A lady who laughs

A lady who laughs

Funny little short stories for you. Have a little read on the loo if you must, but you must because we all need more lightheartedness and humour. File this one under; beauty blunders. 

Going in blind


This was actually my first experience with beauty. At least it was my first formal beauty appointment. I may have had the odd girls sleepover with a homemade avocado and porridge face mask or two (thank you vintage Girlfriend magazine) but this was it.


“You are so lucky,” quipped my mum.


“ I’ve never had my eyelash’s tinted in my life. Not that I needed it. I don’t think I got a facial till I was... wait I’ve never had one” she jibed again with a subtle self- righteous tone that told me; I better be friggen’ grateful.


I was. It was a whole new world for a small town gal like me. I had my drivers license, a shitty old Nissan, a hot $20 in my pocket and an appointment at the local Salon for a lash and brow tint.


Let me tell you, this was not just any salon. Forget about the vast concrete, amber-lit salons we frequent now. This was a genuine garage conversion at the front of my mum’s-friend-of-family’s house! Sound like a mouthful? Well I’ll tell you more about it later. Picture this; fabulous polyester curtains adorning the fly screen windows, a garage roller door plastered with 80s Goldwell posters, a Chinese style partition with some orange towels strewn over it and a laundry sink with a garden hose attached to the tap. Divine!


“Come in Darl,” said my streaky, tiger haired hairdresser.


She had one of those random purple streaks in her fringe that was like a trademark of style for a hairdresser in a small town. Like a rapper with his bling, but different.


“Do you want a cup of tea? A coffee? I’ve got some Arrowroot biscuits?”


“Yes please. A tea would be nice,” I timidly replied (I was 16 I didn’t drink coffee and WTF arrowroots?)


I’m going to call this hairdresser Patsy for stories sake. Patsy moseyed out of the garage and ‘got to work’ on that tea. Meanwhile I sat on a green camper chair and daydreamed about my high school chums’ potential reactions to my face, post lash-tint. It was going to be of movie montage impressiveness. One minute me... next minute ... bombshell!


About 20 Minutes later Patsy tottered back with a lukewarm tea.


“Yum. Thank you. Just like a real salon,” I guessed?


I looked down at my tea. It was bereft of emulsification. Blobs of white powder floated atop some greyish water. I had a minute sip, but as my lips touched the ‘best mum award’ mug I could smell something a little cheesy. I inwardly winced.


“Mmmmmmm. Is this a special tea recipe? It tastes sooo good,” - I blatantly lied.


“Well I haven’t been able to pop down to Best Buy lately. I’ve just been up to Pussy’s bow with all these appointments. You know there is only two salons in town and I think people are really loving my style. So anyway, I’ve just popped a bit of baby’s formula in there. It tastes the same as milk doesn’t it? Probably a bit sweeter.”


I looked at Patsy for a minute. Patsy had to be pushing 50. I wasn’t aware that she had any babies. I decided this was vintage formula and I decided to ‘fake sip’ at it for a few more minutes while she ‘got to work’ on my eyelash tint. This experience, single handedly made me a green tea drinker for many years to follow. I guess I should thank Patsy for that. The antioxidants and all of that.


Well, 20 fake sips and 10 minutes later my ‘stylist’ re-entered the ‘salon’ with some blueish blob and cotton tips in hand.


“Lie down,” she said.


“On what?” I replied.


“Just take the chair over to the sink and lean back against the sink Love, ”


“Ok,” I said, dragging my chair to the sink.


“Are you comfortable?” Patsy asked.


“Well this sink is a bit hard on my neck”


“I’ll get you a towel,” she rolled her eyes.


I wasn’t sure of Salon protocol or Salon etiquette for that matter. So there I was leaning against a laundry tub with an orange towel that smelt like Talcum powder being bolstered behind my neck.


“Okay close you eyes Pet,” instructed Patsy.


I did. I felt a cool, bleachy smelling formula being plastered onto my lashes and brows. It was definitely a bit sting-y and it was definitely on other places besides my hair. Patsy was breathing heavily like Austin Powers’ fat bastard on my face. Her breath was reminiscent of a thousand cups of baby-formula-bushels.


I sat there, leaning into the orange towel. There were no armrests on the camping chair. My arms didn’t know what to do with themselves. My tailbone throbbed at the angle of my sit. My eyes were burning and I suddenly had an acute awareness of my eyebrow hairs. Yet, I was still utterly grateful for the experience. In my naivety I didn’t know any different and I appreciated being ‘pampered’.


I heard Patsy clip clop back into the room again.


“Ok all ready to rinse off. It’s looking much more defined now!”


“Sounds good,” I trusted.


Patsy applied something wet to my eyes. It felt a little warm and it smelt like my tea.


“I’m just using some formula to get the tint off. It DEE NEWTRALIZERZ the dye” she heavily annunciated.


I trusted her scientific knowledge.


“Wait a minute,” she suddenly pronounced.


Her tone sounded panicky. Middle-aged panicky.


“HARGGHH TWOOOPP,” Patsy aggressively spat onto something.


My eyes were still closed and stuck together with blue dye. I hoped, beyond hope she was clearing her throat into the sink next to me. I felt my gut twist in the subconscious knowledge of fully comprehending it wasn’t the sink but in fact some cotton pads.


I felt something warm press upon my eyes. Warm and sticky and coagulated. Yes…it was her spit. It was Patsy’s spit on a swisspers pad, marinating my eyes. An open orifice to my soul. She pressed, she wiped and she stroked away at my eyes.


“Okay Pet, There were just a few sticky bits because of your very thin lashes, but I managed to get them all off, ” she blamed.


I was gob smacked and not bold enough to ask what she used to get the dye off. We both knew. She knew it. I knew it. Probably all the women who had hair in my town knew it. Finally, Patsy grabbed some wet wipes and swathed away the final residue. Human residue. I wondered why she hadn’t used these wipes in the first place as I tentatively opened my eyes like someone who has just had Lasik.


“All done! ’ I’ll get the mirror so you can have a look. Remember it’s a little strong but it will fade. Or you can go home and brush them with a toothbrush,” she suggested.


I thought that was a funny thing to say.


I looked into the mirror. Disbelief filled my mind. I had gone from over plucked blonde brows and brown lashes to Frida Kahlo brows and eyes that looked like a prostitute after a big mascara-y cry.

A friend told me later that I looked like Jason Biggs’s dad from American Pie, or Prime Minister John Howard in his teens.


“Thank you,” I politely and graciously said to Patsy.


I parted with $20 and made my way back to my pulsar. I looked at my blue brows and smudged blue eyes (not lashes) and wondered who I was. Should I even drive home? Who was this spittoon covered panda face.

Nonetheless. It did fade. It did scrub off with a toothbrush (and toothpaste) and I actually looked okay after a week. Regrettably my dreams of wowing my friends were dashed and I was scarred for a few years. I became an avid Beauty DIY-er well into my twenties. Unfortunately I still have trust issues with beauty therapists.


Moral of the story. Don’t spit in someone eyes unless you are Jesus and you are healing the blind.


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