My main earlobe piercings got a little irritated, so this morning I dipped the earring studs in antibiotic ointment before putting them into my ears. This is a tip my Aunt Barb mentioned to me when I was a pre-teen. My mom didn’t have pierced ears, and so neither of us knew this idea. (I have heard about NOT doing it for cartilage piercings, in case you are suddenly feeling anxious.)
I was thinking about all the other beauty/care tips that get handed down and around. My mom’s friend Carol is the one who mentioned you have to use some sort of shaving cream or lotion or soap when you shave your legs with a disposable razor: my mom used my dad’s electric razor, so I’d thought disposable razors worked on the same “dry legs, no added substances” principle and gave myself a nasty razor burn.
Carol is also the one who told me you could water down an overly-intense lipstick by putting on lip balm/gloss first, then dabbing on the lipstick lightly, then rubbing your lips together to mix.
My friend Melanie’s mom is the one who taught us to wash our faces: first, run the washcloth under hot water and hold it against your face for a little while to open the pores; then put soap on the washcloth and wash and rinse your face; then, run the washcloth under cold water and hold it against your face for a little while to close the pores. I don’t even do it this way, yet I think of it as The Way To Wash Your Face.
My brother’s friend Robin had a much older sister who taught us to put a little bit of conditioner in our hair after towel-drying it but before blow-drying it. This was in the era of perming, blow-drying, and using a curling iron, so we were all looking for ways to turn straw back into hair.
I wish I could remember and thank whoever was so persuasive about face lotion that I started using it every day from age 12 onward. It might have been one of the teen magazines I read, or maybe Cosmo. Well worth the price of the subscription, if so. I bought Oil of Olay with my $1.25/hour babysitting money.
Amy, a girl in my youth group who was 16 when I was 12, is the one who mentioned that sometimes you need to shave armpits in more than one direction. She’s also the one who taught me how to feather my hair. And to match all my eye make-up to my eye-color, which I no longer do, but it was fun at the time.
My grandmother demonstrated how to spray perfume on a wrist, then touch the wrists together lightly, then touch the wrists lightly to the sides of the neck.
My mom taught me how to put wet hair into a towel turban. I think often of something I saw a long time ago (surely one of you will know what this was) where Elaine from Seinfeld tosses a pile of towels to a line of towel-clad women (could one of the women have been Elliot from Scrubs? but if so, WHY?), and we look away, and there’s a fwip-fwip-fwip sound, and when we look back all of them have towel-turbaned heads, and Elaine says “I love how we all know how to do that.” What IS this from? It’s in my memory like it’s a commercial.
I’m trying to remember other tips and who told them to me. In the meantime, who taught what to you?