5 Beauty Frenemies

by Roxanne C.

Everyone knows what frenemies are. They are the people who are both our friends and enemies at the same time. Maybe Asians understand this better, since although our classmates in school are our friends, we’re also enemies in terms of competing for higher grades. Frenemies are people who cannot do without each other and somehow strike a balance between love and hate for each other.


In the world of beauty, frenemies exist as well. These are products that some of us just cannot live without but we also know that they aren’t all that good. At the moment, I can think of 5 of them. They aren’t strangers to the style-savvy girl but nonetheless, here are the culprits:


1) Facial Blotters


Thinking of blotting? Think again.


Blotting sheets are the Number One frenemy that we all know! They do their job and take care of the midday shine better than anything else but in their wake they create a vicious cycle and a never-ending dependence on them. Oh those poor, unknowing souls. Somebody should tell them that blotters take away too much oil and end up confusing our hormones and resulting in them glands producing even more oil! Maybe once in a while, such as on a special occasion like your big day, blotting sheets are a girl’s best friend. But for normal day-to-day activities, these should really just be avoided!


2) Hair Straighteners or Curlers


Clamp, twirl and go.


Everybody knows these as well. They come in different sizes for different purposes – big curls, tight curls, convenience for travel. Even if the plates are made of “high grade ceramic,” it’s still essentially applying extremely high heat in direct contact with our manes. This is why some girls walk around with dry hair akin to the withered hay in the Serengeti which the wildebeest no longer even sees as food. A hair straightener can give us styles that would otherwise cost a bomb to re-create at the hair salon but it isn’t terribly healthy either, I’m afraid. Apply a protective mask and let it absorb before attacking with the pretty burner if you can help it. And then again, having wiry hair is still better than having no hair.


3) Cotton Pads


Just a thinner sponge.


I don’t think a girl ever travels without these soft, fluffy things. They’re great for removing makeup – especially when you’ve done it up wrong and need a quick fix – and applying toner. However, cotton pads are just like sponges in the sense that they absorb anything that’s placed on them. If you’re the kind who puts some toner onto the cotton pad before wiping it over your face, you’re doing it wrong. The same goes for makeup removal. Because these greedy things take away your expensive liquids, you end up using less than what you should otherwise be. My advice? Never use a cotton swab of any kind when applying your toner. To take away the day’s grime, apply makeup remover directly onto your skin (I highly recommend Shu Uemura’s oil cleansers), wait for a while and then use the cotton pad to wipe it off after.


4) Acrylic Manicures


The bling. And oh, the plastic.


You can’t help but stare. Those intricately-designed, artificial talons. Who cares if they’re plastic; They look gorgeous. If we can have flowers on our dresses, we very well can have flowers on our nails too! And snow flakes, Swarovski crystals, polka dots and spider webs. But having acrylic nails done kills and destroys our natural ones in the process. Removing them is difficult as well and is best done at the nail salon. It’s true, they look pretty and last for a long time but getting them involves dangerous fumes and they can be difficult to grow out. If you take care of your own nails, acrylics are unnecessary, even if you need va va vroom nails for prom night. And if you’re pregnant, please don’t even consider this!


5) Teeth Whitening Strips


Yellow, yellow, dirty fellow.


I’ve been there, done that. In fact, the only brand of teeth whitening strips I’ve used are from Crest and, well, what’s there not to like about a bright smile? These strips are simple to use and prove effective after several treatments, which don’t have to last the entire box worth of strips. But these strips contain concentrated chemicals to bleach what toothpaste has failed to. This can be too harsh for our gentle gums, and can erode enamel. While I can’t say not to use these, especially since I use them from time to time myself, try not to let the strips go too near the gums and when sensitivity kicks in, use them more sparingly.





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Image Credits: Google Images