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June 19, 2013 at 8:00 AMComments: 2 Faves: 0

Achieving Beauty: Great Lengths, Great Pains

By Claire Franklin More Blogs by This AuthorFrom the Looking Good Blog Series

Great Lengths

The need to be beautiful is rooted pretty deeply in most females. I remember being in middle school and standing before the mirror in my bedroom for lengthy periods of time, trying desperately to coerce my hair into some semblance of a style. I wanted so desperately to be pretty, and even today, I still long for this same quality.

Having said that, I’ll admit I’ve gone to great lengths to achieve that desired level of beauty. Now I look back on the things I’ve done only to realize the error of my ways. The acrylic nails, for instance, that yellowed when I tanned. They looked really bad after a while and even ruined my real nails. At the time, I thought they were well worth the $50 it cost to have them applied, but I could have just grown out my own nails and saved the money and the trouble.

Back to tanning for a brief moment. I began this ritual when I was just 17-years old and thought I couldn’t live another day without having a soft, golden hue to my skin. Since then, I have spent countless dollars on tanning, and, while I love the way it makes me look, I cannot believe I willfully step into a bed or booth that constantly contributes to my risk of developing cancer. What kind of moron am I? Thankfully, I only tan during the summer now, but is risking my life really worth the beauty associated with a tan?

As long as I’m talking about stupid beauty practices, I'd like to touch on shaving. I know that, in our society, women who don’t remove the hair under their arms and over their legs are considered Neanderthals, but the time involved with repeatedly shaving the same areas just seems wasteful. Moreover, I absolutely cannot justify the cost of razors; I’m up to about $15 for a pack of eight, and that's relatively cheap compared to some other brands! I can only get about two good uses out of each razor (I shave in the shower), so it takes no time at all to expend an entire pack. As for shaving cream, I stopped buying it years ago. Each cream smells terrific, but I’ve found that my Dove soap works just as well for softening the hair, and it helps cut back on expenses.

Great Pains

Another hair removal practice that needs to be banned is plucking. Every time I pluck my eyebrows, my skin turns bright red and swells to the point of pain. I hate those little stray hairs that dash any hopes of my having smooth and silky eyebrows, but I simply cannot endure the misery that plucking brings. So, as a reflection of my truly lazy self, I now take a battery-operated hair remover and use that to essentially shave the hairs. The effect isn’t quite the same, but at least I stave off the swollen skin.

Last but not least, I’m still trying to figure out why I ever used an eyelash curler. Today, the mere sight of one literally frightens me. I can’t tell you how many Friday nights, just before leaving for a sharp night on the town, I curled my lashes in the expectation it would make me look more glamorous. The desired effect was never achieved; all I really succeeded in doing was creating a sense of panic that now ensues each time anything comes near my eyes. I don’t even like eyeshadow at this point, although I am pretty fanatical about mascara.

What was the point of this diatribe? Only to highlight the stupid measures many females – including myself – take to be beautiful. This quest seems to rules our lives, and I think it’s high time we learned to embrace our natural selves.

What did you think?


Next:July Beauty ReviewPreviously:June Beauty Review

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  • Great points, I agree entirely. I used to tan in the summer to prepare for my trip to Florida, with my parents. But then one year I just stopped doing it. I started applying more sunscreen, and I feel safer in my skin. I dislike the idea of tanning now, and I don't want to face cancer because of it. I also pluck my eyebrows, and try to remove stray hairs that only I notice and no one else does. I feel self conscious about it, and it hurts too. But the pain is worth it, I guess. I relate to the pains it takes to be beautiful. Or what my brain thinks is beautiful.

    I personally wonder how I wake up every morning and do it. It's tiring.

  • I've been cutting back on the essentials of my beauty routine over the years to just basic essentials. Lipstick and eyeliner (and sometimes not even eyeliner) and that's it. I like looking the same with and without makeup (it feels more honest to me I guess). For razors I recommend a Venus embrace. I store the blades in baby oil and it hasn't lost its sharpness (I've had this particular blade for almost 4 months). I buy dollar store shave cream and honestly it's better and lasts longer than the name brand stuff at the drug store!

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