What’s One Beauty Lesson You Learned the Hard Way?

Published in: Just For Fun

Brow drama!

That’s what’s funny about beauty. Just when I think I have enough of the basics figured out — BAM! — something happens to kick my butt and put me in my place.

You’d think I would have known better than to mess with my brows early in the morning before my neurons are firing properly, but noooo. The other day I stumbled out of bed and into the bathroom, and after washing my face, I noticed that the hairs along the tops of my brows were looking a little long.


Most of the time when I trim them, I do it very carefully with a small pair of cuticle scissors I keep in my bathroom drawer, so I did that. I picked up the scissors and went to town.

Thing is, it was slow going and more awkward than usual. I couldn’t quite figure out what I was doing wrong, maybe because it had been a while since the last time I used that pair of scissors (I’ve been trying to grow out my brows).

It was awkward, and the snipping wasn’t as smooth as usual, either, like the scissors needed to be sharpened or oiled…

Looking back, that was probably the moment when I should have put the scissors down and had a cup of coffee to work things out.

But nope! I powered through it, finishing my right brow.

Then came the left…


Well, almost. I came this close to accidentally clipping off a huge chunk of the inner half!

I think in my early morning mental fog I misjudged my angle of approach with the scissors. That coupled with the scissors not opening and closing smoothly almost added up to an eyebrow disaster.

Whew! That was close.

Lesson learned. Next time I mess with my brows, I’m making darned sure I’m fully functional and wide awake, and that my tools are working properly.

So, my friend, I’m all ears (and brows!). Give me the dirt, and tell me about a beauty lesson you learned the hard way.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


P.S. Happy hump day. 🙂


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  1. Irene Christine says:

    I have learned to not over pluck my eyebrows. That happened to me back in elementary school when I was first learning everything about beauty. I ended up with half my eyebrows gone, thankfully I learned my lesson after that and let them grow out. I’ve also learned to not overdo eye make up. Sometimes I use a heavy hand and I come out looking like someone from a horror movie. lol. I still have to practice my eye make up technique. 🙂

  2. When I was in the 1st grade, I decided I wanted bangs and I wanted to cut them myself. So I took a pair of scissors and cut close to the root — I had a bald spot and wore a headband for AGES! >_<

    I've cut my own bangs since then (years later), but learned not to make quick decisions that require sharp objects. :p
    dani@callitbeauty recently posted … UPDATED Skincare — The Daily Essentials

  3. Sunny says:

    Oh I used to make that mistake too, except I did it late at night! After waking up the next morning realizing there were bald patches in my brows a couple of times, I vowed never to touch my tweezers past normal bedtime.

    Something else I learnt the hard way? Don’t overdo things because there’s some kind of occasion. Leaving that AHA mask on for longer or scrubbing your face extra hard do not guarantee fabulous skin for that formal dinner/interview/date. You’ll more than likely end up with angry red skin instead.
    Sunny recently posted … Tom Ford Cherry Lush Lip Color Is So Lush!

  4. Megan says:

    I’ve learned to always check my foundation once I get out into sunlight. A few too many times of thinking my foundation was looking good and then getting outside and finding out I actually resembled an oompa loompa!

  5. Carina says:

    Shimmer emphasizes pores. A lot.

  6. Tennyoceres says:

    When I was in college I nearly waxed/plucked the outer edges of my eyebrows off when I tried doing them myself. They looked like stubby caterpillars. I get a little overzealous in the “must be even” thing. Thankfully my damaged brows grew back. Since then I have someone else do them for me.

  7. Melissa says:

    One painful mistake I made was to shave my legs and then, because they were crying out for moisture I decided to use one of my favourite thick body lotions by Sanctuary. Thing is, it’s filled with “invigorating” ginger and spices.

    My legs were on fire!!

  8. Oh no! The same thing actually happened to me, and I well never do it again. Nevah!

    Another thing I learned the hard way is to never wax my mustache (yes, feel free to laugh, but dark haired women sometimes have mustaches, deal with it) with hot wax myself. In all my naivety I thought ‘how hard can it really be?’ and bought all the tools at a professional retailer. Long story short, I ended up in the emergency room. Bad bad bad idea…
    Kiss & Make-up recently posted … Personal | Happy (?) birthday to me

  9. Kim says:

    You know I don’t have a lot of variety in my beauty routine but I think one thing that I’ve done wrong (many times) is to get a hair cut based on what is hot at the time. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized it’s better to have something that’s flattering for ME instead of being in on a trend. And I don’t mean the 80s. There was no escaping that. I’m thinking more about very short bangs or pin straight hair (neither of which looks too hot on me). 🙂

  10. Katie says:

    I’m always envious of your brows, Karen! They’re really nice.

    I’ve been trying to grow out my brows for the last two-three years. I have periods where I’m disciplined with letting them grow out, and when I’ve finally gotten to the point where they’ve fully grown out just to simply tidy up stray hairs, I experience that uncontrollable urge to “just tweeze a little more…and a little more…and, ooh, that hair looks kind of out of place, too…” until they’re back to being wimpy brows, subjecting myself to the months-long growth cycle all over again. Le sigh. Any advice, ladies?

  11. Katherine G says:

    I have learned the hard way about blending makeup….I look back at some pics of me when I first started wearing makeup and I cringe. I also did the too-dark foundation one, too. Now I make sure that my makeup is properly blended before I leave the house and that my eyeshadow looks soft and blended and not harsh.

  12. Chelsea says:

    My most important ones are also brow related! I have brow hairs that do whatever they want to on the inside of my right brow, and I used to just pluck them all out, making my eyebrows start too far in. I’ve learned that it looks a lot better to have the hair there!

    I’ve also been guilty of over-filling and not filling in my brows, and I’ve found a happy medium. When in doubt, use a light blonde if you’re fair-haired and complected!

    A lesson I’m still constantly learning is that I need to not try every new skin product! My skin is really reactive and if something doesn’t work right away I have a tendency to try something else, and I always want to use tons of products. I’m working on switching to a pared-down routine (antioxidants + moisture + sunscreen in one product to avoid reactions and clogged pores from too many products).

    I’m also a compulsive skin picker. My chin is in a near-constant state of distress. I know it would look better if I just left it alone, but it’s so tempting!

  13. Alice Ann says:

    The first mistake I learned was actually performed on another person. In high school, bleached my friend’s hair and then he wanted to straighten his curly hair using a chemical straightener, so I did that for him, too. His hair turned rubbery and fell out in clumps. Ooops. Another mistake was being heavy handed with bronzer. A friend said I looked like a dirty miner.

  14. Suz says:

    When I was in high school, rushing to get ready for a family photo shoot for annual holiday card, I learned not to try and shape my brows with the same razor I use on my legs. One brow came out fine, but I lost half of the other to a razor slip and spent months growing it back in.

    In my 20s, I learned you can’t use a pumice stone to even out bad self-tanner on your legs. I still have a scar on my ankle from that stupidosity.

    Of course, one of my friends learned not to keep self-tanner by the bed when she came home after a night of adult beverages and grabbed the tube and liberally greased up her feet with “lotion” only to wake up the next day to walnut-stained feet.

  15. Kalpana says:

    A major mistake was not realising that some foundations oxidise! Walked around with a very orange face for a day :S

    Love your blog Karen, loved it for years 🙂

  16. Michelle Teixeira says:

    I learned that you can’t dye your hair black one week, then the next week decide you are going to bleach your hair. Well, you can but then expect orange hair. Then you get to spend money at a hair salon for them to strip the rest of the patchy black and bleached hair and dye it close to your natural color. And by all this you talk I mean me. I actually had to take a school ID picture with my messed up hair. So embarrassing! At least it was fifteen years ago…

  17. Petra says:

    I am still – years later recouperating from my biggest lesson – DO NOT decolorize your hair by yourself.

    I have naturally lightbrown hair with a lot of copper pigments and for many years I dyed my hair black/dark brown and a day 3 summers ago I decided that I want to go back to my own haircolour. Out comes the decororizer and well long story shorter – no amount of conditioner can resurect my fried tresses.

    It has grown out about 2/3 of the way by now… I also need to say that I can’t stand to have my hair to short cause it is a hot mess if it isn’t heavied down (stands everywhich way – half curly, half bonestraight)Any shorter than at least an inch past my shoulders and it is chaotic.

    Never again!!

    • AnneCath says:

      Aaaaaaaaah, I thought I was the only one in the world with half straight, half curly hair! I feel your pain, it’s a total nightmare to keep it looking like normal hair.

  18. Dineo Maboe says:

    Ooh! Worst beauty mistake ever was when I was too lazy to cut my hair with a machine and decided to use hair remover, as some men in my family do. Two words: ingrown hairs.

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