Friendships are built on love. Friendships are built on trust. Friendships are built on a shared and unshakeable love for Beyoncé. But those friendships can also be broken, and you know how? With a pair of tweezers. Yup. Plucking your bestie’s eyebrows when you’re 13-years-old and totally inexperienced in the realm of beauty can totally destroy a friendship. And for me, it did.

Ok, I’m being dramatic. It didn’t ‘destroy’ mine and Hannah’s friendship, but it did cause my bff to cry for a few hours, hate me for a few more and result in at least five years of careful eyebrow pencil application. Not the best outcome for what was meant to be an impulsive re-shape in her parent’s front room one Saturday night.

The year it happened (2000 aka The Millennium. I know, I’m ancient) wasn’t the best year for fashion – or beauty for that matter. The hot trends ranged from dreadlocks and cargo pants to platforms and purple shimmer lipstick. Anyways, the idea was to have a girls’ night in, watch X Factor and carry out the beauty treatment of the moment: tadpole brows.

I can’t quite remember where I got the inspo from. Maybe it was Christina Aguilera’s barely-there brows, or Posh Spice’s slug-shaped style that began halfway across her face – either way, the look I was going for was crystal clear: super-thin and super-short with a bulge at the start of eyebrow. (Unfortunately we didn’t have Cara Delevingne and her beautiful, bushy face-framers to aspire to.)

So there I was, tools in hand as I made Hannah lay back on a pillow and close her eyes. I put some ice in a tea towel and placed it on each eyebrow to numb them before the plucking commenced. I then stretched out her forehead to avoid accidentally plucking the skin and began softly working away at the wiry hairs that had sprouted on her face since hitting puberty.

After plucking for about 10 minutes, I plucked some more. And then some more. And then, of course, you have the famous ‘evening-out’ process, which took another 10 minutes. And then another 10. Fast forward an hour later and poor Han’s eyebrows were not only red raw, but virtually invisible. To say I had gone a little OTT would be an understatement.

The mistake? Apart from the fact that the eyebrow trend of the 00s was truly hideous, I hadn’t been showing Han my work in progress. In fact, I hadn’t even confirmed that she definitely even wanted the tadpole. I also hadn’t been looking at her eyebrows as actual things that were meant to live on her face forever more. I was too focused on the hairy strips being exactly the same size and shape (it’s a tricky business, y’know). At no point had we checked in the mirror, and at no point had she demanded to see what they looked like either, she just trusted me. And I had failed. Horribly.

It was clear I didn’t have maximum customer satisfaction afterwards as when Hannah finally looked in the mirror she gasped loudly at her own reflection, then laugh-cried (you know that horrible hybrid emotion that happens when you get a bit hysterical?) She tried to pretend it was fine but we were already planning our trip to town the next morning to buy an eyebrow pencil. Her brows were officially ruined.

“It’ll be fine,” I kept reassuring her. “They’ll grow back!” But a month later and, annoyingly, they had held their shape. It was like I had plucked out the root and the hair had just given up on life right there. The months continued to pass and the eyebrows continued to stay stubby and thin. The months then turned into years and although we repaired our friendship, nothing could bring back her bushy brows. (You might think I’m over-exaggerating but she’s still using the same brand of eyebrow pencil to fill out the gaps today. She’s 30.)

So, the lesson to you all? Remember that trends change. Quick. And also remember that a mirror is your best friend (as well as your actual best friend, obvs) when you’re removing really important facial hair.

My advice? Unless you have a genuine qualification in beauty therapy or are as nifty with tweezers as Kim Kardashian’s make up artist, steer clear of your bff’s brows. And your own for that matter. The fuzzy little things will thank you in the end.

@missblackmore

Announcement: there’s nothing wrong with loving beauty. But you knew that. There’s loads of fun to be had with make-up and nail art and hair experiments and face glitter and hours spent messing around in Superdrug or trawling Pinterest for new ways to jazz up what Mother Nature gave you. That’s all good.

But what’s boring? Perfection. When beauty stops being about expressing yourself and starts being about expressing some magazine’s really narrow idea of how you ‘should’ look, it all gets a bit…. ugh. A bit… yawn. Not to mention much worse for our self-esteem than wonky eyeliner or a few split ends. Plus, there’s something eternally cool about not really caring too much. Wild hair, chipped nails, smudgy eyes; from Brigitte Bardot to Cara Delevingne, history is full of beauty icons who knew that life was too short to do six layers of contouring.

So instead of worrying about flawless foundation or immaculate manicures, let’s celebrate some of the colourful, the messy, the sparkly and the loud, proud beauty trends that laugh in the face of perfection. Then pout, then take a fabulous selfie.

 

1. Mermaid hair

Roots? Pfft. Forget boring highlight maintenance and be a beautiful land mermaid instead, with hair that shows your true colours. All eight of them.

 

2. Smudgy lips

Great news for those of us who like to do lipstick while running for the bus! Slightly blurry, smudgy lips are currently the last word in cool. Ditch the liner and say ‘mmmm’.

 

3. The messy bun

All hail the messy bun! Beloved of everybody from Zoella to your friendly neighbourhood dog-walker, the messy bun is the ultimate lazy girl hair. Muss it up, muss it some more, and when it looks like it would make your Nan ask if you’ve been dragged through a hedge backwards, you’re good to go.

 

4. Clumpy lashes

Spider lashes are for life, not just for Halloween! Mascara fiends rejoice, because clumpy, spiky, 60s-esque overloaded lashes are apparently a fashion ‘thing’ now. But so is wearing no mascara at all – everybody wins!

 

5. Bushy brows

That skin and those freckles 🙌🏼 ph:unknown 💃🏻

A photo posted by SOEL WALKER (@soelwalker) on

We’ve been in love with giant brows for ages now, but that perfectly groomed on-fleek look is still a lot of effort. So let’s embrace the off-fleek brow in all its naturally ruffled glory.

 

6. Glitter for dayyyys

Had loads of fun with glitter today ✨ #strobing #glitter #clumpylashes #art #makeup #mua #highlight #glow #summer #festival

A photo posted by C H L O Ë 💛✨ (@chloegrace_mua) on

Let’s look to Jane from the Bake Off, and her totally perfect philosophy: if in doubt, chuck a load of glitter on it. It worked for her chocolate celebration cake and it’ll definitely work for your face, too.