Wednesday, July 8, 2015

I Made Every Single Late '90s/Early '00s Beauty Mistake, Let Us Never Forget These Lessons

What a time to be alive, what a time to be alive. I'm going to keep it real on these blog streets -- coming of age in the '90s and '00s was a hideous experience. I'm not trying to diminish other time periods to get your first period, but these decades were trash. Maybe not even worthy of being called trash. Like, trash juice.

There were so many horrendous beauty things considered acceptable, and even desirable, during this time, that it's almost hard to remember them all. Thankfully for my brain (but not for my pride or my eyeballs), I have photographic evidence of all of these tragic missteps. Let's journey back in time to relive all of the magic bad shit, with the top five things I learned from my late '90s/early '00s beauty mistakes.

Lesson #1: There is such a thing as too blonde.

While living in the era of Pam-Anderson-is-QWEEN, it was hard to grasp the idea that hair can be TOO blonde. That's like saying Baywatch running is TOO slow-motion. Or Tommy Lee steers a boat with his ween TOO well. That can't exist.

But when you're dyeing your hair every two weeks with platinum box dye from Walgreens until it's the color and texture of cotton-flavored cotton candy, it's time to re-evaluate your hair color choices. Life is not a Christina Aguilera "Dirrty" video. I didn't learn this lesson for roughly eight years, but it's still a lesson to be learned.

Lesson #2: There is also such a thing as too big and dangle-y of a belly button ring.

I really tried in earnest to find a picture featuring one of my most giant belly button rings, but I guess that disposable Kodak camera got lost in life's shuffle. Small gifts. We'll just have to use this pretty run-of-the-mill dangler as evidence.

Early ought belly rings were at least the size of a strip of bacon, and sold at a minimum of 27 malls kiosks per every shopping mall in America. This was before you were bombarded with flat iron kiosk employees. This was even before flat irons. Just use your imagination, youngsters.

The variety in the rings was dazzling, literally. Every belly ring was bling-ier and more grandiose than the next. Do you want an actual bedazzled license plate of your home state to be tethered to your abdomen? You got it, dude!

How nubile belly button skin was not ripped apart by these monstrosities on a daily basis has to be at least the 31st wonder of the world. Please don't repeat this trend, youths.

Lesson #3: Wearing a Playboy bunny head sticker in a tanning bed should be avoided at all costs.

Okay, so you can't actually see the Playboy bunny-shaped area of untanned skin on my hip, because my hooded, sleeveless top from Wet Seal is thankfully covering it, BUT IT'S THERE, LURKING.

I recently read that use of tanning beds has dropped dramatically in the past few years, and halleloo for that. Don't eff with that mess. But back in the tanning heyday of '90s/'00s, there was a weird and disturbing phenomenon of people putting stickers on their bodies and tanning to create temporary and usually ridiculously-themed shapes on their sexy parts, like skin Lucky Charms.

Why did humanity take part in such an unnecessary and dangerous activity? I don't know. Maybe I'll donate my brain to science, like a formerly-tanned, tacky, non-serial killer version of John Wayne Gacy.

Lesson #4: Using a drill on natural nails 
probably isn't a great idea.

LORD JESUS, LOOK AT MY NAILS. You would've had to pry the chocolate brown, long-as-hell, square, acrylic nails from my cold, dead fingertips of late '90s me. I loved those bitches almost as much as I loved a festive choker.

Not only did they look atrocious, they were a real dick when it came to my nail health. My nail tech used a nail file attached to an actual drill on my real nails, like we were posted up in aisle three of Home Depot. I am not a medical professional, or really any kind of professional, but that cannot be good for your nails. Why this was so widely practiced and accepted in the nail world at the time remains a mystery bigger than Big Foot's whereabouts.

A big, acrylic thumbs-up to you, too, big guy.

Lesson #5: Eyebrows may never grow back, so be 
conservative with those tweezers.

I look back at pictures of myself from these decades of yore and deeply mourn for my lost eyebrows. Where were they? What had I done to them? Were they crying, and that's why they looked like a teardrop?

I was lucky in that my brow follicles didn't just up and quit my face. I know plenty of people that are completely unable to grow eyebrows now, thanks to tweezer abuse of the '90s and '00s. Kids of today, please know this: eyebrow styles come and go. Leave your GD brow hairs alone for the most part.

Bonus Lesson: Diamonds are forever. So are tramp stamps.

I'm not at all against tattoos. I think they are beautiful. But I happen to hate everything on earth after (at most) two years, so tattoos are a terrible idea for me. Especially when the only one that I have is a circa-'99 butterfly, forever hovering over my aging ass crack. It's like a constant butt billboard that screams, "Life: Proceed with caution because this too shall pass."

Please share your horrendous '90s and '00s beauty mistakes with me, so I don't feel so, so alone.

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