Where online beauty tips are concerned, baby shampoo is the new crocodile dung 

Makeup with Violence

Makeup with Violence

Women have been giving each other incredibly bad advice throughout the years, especially when it comes to beauty tips. A cynic might postulate that we’re all trying to sabotage each other. But I think most of us will try anything if it’s fairly convenient and inexpensive — especially if we think there's a chance it just might work. This is the kind of reasoning that drives you to stand in front of your refrigerator, pondering which kind of beer is best for your hair or whether that avocado is ripe enough to use as a face masque.

If you grew up reading ’TEEN or your mom’s lady magazines, you may have read that it's a great idea to conceal a blemish with a dab of eyeliner, thus turning it into a mole (a la Madonna). You probably also read that if you spray lemon juice in your hair and sit in the sun, your locks will lighten, magically transforming you into a beachy blonde babe. Perhaps you even tried creating “eye gloss” by mixing your favorite eye shadow with Vaseline, spreading it all over your eyelids so you could glow like an ethereal nymph, using stuff you already have in your makeup bag!

But it didn’t take long for people to notice that your mole kept moving around your face, did it? Or that your hair had turned the most unfortunate shade of light orange. Or that every time you blinked, a glob of shimmery Vaseline broke away from the crust it had formed around your eyelashes and slid down your cheek. By this point, you’d realized that you’d been hosed. Hopefully, you figured this out before you cut bangs to hide a zit on your forehead, because that’s going to take a while to grow out.

Unlike our ancient sisters, who inadvertently poisoned themselves with lead eyeliner or arsenic facials, in 2013 we know better. Or at least, we should know better. But it’s exhausting to keep up with what you should and should not put on your body — no Red Dye #40 in your lipstick, but bug parts (though gross) are apparently OK — and aren’t we all just trying to get out the door each morning looking slightly better than we did when we woke up?

In our relentless pursuit of concealing our imperfections, we have more and more options, and modern technology makes it even easier to share them. Since I’m pretty sure I’m the only woman on earth who does not have a Pinterest profile, I decided to sign up for this global bulletin board to see how many terrible beauty tips lay among the plethora of recipes and pretty things and quotes you want to scribble on your chalkboard wall.

So: Orange may be the new black, but did you know that Jell-O is the new Biore strip? You know, those strips that look like Band-Aids that you slap on your forehead, chin and nose, leave on for 15 minutes, and then yank all of the junk out of your pores? Well, according to a pin by Petite Elephant (I think … I’m still figuring out how this Pinterest thing works) you can get the same results by combining gelatin and milk, putting it in the microwave, and spreading it all over your face. I applaud the author’s bravery in putting photos like these online for the world to see …

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… but I’m going to pass on this one.

When a heading screams “DIY BODY WRAP,” your internal it’s-too-good-to-be-true alarm should go off. This woman claims that if you apply lotion (preferably with “something from the ocean” like seaweed, kelp or mud) on the area you want to target — probably your midsection — envelope yourself in Saran Wrap and secure the whole mess with one of those beige medical bandages, you can wake up with half an inch shaved off your midsection. Oh yeah, you have to sleep like that. All night. Seems like a lot of work, turning yourself into a lubed-up plastic mummy for a half an inch, doesn’t it?

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When it’s more work — and potentially more costly — to make something than buy it, why would you do it? Case in point: This Pinterester makes her own makeup wipes by dipping paper towels in coconut oil and baby shampoo. She then chops up the soggy towels and stores it in a yogurt container. This looks messy and kind of gross, and you can get makeup remover wipes for $5 at the grocery store.

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Look, I would gladly slap a concoction of crocodile dung mixed with donkey milk (allegedly one of Cleopatra’s formulas) on my face if it would simultaneously conceal the burgeoning wrinkles and the lingering blemishes. But since I prefer to drink the beer and eat the avocado — and I don’t think I have any crocodile dung or donkey milk in my fridge — the likelihood of a DIY spa day at my house is minimal.

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