Beauty Lessons I've Learned from Watching Way Too Much Reality TV

by Shannon Ray


Getty ImagesGetty Images You guys, my TV-viewing life is a hot ham sandwich of mess, because I can't stop OD-ing on reality shows. I watch pretty much any insane combination of the train wrecks that are available for my viewing pleasure. It's a real life problem. In fact, I should probably be on some kind of OWN network self-help reality show for this. Or maybe My Strange Addiction. But there is one tiny pot o' gold at the end of my crazy-train rainbow: I've actually picked up some beauty lessons from the roughly 23,450,808 hours of (possible trash) TV that I've consumed over the past several years, and I will share my non-wisdoms with you.

Wear a red lip when you'll be confronting a frenemy. Thanks to The Real Housewives of Orange County, I know that when you are faced with a shindig at which certain unsavory characters will be present, it is always appropriate to bring the makeup drama. And the shouting drama, if you're nasty. Let your bold red lips do the verbal slapping. Bonus points if you slap on some false lashes for your "don't eff with me" eye daggers.

Like a reality-TV Boy Scout, always be prepared with a TV-ready face. I just started watching Big Brother for the first time, and I've already noticed a trend with this show. The ladies are bringing only their beauty A-game when they're doing all of these various ceremonies and ish. Apparently, these peeps are forgetful of the fact that THEY'RE BEING RECORDED 24/7. So this has taught me that one should always be prepared, and maybe keep a little emergency stash of mini mascara, a lippie, and some powder in your purse at all times. You never know which ex-boyfriend (or Jon Hamm) you might run into during your quick trip to the grocery store.

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Choose your hairstyle wisely. Not every hairstyle is appropriate for every occasion. For instance, if you are in the Bad Girls' Club house, you should probably stick with a tight updo for those nights when alcohol will be consumed, because somebody's hair will be pulled. It's in the reality-TV rule book. But if you find yourself on the Real Housewives (of anywhere), loose waves are appropriate for any location or event, even skiing in Canada. Stock up on hair spray either way.

Don't eff with your face too much.
Listen, I'm all for cosmetic procedures, if you're into that. But if I've learned anything at all from reality-TV beauty, it is that there can be too much of a good thing with that crap. I'm not going to name any specific Real Housewife names here, but zero facial movement and that "I was stung by a bee on my actual lips and I'm more allergic to bees than My Girl's Thomas J." look can be filed under too much, honey. Tweak whatever the hell you feel like, but let's keep it natural(ish).

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Get your occasional bedazzle on. Please tell me that you guys have seen My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding. These ladies are not shy when it comes to over-the-top glitzy ish, and I think we can totally learn from that. Don't be scared to throw on a little glittery eye shadow every now and again, or gloss on some uber shiny lips. Just stick with one centerpiece on your face, to avoid looking like you were stuck in a Ke$ha glitter cannon.

Beware the chunky highlight. Oh, Teen Mom. I love you so much it hurts sometimes. But what hurts the most are the unwise highlighting choices that some of these lovely young ladies have made over the seasons. I'm sure it's hard to live under a microscope that not only hones in on sketchy life choices but also overly frosted, and sometimes even chunky, hair highlighting decisions. These youngsters have taught me that natural and demure highlighting techniques like balayage and ombré are most complementary to your locks. And your life.

Do you, boo.
One of my favorite beauty lessons comes from the always entertaining Catfish, which is chock-full o' folks that just want to be someone else. I am running the extreme risk of cheesiness right now, but I shall soldier on, and tell you that the best beauty tip you could ever have is to just be yourself. (Go ahead and get out the nachos.) Bringing out the best of you and what uniqueness you have to offer is the most important thing about beauty. Be you, not a stock image of what you think you should be. And that ish is the realest realness of any reality TV. Enjoy your nachos.

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