Shannon Ray was the winner of the 2012 Allure Beauty Blogger Awards and is now contributing to the Daily Beauty Reporter.
Please tell me that you guys are watching TLC’s Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. If you are not familiar (What are you, crazy?!?), it’s a new reality show that features Alana, a tiny up-and-coming beauty-pageant queen, and her self-described “redneck” Georgia family. I’m full-on obsessed with this child (not in a creepy, call-Chris-Hansen kind of way) and her finger-snapping, zinger-spouting ‘tude.
But the other side to this coin is the beauty pageant stuff, which is a strange but real interest of mine. Let me take you back to a time when I was about five or six years old. I was dying to be in a beauty pageant, and my feminist mom would have absolutely no part of it. Not to mention I was kind of a train wreck. So instead, she just bought me a bad mama jama of a pageant dress. It was pink satin with bows and a petticoat that included bells. I wore that b almost every day, and for every occasion. Ever since then, beauty pageants have fascinated me. So much glitz, glamour, and drama! Jazz hands!
All of the preparation and intense beautification that goes into the pageantry is friggin’ insane, especially when we’re talking about kids. I can barely muster up the strength to wash my hair 90 percent of the time, much less perform a rousing rendition of “It’s Raining Men” in a sexy hurricane costume after a supercompetitive third-grade science fair, or whatever. But as over-the-top as most of this stuff seems, there are some very real beauty lessons that can be learned from the intense kiddie pageant circle.
Fake hair: Have you heard the good word about fake hair yet? Even if you aren’t a true crazy person like myself, who enjoys wearing clip-in extensions during totally unnecessary times like working out and napping (what if there’s a fire?), nothing brings the sexy to a big night out like clipping in some faux follicles. You can buy some high-quality ones from your local beauty supply store, and they are real hair. They can be dyed, cut, flatironed, and curled. I recommend bringing them to your stylist so they can cut and layer them to blend perfectly with your “real” hair. Get on board, people. There is an amazing fake-hair train happening, and I would like to consider myself the conductor. (Or at least the dude that throws the coal into the engine fire-pit thingy.)
Spray tans: Every little child on Toddlers & Tiaras is sporting a spray tan, no matter their skin tone or age. And the same could be said for adults in the real world when it comes to using powdered bronzer. I don’t care how fair your skin is, there is a bronzer out there for you to add a little somethin’ somethin’ to your face. If you are Snow White fair, stick to a peachy bronzer shade. They do exist! And of course the darker your skin tone, the darker you can take your bronzer. And stay away from super hard-core glittery bronzer. Not cute, unless you really are participating in a pageant or are a Jem and the Holograms impersonator or something. (If you are, hook a b up. I’ll even be a Misfit; I’m not picky.)
Flippers: No, I’m not referencing my favorite ’60s dolphin TV show to ’90s movie remake right now. A flipper is a set of fake teeth that go over a kid’s crazy kid teeth. Like baby dentures. They actually have these for adults (I saw an INFOMERCIAL!), but that’s not what I’m recommending. To get pageant-worthy pearly whites, try using drugstore whitening strips. I love to use these once a year or so. Whenever I do, people are all up on my jock saying how white my teeth are. And they cost as little as $15, so we can all be tooth models or something.
Eyelashes: Girl, please. You can’t be in a pageant without some falsies. (Eyelashes, not other body parts.) If you aren’t into the fake eyelash deal, there are other ways to maximize your natural eyelash potential. To give the appearance of thicker lashes, dot a black eyeliner in between your top lashes, filling in any sparse areas. I also like to layer two different mascaras. I know it sounds useless, and I have no idea what the science is behind it, but I swear it works. Apply a coat of one kind of mascara, wait a minute, then do a second coat of a different formula. This anomaly will be covered in next week’s episode of Unsolved Mysteries. (Cue creepy music.) See? I’m not a totally delusional creep for watching shows about children’s beauty pageants and obsessing over a 6-year-old girl. There are vital beauty tips ripe for the picking embedded in these things. It’s kind of like research…right? Anyone? Bueller? Ugh, I need some go-go juice.