Tested: 5 Most Disastrous Internet Beauty Tips

Among the Nutella and peanut butter milkshake recipes, inspirational quote macros, and hundreds of ways to distress your own furniture (my favorite is to tell it you’re pregnant), Pinterest hosts thousands of tutorials for becoming beautiful. In one day, Kristi Harrison tried all of them.

#5 Straws as curlers

According to the dozens of pictures I saw of this hair hack on Pinterest, it should have been easy. Before you go to bed, you divide your wet hair up into sections, wrap them around a straw, tie the straw in a knot, then go to sleep and wake up to a head full of curls. Yes, there was a 50 percent chance an errant straw end would gouge your or your lover’s eye out in your sleep, but who are we kidding about lovers when you look like this:

There were a few red flags I should have paid attention to before I tied plastic drink tubes into my hair. First, a lot of the tutorials were for African-American women, who have a different hair texture from mine. I’m pretty colorblind, so I missed that note the first go-around. (Thank you, ’90s era United Color of Benetton ads.) Second, most of the Caucasian women who demonstrated the tutorial had really long hair, and mine is jowl-flap length. I’m pretty lengthblind, so I missed that red flag as well. What happened next will make your jaw drop (in fear).

There’s good news and bad news. The good news is that the straw curlers really did curl hair, so that’s a WIN for Pinterest.

#4 Conceal, Contour & Highlight

Five minutes into the Hair and Beauty section of Pinterest, I find out that other girls are messing with their faces in ways previously only used at Cirque du Soleil and LA casting calls. They’re using different colored makeup to contour their faces into perfection. I don’t mean using dramatic eye shadow or lipstick to look fancy; I mean using different shades of flesh-colored cream to give the illusion of a skinnier face. Like this:

Unless you live in a never-ending loop of tribal initiation rituals, you probably aren’t seeing many women walking around with different colored lines on their faces. That’s because the next step after applying the concealer is blending it in so the unsuspecting public never knows you’re face-tricking them.

#3 Baby powder adds volume to lashes

Women who want thicker, more bangable eyelashes have a few options, each more horrific than the one before: eyelash serum, which could be nothing but semen in a tube, for all I know; false eyelashes, which require overcoming the fear of permanently gluing your eyes shut; or eyelash extensions, which are exactly what they sound like and cost more than a week’s worth of groceries for a family of five. But according to Pinterest, there’s another option for lush lashes: All you have to do is apply a powder usually reserved for baby butts to the hair surrounding your eyes! Dangerous? Maybe! Worth it? Probably not!

According to the tutorial, all I had to do was put on a layer of mascara, then use a Q-Tip to apply a layer of baby powder to my lashes, then do the mascara again, so my eyelashes don’t look like they’re full of cocaine and that I’m the world’s dumbest drug addict.

The tutorials don’t tell you to do that routine six more times, but I did anyway, just in case they meant to say “Repeat” but forgot. By the time I was done, my mascara wand was no longer able to penetrate the black jungle of tangled gunk that framed my eyeballs.

#2 Use Listerine as a foot soak

For those of you who don’t think twice about the undersides of your feet and have no idea what I’m talking about, people who get regular pedicures pay tens of dollars to have their feet soaked, scrubbed, massaged, and painted until crackly old dead skin is transformed to glass-smooth sexy skin.

According to the tutorial, all you have to do is soak your feet in a tub of Listerine, vinegar, and hot water for 10 minutes. When your feet emerge from their bath, everything will be right with the world, and no one will judge your orange-ish rubbery soles again.

And here I am 10 minutes later, realizing that there is now a solid blue line of demarcation on my sole, my toes and toenails are green, and all the dead skin is still there — but tingles. Almost as if it just took a bath in mouthwash.

And here I am realizing that sandals are off the table for me for the next day or so, that I should stop being so gullible, and that I probably crossed the line from brave to straight up ignorant hours ago and gangrene toes are my justly deserved punishment.

#1 DIY temporary tattoo

Everyone on the planet falls into one of three categories, tattoo-wise: Tattoo People, Tattoo People Who Regret Being Tattoo People, and People Who Are Inexplicably Proud of Being Tattoo-Free Like It’s Some Kind of G-D Virtue. (It’s not.) People care that you’re tattoo-free in the same way that they care about the shows you don’t watch — they don’t.

The rules of this beauty makeover day required that I not spend any money, so it was important that I find a tutorial that only used stuff I had in my house. Pinterest had just the ticket.

All I needed was a Sharpie marker, hairspray, and my old friend baby powder. Flushed with the excitement of finally looking as dangerous and sassy as I am in my head, I locked myself in the bathroom and gave zero thought to what I was doing before I started drawing. Previous highfalutin notions of using my body as an introspective canvas went out the window as I drew the very first thing that came to mind:

Looking back now, I think I see where I went wrong. It wasn’t a fine Sharpie pen, but a big fat blue Sharpie marker. And I shouldn’t have sprayed the tattoo immediately, because the wetness made the ink bleed into my skin more than it would have otherwise. Oh, and I probably should have sketched out a few ideas before playing the word association game on my own skin. It turns out that in my head Tattoo = Rihanna Silly Face. Maybe because Rihanna has a bunch of tattoos and I felt silly for drawing on myself? Or maybe I wish I could be the goofy version of Rihanna but I forgot Miley Cyrus exists? These are all questions I’ll ask my therapist when I remember to get one.

The good news is that this sweet ink was already blending nicely into my still-green toes, so I started thinking about my next tat, which I wanted to be illustrative while representing who I am as a woman. Five seconds later, the deed was done.

Looking back, I probably should have fully internalized the lessons from the first tattoo from the minute before. Just because I know how to draw a house doesn’t mean that this was a good choice for a tattoo (even though I clearly know how to draw a house). And just because house-drawing is something that I’m really good at doesn’t mean I need to brag by semi-permanently advertising my skills on my wrist. Architect College is not an option for me right now and I don’t have time to start another career as an excellent house-drawer. Who knows how many millions of people will ask me to draw their house based on this column alone?

By the end of the day, the bleeding haunted cartoon house on my wrist was the only beauty hack I was happy with, and even it washed off when I couldn’t stand my redfro, eye junk, insanely clogged pores, and blue feet anymore. Do I feel cheated? NO. Not counting the day I was born, this was the best day of my life. And I’d do a Pinterest tutorial-a-thon again in a heartbeat.

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