During the era of teenage magazines, it’s not a sweeping statement to admit we got all our information on beauty, fashion and relationships from a handful of journalists who professed to know everything there was to know about growing up. If they told us to wear two belts, we’d give it a go; if they told us to mash up the contents of your mum’s fruit basket and put it on your head, we’d do it; if they told us that wearing lip liner two shades darker than your lipstick was cool, we’d believe them.
Those were the days before digital media meant that the answer to any question or dilemma was at the click of a button, so dodgy advice and questionable recommendations were ten a penny. The kids of today may have perfected their Insta Brow or know how to conduct a ten step skincare regime before they’re even old enough to earn their own money, but they will never know the joys of beauty advice that left you wondering where it all went wrong!
This week I saw a thread pop up on Twitter, and it got me thinking (in cliched Carrie Bradshaw style,) what’s the worst piece of advice I’ve ever been given when it comes to beauty? It may have been to use Sun-In on my brunette hair (gawd love a ginger 90’s me,) or to use a gradual tan when they still smelled like a McVities factory (I’ll never forget my boss saying across the room ‘something really smells of burnt biscuits…’)
It could’ve been to cover myself in Veet (the burn downstairs lasted for days,) or to even to steam my face with hot water and Tea Tree Oil to reduce pimples (it reduced nothing but my vision and sense of smell, truth be told.) Suffice to say we’ve all made our own mistakes along the way, but they certainly make for funny anecdotes in retrospect.
So I asked you guys: what’s the worst piece of beauty advice you’ve ever been given?
And boy, did you deliver!
Briony: “Wrap your body in cling film overnight to sweat out toxins and lose weight.”
Chloe: Wear white eyeshadow over your lids and up to your brows…
It was very trendy in the 90s but with hindsight it was HIDEOUS.”
Laura: “Hairspray on my face to make my makeup last on a night out. To be fair it worked…!”
John: “The original Nivea Blue creme as a daily face cream.
I want to try it but my skin is more scared than me.”
Roxie: “When I was a teen my skincare routine involved vigorously scrubbing my face with the St Ives scrub every morning and night followed by a stingy Clearasil pad. I used to think if it burned it was working.”
Nicky: “Put conditioner on then shampoo so reverse order.
I told my hairdresser I was doing this and she was like WHAT?”
Joanne: “Talcum powder makes a great dry shampoo when your hair is greasy.
Nope – it just leaves white lumpy goo amongst the grease.”
Much: “White eyeliner to make your eyes look bigger.
It just makes you look like you haven’t slept for a week.”
Holly: “Remember when everyone used Nivea Post Shave Balm as primer and then it turned out it was terrible for the skin?”
Angie: “Pluck your eyebrows super thin!”
Gail: “Spray lemon juice on your highlights to make them more blonde. (Suprise, it doesn’t work.)”
Bee: “Egg yolk as hair conditioner. It cooks when you rinse.”
Aly: “Nose pore strips – great if you want to have broken spider veins.”
Kristie: “Sudocrem to heal anything on your face overnight!”
Lorna: “Anyone else heard about using haemorrhoid cream for your eye bags?
I’ve not done it but been told it’s miraculous.”
Saba: “To wear black eyeshadow on the areas where you have less hair.”
Fong: “Bovril as fake tan.”
All: “Lie out in the sun as much as possible – without SPF – to get rid of acne.”
JJ: “Baby oil as conditioner. Took about 2 decades to wash out.”
Kay: “Tomato sauce to help remove green tinge from blonde hair if it’s mixed with chlorine.”
Nina: “Mixing an egg with a mashed banana makes a good conditioning hair mask. Might have been alright if you gave it a thorough go in the blender but it didn’t say that so I got loads of small banana chunks stuck in my wet tangled hair.”
Mackenzie: “Put coconut oil in my hair. It was greasy for dayzzzzzz.”
Katie: “Using bicarb as a shampoo alternative. My hair snapped near the roots and started falling out.”
I’m not ashamed to admit I’ve tried A LOT of these over the years, and made many more mistakes along the way. But part of growing up is experimenting, being creative and enjoying your beauty regime – even if it is made up of tomato sauce and banana mask combo.
So tell me, what’s the worst piece of beauty advice YOU’VE ever been given?