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True Beauty Confessions

By Amalah

So it’s 9 am on Wednesday morning and I’ve wiped my kid’s snotty nose three dozen times already. I’ve got balled-up tissues in my bathrobe pockets. I haven’t showered or brushed my teeth and I spent most of last night on the couch because my husband’s hacking cough was driving me crazy.
And now I’m supposed to…what? Write an advice column? About…beauty? Fashion?
Oh har. HAR HAR I SAY.
So since I’m feeling down and low and greasy, let’s just talk today. Okay?
In fact, let’s tell secrets! Here’s mine:
I have a single wispy blond hair that grows on my cheek. It looks like peach fuzz, but it will grow INDEFINITELY if I don’t pluck it occasionally. So I have been plucking this damn hair ever since I first discovered it in high school. Or should I say, ever since my BOYFRIEND discovered it in high school. He went to push a hair away from my face and was all. “Hey! You have a whisker!”
God.
Do you have any weird beauty/grooming secrets like that? Come on, share with the class. We’re all friendly freaks here, I promise.
If you don’t have anything to confess, how about tossing out some ideas of things you’d like to see covered here?
A lot of the questions I get now are variations on something I already answered. Possibly multiple times. And while I’m happy to stay within my narrow realm of knowledge week after week, I don’t want to bore everybody else with repetitive topics, but sometimes it’s tough to find a question that’s different, but not too different. Something that will still be helpful and interesting to a lot of people, but not another post about the Philosophy face wash.
Any beauty challenges you have yet to master? The proper blowdry technique? The perfect home pedicure? Or do you have some candiates for a Price Tag Cage Match?
Basically, let’s just spend today talking about how gross we all are. Ha. Regular Q&A programming will resume on Friday. I promise to shower at least once before then.

Amalah
About the Author

Amy Corbett Storch

Amalah

Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Ama...

Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Amalah. Also, it’s pronounced AIM-ah-lah.

If there is a question you would like answered on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to [email protected].

Amy also documented her second pregnancy (with Ezra) in our wildly popular Weekly Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty.

Amy is mother to rising first-grader Noah, preschooler Ezra, and toddler Ike.

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Foodie Kristy
Guest

Hairspray! I have not mastered using hairspray, so I tend to NOT use it out of fear. I just bought some Pantene Texturizing Spray, and it seems to come out violently. But I think it works for my chin length choppy hair, which needs texturizing. But this could be a good Price Cage Match topic. Personal Beauty Secrets: I will never use an eyeliner pencil again. I use the angled eyeliner brush, and use my darkest eye shadow to line my eyes. I use the MAC brush. But I have bought brushes from ELF (shadow brush) and Target (foundation brush)… Read more »

nicshtik
Guest
nicshtik

I have a similar hair that grows just below my belly button, its dark and curly like certain other hairs, but several inches away…ERGH! I pluck it once a week…oh and I have a really bad cowlick that I have to work way too hard in the morning to cover up, and thats why I always wear my hair up! (and if anyone tells anyone else that…I swear…I will probably go have another beer) Need Advice: this whole fashion belt thing that is going on because I was totally raised thinking that belts were to hold pants up and not… Read more »

Lori
Guest
Lori

At least your whisker is on your cheek!! My boyfriend found mine years ago on the spot under your chin but not quite your neck. I still rely on him to advise me when to pluck it- and in most cases he has to do it for me because I can’t even see it. Love must know no bounds…
And if you need a question- here is one…
Is it just me or does everyone that shaves their armpits get those annoying ingrown hairs? I have actually begun thinking about waxing my pits… is this done?

michelle
Guest
michelle

hmm – since everyone seems to have a true whisker confession I’ll share mine – I have a whisker on one of my boobs that I have to pluck about once a month or so – ew –

heels
Guest
heels

I have a little hair, too. It is white and whispy and grows from my cheek. I used to have one that grew from my earlobe, but I haven’t seen it since I had my son. Beauty question: I am a pedicure virgin. I’m kind of scared to go. I also don’t really know why one would need to have a pedicure, but with summer coming, I’ve been getting a funny urge to go. What are the benefits? And, for the uninitiated, what should one look for in a good pedicure? Are there “procedures” to avoid? How embarrassed do I… Read more »

mavislee
Guest
mavislee

I have a dark hair that grows(dun dun dun) from the end of my nose. Apparently, I am a witch.
Also, can you do a nail polish cage match? I like to paint my toes as rarely as possible, but I’m too lazy to ever figure out what really lasts.

linda
Guest
linda

I hate the dark hair that grows profusely on my arms, so I use an epilator (Emjoi Optima) on them once a week. I really love the results. Bonus is that the hairs seem to be getting finer, and they don’t grow back “prickly”, so if I miss getting to it by a couple of days, it’s no big deal.

Tone
Guest
Tone

I have a whisker confession as well. I have a former mole (I say former because it no longer has mole characteristics like color or shape) on my cheek and multiple black hairs grow out of it. Ew!
Beauty advice needed: eyelash curling, is it really necessary? I’ll admit I’ve never tried it, but do it really make that much of a difference?

Liz
Guest

I’m so pregnant I can’t see my vagina anymore so I broke down and got a bikini wax. not just any bikini wax – but a brazilian. Yes, I’m crazy. Now I can’t see if I’m getting in grown hairs -so really I’m in the same spot I was before. How’s that for TMI! Lori – I got my armpits waxed before my wedding. Hurts like hell but the hairs come in SO MUCH finer and you don’t have those dark shadows either. It relieved the in grown hairs for me, but I think if you just shaved and used… Read more »

Heather Barmore
Guest

Chin hairs. Lots of them. So many in fact that I had to start waxing but that completely clogged up my pores. And so my mother, feeling sad and possibly embarrassed by her hairy daughter (it’s genetic by the way) has offered to pay for electrolysis.

procrastamom
Guest

Oh God! After you mentioned that whisker thing, I actually sat here at my desk and felt around my cheek until I found mine and plucked it out. Secret #1? It was at least an inch long! Blech. Secret #2: I turn 35 in 9 days and I haven’t ever had a skincare routine that I’ve stuck to for more than a month. Thanks to this column (and I know you don’t want to talk about Philosophy today, but it’s my keyboard and I’ll type if I want to) I finally ordered a Philosophy kit for congested skin and I… Read more »

Audrey
Guest

I’d love to know about the proper blowdry technique. And also if there’s any way to break my most awful habit of picking at hangnails to the point where my cuticles are all raw and painful. You’d think the pain would break me of the habit, but it doesn’t. It’s the kind of thing that I don’t even realize I’m doing until it’s too late. Is there any way to break myself of this bad, bad habit? All these whisker tales remind me of this one eyebrow hair my husband has that’s the same wiry thickness as his beard hairs.… Read more »

Shawnee
Guest

Confession – about 2 years ago, I discovered a black hair growing out of my chin. The horror! Now I am ultra-vigilant & pluck the damn thing practically before it has the chance to break the surface. Suggestion – how about a Cage Match for sunless tanners, specifically the gradual ones sold @ drugstores. (Jergens, Olay, etc.) I hate to be pasty but refuse to sacrifice my skin & health to look sunkissed anymore. However, I also don’t want to be streaky &/or orange. I’m so demanding. Oh, and for mavislee – OPI nail polish is the absolute BEST polish… Read more »

Susan
Guest

Procrastamom, I found one (ONE) gray hair on my head and actually went to the store and bought a 28-day hair color. I’m glad I’m not the only one. But, here’s the thing: it has never returned, and it’s way past 28 days! I scared the damn thing into hiding.
Confession: I always forget to get hair cuts. I’m going on three months now with no trim. By the time I am ready for one, that’s when my friends start complimenting me on how pretty my hair looks. Grr.

Ellen
Guest
Ellen

Thank goodness I’m not the only one in the world with whiskers! Every month or so I find a black hair growing in the same spot on… my boob. I pluck it out, because GEEZ, EWW, but it keeps growing back.
I wish I could be Zen about it.

Alice
Guest
Alice

I always want to comment, and have been too lazy to register. Now, I finally did. Yay! I agree that I’d like a Price Tag Cage Match for sunless tanners. I’m a very pale redhead with legs so white they literally look like they’re glowing in pictures, and I’m about to go on a vacation to the Amalfi Coast in Italy. So, uh, YEAH. I need some help! I’m also a pedicure virgin, and am about to go get one before said trip. I’m very ticklish, and not sure what to expect. I’m sort of afraid I’m going to reflexively… Read more »

Kimmy
Guest
Kimmy

Are we allowed to answer people’s questions in the comments? (Will you beat me about the head and ban me from your site? Ack!) I just feel the need to share. Tone: Nobody *has* to curl their eyelashes, it just depends on the effect you want. It definitely opens up the eyes and can help to make your lashes look longer and fuller (when used along with a good mascara, of course!) You just have to be careful when you curl or you’ll end up with sort of a “shelf” thing going on, that that looks really bad. It’s worth… Read more »

Alaina
Guest

shampoo? conditioner?
why should I spend $20 a bottle on the fancy stuff? Why? If someone could explain that to me, that would be nice.
And! I got my first gray hair in the 7th grade. At 24, I see my stylist more than I see most of my friends. The onslaught of graying seemed to subside about a year ago and I have a mainly pepper, lightly salted look all over my head (not concentrated like some have). What causes premature graying?

umi
Guest

My secret is that I used to have a single THICK coarse hair that grew on one spot on my arm. I would pluck it and it kept coming back. It was dark, coarse, and mean… I think it gave me edge. I named it Fred. Then, one day, Fred left without saying goodbye. I kinda miss him.

Meghan
Guest

I have an eyelash on my left eyelid that grows upside down. As in it curls under while the rest curl up. At first I thought It was just twisted, but no, it was actually growing down and poking me in the eye. I pluck it out every time I notice it’s back, which is about every 2-3 months. I also have about four hairs on my chin/neck that sprout up in hormonally intense times. As others have said, it was a boyfriend who first noticed, and now I find myself lightly touching my neck and chin every few days… Read more »

Arwen
Guest
Arwen

I’d definitely like to hear about the at-home pedicures.
A nail polish cage match would be awesome. I’ve always just used the standard Revlon but I know a lot of people swear by OPI, and I’d be interested in knowing if it actually works better. I’d like to know it’s worth it before I spend the money on it.
Oh, and does your nail polish actually stay on better and not chip if you use basecoat and topcoat and all that stuff? You should find out!

Betheed
Guest
Betheed

Chin hair = bain of my existence.
And my biggest beauty “How do I do this” thing is dealing with all those salespeople. Like when you get “invited” to have a free facial at a department store, what do you do? Do you tip your facialist? Is it like a car saleman, are you supposed to ask for “your” girl every time you go? Is it just about pushing you to buy more of thier products?

amieable
Guest

I would like a…
Cage match: a drugstore eyelash curler versus the Shu Uemura at Sephora!
Advice on how to apply eye-shadow to bring out the best in my eyes. Light where? Dark where?
As for a beauty secret: I have a tendendy to accidentally pluck a hole in my eyebrows. I tend to twirl my eyebrows when I’m bored and at the computer only to go to the bathroom and see a gap in my brow. Humiliating that it has happened more than once.

jaggedraven
Guest

The blow-dry technique article would be great. I need all the help I can get in that area. At home pedicures, too!
I am fair skinned with light brown hair, but for some reason I have one black hair that grows on the side of my chin. Aggravating as hell. But it gets plucked pretty fast.

BaltimoreGal
Guest
BaltimoreGal

I too have the wispy blonde hair- in my cleavage. HARD to find- I usually only see it when it’s LONG. Also hard to get rid of blonde eyebrow hairs, I might add. I do get dark hairs that grow around my bellybutton (thanks, mom’s genes) that look way out of place on a blonde, white-skinned girl. I haven’t exposed my stomach since the 7th grade, I think. Also, I have noticed some grey hairs BUT ONLY IN ONE PLACE ifyouknowwhatimean. I don’t believe in waxing THAT area with my sensitive skin and am a natural blonde, therefore I’ve even… Read more »

Ali
Guest
Ali

I am the (un)proud owner of two roque eyelashes. They sit above the rest of the eyelashes as if they are better than them. I pluck them with a vengeance, because, really, we can’t have eyelash snobs now can we?

leslie
Guest
leslie

I’m in my mid-40s and have lots of fine hair growing on my face. In order to save money for non-optional procedures (pedicures, eyebrow waxing, etc.), I shave my face (cheeks and along jawline) about once a week. But don’t tell anyone!

christin
Guest
christin

also got some chin hair over here.
i have an idea for a column – i’m thinking of trying to get pregnant in a few months. having just gotten married last year, i was a giant fan of countdown lists (like at 4 months to go, you should be doing this). i think an amalah version of a countdown to getting pregnant/having the baby would rock. maybe that’s just me, though….

Stacitee
Guest

I have a unibrow. If I didn’t pluck it would grow straight across my face. I’ve never had an eyebrow wax (chicken!). I’d like to know what the benefits are of getting brows professionally done vs. plucking them yourself.
Also, I have a ton of gray hair that I hide by getting my hair colored pretty often. I have more gray hair than my sister who is 8 years older than me!
I would like a cage match about OPI nail polish vs. Revlon (or whatever drugstore brand) too.

Lori
Guest
Lori

Ok. I am really going to test you on this one. I want rid of my dark circles. I have tried the eye creme, yellow tinted concealer, etc. What can I do?? If I hear, “you look tired” one more time (at 8 am and no I was not tired)- I will go insane…

AJMICK
Guest
AJMICK

I get weird hairs/whiskers, too! Ugh! Which is why I now carry a pair of Tweezermans in my purse. Nothing like sitting in a meeting and touching your chin to find you need to pluck. No, I don’t whip out the tweezers in the meeting but I should considering the guys I work with clip their nails at their desks! Ewww! On the pedicures/nail polish issue – I have used pricey and cheap and find little difference as there is good and bad on both sides. I’m to a point where I only buy OPI clear or if it’s a… Read more »

Broad
Guest

@ Michelle: ONE, rogue nipple hair!?? Only ONE!?? God, I wish I were you. Stupid Eastern European genes making me look and feel like a dude …
@ Heather B: I’ve heard that electrolysis is super-painful, so you might see if laser has gone down in price. I saw a cable ad the other night about treatments starting at $30 a pop, so if that’s true, I’m SO there.

mdvelazquez
Guest
mdvelazquez

I have the chin whiskers too. Drives me crazy.
Weird beauty secret? I must always bathe, scrub, etc. from left to right. If I don’t, I have to start over.
Request? I would really like to know where I can find a soft cup/wireless, seamless bra my size. I’m a 32DDD/F.

Amalah
Guest

(These are the best! comments! ever!)
And I am writing down every one of your questions and requests (okay, cutting and pasting) for future smacking down.

Kate
Guest

I’d love to see more cage matches. I had a small list earlier in the week, but tooth whiteners are the only thing I can remember from it right now.

Kelly J
Guest
Kelly J

My secret? I’m another with a rogue, dark, wirey chin hair. Gimme those Tweezerman tweezers once it’s broken the surface enough for me to grasp it!
I would also love proper blow dry technique. I seem to be completely inept at the rolley-brush thing with the blow dryer.
Oh, and BaltimoreGal? They make hair color for that problem. It’s called Colour Down Under. I heard about it on a t.v. show recently. They’d had an audience member test drive it (she seemed VERY modest), and she and her husband both LOVED the results… http://www.metrobeauty.com/Hair-Care/Hair-Color/GiGi-Colour-Down-Under.html

psumommy
Guest

was going to confess my chin hair(s!), but it seems that everyone has them…so I kinda feel better about that one! Um…well, the other thing is pretty darn gross. Ever since I was in high school, I’ve had eyebrow dandruff. I KNOW! Just on my eyebrows! My skin’s always been fine (hardly had acne, only dry because I was using soap- no ‘beauty routine’ here until last year…I’ll be 30 in August). I switched to Purity because of this site (THANK YOU!) but…the eyebrow dandruff is still there. YUCK. Column ideas…none from my corner. I’m learning everything I *should* have… Read more »

Rachel
Guest
Rachel

I also have a couple crazy eyelashes that grow in upside down and sit above the rest. What the heck is that? I would enjoy some bikini wax advice. I mean really detailed info. How long does the hair need to be before it can be waxed? How long are you hair-free before it starts growing back? How flexible do you need to be to get waxed? Anything you can do to make it less painful? Will I have red, irritated skin after? And how long will it stay red? Any bumpies? I am obviously a wax virgin but I… Read more »

Cindy
Guest
Cindy

I thought I was the only person who had stray boobage hairs. I’m so happy I want to cry!! I have to pluck those suckers about once a month — and it ain’t just one. It’s disguisting. Advice needed on: hairspays (ones that hold but don’t feel like glue — i.e., Bed Head’s Hard Head (good gawd it’s nasty)), blow dry techniques for fine hair. Cage Match: Conditioners for people like me who use too much heat on their hair; and teeth whiteners (props to whoever you are up there who suggested that — I’m too lazy to scroll up).… Read more »

Cindy
Guest
Cindy

And …
I want all those questions answered about bikini waxing that Rachel asked!
That is all.

thepaperdoll
Guest

hi, my name is sara and i’m a face picker. if i have a zit i must pop it. there’s just something so satisfying about watching it squish out.
i know i know. stop.
i’ve tried. i can’t.
now i have red blotchy scars. not raised or pockmarked. just reddish purplish dots where i’ve squeezed and mashed and destroyed my skin.
anything i can do to erase the damage i’ve already done while trying to overcome my addiction?
somewhere my mother is saying i told you so.
sigh.

cindy
Guest
cindy

I would love to see a price tag cage match on face blotters – you know, the little tissue things that those of us with oily skin have to use to keep from blinding the rest of you. I’ve tried 5 or 6 different brands, and I’d be curious to see what works the best for the money.

Laurie
Guest
Laurie

One chin hair? Once a month? I am sorry to admit I am a daily plucker. Chin, upper lip, lower lip, eyebrows, nipples, below the belly button… When I’m away for a few days and return home to my lighted magnifying mirror the horror that awaits me is gruesome.
Any suggestions for ingrown hairs along the bikini line would be great.
Oh, and I also use an epilator on my arms.

missbritt
Guest

I have a question:
I do not have under eye circles. I have permanent BAGS. I’m tired (well, I mean, I AM) – I’ve had them since I ws born, basically.
Everyone is always giving me “circles” make up advice.
What can I do about the damn bags?!?!

Corinne
Guest
Corinne

sara – I’m a zit picker too. But only on my chin.
SHAME.

Cathy
Guest
Cathy

yes, please answer Rachel’s questions about waxing!
I’ve always wanted to do it because I have such sensitive skin (on both my legs and armpits) that if I shave more often than once every four days, I get an angry red rash and tons of nasty-looking ingrown hairs (on both my legs AND armpits!) so I’ve considered waxing, but I don’t know if it will help or hurt with my thin skin. Please enlighten me!

rachel
Guest
rachel

I bleach my arm hair every couple weeks or so. Once my boyfriend mentioned something about my arm hair not being dark, and I said, “Oh, that’s because I bleach.” That must have been TMI because he paused and said, “Right. Don’t ever tell me that again.” And yet he has no problem going to the bathroom right in front of me! I am curious about those women who said they use epilators. How do you think they measure up against bleaching? And I agree with Broad and others. No sympathy for those with one chin hair. I’m definitely on… Read more »

elle
Guest
elle

I’m a long-time British lurker — love your site, even though I can’t get many of the products you mention over here (e.g., Philosophy). Chin hairs, nipple hairs: yep, ‘fraid so, despite being pale and blond. I should warn you all that they seem to have increased in number over the years (now late 30s). Partner doesn’t seem to notice or care, but it freaks me out, so out they come as soon as I can. I have tweezers EVERYWHERE: bathroom, bedroom, handbag, office… My question: I have keratosis pilaris on my legs — that is, my skin over-produces keratin,… Read more »

cagey
Guest

Hair? Great balls of fire, I am a hairy beast. The rare, elusive Sasquatch of the Great Plains. Pelt doesn’t even begin to cover it (ha! Catch my pun? )
I would love to see a post about the perfect home pedicure, maybe some Cage Matches between nail polishes (quick dry vs. long-lasting). I would also love to see some stuff about detanglers. And what about baby/kid’s hair care? (is that allowed?) I’m starting to think that maybe plain old J&J isn’t cutting it anymore on my precious progeny’s hair.

AML
Guest
AML

Ooh, definitely a Price Tag Cage Match for undereye concealers! I have been using Time Balm and it’s pretty good but there is probably something better out there that only the intrepid Amalah could find for us. How ’bout one for blemish concealers too, or can you use the same product as undereye?? Right now I am using Revlon something or other with salicylic acid. It’s not bad but I could really use some pointers. Switching to the Philosophy line has not cured the acne problem…yet. But at least it shows how loyal to Amy I am! Count me among… Read more »