5 Beauty Mistakes I Made (So You Don’t Have To)

Worth a staggering £17 billion, the UK beauty industry is growing rapidly in our appearance obsessed culture, with skincare sales increasing exponentially as new innovations continue to hit the mass market. We’ve never had so much choice, and those of us obsessed with achieving and sustaining a natural glow are taking full advantage.

Although I’m still working on perfecting my skincare care routine, unfortunately it hasn’t always been retinol and vitamin infused sheet masks. Let me share some of the less fortuitous (read: questionably and crazy) beauty mistakes I’ve made along the way, I’m sure we can all learn something – mostly, don’t try this at home.

1. Unconventional Exfoliation

Although now a distant memory, chicken skin arms seemed to be a huge concern in my teen years, I would slather on body lotion and go to town with the St Ives apricot scrub (you all know the one). It wasn’t just my arms either, at one point my forehead seemed to be getting in on the pimply skin action and that just wouldn’t do.

One night, after a stroke of genius, I decided to take a glass nail file to my forehead and tackle the problem, quite literally head on. It went about as well as expected. I put in the work with that nail file, I sanded down my forehead like it was year 9 wood work and I’d just been let loose on a belt sander, your nail tech could never. Unfortunately for me, headbutting a brick wall would have been just as effective and would have created similar results. The next day, I looked like I’d hit the ground forehead first after taking a tumble over some handle bars. It was a LOOK. What about covering it up? Did I mention this was before the days of Dream Matte Mousse (the only foundation available to me as a youth)? Perhaps an ill-advised clip on fringe? Forget about it. I had to walk into school the next day and own my bad decision. A suggestion, if you find yourself considering reaching for the toolbox to smooth uneven skin tone? Try Glycolic Acid instead.

2. Cheap but not Cheerful

If you’ve never had to shave with a single use, orange Bic Razor, you haven’t lived. A lethal instrument, better used as a shiv than a tool for hair removal, but a rite of passage nonetheless. The time I’m referring to started out as tricky as ever, the usual nicks leaving drops of blood dripping down my shins but then, I got too cocky and it all went to pot. I slipped you see, my heel dropped off the side of the bath with some speed, just as I took a swipe at my ankle, and if my aim was to take off a chunk of my heel, well I succeeded admirably.

A normal person, may have dropped the fleshy razor and applied pressure to the wound; obviously, I jumped out of the shower, grabbed a towel & ran screaming down the stairs, waving the razor like a bloody, battle axe. My mother had very little sympathy for her soon to be legless child and joined me in screaming, not about the severed leg, about the blood stains ruining the carpet. It was all very dramatic. Worse, ineffective, because in all of the drama, I didn’t even finish shaving my leg. 0/10 would not recommend.

3. A dangerous foray into bikini waxing

This one also involves hair but of the more intimate kind, I would blame this on teenage stupidity but if you know me, you’ll know it was a very ‘on brand’ move. Now, I was quite young when this incident occurred, too young to properly think this through and definitely too young to manage the outcome appropriately. You see my nana used to be an Avon lady and that meant, if I wanted a beauty product, it had better be available within that A5 booklet or it wasn’t happening. After some convincing, I talked her into ordering me some leg waxing strips. I’m not a complete idiot, so initially, I did utilise them on the sparse hair on my shins. Then, I had the genius idea to put them to work on other parts of my anatomy.

It went about as well as the nail file scenario. First, was panic, I couldn’t get the damn thing off. Then came rationalisation, I’ll just cut the edges off and live like this until it inevitably falls off or melds into my skin, whichever comes first. Next was determination, the stress of yanking off the strip was far outweighed by the sheer panic of having to explain the ridiculous situation to anyone. So, I pulled. Christ on a bike, I should have picked option two. I’ll spare you the gruesome details, let’s just say wearing pants and taking part in PE was excruciating for a good while after.

4. You get what you pay for

Perhaps the worst thing about this one, is that it seemed like a fabulous idea at the time and it is only now, with hindsight, I realise I made a mistake. Let’s talk about eyebrows. Unless you’re fortunate enough to be a member of Gen Z, I am certain you can join me in grimacing over the incredibly thin, overplucked, eyebrows of days past. I was very proud of mine. They were also heavily complimented by members of the general public on a regular basis, so I don’t feel I can take sole responsibility for this one. I had a regular appointment with the lovely woman in my local Superdrug & I felt like the fanciest bitch. A cheeky fiver in exchange for wonderbrows? Absolute bargain! …If we completely ignore how much time and money, I have spent on growing them back. Cara Delevigne would never.

5. Moustache why I thought this was a good idea

I’m sensing a hairy theme here, clearly my dreams of being as slippery as a seal will not be thwarted by a couple of unfortunate mishaps. In my case, it would seem you definitely don’t live and learn. This time we’re combining wax strips with my face, at least I can say these wax strips were used for their intended purpose. Sadly, that purpose doesn’t involve re-waxing the same area more than once. On the upside, my upper lip was hairless. On the downside, it was also skinless. The next day at school, I had to explain that no, I didn’t have a serious case of herpes; yes, I am still a massive idiot.

As can be seen by some of my previous forays into ‘beauty blogging’, this is only a few from a very long list of mistakes. If there’s one thing we’ve learned, it is to never underestimate the amount of effort I am willing to put into looking a damn fool. I would say I have grown and now know better, but I am sitting here with chemical burns around my neck after a recent incident with some cream. At least I’m consistent.

What’s your worst beauty mistake? Tell me, so we can wince together.
Alternatively, let me know your best beauty buy. I’m ready to turn things around.


  1. Cracking up at these, but also so relatable! Mine revolve around brows, we have the classic take a razor to your brows sesh which did result in a hastily trimmed fringe to hide the disaster; the visiting a salon for a brow wax and emerging looking permanently startled; the old tadpole brow look which I rocked for way too long...
    On a more painful note, upon receiving and getting used to an epilator for my legs, I thought it would work on different areas, not realising my legs actually don't feel too much pain. Ouch. Ouch. Ouch.


  2. Great post you made me giggle.