How TikTok's freckle beauty hack left a TV star with vision loss and scarring - and $12,000 in doctors fees

·2 min read
Tilly Whitfield sitting cross-legged while on Big Brother Australia.
Australian "Big Brother" contestant Tilly Whitfield wore a clay mask or make-up on the show to cover her skin. YouTube/Big Brother AU
  • An Australian reality TV star may be left with permanent skin damage after trying a TikTok beauty trend.

  • Tilly Whitfield wanted to give herself freckles, but used counterfeit tattoo ink she bought on eBay to achieve the look.

  • She was left left hospitalized with temporary loss of vision, swelling, and sickness.

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Reality TV star Tilly Whitfield, who may have permanently scarred her face in an attempt to give herself temporary freckles, has now shared how she obtained her injuries.

Whitfield told the New York Times she was attempting a beauty trend she spotted on TikTok, which used sewing needles and ink to achieve freckles that would last up to six months.

The video didn't specify what type of ink was used to achieve the look, so Whitfield ordered some brown tattoo ink on eBay, which turned out to be counterfeit and contain high levels of lead.

The 21-year-old, who is a contestant on the current season of Australian "Big Brother," said she was hospitalized with temporary loss of vision, swelling, and sickness after she tried to replicate the "procedure."

Whitfield posted an explanation of the ordeal on Instagram back in May, addressing why she was always wearing make-up or a blue face mask on TV.

She shared photos showing the pigmentation on her face a week before entering the "Big Brother" house.

"This is the result of attempting to remove scarring I inflicted on myself trying to replicate an at home beauty procedure I saw on a tik tok video 2 months before big brother," she said.

"It didn't hurt at all, so I didn't think I should stop," she told the publication.

But the faux freckles never materialized, and Whitfield has spent $12,000 in doctor's fees trying to remedy the damage.

Whitfield used her platform to warn her followers about the dangers of the trend.

"Please please don't try any 'DIY' or 'at home' beauty procedures," Whitfield wrote. "I ended up in hospital with temporary loss of vision in my eye due to swelling and was very sick from the infection, not to mention my face was somewhat unrecognizable."

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