We’ve reached a point in history where we can have anything we want. If you can think of it, someone is out there creating the next best anything that will make your life infinitely better. Beauty tips and tricks certainly don’t fall outside of that realm. Women have been doing absolutely crazy things throughout the ages to achieve the perfect look, and despite all our technological and social advances, the only thing that seems to have really changed is the absence of heavy metals in our lipstick and foundation. I’m a strong believer in doing things that make you feel good. If that means wearing makeup 24/7, sleeping like a corpse to avoid creasing your freshly painted nails, or filling in your eyebrows with a sharpie and telling yourself you woke up like that, then get down with your bad self, but let’s at least collectively nod our heads at how insane these practices are while we participate in them.
Shellac manicures are arguably one of the cheapest, most accessible, and painless beautification processes available. This stuff is great because, compared to your standard manicure, it lasts for a good 2-3 weeks, and a quick walk around the city will prove that you can easily get shellac done for a measly $20. On top of that you get to watch your nails grow to lengths you never thought your stubby fingers could achieve. Unfortunately, when your nails do chip, and they will my friend, you have to go back and pay to soak your hands in a nice long acetone bath. Acetone, AKA paint thinner, superglue remover, and a heavy duty degreaser. After soaking, they scrape off the flaking varnish, pulling away portions of your nail, and then they file everything down. By the end you’re left with thin, sad nails that actually require the support of the Shellac to maintain their length. You can either say goodbye to the nails you so lovingly watched grow and start over on your own, or you can continue to feed your need for pretty things and slap another coat on, because let’s face it, feeling like a hand model for two or more weeks may actually be worth it.
Waxing isn’t new. These days, if you’ve got a hair on any surface of your body, some brave individual is willing to remove it for you. God bless those wax magicians, but please admit how crazy it is that you are willing to pay someone upwards of $40 to inflict pain on you, and many times, on the most private and delicate areas of your body. Go to the wrong place and you can look forward to bleeding, bruising, and possible burning. You probably don’t want your leg or even your face burnt with hot wax, but you definitely don’t want some stranger burning your downstairs. For the benefit of smooth/razor burn-free body parts, you only have to toss in some cash and give someone permission to pull as many strands of hair from your body at one time. Shaving and tweezing is so 2003.
Eyelashes have become a bit of an obsession over the past few years. Though the length and fullness of your lashes are undoubtedly under appreciated by many of the people around you, it doesn’t stop women from wanting the longest, fullest eyelashes, and the knee-buckling feeling of joy when anyone offers you an off-hand lash compliment. If your looking for award winning eyelid hairs, you’ve got a few options. Of course, a variety of eyelash extensions are available, but if the price is too steep (anywhere from $90-$200), you could opt for a simple eyelash perm for semi-permanently curled lashes. Never mind the fact that you could get an eye infection from the chemicals involved in a perm, or actually have your eyelashes fall out if you go to the wrong place for either procedure. If salons aren’t your thing, you can try out a few home-growth serums. Generally, the effectiveness of a lash growth serum directly relates to the amount you are willing to spend on it, and, spoiler alert, if you decide to stop using, your eyelashes will go back to their natural state. Latisse is possibly the most famous and effective growth serum. If you ignore the potential for random hair growth, darkening eyelids, and becoming a brown eyed girl (yes, it might actually change your eye colour to brown), the $120 price tag seems completely reasonable and 100% worth it.
Though these procedures may not be as extreme as foot binding, or 19th century corsets, it’s still wild that we are willing to spend our money on these now commonplace, and sometimes dangerous, procedures. Beauty may not always be pain, as the saying goes, but it certainly seems to come with a price tag, the help of a professional, and with waves of disappointment. If you are going to participate, at least do your homework before you let any so-called “professional” come at you.