
“I bought one of those great Alix Earle Amazon lights, which I anticipate will come in handy in notoriously-poorly-lit hotel bathrooms, but I’m yet to require it.”
Newmowa 60 LED High Power Rechargeable Clip Fill Video Light ($35.90 at Amazon)
Katherine Denton - @katherinedenton 79.8k followers
Katherine’s filming day must-haves:
1. Win the morning
“If I know I have a busy day of filming ahead of me, I always like to start my day early and get a workout in. This just helps to clear my mind before a non-stop day! Post this, I always like to walk to my local coffee shop and get an oat cap before it all begins.”
2. Geared up
“[I use] my compact rectangular light (which I attach to my iPhone) when filming and a tripod”
3. A flawless base
Erborian CC Red Correct ($39.17 at Care To Beauty) — “I apply this all over my face and usually wear this on its own.”
Summer Fridays Sheer Skin Tint ($70 at MECCA) — “If I want a little more coverage I go in with this. [It’s] absolutely heaven and my current go-to to replace a foundation.”
Charlotte Tilbury Beautiful Skin Radiant Concealer ($49 at Charlotte Tilbury) — “For under my eyes.”
NARS Pot Concealer ($49 at MECCA) — “If I have any spots”.
The Westman Atelier Face Trace Contour Stick in ‘Truffle’ ($80 at MECCA)— “To give my face some extra definition.”
The Rare Beauty Positive Light Silky Touch Highlighter in ‘Exhilarate’ ($44 at Sephora) — “To pretend I have a glow!”
Patrick Ta’s Major Headlines Double-Take Creme and Powder Blush in ‘She’s a doll’ ($55 at Sephora). “This makes me look alive!”
4. Mane event
“As for my hair, I either like to have it freshly blow-waved or in a slicked-back pony.”
Ruby is BEAUTYcrew's Beauty Editor. She is the CEO of nine global corporations. Just kidding. She does however, report on the latest beauty trends, celeb skin care lines (the wonderful, the so-so and the downright unnecessary). If you're ever at a lull in conversation with her, be sure to mention anything hormonal acne or Real Housewives and you'll be set for hours.