30 Horrendous Beauty Mistakes I Made in My 20s That I'm Leaving Behind In My 30s

by Zara Barrie

Honey, when I was in my 20s, I made all kinds of terrible, thoughtless, wildly immature mistakes.

A shiver goes down my spine when I think about all the shame-spiraling things I did in that gorgeously reckless decade.

I slept with spineless losers (the kind of animals who have towels for bed sheets) because I was desperately seeking validation and confidence through fucking unambitious lunatics. (Spoiler alert: It didn't work.)

I didn't call back a huge professional contact who could have changed the entire course of my career because I was too paralyzed by anxiety to even pick up the phone.

I sucked at friendships and would disappear from my friends for months and months at a time. I wouldn't return phone calls or text messages, I'd drown myself in work and I'd hole up in my suffocating studio apartment.

When I was in my 20s, I made all kind of terrible, thoughtless, wildly immature mistakes.

You know what, though? All of those mistakes are in the past, dahling. They're tucked away in the heavy folds of my ~memory~.

But do you know what dire, humiliating, tragic mistakes will never just be “in the past”?

Beauty mistakes, baby.

Their legacy will forever be immortalized by the mean, unforgiving art of photography, hunty.

Photographs of your over-plucked, Nike swoosh-shaped eyebrows sit in dusty frames at your darling mother's house, don't they?

Pictures of your disastrous stab at blue-green mermaid hair pollute your Timehop at least four times per month, don't they?

Do you know what humiliating, tragic mistakes will never just be in the past? Beauty mistakes, babe.

They taunt you by whispering, "You thought that looked good, you crazy, high bitch?" into your delicate ears every time they penetrate your computer screen.

Oh, and your Instagram, girl?

Your Insta feed is littered with #TBTs during your DIY spray tan phase in college. You put Donald Trump to shame, you carrot stick-orange, pretty baby!

When I hit the ripe ole age of 30, I'd made an impressive amount of beauty mistakes, all of which are lingering across the internet or on display in ugly crystal frames at my mother's house.

Truthfully, I'm grateful to my never-ending slew of haphazard beauty screwups.

They're there to remind me of my roots (severe brows and baby doll blush) and to bring me right back down to Earth anytime I'm feeling smug and holier than thou.

But you know what they say about mistakes, right?

Each mistake brings you closer and closer to a wild success.

And I think after a decade of making some very questionable, very horrendous beauty mistakes, I'm (sort of) close to wild success.

Each mistake brings you closer and closer to a wild success.

OK, maybe I'm not a WILD success, but at least I'm leaving these 30 beauty mistakes behind now that I'm 30.

And that in and of itself is a success, girl.

1. Over-plucked eyebrows

There is nothing more hideous, harsh and jarring than starved eyebrows.

My brows in my late teens were so skinny that I can't believe they survived.

2. Going blonde

Girls, I love the shiny loveliness that radiates off a gorgeous platinum head just as much as you do.

But please, remember one thing: If you have alabaster white skin and naturally raven-black hair, DO NOT GO BLONDE.

You will look dead, and you will fry your hair so badly that it will look charred at the ends.

3. Over-winged eyeliner

I'm surprised I didn't fly away with those things.

Just keep them simple and short, and you'll never regret it.

4. Light pink lipstick

Very few people can pull off light pink lipstick without looking a washed-out Barbie doll picked off the sale rack at TJ Maxx.

Unfortunately, I was not one of those people.

5. Witch-like claw nails

Now, don't get me wrong, honey; I LOVE how claw nails look to the naked eye.

But if you're a lesbian (like me) and have long nails, you will rip apart your girlfriend's vagina, and she'll hate you for life.

6. Drawn-on freckles

I looked like a deranged, fetish doll!

Also, try explaining to your date what's going on with your skin after she notices your freckles wipe off during a make-out session.

7. Clip-in hair extensions

Why didn't anyone tell me I looked like a washed-up Beverly Hills housewife who was losing her marriage and her mind?

8. Wearing foundation that didn't match my skin tone

When your face is an entirely different shade from the rest of your body, it's NOT a cute look.

9. Skipping the blush during my “goth phase”

PSA: It's not cute to look dead (unless you're can pull off that '90s, heroin chic model thing, but VERY few people are capable of that).

10. Too much cocoa butter

One time after lubing up very heavily with cocoa butter, my date rubbed my bare back (strapless dress, not naked).

Then, she asked if I was feeling OK because she was worried about how “clammy” my skin was.

Yeah, I was going for healthy, dewy glow… not clammy. There is nothing sexy about clammy.

11. Ripping my earlobes

My love of Edie Sedgwick's shoulder-dusting earrings really fucked up my poor ears.

I still haven't had those poor things stitched up! Elderly folks gasp and babies cry when they see my ears!

12. The Bumpits

I bought one from the Home Shopping Network when I was high as a kite at 2 am, during the height of “The Jersey Shore” phenomenon.

PSA: Girls from preppy Fairfield County, Connecticut can't pull off a Snookie poof.

13. Flash tattoos

How did I not realize temporary tattoos are tacky, even when they're gold?

Unless you're at Coachella, stay away from the golden armbands.

14. Overdrawn eyebrows

I had to learn this one the hard way.

I got cyberbullied for a whole year after posting this pic.

15. Smoking

Now, the reason I consider smoking cigarettes a “beauty habit” is because I used to smoke in hopes it would suppress my appetite (I had issues).

Not very modern or ~body positive~ of me, but hey, I was an insecure 20-something living in Los Angeles. I was doomed.

Anyhow, smoking gave me terrible breath, horrible, acne-ridden skin and dark purple circles that rested beneath my hollow eyes.

16. Red hair

If you're going to dye your hair red, you better have redhead eccentricities, which I definitely do not have.

I have raven-black hair eccentricities. They're very different.

17. The bob

Oh, sweet, dear heavens, Peggy Sue and the Lord up above!

I looked like a born-again Christian soccer mom at a meek 25.

18. The lob

I just looked like I didn't have enough money to keep up my bob haircut, which might have been true.

19. Dark roots

I just looked like I didn't have enough money to maintain my highlights, which also might have been true.

20. Too-short bangs

Something about too-short bangs made me look like I was struggling with my own mental instability.

21. Too-thin bangs

Nothing makes me feel quite so disturbed than looking back at pictures of my wispy bangs.

22. Cornrows

I wore cornrows to my high school prom. Ah, shame shudders.

23. Over-tanning

Why didn't anyone tell me it's so much chicer to embrace your paleness, dahling?

24. Lip gloss

We all know the only good lip is the matte AF lip. I should have left the lip gloss in middle school.

25. Faux septum piercing

I looked like a blingy bull. Oh yeah, and here's it is with another example of my overdrawn brows.

26. Over-highlighted brow bone

This will always make you look bridge-and-tunnel, even if you're born and raised in Soho.

It only works for drag queens, babes.

27. Over-moisturizing my face

Thick moisturizer is for old ladies, and I used it in attempt to start preventing wrinkles at a young age.

But, all it did was give me cystic acne.

28. Too-long hair extensions

This was my Paris Hilton phase.

But, I'm not Paris Hilton; I'm Morticia Addams. So, I didn't pull it off, like, at all.

29. Too much highlighter

You couldn't tell if I was a girl or a disco ball. Never a good look.

30. Thinking I was hideous and doing everything in my power to veer away from my natural looks

I did this by going blonde, starving myself and putting on so much makeup that my innocent victims would get orange streaks on their white shirts after hugging me.

Not only was none of that a very good look, but it also never once made me feel pretty.

I only ever felt pretty when I was following my own definition of beauty.

So, make sure you follow yours, and message me all your beauty faux pas, babes!