Leave Well-Enough Alone
“Are you kidding me?” my younger sister yelled after checking out the silver dollar-sized burn to my chin. I raced to the guest bathroom, flipping on the light switch and praying that the damage to my skin in no way paralleled my sister’s outburst. Staring back at me was I sight I will never forget. The burn on my chin, red as a raging mad man, was the result of a beautification technique. What was to be an hour of pampering my face – which included steaming and a facial with a massage – became nothing short of a freaking nightmare! Plain and simple, with a dark towel draped over my head, I lowered my face towards the rising steam (that was meant to cleanse my clogged and disgusting facial pores), and I accidentally stuck my chin into the boiling water in the glass dish. Panic rose up in my throat, and I struggled with what very few words were trying to escape my lips. Within minutes, my sister was on the phone trying to figure out what I should do, while I stood facing the mirror and sobbed uncontrollably. I couldn’t believe that such a simple beauty treatment could have gone so wrong. I, eventually, saw a skin doc that day and was treated for third degree facial burns. It took weeks for my chin to heal and for tender pink skin (a sign of healing) to finally appear. I have never steamed my face ever since that unforgettable mishap, as you probably can guess, and live with a chin scar that seems to be fading with time, but is still a warning to me to keep vanity in perspective . . . and boiling water away from the face.
And then there was the time when I bought an eyelash curler to give my somewhat straight lashes a lift. My husband and I were getting ready for a very important dinner with one of his business associates and the man’s wife. I worked long hours that day, racing home to shower and change for the semi-formal evening. I wanted to look the part of the “stunning wife” – hee hee. I was just applying my mascara when I heard my husband from the other room say, in his usual tender and loving voice, to “Get-‘er-done!” Being an early bird, he prided himself on his punctuality and wanted me to hurry it up so we could be on our way. My mascara, brushed on my eyelashes in hurried sweeps, was obviously too wet, making my eyelashes not ready for the finished curling touch. I grabbed for the eyelash curler, framed it around my right eye, with the lashes in place to gain a soft curved shape. Squeeze . . . release. Pain shot through my upper eyelid. I quickly looked into the mirror first and then to the eyelash curler that was still in my right hand. A cemented row of at least twenty eyelashes or more – a black fringe that should have rightfully been mine and mine alone – looked back at me! I had just pulled an entire row of eyelashes out of my right eyelid with one swift move! The eyelid’s sudden nakedness was just too much for me to take. Of course the water works began shortly after my husband said, “You don’t need to try so hard.” Are you kidding me? I could hear my sister’s voice in my head loud and clear, once again. Yes, I know this was probably caused by me hurrying myself along, but it felt like one more beauty faux pas. Ugh! I made it uncomfortably through the dinner that evening, but felt a certain shame – like I had intentionally plucked my eyelashes out one by one. It took literally weeks (a true embarrassment) for my eyelashes to grow back. Hence, my new eyelash curler met with an early death the very next day.
What is it with me and trying to stay youthful and up-to-date? I am unlucky when it comes to beautifying me. Sometimes I should just leave well-enough alone. If these were the only two beauty trip-ups that I have had over the course of my lifetime, I wouldn’t have bothered sharing them with you. The real truth is that I am a magnet for beautifying-gone-wrong. Let’s just say that “we could talk.” I am trying to pick and choose products, processes, procedures and routines that are non-invasive and less life-threatening, of course. As for maintaining the beauty of your body, I hope you are learning to “choose wisely” too. Now, as for do-it-yourself bikini waxing . . .