Back when I was in high school, I was pretty high maintenance (even though I didn’t have a job). My brows were groomed every two weeks. My acrylic-wrapped nails were inches long. And my beauty mark, courtesy of liquid eyeliner, had to rest “just so” on my left cheek. That’s right, I, Annika Harris, committed these three beauty sins throughout high school, and even a bit in college. But only two of these cardinal sins embarrass me now. Look at the photo on the left. Those over-plucked, barely visible brows belong on a kewpie doll, not my senior-year face. I can’t believe how fly I thought I looked at the time. After having to grow out my brows several times in the past, I will never allow someone to wax them into virtual oblivion again.
Now on to my nails. OK, so in my defense, every woman wore or wanted to wear acrylic tips or wraps in 1997. I thought of it as self-expression, and my high school didn’t have a uniform mandate for how our nails were supposed to look. So I did my nails up when I could. Nowadays, though, I wouldn’t be caught dead with fake nails, even though it’s common among celebrities and reality TV personalities, regardless of their race or culture. I remember the mind-numbing pain of breaking one of those suckers, and I make my livelihood with my fingers, you know.
Every now and then I think of bringing back my favorite high school beauty element — the beauty mark. It started innocently as a way to disguise a pimple my sophomore year, but by senior year it grew to be something I couldn’t–or wouldn’t–leave the house without. I actually convinced people it was real after a year or two. One time, my grandmother took my mom aside to ask her if I’d had my beauty mark removed, after seeing me early one morning without it. Then, one day I just stopped dotting it on, and no one noticed. I don’t change my beauty look that often — a bright lip and minimal eye makeup has been the standard for some years now — but the beauty mark might make a comeback really soon.
OK, so now that I’ve embarrassed myself a little, it’s your turn. Does your high school beauty routine, or lack thereof, embarrass you now? Is there anything you still do today? Let us know.