242 Rules guarantees you’ll have the best look ever. Here's proof it works



Just like parents aren't supposed to have favorites, neither do beauty editors, but across the many categories our jobs cover—from skin care to hair care—we all have our own specific preferences. 

Mine is makeup. Whether it’s minimalism or minimalism, I like to think I know a thing or two about trends and application techniques, but if TikTok has taught me anything, it’s that there’s still a lot to learn. Case in point: the viral 242 makeup rule. 

Scrolling through countless videos (with 21.3 million total views and counting), it's hard to say exactly who created the 242 trend, but beauty enthusiasts like Olivia Allen, Mollie McMullon, and Maha are adamant that her look has never been better It looks better and is more perfect. 

Contrary to the hype, 242 Makeup Rules isn't reinventing the wheel. In fact, this might be the easiest trend I've found in this app: two products for the eyes, four as a base, and two for the lips. 

I know what you're thinking: This isn't groundbreaking. you are right. However, according to TikTok makeup artists and beauty fanatics, it's the perfect formula to create a radiant, natural-looking look in 10 minutes or less. 

"Formula" is the key word here. I welcome a quick, easy, and effective application method that I know will leave me radiant and, more importantly, more alert when I go to bed with my alarm clock blaring. 

While the specific products you choose will depend on your personal preference, 242 Makeup Rules generally follows the same formula: light foundation or skin tone, concealer, bronzer, and blush as base; neutral eyeshadow and mascara on eyes; Lip liner and lip gloss on lips. 

All long-lasting makeup looks start with moisturizer or sunscreen, so I use The Outset Nourishing Squalane Daily Moisturizer (£36) and Garnier Ambre Solaire Super UV Face Fluid SPF50+ (£12). 

This summer, I'm only going for lighter skin tones, but the recently launched MAC Studio Radiance Serum-Powered Foundation (£39) is brilliant (even better than the new Glossier Stretch Fluid Foundation (£34), in my opinion). 

It's so lightweight that I forget I'm even wearing it, but it provides enough coverage and shine—everything I want and need in a foundation. 

How you apply it is up to you, but at a recent makeup masterclass, I watched Kendall Jenner's makeup artist Mary Phillips apply a few pumps of foundation to her inner arms, blending it with a brush , allowing the product to melt into each bristle. 

Then she applied it to her face. I suspect this will give a more believable, seamless effect than pumping the product directly onto your face (the downside is that applying too much can make it look cakey if the blending isn't up to par). 

The next step is concealer. I used Kosas Revealer Super Creamy + Brightening Concealer (£26) in the areas where I wanted more coverage: acne and red spots on the skin caused by the aforementioned breakouts, and the inner corners of my eyes. 

For some TikTok users, it’s common to apply blush and a bit of highlighter on your cheeks, chin, nose, and forehead, but my skin isn’t sun-kissed yet, so I apply it on my cheeks, chin, nose, and forehead Get the Jones Road The Bronzer, £32, and add the Charlotte Tilbury Peachgasm Beauty Light Stick, £30, which is great value. This is my limit of four products.
On my eyes, I used Vieve's Ninetease Eyeshadow Palette (£49) in the shade Phase, but you can also use a bronzer if you prefer. I didn't think the eyelash curler would count towards the limit of two products, so after a quick squeeze of my lashes I picked up the Max Factor Masterpiece 2 In 1 Lash WOW Volume & Length Mascara 001 Black for £12.99. 

Ask any makeup artist and they'll tell you that one of the hottest lip combos right now is MAC's Soar Lip Pencil , which costs £20, with a clear lipgloss in the center. Finally, I drew a line on my lips and used a brush to apply the product to the center of my lips, then applied Rodeptide Lip Treatment Strawberry Glaze (£16).
The 242 rule is very simple, but my makeup instantly looked better. I can't tell exactly; maybe it's the bronzer on top of my blush (the ultimate glow-boosting combo), or maybe it's just that my signature winged eyeliner is a little tired (maybe it even makes my eyes look a little more Small). 

The problem with makeup rule 242, however, is that it doesn't leave much room for creativity. Of course, you can swap out your neutral eyeshadow for a shimmery eyeshadow, or opt for a bold lipstick instead of sheer and shimmery. But all in all, it's very formulaic.
However, this rule is great for makeup beginners and those who prefer natural or no-makeup makeup. Rules are often meant to be broken, but this one is getting clicks, views, and likes for a good reason: It works.
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