1. Visiting a super dodgy salon
I was killing time in a shoddy part of town and I thought it would be a good idea to go and get a facial. Before I knew it I was lying back on a stretcher while two Chinese women hacked at my face with silver pore extracting tools and every five minutes one would stand back and admire her handiwork “Movie Staaaaaaar” she smiled. I left feeling much less than one. Did I mention the dog? There was a fucking hairless pooch darting in and out of the ‘treatment room’ the entire time. Lovely.
2. Eyebrow threading
Again, another impulse beauty treatment, this time at a market stall. For girls who like to keep their eyebrows thick, I’m sure you can agree that there are about three beauticians in the world who can do them right for you. Girlfriend went to town on my brows amidst my whimpers of “Big. Pleeeeeease keep them big”. For six dollars the Brazilian gave me a Brazilian on my face leaving me with a terrible case of the ‘Happy Brows’ for an entire summer.
This is basically peroxide in a bottle that you spray in your hair before you go tanning (yes, these atrocities go hand in hand) and it has been around since the 70’s. The sun and the bleach lightens your hair but if you’re a brunette, it only comes good after three shades of orange and five hours of sun. The Sun-In Color Matrix LIED PEOPLE. It also dries your hair out horrifically. Super nasty stuff.
I’d run out of facial cleanser and restored to using my roommate’s Proactive and it did a number on my skin. Years later, a Dermatologist told me that the product had upset my skin’s natural PH level. Forever. Lesson: do not under any circumstances use Proactive if you don’t already have skin issues.
5. The Natural hair treatment
Pretty sure I missed an important ingredient in my ‘DIY Hair Mask’ when I smooshed a big ‘ole bananain to my head. For days my then-boyfriend dubbed me ‘Fruitfly’ as I pulled white chunks from my scalp.
Firstly, in Australia (where I live) we have a hole in the ozone layer the size of Antarctica. We do not need to seek out sunlight. Secondly, skin cancer is the number one killer in my country. Thirdly, my skin is the tone of Nicole Kidman’s butt in winter. Most people handle the sun much better than I and shudder at the thought that I’ve forked out for permanent skin damage.
7. Hair ironing
During high school flat-ironed hair was THE SHIZ, but unfortunately the trend arrived well before GHDs did. My girlfriends and I went took to our tresses with household irons, bareback mind you, almost daily. I can still hear the sizzle of my cuticles crying out. We’d then all sit up the back of Biology and pick out our dead hair. I’m not proud of that time in my life.
8. Going blonde
Even when it’s done professionally, some people can and some people can’t. I can’t. Just no.
9. The ham diet
I screwed up my first online food order massively, and as a result I had a month’s supply of prepackaged sandwich ham. Thinking ‘protein is protein’ and it was probably good for my diet, I snacked on ham every day and I gained four pounds that week. Perplexed, I told my roommates who basically staged a Ham-tervention, reeducating me on the food pyramid and supervising my online ordering from then on.
10. Honorable mentions
Heating eyeliner only to burn one’s eyelids and any attempt at waxing one’s own junk.