Note to readers: This column is a serious warning for those of you who in desperation during this pandemic have taken your beauty treatments into your own inexperienced hands.
When I crawled out of bed this morning something just did not feel right. I ambled to the bathroom and through squinty eyes peered at the scary person looking back. To a stranger, several things would have immediately come to mind:
1. This woman was the victim of a terrible industrial accident.
2. Her photo should be posted on every box containing a pressure cooker with the heading, “Warning.”
3. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone with so many bee stings on their face.
In reality, there should be a number 4 with the message, “If you leave your home chemical peel on longer than the recommended time, you could end up looking like this.”
Except I didn’t try a peel, I just cleaned out my beauty bucket. It’s not really a bucket, it’s more like a laundry basket under my bathroom cabinet where beauty product rejects go to hide until I give them one more chance to actually do what they promised.
The 10 or so cans and bottles of hair gels, sprays, mousses, shampoos and conditioners which, in the most assuring language to come out of an advertising agency, convinced me that if I used them, my hair would be voluminous, shiny — and full of body. They lied.
Add to that number the nail growth products, eyelash boosters and lengtheners, and lotions that will most certainly banish cellulite and give you Heidi Klum’s thighs. They lied too.
Where I went horribly wrong was in forgetting my college degree was in education and not chemistry. As I began to examine my vast collection of beauty and anti-aging facial products, I thought I should give them one more chance to prove themselves. In the process, I might have applied two or more over the course of my three-hour adventure in Beautyland. Later in the day, I tried a fourth when I observed my wrinkles were right where I left them.
At bedtime, I slapped on the number-one contender in my current nightly beauty ritual. By the time I had slathered it all over my face, I was afire. I tried cold water, cold cream, ice and eventually aloe vera lotion which cooled me off a bit. By the time I went to bed, I really didn’t look bad, just a tiny bit pink.
Sometimes a little sleep makes things better, unfortunately not in this case. Let’s just say that if today was Halloween, I would not need a mask.
I suppose if you look at the bright side of things, I have saved possibly hundreds of dollars on the cost of a professional chemical peel. On the downside, I think it may be several days before I can safely go out in public and not frighten small children.