Tomorrow's nail appointment is bittersweet - I get my gels removed, and I go back to "regular" nails after consistently wearing gels for the recent holiday season. This is neither particularly life-changing nor important in any way, but it makes me think about what women go through for their appearance only to undo it at a later point.


The tedious scraping off of gels reminds me of myself, friends, and my mother-in-law who were all enamored with their gelicure at first sight, only to regret it later after seeing the damage caused to their nail beds when the gels were removed.


Similarly, when Latisse first came out, I was meticulous in my nightly application - no matter how tired, every night ended with Latisse. Months later, I was getting tons of compliments on my long lashes - and inquiries as to why my eyelids were stained a coppery red, an unfortunate side-effect of the product. When my last bottle ran out, I'd become less enchanted with the product, and I've not returned to it since. All my long lashes have since fallen out, but my eyelids are thankfully a normal color.


A while back, a good friend had lash extensions applied. They were stunning - imagine looking like you're wearing false lashes all the time - until she couldn't do the upkeep and lost many of her natural lashes in the process of getting the extensions removed.


And most recently, an acquaintance had her extensions removed after realizing that, while gorgeous, they were murdering her natural hair, leaving her real ends frayed and damaged. Meanwhile, I personally tried to use specific products to UNdo my Brazilian Blowout (yeah! for wasting money). I loved the softness, but on my fine, thin hair, the final look was just too stringy for hair desperate for volume.


Ironically, so many of us go right back to the products we swore off - I'll get gels again soon, I eventually switched to another lash-growth product, and my friend had her extensions put back in.


But, I think it's helpful to remember both for our esteem and our pocketbooks, that often miracle products are far less amazing as they may seem at first. And, if women are continually focused on being less identified by their exterior appearance, we can save on the money, time and angst some of these products cause us.

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