Fashion & Beauty

Forehead Reduction

June 16, 2024



By Valerie Monroe

For nearly 16 years Valerie Monroe was the beauty director at O, The Oprah Magazine, where she wrote the popular “Ask Val” column. She now splits her time between Manhattan and Tokyo.

If you’re interested in feeling happier about your appearance—especially as you age—you might like reading what she has to say about it. For more of her philosophical and practical advice, subscribe for free to How Not to F*ck Up Your Face at

Can’t get enough Valerie Monroe? There’s more at

I THOUGHT it might be fun—or perhaps a relief—to reflect on five beauty trends (noted in the trade newsletter Skin Inc.) that garnered a massive number of TikTok hits in the past year or so.

But first, a few notable pieces of news.

Chimpanzees, they’re just like us! Some chimps go through menopause and continue to enjoy monkeyshines for many years afterward, according to a paper published in Science. Why is this interesting? Because “…among mammals, substantial numbers of post-reproductive females living under natural conditions in the wild have only been observed in humans and a few whale species…” meaning other mammals tend to die off after they can no longer reproduce. Researchers asking the question so many seem to have of post-menopausal women: Why are you still here? I mean, do we need a reason?

In Japan, Tomiko Itooka is celebrating her extended post-menopausal life; at 115 years old, she just became the oldest person in the country. If her memory remains sharp, she can thank her diet: The Japan Times reports that a study has found wasabi may be beneficial in enhancing elderly people’s memory and cognitive abilities. Spice me up!

Speaking of menopause—for those of you headed there, in it, or mercifully through it—I recommend this terrific podcast (avoid the earworm-y jingle and go straight to the talk). Also, this excellent Substack about your below-deck area in general.

Finally, a few beauty-related curiosities, presented from most popular to least, that captured the attention of millions of the potentially confused.


Skin Cycling

Essentially, this is a marketing term used to describe the reasonable suggestion that if you apply an exfoliating treatment one evening before bed, you should then consider taking a couple of nights off to prevent your skin from becoming irritated.

The Bowl Method

A hair treatment meant to moisturize and reduce frizz involving the application of curl cream and then crouching over a bowl of water while you immerse your head upside down, repeatedly squeezing water out of your hair and re-dunking. Looks as unpleasant (and messy) as it sounds.

Forehead Reduction

Skin Inc. reports that this involves “surgical methods” to make the forehead look smaller by lowering the appearance of the hairline using “microfeathering” (a microblading technique). Bangs! Whatever happened to bangs?!

Unapproachable Makeup

Smudged and smoky cat-eyes; boldly defined lips; intense colors applied in such a way as to reveal confidence and dominance. And presumably to convey a “f*ck off” demeanor. Followed by…

Angry Girl Makeup

Pretty much the same as above, except with more emphasis on creating a look that suggests the exorcist has left the building and it’s time to fend for yourself. I kind of love the idea of using makeup to express your feelings rather than only as a way to enhance attractiveness—as long as it’s fun.


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Grownup Girl Fashion by MyLittleBird

Fashion and beauty for women over 40. A Substack from the writers who bring you MyLittleBird.
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