22 Beauty Horror Stories That Will Make You Rethink Everything

Especially makeup tattoos.

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(Image credit: Getty Images)

Here, a running list of the scariest beauty stories we've ever heard. Clutch your Sephora VIB cards close and consider yourselves warned.

"My vagina was ablaze."

As reported by Cosmopolitan, one woman's experience with the very intense Original Source Mint Shower Gel went viral after she ran out of her usual shower gel and innocently reached for this product, and suddenly things took a turn or the worst.

In her Facebook post, she writes:

"I washed my arms and shaved underneath them. I washed my neck, breasts, stomach and back. Thus far, it had been a positively first class bathing experience. And then. AND THEN. Oh. Dear. God. MY VAGINA WAS ABLAZE...Some twelve hours later, my front bottom has finally calmed down, though may well be suffering from as yet unconfirmed PTSD. My eyes have eventually stopped watering. And so, in the interests of public safety, I thought I would pen you this missive."

Duly noted.

"Is there anyway to remove them or do I have to get them lasered off?"

Microblading, a cutting-edge cosmetic tattoo procedure, is more popular than ever before. But as you can imagine, a lot can go wrong if you leave your arches in the hands of an amateur. Such was clearly the case for Twitter user @chaeronaea.

As Teen Vogue points out, her hack microblading job yielded an unintentional feather brow situation. Here's hoping she can get them lasered...

"Are your products supposed to stain the human skin fluorescent pink?"

LUSH creates bath and beauty products using ethically-sourced, non-synthetic ingredients, but evidently they could focus a *bit* more on the directions part of their packaging.

Beauty disaster-Lush

(Image credit: Twitter/Abi Shenton/Lush Swansea)

Abi thought she was using soap, slathering 'Razzle Dazzle' all over her body and face, only to realize she was turning pink! Alas, it was not soap, but a bath oil, meant to be diluted and added to your tub. Abi tweeted at LUSH, "Hi! @lushcosmetics, just a quick question, are your products supposed to stain the human skin fluorescent pink?" and added the photo below for proof.

Lush beauty disaster

(Image credit: Archives)

Unable to ignore that face, Lush responded immediately and with obvious concern:

Thankfully, three days, several baths, and many lemon juice-olive oil scrubs later, Abi was back to her usual hue.

"I just keep praying the hair will eventually stop falling out."

Popular infomercial haircare line Wen by Chaz Dean may have raked in hundred of millions of dollars in sales and boasts Brooke Shields as a spokesperson, but it's in hotter-than-hot water now that women are alleging the line's shampoo is making hundred of women go bald. Taking to social media to air their grievances, the pictures are truly shocking:

A spokesperson for Wen told Buzzfeed:

"We take great pride in the quality of our products and believe every product meets our high standards. We want all of our customers to have positive experiences with our products, and we encourage any customer with any questions to contact us.With well over 10 million WEN products shipped since 2008, our customers' overwhelmingly positive response to Wen is a testament to the benefits it can deliver for its users. These benefits are reflected in consistently high rankings from independent consumer product sites as well.Importantly, there is no scientific evidence whatsoever to support any claim that our hair care products caused anyone to lose their hair. There are many reasons why individuals may lose their hair, all unrelated to WEN hair care products. We intend to vigorously contest the allegations made against our products."

"She says she's never coloring her hair again."

Imgur user thechosenginger documented her friend's encounter of the swollen/scary kind with some hair dye after having getting a touch-up at a salon with a brand she's used before. (Crucial information, that.) The day after, her scalp began to itch, then on the second day, she went to the ER, where she was treated for a severe allergic reaction.

"She says she's never coloring her hair again," thechosenginger said. Me neither, TBH.

Forehead, Headgear, Teal, Costume accessory, Sleeveless shirt, Neck, Active tank, Turquoise, Undershirt, Chest,

(Image credit: Imgur)

Face, Forehead, Eyebrow, Nose, Head, Cheek, Selfie, Jaw, Mouth, Photography,

(Image credit: Imgur)

"F**king curler chopped my dayummmm lash!"

As Diane Kruger taught us—celebrities are just as prone to beauty disasters as the rest of us. And now we have another case in point: Miley Cyrus, who tugged out a clump of her lashes with the metal clamp of an eyelash curler. Rumor has it that Cyrus mishap was a result of her curling her lashes after applying mascara instead of before. Either way, SCARY! Maybe she should just stick to the K-beauty-endorsed, Q-tip-and-a-lighter trick...

"I have soft skin, but [my] cheeks [are] on fire."

French YouTuber Marie Lopez, AKA EnjoyPheonix, posted a "DIY Masques" video that has many of her 2 million subscribers outraged. According to comments, one of the face masks, which boasts cinnamon as a main ingredient, is causing her followers' faces to burn.

(Props to Seventeen for translating).

According to an interview with 20 Minuteswho spoke to multiple dermatologists about the matter, cinnamon is an allergenic plant that can cause irritation, burning, and even blisters.

Let this be a lesson to bloggers and subscribers alike, you can't trust everything you find on the internet.

"As soon as I felt it in my eye I felt it burn and I closed my eye and screamed 'Call 911!'"

A woman glued her eye shut after her friend mixed up eye drops with...super glue. Yes, seriously. After something blew into her eye while outside, she quickly asked a friend for eye drops from her own purse—apparently, where she also carts around Super Glue. "They brought Super Glue," she said.

"As soon as I felt it in my eye I felt it burn and I closed my eye and screamed 'Call 911,'" she told WPBF-TV. She was rushed to the doctor, where after using anesthetic, they were able to pry open the eye. She will return for a follow-up appointment to get more glue removed from her socket. To which we say: Nope.

"What happens when you use builders expanding foam instead of hair mousse..."

Okay, *this* is the definition of a #badhairday. A woman accidentally used builders foam—the stuff that fills cracks in your house you'd find somewhere in Home Depot—for mousse with disastrous and (sorry) hilarious results.

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The question on everyone's mind now is, in what planet are beauty products and home repair tools stored in such close proximity that you could mistake the two?

"It felt like someone had poured something flammable on my arm, lit it and then poured a kettle on it"

Honestly, this sounds like a terrible idea from the start, but it seems people are buying DIY tattoo-removal kits over the internet. (Yes, seriously.) The kits contain TCA, a corrosive material that, you guessed it, burns off the skin. A 23-year-old in the UK bought a kit, only to be left with horrendous burns and a hole in her arm. "It felt like someone had poured something flammable on my arm, lit it, and then poured a kettle on it," she said. The Trading Standards in the UK are advising people *not* to buy these kits and are investigating the whole industry.

For pictures of it all, you can click here.

"Needed hospital treatment and stitches..."

A 14-year-old who just wanted to groom her eyebrows found herself in a hospital room needed stitches after using eyebrow razors that did not have the usual safety guards. "When packaged there are few differences between the safe and unsafe eyebrow razors, making it difficult for consumers to establish if they have bought a product that could be unsafe," a spokesperson for Derby City Council—the trading standards council where the girl lives—said.

"I urge online shoppers to be vigilant and read customer reviews and feedback as well as checking packaging when the product arrives to make sure they have not purchased a product that could cause them significant harm."

Uh...will be sticking to tweezing.

"I'm yet to find exactly what they were..."

Like many, our makeup routines live and die by our Beauty Blender—but from now on, we'll be making sure that ours only come straight from the brand versus a sketchy reseller. Why, exactly? Well, U.K.-based makeup artist Stevie Miller noticed a small hole in hers, and later discovered that there dead bugs (what type she has yet to identify) inside of the sponge. She details the gruesome discovery in the video below:

"My mum spotted a bald patch at the back of my head, which horrified me."

We've warned you about the dangers of overusing dry shampoo, and if you're not going to take our word for it, let this woman's story be a lesson. Kim Fryer, a teacher in the UK, had begun to make a daily habit of using dry shampoo until she started noticing worrisome side effects.

"Over time, I developed a red, scaly rash around my hairline, which I put down to stress," she told the Daily Mail. "Then, one day my mum spotted a bald patch at the back of my head, which horrified me. My hair had started to feel dry and brittle."

While it was clearly the result of a bad reaction/overuse, let it be known that dry shampoo can cause hair loss if misused. A safe rule of thumb? Use dry shampoo once a week.

"Bits of my skin were coming off."

A 16-year-old British teenager went on vacation to Turkey, and during her trip, she got a dreamcatcher henna tattoo on her leg. Within a few days, it began to scab with painful burns as the synthetic black dye that was used contained p-paraphenylenediamine, which is not regulated by the U.S. FDA or European Union, reports the Daily Mail. More than likely, it will cause permanent scarring.

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"It totally scabbed up and pulled lots of hairs out."

According to the Mirror UK, 19-year-old Polly hoped to achieve bold brows like Cara Delevingne, but upon getting the tint, wax, and thread treatment at a salon, she was horrified with the results. Just hours after her appointment, her brows became red and itchy and when she woke up the next morning, she could barely open her eyes. In the end, it caused intense scabbing that doctors say could cause permanent scarring.

Face, Eyebrow, Hair, Nose, Forehead, Skin, Cheek, Lip, Chin, Head,

(Image credit: Archives)

"I cut off my eyelashes."

OMGOMGOMG. Okay, chill—but brace yourself. Maybe this Twitter user's eyelash curler was a liiiittle too sharp or perhaps she accidentally ripped them out of her eyes. Whatever happened, her right eyelashes were completely removed from her face. The good news is you can sleep tonight knowing her face is completely fine (or so her replies to her followers suggest...).

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"My eyebrows peeled off."

It is truly the age of the face mask. Most of us don't think twice about throwing a soothing sheet on our skin or slathering on a peel-mask for a mini stint of Me Time. One twitter user had the unfortunate experience of either using the wrong mask, using it for too long, or more than likely a combination of both. When it was time to peel off the mask, her brows came with.

"A facial ravaged my skin."

File this under Skincare Nightmares. Juli, Beauty blogger of BunBun Makeup Tips, took to her blog to give warning of how a seemingly relaxing facial turned into one of the most difficult times of her life. It all started great: Immediately after getting the facial, Juli was happy with the way her skin looked. Two days later, her face began to break out profusely in areas that had never previously been problems. (Eek!) She contacted the salon. They assured her it was a result of extremely sensitive skin and that an extraction would solve the problem for good. It didn't. The pustules continued to get worse and after a second extraction Juli's face was almost entirely covered by small, angry pimples. She was forced to wear a mask and patiently wait for her skin to return to normal. Needless to say, there was extreme amounts of emotional and physical pain.

"My hair just burnt off."

This horror story is like that classic, campfire ghost tale you've heard before but still always gives you chills. Youtube user Tori Locklear thought she was making a routine hair tutorial about curling hair, boy was she wrong. When releasing her hair from the wand to debut the finished look, she found the strand melted on the curling iron. If you ever needed a reason to turn down the heat, refer to this perennial horror story.

"A makeup brush paralyzed me."

When it comes to makeup brushes sharing is NOT caring. An aggressive staphylococcus infection attacked Australian mother Jo Gilchrist's spine and eventually rendered her completely paralyzed. She believes she contracted the infection after using her friend's makeup brush, who was then suffering from a staph infection on her face. She described her pain as a "dull ache" in the beginning that ended in a total loss of feeling in her legs and lower body. "I literally thought I was going to die," she told The Daily Mail Australia. Moral of the story: keep your enemies close and your makeup brushes closer.

"Hair extensions left a hole in my head."

Of all the things to be afraid of, we never thought one of them would be hair extensions. After all, they're supposed to make your life easier. But London resident Tina Campbell paid a serious price for beauty after bad hair extensions left her with a hole in her head and in bandages on her 29th birthday. After having the hair for a few weeks, boils formed—which eventually burst open and required medical attention. "I told the doctor to shave it all off," Tina told The Daily Mail. "Thankfully, it didn't come to that." Doctors concluded that contaminated needles used to sew the hair in were to blame for the swelling. Tina also developed boils in other places later on, including one that had to be removed from her spine.

"A Brazilian wax gave me an STI."

After a (seemingly gruesome) Brazilian wax, Maddie Rubin wrote in Cosmopolitan that she began noticing small bumps on her bikini line. A visit to her gyno put her at ease, as she was assured it was not herpes, but rather a common infection. However, the internet (AKA fear-inducer) reignited her anxiety when she realized this "common infection" is not only highly contagious, but extremely difficult to cure; one woman noted she'd been suffering for four years. Maddie frantically made an appointment with a dermatologist who dropped a bomb—she had seen this before and double-dipping estheticians were to blame. Of course, Maddie was unsuccessful in convincing the salon it had anything to do with them (they not-so-subtly tried to slut-shame her), but there is comfort in the knowledge that this "gift" stops giving once it's finally gone.

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Simedar Jackson
Simedar Jackson

Simedar Jackson is an esthetician, content creator, and lover of sci-fi fiction living in Brooklyn, New York. She is passionate about creating space for Black and Brown people in the beauty and wellness industries by providing access to culturally nuanced education and services that meet their needs. You can find them doing their skincare routine, reminding friends to reapply SPF, and watching reruns of Love Island.