The first time I walked through the doors at the wax salon for a Brazilian wax, I felt strangely grown up and also weirdly and irrationally glamorous. No more yoga in the bathtub to remove body hair for me - I was now such a serious grownup that I was PAYING another person to put wax in my asshole and rip it out.
What a time to be alive.
Rightly or wrongly, there’s a list of beauty habits that my friends and I had always deemed as “grown up” or “sophisticated” - the ones we thought would be our reality when we grew up to be fabulously successful businesswomen with oodles of money to throw at our beautification.
By the way, where would I go to find those oodles?
Recently, while discussing the outrageous habits we’ve committed to over the years - and the ones we’re still committed to - I realized the absurdity of the whole thing. Perhaps we just watched too much Sex and the City and read a few too many Cosmopolitan mags, but we’ve definitely not landed in the land of glamour we once thought was waiting for us.
Nail Painting Parties - We couldn’t afford a mani-pedi, so instead we gathered around someone’s second-hand coffee table with our nail polish collection and a box of Old Cheddar Kraft Dinner.
Shellac manicures and sea-salt foot scrub pedicures - together, obvs., and on the reg.
OK, we rarely get together to do it but most of us are still painting our own nails most of the time. Sure, the occasional “big deal” even comes up here and there (weddings, new job, Christmas party, engagements), but chances are good we’re sitting at our own coffee table, with Netflix and a box of wine, painting away, though some of us have met in the middle with our own LED lights for at-home shellacs.
Boxed Hair Dye & Ruined Towels and Bath Tiles; DIY bangs - In second year university, I decided to dye my naturally strawberry blonde hair auburn. It was fun. Then, I decided to dye it near-black. It ruined my hair, but also the tiles in the bathroom at our flat and three towels that, for some reason, I only threw out last year. We all had a penchant for boxed dyes and DIY bangs and other haircuts. It wasn’t a good look for most of us.
Monthly haircuts, abiding by the six-week touch-up suggestion from our stylists, and flawless hair styled to perfection every day.
OK, first of all: we all discovered dry shampoo and praised the hair gods when ombre became a thing and we could pretend our grown out roots were an expensive balayage. No one is cutting her own hair. Some of our friends are still doing boxed dyes - but doing them well! - and we’re all, mostly, seeing a stylist at regularly.
Hours spent in the sun. Tanning beds. And/or (gasp) streaky, almost-orange, way-too-dark self-tanner applications.
Perfect golden tans, natural or otherwise.
Girls be rockin’ some pale skin, my friends. With kids, work, and life priorities, finding time to exfoliate, self-tan, wait to dry, and then get on with our day is rarely an option - plus we all konw better than to lay out in the sun for hours on end (for the most part). We’re slathering on SPF (most of us, anyway) and embracing our pastiness most of the year. Sure, we might shell out for a good spray tan or do a good self-tan at home (thank goodness those products have improved!) when we have a special occasion or vacation coming up, but generally speaking, we’re not about that life these days.
Bathtub yoga, razor burn, too-thin brows, and the occasional “I left the Nair on too long” episode.
Hairless beings, presumably via magic.
When it comes to hair removal, we run the full gamut from obsessively waxing, plucking, threading, investing in laser hair removal, and/or shaving to live life au naturel. Many of us praised the return of the thick eyebrow and the growing movement towards embracing body hair while others screamed “TAKE MY MONEY” as laser hair removal clinics opened up around town. One thing that hasn’t changed: the shitty reality of an ingrown hair.
Face masks from the bargain bin
Regular facials at the spa, presumably while we also enjoyed a mudwrap and manicure
HAHAHAHAHAHA. Face masks from the bargain bin, if we’re lucky enough to have a solid 30 minutes to do it.