One day during my teenage years, I read a magazine article about the use of home remedies as beauty products. Apart from the usual tips regarding placing cucumbers and tea bags over one’s eyes to reduce eye bags, one tip which caught my attention was the use of eggs. Crack a raw egg, apply the raw egg all over your scalp, wait a couple of minutes and then rinse it off. Thereafter, your hair would be glossy and shiny. I eagerly went to try this. My closer friends know that I dislike eating eggs because I do not like the smell of eggs. Can you imagine how hard up I was in my bid to have glossy hair? Well, everything went smoothly until I rinsed it off…with hot water. Argh. It must have been my imagination, but I felt that I never did quite succeed in getting rid of all that scrambled egg in my hair. I felt that the smell lingered in my hair for days thereafter.
Then there was the disaster with the product I had bought off the TV commercial. I think I must have been lazing in front of the telly way past midnight after watching a rerun episode of M*A*S*H and the advert channel had begun their broadcast. Do you remember those channels? They used to promote products such as vacuum cleaners, miracle mops, wrinkle creams that are way more effective than botox, steamers that could cook a different dish for every day of the year (to wow the lady viewers) and that one exercise gadget which could sculpt your body to look like Mr Universe (for the men). That night, I fell in love with a beauty product. It was this round device, you strap it over your hand and rub it all over your legs, and…your leg hair would just disintegrate before your very eyes! And it was not even battery operated! I was so curious and so eager to rid myself of all my unwanted hair that I went to the shop to get one for myself. I still vaguely remember that the shop was located somewhere along Beach Road. The shop sold everything that was advertised on the TV Channel after midnight. I bought the product, brought it home and happily rubbed it all over my legs and arms, and voila! All my leg and arm hair disappeared! Then I went to take a shower and that was when the pain hit me. As I dried myself and looked at my legs closely, I realised that the product I had bought was merely a piece of very fine-grained sandpaper. I had sandpapered my legs so vigorously that I had caused an abrasion all over the skin of my legs. It was very painful.
Still, my biggest disaster with regards to the removal of body hair was not that episode. That disaster occurred a couple of months before my wedding. I’ve blogged about it once already but I need to again because here, it’s in the context of beauty disasters. A close friend of mine suggested to me that I should go for my very first facial. She had peered at my face and promptly said that I needed to get rid of all my blackheads and trim my eyebrows before I went for my bridal photo taking sessions. So she introduced me to her beautician where I had my first facial. The therapist, in all good intention, did a strip wax to remove my moustache. It was very painful, but I endured it bravely in the name of vanity. Well, the procedure went wrong and I soon had two red angry streaks just above my upper lips. My skin had suffered a burn. I had to call up the bridal shop to postpone my photo taking session. They were quite annoyed because we had already postponed it once earlier, when T had chicken pox, and the wedding date was drawing near, and kept asking me why. I was too embarrassed to tell them why. As for people around me, there was no need to even explain what had happened as the one glance at my red moustache streaks was self explanatory. There was an up-side to this story though. The therapist gave me this miracle cream which she claimed could heal the burnt skin, and I kid you not but within five days, the scars disappeared completely. No burnt mark at all. I was so pleased with the product she used that I continued to patronise her services for years.
It was from that case that I started my adventure with creams and other facial products. I’ll save telling you that adventure for another blog entry.