Home > Health > Botox, Fake Tans, and Tatooed Eyelids: The Price of Beauty Is Too High

Botox, Fake Tans, and Tatooed Eyelids: The Price of Beauty Is Too High

botox injectionNow that summer is here, the shorts are out of the closet, sandals are back on the shoe rack, and my fleece coat is taking a break for a couple of months.  While this season does mean I’ll have to shave me legs more than once a month and keep toenails painted, there are some things I just can’t believe women and some men do to look good.

In most cases, I’ve accepted the fact that as a woman, there are certain things I have to do to look professional and feel like I fit in with society. I realize I could be a crazy granola hippie, but I choose not to be. I’m pretty basic for a girl. I’ve never even plucked my eyebrows, but I have resigned myself to the fact that I need to wear some makeup, style my hair, and put on something other than flip flops or athletic shoes to go to work. However, there are some things I will never, ever do for the price of beauty.

Bake in the Tanning Bed-I have to admit, I used to tan. This was in high school and college. I was taught that you look pretty with a tan, and beginning every spring, I got on the bandwagon. Forget wrinkles or suspicious moles. I can’t believe I did that and am super paranoid now about skin cancer. I am the first one to lather up with the SPF before going outside, especially since I live a mile closer to the sun that when I grew up. I am amazed that tanning salons still exist.  Even in our little town with nothing much more than a Wal Mart, there are at least three places I can think of that have a tanning bed. Wake up people. I’ve seen older women who have tanned their whole lives. Think rawhide. Not pretty.

Have Botox in Your Mid 30’s– I am opposed to most cosmetic procedures, but I guess some might argue that Botox is no worse than coloring your hair, and maybe it’s not.  However, my sister is licensed to give Botox injections, and a good portion of her patient base is around 35 years old. You do not need Botox in your 30’s unless maybe you work in an industry where your livelihood is based on looks. Paying someone big bucks to shoot botulism toxin into my forehead seems like insanity to me. I’ll just have to be wrinkly.

Permanent Eyeliner– Maybe I’m a little biased. When you look at eye makeup under a microscope all day, it colors you view. When I see tatooed ink along someone’s eyelid margin, it almost makes me gag. What did your poor eyelid ever do to you? Do I really want to wake up with bed head, pajamas, and perfect makeup? I’ve seen this procedure become infected and have heard of people having it done in a back room on the cheap. Could I please have a dose of Hepatitis C or HIV with that tatoo? Think twice before you let someone stick a needle into your skin, especially near your eye.

Diet Pills– Did you know that Americans spend about $18 billion dollars on appetite suppressants     annually? Get rich or get thin quick schemes are everywhere. The same rule applies to both. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. There is no pill that burns off the pounds while you sleep after eating a whole pizza and bag of Cheetos for dinner. Just like getting out of debt requires you to spend less than you earn, losing weight requires that you consume less than you burn.  It takes work and permanent lifestyle changes to lose weight. Any Kardashian that tells you different is lying.

We all want to look good, but paying money and risking your health for supposed beauty is not a good move. If only the world favored middle aged women with a few gray hairs, wrinkles, and love handles, it would be lots easier to accept ourselves and never have a need for quick fixes. Since it doesn’t, please take care of yourselves and don’t worry about getting crow’s feet or not having a great tan. The price of beauty is not worth it.

What crazy things have you or someone you know done for the price of beauty?

Image: Freedigitalphotos.net/Patpitchaya

About Kim Parr

Kim Parr is a private practice optometrist, freelance writer, and personal financial blogger. You can follow her journey to 20/20 financial vision at Eyes on the Dollar.


  1. I never understood why people get all that plastic work done. They all look so fake and weird when they are older.

  2. The botox is scary..Living here in south florida I see a lot of bad jobs and they think they look great. Such a waste of money but to each his/her own. Ive known women to take money from their 401k for breast implants but its what she thought was best.

    • I too have seen some bad botox and facelifts. Every year when they have the Telluride Film Festival, they come out in droves. We call it Return of the Plastic People. They wear all black, tight, clothes, have their cell phones right in front of their faces, and have no facial expressions at all. Freaky.

  3. I don’t think it’s “weird” per se, but sometimes wealthier (and not so wealth) individuals spend TONS of money on getting their hair done, using expensive products on their skin, etc. The health and beauty industry is HUGE and I don’t see it slowing down anytime soon.

    • If I had time, I would love to get my hair blow dried and styled every day. I’d look great, but I am not that patient and would never spend the money. I’ve tried several expensive beauty products, but cheap old Oil of Olay is still my favorite.

  4. Fake tans don’t make you look cute, they make you look orange! Like you I haven’t done much beyond shaving and the occasional makeup. But I am starting a diet pills business right now, my secret ingredient will be the root of a tree you can only find in my garden… errr… deep in the Guatemalan jungle. $18 billion!

    • Perfect investment! If you need a partner let me know. I’m sure it needs some secret Rocky Mountain stream potion to make it work.

  5. My mother in law is always trying some sort of diet pill or fad, the crazy thing is that she is maybe 92 pounds at her worst. We used to joke about it but she really thinks it matters. At the end of the day I think many of these things (especially the pills) sell you some idea that you take do something easy and have it do all the work for you. But, as we well know, that is not how it works and really is not worth it in the long run.

    • My Mom was always and probably still is on a diet. She’s never tried to just eat moderately and exercise, but has done everything else, Slim Fast, Herbalife, Deal a Meal, Dexatrim, you name it. It makes me tired to think about it.

  6. At times I think my running is a little crazy 🙂 I’m doing that for my overall health and fitness, but it has made me look better. I can’t imagine doing any of the things you listed above.

  7. Kim, way to say it! The older I become, the more I try to focus on natural beauty by working out, eating right and caring for my body, soul and mind. No makeup for me anymore, with the exception of mascara. I don’t want to spend the money and fill my pores/body with chemicals. I used to be a huge “appearance” girl, never, ever leaving the house without full makeup and great clothes, but then I realized that the caked on makeup, fake tan and overdone highlights weren’t really me at all, but a wannabe me. At first, I was terrified of what people would think about the “real” me, but no more. White skin, no makeup and clean, neat sweats and a t-shirt, take it or leave it. 🙂

    • I think having a kid makes me want to be healthy. If I can look pretty and be healthy at the same time, that’s great, but I won’t risk my health or have some sort of unnecessary surgery for superficial reasons.

  8. It’s crazy to me how much some people spend on beauty. I realize it may be worth it to them by making themselves feel better, but I’d rather see someone who has done less than more. My wife doesn’t really spend much on beauty besides the normal stuff you mentioned you do.

  9. I know someone that used to tan all the time because she thought the same thing.. my wife. Now she uses self tanners and just enjoys what the summer sun has to offer but with SPF of course. It’s like convenience shopping with all of these procedures… but at the same time many pay to look a certain way just a little longer for personal satisfaction and others personal gain.

    • I’m all for making yourself feel as good as possible with your appearance, but not at the risk of your health. I hate to admit it, but I still like the look of a tan, even though I don’t strive for one anymore.

  10. I spend very little on my appearance, but if other people have money to blow that’s their own business, I suppose. =).

    The thing is, I think natural beauty is so much more beautiful than spray tans and Botox. A wise woman with laugh lines and silver hair has probably lived a beautiful life and the experiences she can share are priceless.

    • There is a lady who attends my workout class who is in her 60’s, but almost no one can keep up with her. She has long, silver hair, never wears makeup, and has her share of facial lines, but she is so confident. I never knew her when she wasn’t fit, but I guess she lost 70 pounds a few years ago and it did wonders for her outlook. I hope I can be like her someday and be satisfied with where I’m at without trying to turn back the clock.

  11. as a woman in my 40’s I totally understand the desire to get things like fillers, because you do start to see your face droop a bit, but I would never spend the thousands it takes to get these procedures. And your’e right in that if every woman didn’t do it, the world in general would be more accepting of what aging really looks like. I don’t do anything crazy. I color my hair and get paint my toes (and when I can afford it get pedicures-the sand does a number on your feet). I also get my hair cut regularly because it’s short, and I do like testing out the latest anti-aging creams and whatnot from the drug store, but that’s about it. I used to tan too when I was in high school…so bad for you!

    • My sister has offered me Botox at cost, but I just can’t bring myself to do it. I guess I’ll see where I’m at in 5 or 6 years. I totally hate looking older, but I guess not enough to do anything but color my roots!

  12. I recently learned that you can get your eyelashes permmed so they are always curled perfectly. This is a solution to a problem I did not know existed.

    • How on earth do they do that? Do they have to put the perm solution on the eyelashes? I’ve never heard of that. You learn something new every day!

  13. I’m guilty of tanning. I don’t go too often, maybe once every 5 or 6 weeks, but that is still too much! I need to start just slathering on self tanner instead!

  14. I’ve been to a tanning bed a few times over the past several years but I’m not going anymore. It’s not worth the risk and I prefer healthy skin to tanned, diseased skin! Oddly enough, my 80-something grandma had the eyeliner tattoo procedure done. I agree that our societal standards of youthful beauty are pretty out of hand.

    • I can actually understand it more in older people. One recurring complaint I hear is that they can’t see to put on makeup without their glasses, and it’s hard to put on eye makeup when wearing glasses.

  15. I cringe when I think back to my teenage days and the tanning I did. At that time, it was the thing to do and I lived in SoCal but still… And since I do live in LA, there are lots of things people do to stay forever young that don’t always make a lot of sense to me.

    • I bet the pressure to stay young is really tough in that part of the world. At least in rural Colorado, we don’t have that many people who care.

  16. I am super pale, and have always felt pressured to be more tan, especially in the summer. For this reason, I hate wearing shorts/tank tops, but I have never given into the pressure. I burn easily and I would not fare well in a tanning bed. I’ve had several guys tell me they prefer the “porcelain” look as opposed to the heavily tanned, which surprised me and made me feel a bit better. I’ve just come to accept it, though I wish I could get SOME color at the beach! And self-tanner just makes me look absolutely orange.

    I color my hair maybe once or twice a year depending on how I feel about it, and I paint my nails myself. I do a full make-up routine, but I don’t go for the cake-face look at all. I like neutrals.

    • I do feel for you there. I am not pale, but always felt pressure to be more tan, especially when I lived in the South. I honestly had people tell me I looked pale. I can’t imagine if I really were. You’ll be laughing all the way to the bank, though, when you have few wrinkles as an old lady.

  17. I work in health care and I see the damage sun does. Tans are not so pretty when the doctor snips a piece off of the end of your nose or creates a giant divot when he cuts out a piece from the highest point on your cheek. Then people realize that all of their tanning was a bad idea and I try and convince them that the missing skin is not that noticeable.

  18. Definitely agreed. That said, there are some interesting photographers who have gained traction over the past decade who are committed to capturing natural beauty in the way it can be respectfully portrayed.

  19. I used to be a high-maintenance girl, spending $200+ every 4 months on blonde highlights and I always wore grey colored contacts. My nails were always ‘did’ and you would never catch me without makeup. Nowadays I embrace my natural dark brunette hair and dark brown eyes 😛 Sometimes you will even catch me without makeup 😉

  20. Permanent eyeliner is creepy!!! So is botox unless it’s done really well.

  21. My wife recently purchased a bottle of spray tan from Wal-Mart for about $8.00 and it didn’t work as advertised. There are thousands of “beauty” products out there designed to relieve people of their money without actually doing anything for them.

  22. I used to tan, too. It’s horrible for your skin and I can’t believe I ever did. The cost of beauty is far too high!

  23. I remember that tan mom on TV, who also brought her child, forgot how old, to a tan salon. She look really scary and awful. Au naturel has always been a thing for me.

  24. As far as tanning- I’ve been seeing more and more articles about people with skin cancer (some very young people have even died from it!)because they tan regularly. Just don’t do it! Thanks for your sanity on the last point, too. We all just need to calm down and realize that being healthy is just that- being healthy. It doesn’t come from taking the right diet pill, it comes from eating real food, in appropriate portions, and exercising for a half hour a day or so. Too bad so many are suckered in by all the “get skinny quick” scams out there!

    • If people spent as much time actually being healthy as they did looking for the quick fix, the world would be in much better shape.

  25. I have to agree with you on the Botox.. I don’t care to have anyone inject me with botulism.

    However.. I LOVE my permanent makeup! It saves me at least 20 minutes every morning. Absolutely the best thing I have ever done for myself.

    Of course it is extremely important to find a qualified technician. A friend of mine is in the business and has said that 90% of her clientele are those who have had disastrous work done and come to her to have it corrected.. which in some of the worst cases is not even possible.

    • I’ve never understood why people think going cheap on cosmetic procedures is OK. Regardless of whether is elective or life threatening, if you are having something done to your body that could have potential complications, why would you not want the best qualified person? I’ve seen this with LASIK surgery as well. Thanks for sharing your opinion of someone who has has a positive experience with this.

  26. Well in this modern era everyone wants to look their best and as far as looking the best is concerned people will use fake means. If looking good is the concern then there are no short cuts, people should realize that having a healthy diet as well as proper exercise will keep them fit and looking good. Due to the improvements in the fields of research and technology there are many shortcuts that people adopt to look good or so they like to think so, this is all done so that they can fit into the society.

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