Nobody’s perfect, and nowhere is this more evident than photos on Facebook from 2007. We all know that deep feeling of regret when we look back on the fashion and beauty choices that we made when we were younger. Flat, matte make-up, no contouring and seriously damaging hair treatments? Yep. Us too.

With that said, here are a few of the beauty crimes committed by the Marie Claire team before we knew better. *Cue cringing*

Lynette, Deputy Editor

‘When I was younger, I thought I knew everything. Don’t we all? I made many beauty mistakes in my day – from over-plucking my eyebrows to over-bleaching my hair. I shaved the tops of my feet (don’t ask) and self-tanned from head to toe without exfoliating (gawd!). I also wore thick black eyeliner everywhere I went (it didn’t do anything for my eyes – in fact, it made them look smaller) and I used far too much Vaseline jelly to tame my frizz – can you say oil slick?’

Abi, Online Editor

‘My biggest beauty fail is undoubtedly only discovering eyebrow pencil when I was 23 – I went through my whole teens and early 20s with no eyebrows to speak of, because mine are really blonde. That, and also wearing blue eyeshadow the whole of first year varsity.’


Afika, Online Content Producer

‘One beauty regret was getting my brows microbladed last year, knowing very well that I have the oiliest skin in South Africa, so the pigment didn’t last longer than six weeks. The aesthetician said the pigment would return, but five months later there’s still nothing. I’m still sad it didn’t last for the two years it was meant to. Bleak.’

Jade, Freelance Copy Editor

‘My face has always been pale, and I’ve basically never had a tan in my life. Then, a couple of summers ago, I miraculously picked up some colour while travelling. Of course, being inexperienced in the ways of a bronzed goddess, I didn’t think to update my make-up accordingly. My go-to mineral face powder basically made me look like a wannabe geisha up top, with a California girl neck and chest. Not a good look.’


Ncumisa, Beauty Editor

‘My hair has been through a lot over the years. When I was younger I used to straighten my Afro on a  weekly basis. Not only that, but I didn’t even know what heat protectant was. I damaged my hair A LOT in the process. I think it may still be recovering!’

Jo Sullivan, Features Writer

‘My mom always told me to start using anti-ageing creams in my twenties. So that’s exactly what I did – for years. I struggled with very bad skin, until a dermatologist eventually told me that not all anti-ageing creams are suitable for young skin. Little did I know I had been making my skin worse. Best tip is to pick an anti-ageing cream that is light enough to be absorbed easily by younger skin.’ 

Helen, Beauty Writer

‘When I was around 17, I went through an emo phase, which is essentially a milder form of goth. This meant that I wore a lot of red eyeshadow on my lids as well as underneath my eyes and would finish it off with a thick coat of black kohl liner. This wasn’t the faux pas, but rather the fact that I have transparent blonde eyelashes and didn’t wear any mascara to finish off my very-cultivated look. Fail.’


*Disclaimer: That lady with the mullet in full ’80s regalia might not be one of our teammates but rather a glorious find in a stock-image library. Some of us may or may not have sported a similar look at some point. But we’re not telling.

Read more beauty stories.