1. Using a tanning bed
The summer I was twenty-five my sister got married. I was told to use a sunless tanning bed because I have a naturally pale complexion and I looked ghostly in my black bridesmaid dress. I tanned during the whole summer leading up to the wedding and even a few times after. I found tanning to be a weird process (What? Lay naked on the glass where someone else’s naked butt was?!) but by the end, I was hooked on it. Don’t get me wrong, I knew how bad it was for me, but it felt good. I’ve read how people with Seasonal Affective Disorder tan or use a special light as a treatment and I understand why.
2. Not using sunscreen or enough sunscreen
This kind of goes hand in hand with #1. Now that I am older I am definitely seeing the results of sun damage. One summer I went to Cancun and within thirty minutes of being in the water, I had the worst sunburn of my life. As kids, my sister and I would spend hours at the swimming pool daily each summer. I can think of plenty of other times when I didn’t wear sunscreen or didn’t reapply when I should have. Now I wear makeup with SPF in it and often wear a hat when taking a walk outside, as well as making sure to apply and reapply sunscreen when spending time outdoors.
3. Having my eyebrows waxed
When I was eighteen my best friend’s sister had just graduated from beauty school and was home working on her sisters and taking photos for her portfolio. She offered to wax my brows and I let her. Boy, was that a big mistake. Forever after I have had a bald spot in the middle of both eyebrows and I have had to use a pencil or powder to fill them in since because I look totally weird if I don’t.
4. Boy haircut
In elementary school, I went from rocking a mullet and a permullet to a short boy-like cut. I kept a short cut until I decided to grow it longer my sophomore year in high school. I soon found out that long(er) hair requires effort and time. I was not willing to give up being able to roll out of bed at 6:30 a.m. to catch the 6:50 a.m. bus to school… that and one morning (while late for the bus) I got a round brush stuck in my hair and had to cut it out. After that, I had long hair until college.
Now I look back at old photos and wonder Why in the hell did I get my hair cut like that? I’m sure it didn’t help my (lack of) popularity, either.
5. Uggo glasses
I was lucky enough to get glasses in the first grade and endured a lot of teasing due to them. Since then I have had many incarnations of horrible spectacles. Once I was able to choose my own it was slightly better, but that still doesn’t explain the pair I wore in high school with itty bitty lenses. According to my mom, those were the style, but I think she has a long history of making me look like a dork.
6. Cotton candy perfume
In high school, I pretty solidly wore Charlie perfume. On one trip to Wal-Mart, I remember spending my babysitting money on a cheap silver canned spray that smelled sickeningly sweet like cotton candy. I’m not sure why I found that scent so attractive but I remember just dousing myself in it.
7. White eyeshadow
I think this faux pas started because I had seen it in Seventeen or YA magazine and thought it looked really cool on the models. Unfortunately, as some old photos show, that coolness did not translate to me.
8. Gold marker polish
One time at camp another girl had a metallic gold Sharpie. We wrote all over everything with it, then had the brilliant idea to use it on our nails like nail polish. Bad idea. After a swim in the pool, the chlorine in the water turned it from a shiny metallic gold to a matte greenish-black. We didn’t have any nail polish remover and all week long everyone asked what we did to our fingers.
9. Shaving without shaving cream
I was allowed to start shaving my legs in the spring of my 6th grade year. My mom bought me a bag of disposable razors and a can of shaving cream but neglected to provide any instruction. That summer at camp I realized that I had forgotten to pack my shaving cream. I needed to shave because we were going to go swimming the next day. I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me that I should use soap in the shower at the very least, but it didn’t, and I shaved my legs while they were dry. Besides cutting the crap out of my legs with the cheap disposable razors, I had horrible razor burn. It looked terrible and felt even worse in the pool and lake.
10. Dying my hair black
In my sophomore year of high school, I decided to be rebellious and dye my hair, without permission or assistance from my mother. As soon as I did it I knew it was a mistake. The black color was too dark and starkly contrasted against my skin. I went to school the next day and played dumb, denying that I had done anything to my hair, although it was painfully obvious. Luckily, I had chosen a semi-permanent formula that soon washed out.
What would you say are your top beauty mistakes?