I'm a pretty clumsy person. I'm so clumsy, in fact, that saying I'm "prone to small disasters" is a wildly inaccurate understatement. I've been known to injure myself in pretty much every situation that there is a possibility for injury — I've cut myself on knives while washing dishes, I've tripped and fallen in heels and broken bones, and I've gotten a black eye and bloody lip from an ill-timed opened door. Therefore, it should come as no surprise to anyone that my inherent clumsiness coupled with my love for beauty has led to innumerable beauty-related injuries.
Despite how embarrassing these beauty-related bumps, bruises, and scratches have been, because I don't want anyone else to suffer from the same fate as me, I've decided to detail my 8 most epic beauty injuries AND tell you how to best prevent them. (Though, if I'm being honest, some of these are total freak accidents. Just my luck!)
Don't do your eye makeup in a moving car
I know you think you know where this one is going, but you're wrong. In the winter of 2008, I was doing my eyeliner in the passenger's side mirror while my then-boyfriend drove us to his parent's house. This was going to be the first time I met them, and I was also planning on spending Christmas with them in the English countryside, so my eye makeup had to be especially on-point for a first impression. As I was about to perfect my subtle cat-eye, my boyfriend drove over a bump in the road. I'm very lucky I didn't lose an eyeball, but instead I jerked my neck to the side and heard a sickening crunch. I met my boyfriend's very conservative British parents while being unable to move my head from side to side, and I spent the entirety of Christmas Eve and Christmas in a prone position with a heating pad on my neck. Not exactly a killer first impression, though definitely a memorable one.
Exercise caution with your curling wand
I bought a curling wand before it was cool, and believe me, I love the free form-curls I can create. However, in the 7 years that I've been a wand devotee, I have accumulated a plethora of tiny scars across both of my hands from accidental burns. My advice? Don't be me. Wear the glove that comes with your curling wand while you do your hair. You might feel silly, but your fingers will thank you.
Lip plumpers are your friends...until they aren't
When I was in college, I suffered from what I like to call "Kylie Jenner Syndrome", constantly wanting my lips to look bigger. Thankfully, in hindsight, I wasn't rich enough to get plastic surgery at 19, but I did experiment a ton of different products intended to plump up lips. One night, I got a little aggressive with a particularly effective product that contained many irritants intended to cause the lips to intentionally swell. After my third repeated application of the lip gloss, I realized that the burning sensation in my lips was not going away after a few minutes. In a panic, I ran to the restroom to find my lips scarlet red and swollen like I'd been stung by hornets. It took ice packs and several hours for the reaction to calm down.
Throw your old nail polish away
This story is so embarrassing I'm legitimately cringing while writing it. A few years ago, I was trying to open a bottle of Essie nail polish that I'd accidentally let dry out, when I pulled so hard on the cap that the bottle slipped out of my hand, my arm flung backwards, and I accidentally punched myself in the face. Giving myself a mild black eye. (Yes, I'm serious.) The moral of the story, of course, is throw your old nail polish away, or take care to store it properly so it doesn't dry out and become sealed shut.
Use SPF everywhere
This should be obvious, but I've unfortunately fallen victim to accidentally forgetting to use SPF on seemingly innocuous body parts, and suffered the consequences. After one too many sunburnt ear lobes, lips, fingers or parts, you learn to take extra precautions.
Destroy your acne, not your skin
Like everyone, I hate when I get acne. My skin is always on the temperamental side, but when I get a terrible breakout, I still panic like it's my first one. When I was a bit younger, my immediate reaction to breakouts involved slathering my face with pretty much every single strong anti-acne product I could find — sometimes all at once. Listen to me: don't do this. Once I ended up with an actual burn on my skin from the amount of products I was piling on. According to dermatologist Monica Halem, using too many harsh products can make your skin worse. The best solution is to work with a dermatologist to try to identify the underlying cause of your acne, and use a product that specifically works for your skin and it's issues. Oh, and use that product in moderation.
Don't DIY heat your eyelash curlers
Yet another "Kathleen is an idiot" story — but in high school, I read in a beauty magazine that you could make your eyelash curler more effective by heating it with your hairdryer before using it. Excited for my new uber-curly lashes, I heated my eyelash curler, held it to my lashes, and immediately yelped in extreme pain. I had neglected to check the temperature of my curler before using it, and the scalding metal burnt my eyelid and took a bunch of my eyelashes as well. Ouch.
At home waxing is harder than it seems
This list wouldn't be complete without a hair removal story, now would it? Let's just say it is not wise to forget you're waxing while getting sucked into The O.C., leaving your waxing strip on until it completely cools, and then try to rip it off slowly. You will lose leg skin as well as leg hair.