Beauty Director Nicky Champ on her all time worst beauty mistakes.

When it comes to beauty mishaps, let’s just say I’ve had some shockers.

Even with all the beauty knowledge I now possess, I am not immune from cutting my own eyelashes or a spur-of-the-moment fringe.

Here’s a look at some of my most shocking past mistakes. Try not to laugh…

1. Frizzy fringes

It was circa 1989, and the biggest hair trend in Grade 4 was spiky hair fringes. From what I can remember it entailed going to the hairdresser and asking them to just hack at your fringe until it resembled a mullet. You’d then apply copious amounts of glitter hair gel to hold it in place.

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I don’t know what happened in this photo, but possibly the gel got combed out by one of those pesky school photographer’s assistants who always thought they knew best. Pfft.

2. The first time I dyed my hair…

‘Easily distracted’ often appeared on my school reports, and is probably the best descriptor to my entire schooling years. So naturally when I found myself in the middle of a Year 9 Drama class with a bottle of ‘Chestnut Brown’ hair dye in my possession, who was I to turn down the challenge?

Since ‘dye now, read instructions later’ was my motto, I failed to realise you had to wash out the hair dye after 20 minutes. I left it in for oh, about two hours. As a result I had reddish-pink hair which then faded to candy pink - for months. Even though I’ve had various hair colours over the years, my mother still won’t let me live this one down.

3. Formal hair disaster

Growing up in a suburb on the northwestern outskirts of Sydney in the 90s was problematic for several reasons. The biggest one at school formal time? There was only one hairdresser within a 15km radius. Cue a rushed and tearful drive home as Nathan Szubanski’s mum (the salon owner) decided my Year 12 hair look was to be a halo of curls dumped on top of my head.


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I remember my friends all waiting at my house when I arrived with an extra four inches of curls atop my skull, and their faces said it all: Complete Hair Disaster. At the end of the night, I unpinned the afro, and the curls resembled a Drew Barrymore-esque curly bob, which I regret not unpinning earlier in the night.

4. Everything I did to my face/hair in the '90s

I used to shudder at the thought of Facebook being around in the 90s to capture all those horribly awkward teenage moments. But as I get older and see the beauty trends of now I think, gosh, at least it was fun back then. The holographic glitter, the bindis and crystals we naively applied to our faces, the butterfly clips, the hair mascara, the teal eyeliner.

I guess my only mistake here was thinking I could wear it all at the same time. Tres tragic.

5. Too-pale foundation

I wore SPF foundation at night for YEARS before I realised that was what gave you ‘flash face’: that whitish, Top Deck face glow (while the rest of your body was tanned).

6. Too much fake tan

Before I was married and had kids, I was going out a lot. This mostly entailed rubbing sweaty shoulders on dance floors and staying out until the early afternoon. My beauty look here was the blonder the better, and the tanner the better. Thankfully I had friends with at-home tanning equipment.


7. REALLY bad balayage

Ok, I’m going to be really honest here. This wasn’t balayage. This was just a “cannot be bothered to go to the hairdresser” phase of my life. And it was only two years ago. This was at Mamamia’s annual Halloween party, and I’m sure I scared more small children with my bad dye job than I did with the sugar skull makeup on my face.

8. Cutting my own eyelashes

Remember how I said earlier I’m still not immune to hacking at my beauty extremities? Well, just this week I cut my own eyelashes. I’m coming to the end of my eyelash extensions tenure and while I loved them at first, the maintenance at this point in my life is too costly and too time consuming.

So when I was left with a handful of spidery lashes in amongst my own inferior blonde lashes, I did the only sane thing left to do. Cut them back to the same length as my natural lashes. Problem was since I was wielding baby nail scissors at the time I also took out quite a few of my natural lashes…

Clearly, I’ve made some beauty mistakes over the years (and, ahem, also more recently….) but I doubt I’m the only one.

What are some of your cringe-worthy beauty disasters?