Beware of these beauty fads

Anni Hall writes.

Love a good beauty tip (like using Windex on zits à la My Big Fat Greek Wedding)? Well have I got some corkers for you. Every day of the week I’m on fashion shoots and am lucky/unlucky enough to be surrounded by pre-pubescent creatures from the heavens and farrrshion types who just love a fad. If you didn’t know, there’s always lots of loitering on shoots and much talk happens around the liquid chlorophyll water cooler (joke!) about how to get pore, pimple and puberty-free complexions and glossy soft hair like we had when we were under ten. Being a creative bunch where every second person thinks they’re a nutritionist, naturopath or dermatologist, the beauty remedies that arise are either pretty absurd or surprisingly efficacious.

You may have noticed last year for example that it was all about the coconut; slathered on locks, limbs, used as a makeup remover, encouraged in cooking and ideal a hangover cure (but not really). Although a hippy faithful from way back, this fad was popularised by the likes of M.Kerr and co. on the pages of your favourite glossy magazines. The year before that everyone was swearing by hemorrhoid cream for de-puffing eyes. I don’t know who came up with this one because that’s disgusting, but it was pretty much a replacement for eye cream on shoots and would be a beauty tip in every second magazine of 2011 if you were to open some. 

Well 2013 is here and we’ve a whole new list of ridiculous fads (and one decent one) that are going to take the magazines and blogs by storm. I’ve done the research (downing my Vital Greens by the chlorophyll cooler), bought into the fads, tested them and am ready to report back. 

The first is the chia seed exfoliator. I was introduced to this tiny superfood four years ago when shooting for Australia’s Next Top Model. We started putting it over our salads, in our soups, and one make-up artist even added some to water in her plastic (pfft!) water bottle which gives it the texture of mushy slugs. I’ve been a traditional chia fan ever since (with protein, calcium and iron you really can’t go wrong) and haven't really questioned it until last week when a slight young thing told me she’s been using said water and chia mix as an exfoliant. Now readers, this is stupid. Sure, nowadays we’re preaching to be kind to your skin and we don’t encourage rubbing sand granules on your face, but a slimy, mushy superfood will not help cell turnover. Yes, most of what goes onto your skin gets absorbed into it, but why does it need extra protein, calcium and iron? Ridiculous. Don’t bother. 

Next up is the yogurt hair mask. Another hippy staple like the coconut, this was mentioned on a New York beauty blog by an Aussie stylist who indeed does have beautiful hair. It has since been popular conversation on shoots and you know what, I tried it and it smells, it’s messy, and it’s just a bit weird. Please don’t bother, just splurge and go buy yourself some ghd products or Moroccanoil for shiny hair. 

Another mask that’ll get you gagging is the superfood smoothie body wrap. You know those sometimes-delicious-but-mostly-awful-smoothies that cost over ten bucks for a large and contain ingredients like avocado, cocoa, açai, dates and protein powder? Well it has been heard that some folks are taking them home and slapping them all over. For this one I’ve let you down and didn’t trial because a) I can’t afford those smoothies on a good day (if you’re looking at cost per use you’d get more bang for your buck with Chanel) and b) Although I have put many strange creams, acids and whatnot on my body, slathering it in berry seeds and raw eggs are things I do not want to add to that list. 

The fourth beauty fad you’ll be trying in 2013 is the lemon juice cleansing trifecta. This is where you drink lemon juice with hot water all day long, rub a lemon wedge over discoloured skin to brighten the complexion, and squirt the juice on the ends of your hair for balayage au naturel. So I guess all of these things work, but only after a consistent effort on your behalf. A warning though, if you have too much lemon juice like I did (half a lemon each day is enough), your gums will burn and hate you for the next week. 

Finally, the one beauty fad I am down with is solid perfume. Organic solid perfumes (like the one designer Alice McCall did with beauty brand Indah) are the bomb when it comes to what’s okay to put on your skin. Additionally, the fragrance remains for hours (even after you’ve been in the ocean), it won’t leak in your wannabe-Mulberry bag, and it won’t discolour your complexion if caught out in the sun. I’m convinced and you should be too, however I am calling this a fad because no way can it overtake Chanel #5 - heck, one bottle gets sold every thirty seconds.

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

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