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Cosmetic Catastrophe

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Yes, we can see that.

The Path to Manhood has many obstacles. To prove his worth, a youth may have to complete the Training from Hell, avenge the deaths of those dear to him, carve some notches on his bedpost, wrestle a bear, or become embroiled in a "manly project" predestined to go wrong.

The path to womanhood, on the other hand, at least since the 1920s, seems limited to the correct application of hair products or... makeup. Frankly, sometimes you're better off with the bear-wrestling.

This is a fairly common plot in works aimed at a pre-teen/young teen audience. A girl will decide that she needs to change her look and that a complete makeover is the only way to do it. The occasion might be prom night, going on her first date, attempting to land a date, the dreaded school photo, or even just proving that she's a young woman, not a child. Whichever it is, she has her heart set on using "grown-up" cosmetics.

Problem is, she's never used them before. She might even be specifically banned from using make-up/hair dye/curling tongs until she's "old enough". So, she swipes some of her mum's make-up, sneakily buys some hair dye, and runs off to the bathroom for some makeover magic. Which, of course, never quite turns out like she hopes.

Apparently, few people in TV-land think to bite the bullet and ask mum for help, or enlist the assistance of a make-up savvy friend, or even read one of the millions of magazines only too eager to tell girls how to paint their face. Which leaves only trial-and-error as a means of finding the right look, with emphasis on the "error" part. Usually, the girl will also try her new style right before she has to be seen, rather than giving herself enough time to wash off mistakes.

She'll put so much lipstick on that she ends up looking like an evil clown. Eyeshadow and blusher will be laid on so thick that she resembles a Picasso knockoff. She misreads the instructions on the hair dye and ends up with her scalp on fire...or magenta hair...or magenta hair ON FIRE! As for her eyebrows...well, you don't know what you've got until they're gone. She might realize the disaster straight away, or, if the writers are really cruel, she might think she looks great right up until she walks into a room only to have everyone kill themselves laughing at her.

Strangely, the moral of "you look beautiful the way you are" is becoming quite rare...especially as the media steers girls towards the beauty industry at an increasingly young age. Instead, the moral is more likely to be a more standard "obey your parents," since mum will do an "I told you so" as she fights to restore her daughter's hair to some semblance of normality. Which seems a bit warped, really — the message is effectively "don't use beauty products until you're old enough to get a part-time job. Then you can spend all your cash on trying to make yourself beautiful."

Back in reality, make-up is nearly essential in the television set — the nature of the studio lights means that most people will need at least some blusher or foundation just to look "natural." Which can make it a bit tricky to do this plot in a live-action series where the audience has probably realized that the Naïve Everygirl wears foundation and mascara on a daily basis, so why should she screw it up now?

This can happen to older characters too. It's a good way of pointing out the geeky/awkward or Tomboyish girl; either she won't wear make-up at all, or she'll stick with a single look, unlike her more popular or practical colleagues. Expect hilarity to ensue if she decides it's time for a change.

It used to be that the victim of the trope was Always Female. With the increase in beauty products and procedures that are acceptable for men to use, it is no longer, although it probably won't involve makeup, relying instead on tanning, hair alteration, or tooth whitening.

When the Cosmetic Catastrophe is the result of dyeing one's hair, that becomes the subtrope My Hair Came Out Green.

Related to (subtrope of?) Uncanny Valley Makeup. See Inelegant Blubbering for another catastrophe involving cosmetics and Cosmetic Horror when the makeup actually scares other people. Often stems from Femininity Failure. Compare Be a Whore to Get Your Man, which also may be about a girl who is uncomfortable with things like makeup but chooses to try it anyway.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • A Case Closed OVA has Ai Haibara waking up at Ayumi's house after a sleepover. Ayumi then gets the idea to wear some of her mother's make-up before going out to the store. Ai (being an adult in a child's body) puts on a decent amount, while Ayumi (being a little girl who has never worn make-up before) puts on so much that she ends up looking like a clown. Luckily, Ai offers to help her out afterward.
  • Happens in the Cowboy Bebop manga in which someone, upon meeting Ed, responds with "You're a girl, aren't you?! I'm going to make you pretty!" Not too long after, we see Ed's face covered in make-up who asks "Is Ed pretty?" It's... not pretty.
  • In Dr. STONE, Kohaku's first attempt at putting on makeup ultimately ends with her resembling The Dark Knight version of The Joker. On one hand, she did grow up in a stone age society with no previous access to modern cosmetics, but on the other hand previous events indicate that it probably wouldn't have turned out much better even if she was familiar with them.
  • Eureka in Eureka Seven goes through this to cover some recent scars. It does not go well. Talho helps straighten it out, then she's never seen with it again.
  • Great Teacher Onizuka: Azusa, trying to impress Onizuka, decides to apply makeup. She overdoes it and ends up looking like a Ganguro. It gets worse when the next day, right before they leave for the school vacation in Okinawa, her face is so white with makeup that she looks like a ghost.
  • An episode of Hirogaru Sky! Pretty Cure has Sora, a complete tomboy, try to apply her own make-up. The results are a complete and utter failure.
  • Miko tries putting on makeup for the first time when she attends Tsubame's Christmas party in Kaguya-sama: Love Is War, putting on far too much blush and lipstick. While she doesn't look bad per se, Onodera advised her to take it off by the time the party started.
  • The second episode of The Idolmaster has this pulled off by the youngest idols in the group (Iori, Yayoi, and the twins) for a photo shoot, coupled with tacky dresses and pretend busts. They look bad enough that Makoto and Yukiho immediately get out of the dressing room, prompting the others to teach them about true individuality.
  • In chapter 11 of Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid: Kanna's Daily Life, Kanna and Saikawa try playing with some of Kobayashi's makeup. Given that they're both children, Kanna ends up smudging it and looking vaguely like a kabuki actor. Then she applies some to Fafnir in a This Means Warpaint moment and the end result resembles a clown (though neither of them is familiar enough with Earth culture to realize that he looks ridiculous).
  • Makie of Negima! Magister Negi Magi, Genki Girl that she is, tends to put on make-up a tad too enthusiastically whenever she tries to on her own.
  • When Nodame of Nodame Cantabile tries to make herself pretty for Chiaki, this happens.
  • Happens in The Noozles when Sandy tries to put on her mother's makeup in an attempt to try and make herself look pretty. When her mom walks in on her and sees her, she can't stop laughing, much to Sandy's embarrassment.
  • Shortly after joining The Shinsengumi in Peacemaker Kurogane, Tetsunosuke gets jealous at Yamazaki Susumu, who does his spying work crossdressed as a beautiful woman. Tetsunosuke grabs a spare kimono and borrows Susumu's makeup box, ending up looking more like a Kabuki clown than a lady, to the horror of innocent bystanders.
  • A variant of this occurs in Pokémon: The Original Series episode "Pokemon Fashion Flash". Team Rocket run a fake beauty salon for Pokémon. Ash and Misty get into an argument about the importance of fashion. Eventually, Ash jokingly dares Misty to take her Psyduck to the salon to get a makeover. She tries, but Team Rocket end up thinking that she wants a makeover. So they put her in weird clothes, give her a new hairstyle, and paint her face with ridiculous clown-like makeup. She thinks it looks good until Ash sees her and laughs his butt off at how stupid she looks.
    Ash and Brock: What happened to her face? (Desperately suppressing their laughter.)
    Misty: Dumb boys...
  • Happens in Tenchi in Tokyo when Ryoko applies make-up to her face by the pound. Everyone is startled but then laughs hysterically when they see her face (especially Princess Ayeka, who's rolling on the floor laughing so hard she's crying at the sight!)

    Comic Books 
  • Employed in the 1990 New Mutants Summer Special where Rahne is given a makeover by one of the residents of Megalopolis to seduce her over to Consumerism. The "mirror" shown to her is a glamor shot. Her actual makeup consists of childish scrawling and a badly fitted wig.
  • Lil Lotta from the Richie Rich comic books tries on makeup to impress her boyfriend Gerard, but when her friend Lil Dot sees Lotta with the makeup on, she thinks that she's got a cold or came down with something.

     Fan Works 
  • The Bolt Chronicles: In "The Makeover," Mittens agrees to a tryst with Bolt, but tells him he needs to have his "doggy lipstick" (a slang term for canine penis) all ready to go when they get together later. The dog misunderstands and decides to give himself a full (and hideous) facial makeover to fulfill the request.
  • One challenge in Total Drama Legacy requires all the remaining campers to do their own makeup and assemble two outfits to wear on the runway. However, Storm, being a Tomboy raised by two men, has no idea how to apply makeup, and ends up looking ridiculous.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Airplane! uses an adult version of this as one of its many gags. A woman tries to apply makeup during the flight, but the plane keeps lurching around due to the troubles in the cockpit, causing her to smear the makeup all over her face. A shot of the passengers evacuating the plane at the end shows that she hasn't yet been able to clean it off.
  • Carrie (2002) has a sequence where Carrie White is found in the mall trying on lipstick. It looks like a first attempt, and Sue helps her out. Her make-up is perfect by the time of the prom (and to be fair to Carrie, she is shown reading fashion magazines, so she may have gotten more tips from there).
  • In the 1999 movie The Other Sister, Juliette Lewis (playing a mentally challenged girl) gets a cheap makeover in a mall. Unfortunately, she has to find out that it covers just half of her face.
  • A non-visual example in Paper Moon. Addie puts on some of her dead mother's perfume in an attempt to seem more grown-up but having never used perfume before she practically bathes in it. She's pleased when Moses obviously notices the smell but becomes less pleased when he cracks open the windscreen in the car to get rid of the smell.

  • In one book of The Babysitters Club, Mallory, while in California and away from her parents, basically blew all her money on makeup and "Temporary" Blond Dye Job. The Catastrophe in this scenario is that that it's implied in her narration that she's wearing too much and that the dye is not going to come out before she has to return home.
  • Can You See Me?: In All the Pieces of Me, Tally follows one of Lucy's make-up tutorials in an attempt to look cool. But when she get to school the next day, the other girls laugh at her, telling her she looks like a clown, or a little kid who raided her mum's room, and tell her to wash it off before anyone else notices. Tally can't tell what she did wrong no matter how hard she studies her reflection, but she scrubs her face with paper towels until she's sure all the make-up is gone.
  • Carpe Jugulum has Alpha Bitch vampire Lacrimosa, who wears heavy, heavy gothic eyeliner. Agnes notes she looks more like Harry the Happy Panda.
  • Jemima, Caractacus Pott's daughter, did this in a Noodle Incident in the original book Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. She got into her mother's lipstick and tried it for herself, making her look as if she had smeared raspberry all over her face! When her mother saw the result, she was angry at first but cracked up at the sight.
  • Confessions of Georgia Nicolson: Georgia Nicolson, the Cute Clumsy Lovable Alpha Bitch protagonist of Louise Rennison's series (beginning with Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging), is the queen of this trope... even though she does use make-up on a regular basis. Somehow, she always has to push things just a bit too far: she dyes a blonde streak in her hair only to have the hair snap off when her boyfriend runs his hands through it, she tries to make a pimple look like a beauty spot with the aid of a lip pencil (making it even more obvious) and shaves off her "orang-utan" eyebrows when she decides tweezing hurts too much. In another book, she dyes her legs bright orange in a self-tanning-lotion mishap.
  • Dork Diaries: In Tales from a Not-So-Friendly Frenemy, Nikki's attempt at creating a facial cream from whatever ingredients she can find at home results in her face being dyed blue.
  • This is the unfortunate result when the transvestite protagonist of the YA novel Flipside attempts to apply makeup for the first time, almost discouraging him entirely from cross-dressing until his girlfriend (who finds him most attractive as a girl) teaches him the proper technique.
  • In Hell's Faire, the thirteen-year-old Cally O'Neal attempts to make her self up like Britney Spears does, but the end result winds up as "raccoon eyes", and Papa O'Neal afraid that if she's seen by others like that he'd be accused of child abuse. Fortunately for Cally some of the visitors to the farm where she and Papa live are much better at applying makeup and fix the problem.
  • In the short story "Liar!" by Isaac Asimov, the cold and harsh robopsychologist Susan Calvin is led to believe that a man she has a crush on feels the same way about her, so she begins wearing makeup to draw his attention; her inexpert efforts are less than subtle, and she doesn't get a positive reaction.
  • In Robert Munsch's book Makeup Mess, a girl named Julie blows her money on makeup (even going as far as to steal from her brother's piggy bank) in an attempt to look beautiful... only to scare the everloving Christ out of her parents.
  • In "The Saturdays", part of the Melendy Quartet, Randi (who is about 10, and note also that this takes place in the early 1940s) spends her Saturday money having her hair and nails done, with the nail polish a garish red. She is then horrified by the results. Her hair is fine once she washes it out, and the kindly housekeeper Cuffy uses perfume to take off the nail polish. (This does not work in real life.)
  • The Robert A. Heinlein book Podkayne of Mars has Podkayne try to imitate garish makeup from a magazine cover. Fortunately, an older woman shows her how it should be done.
  • Sisters... No Way! - the Aishling POV section has this reaction to when Cindy comes to dinner at their house. She's fifteen at this point, so it's possible she's not used to wearing make-up regularly - and Aishling's narration says it "made you want to run for a face cloth".
  • The Story of Tracy Beaker has an example with an on-the-money illustration by Nick Sharratt. However, Tracy doesn't do it for a boy, but because an author is coming to her care home and she wants to make an impression. She does. The author, Cam Lawson, later becomes her foster mother. The worst part is that she doesn't even realize why people are laughing...
  • Letty Chubb in the Teenage Worrier book series had several of these. She has dyed her hair orange, ruined her mother's expensive ballgown by stepping on the hem while wearing heels, broken out in a rash because of her allergy to perfume, and more.
  • Mara Wilson talks about this in her autobiography Where Am I Now? True Stories of Girlhood and Accidental Fame, and the result was putting eye shadow on her eyebrows. A fellow classmate saw this and told her "eye shadow goes on your eyes". Mara called the girl a bitch and got "I'm a bitch who knows how to put on eye shadow" as a response.
    "She had me there."

    Live-Action TV 
  • A sketch from "The Girls Room" of The Amanda Show has the girls getting ready for the prom. Debbie The Ditz was supposed to be getting a tan, and she shows up with a red sunburn from falling asleep at the salon.
  • In an early episode of Boy Meets World, Cory tries to use a hair care product but fails to read the directions. After they manage to unstick the comb from his head, he tries and fails to slip through the whole day of school wearing a hat. At least he doesn't end up "bald as a cue ball", which is what Eric insists someone else who used the same product did.
  • Lorena in The Brothers García dons a lot of make-up at the start of the new school year against Sonia's wishes. The catastrophe comes when she must rush home and clean it off before dinner - she discovers it's waterproof.
  • Happens when Lila attempts a makeover on her friend Enid in the Charles in Charge episode "A Date with Enid". Turns out all she really needed to do was take of her glasses and let down her hair.
  • In one episode of Dad's Army, the platoon are told that Home Guard members who are too old to fight will be drafted into ARP under new government rules. Preparing for an inspection which will decide who is too old to stay, the men go to increasingly desperate lengths to attempt to look younger - toupees, girdles, and even covering themselves in the makeup that Frazer uses when preparing corpses. Meanwhile, Hodges tries to disguise himself as an old man so he will not be sent to the Home Guard. Hilarity Ensues all around.
  • One time it was used on Family Matters, and it had nothing to do with the idea that Laura was incompetent in applying the makeup. Rather, the blameworthy party was a mail-order scam that Laura had fallen for: She was supposed to be a salesgirl for the makeup, but when it arrived it was horribly defective.
  • Friends:
    • Ross uses too much of a dental bleach agent, causing his teeth to glow in the dark under his black light and scaring off his date.
    • In a different episode he manages to get two applications of fake tan on the front of his body and none on the back — after repeated attempts to rectify this he has eight applications on his front and still none on his back.
  • Full House:
    • Feeling out of place during an embarrassing first day of junior high school, DJ and Kimmy decide to makeover themselves to look like the older girls in school, donning themselves (through much trial-and-error) in heavy makeup (of which Stephanie replies it looks cheap). Danny catches DJ before she can leave the house and they have a heartfelt talk, and Becky comes in and offers to help DJ do a more age-appropriate look, giving her the advice "the secret to wearing makeup is to make it look like you're not wearing any".
    • In an episode later on, D.J. tries to give Kimmy a makeover, as, in D.J.'s own words, Kimmy can't afford anyone but her to do it. Too bad Danny's sister happens to visit with a pet monkey of her own, and the monkey adds more hair-dye solution than one would apply normally without anyone noticing (the monkey applies the extra dye while D.J. and Kimmy are having a beauty rest with slices of cucumber over their eyes and talking to each other, preventing them from seeing the monkey and drowning out what little sound the monkey makes in pouring the dye). The result is Kimmy having magenta '80s Hair, but, luckily for D.J., who believes that she's solely responsible for Kimmy's bad hairdo, Kimmy is thrilled by the outcome.
      Kimmy: This is great. For once, I am one step ahead of Madonna. And the best part of this is, my mother is going to freak out. Thanks, Deej.
      *Kimmy and D.J. hug*
      D.J.: (awkwardly) Happy to help.
    • The episode "Day of the Rhino" starts with D.J. deciding to get a hairdo, but she ends up going to the one that's... not very good, all so that Kimmy can get a free neck shave. The result is so bad that their family dog runs away at the sight of her, and Rebecca and Vicky have to step in to get D.J.'s hair back to its pre-"makeover" appearance.
  • In The Golden Girls episode "Rites of Spring", Dorothy, Blanche, and Rose tried to have a makeover but ended up with unsatisfactory results for them, as they wound up with Sophia's hairstyle.
    Blanche: Sophia, I still can not believe you talked us into that.
    Sophia: Please, you three looked gorgeous.
    Rose: We didn't even look like ourselves.
    Sophia: What's your point?
    Dorothy: Ma, you are not helping matters.
  • Delia Delfano is often a victim of this trope during the first season of I Didn't Do It, first when her mother forces her into beauty pageants in the episode "Fireman Freddy's Spaghetti Station." When Lindy and Jasmine see her turn around poorly made up, Lindy delivers the perfect sympathetic response.
    Lindy: Oh, honey... Boo-Boo.
  • An episode of Malcolm in the Middle has Lois getting a trashy makeover from a girl at work and she ends up being mistaken for a hooker. Hal loves it though.
  • This is the result when Kiki performs a makeover on Alexia and Claireparker while they are asleep in the Pixelface episode "Two Aethelwynnes".
  • In an early episode of Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, Ami tries to bond with Usagi by engaging in girls' typical activities with her and her friends. One of these is a pajama party at Usagi's (for which Naru had come as well): at one point, they start showing off their make-up. Ami, not having much practice with it, messes hers up royally... And all three girls share a good laugh.
  • From Reba: During the first season, Reba and Lori Ann have a makeover once. They end up having more makeup on their faces than they'd like.
    Reba: Now we know why the makeovers were free.
    Lori Ann: My last car didn't have this much paint in it.
  • In Sabrina the Teenage Witch, a spell causes everyone's fear to multiply. Libby gets paranoid that she won't win the Spring Queen pageant so keeps applying more make-up. By the time Sabrina gets to the Forest of her Fears, Libby appears dressed as a clown.
    • Also in the first episode, Sabrina inadvertently casts a spell that makes Libby unable to apply her lips. She keeps putting it on everywhere else.
  • In Sadie J, Sadie deliberately inflicts one on herself in order to submit a review trashing her father's fiancee's beauty salon.
  • In a variation, on Salute Your Shorts, Dina is the resident girly-girl and is about to take part in a water balloon tag/capture the flag game. She knows a lot about makeup, but not much about camouflage. Attempting to apply her makeup skills to camouflage she ends up looking like a paramilitary clown and asks deadpan "Do you think I overdid it?"
  • On The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, Cody decides to differentiate himself from his brother by lightening his hair. Result: pink hair. On the day of a scholarship interview. Naturally, a Twin Switch is the perfect answer. Not.
  • Give that the premise of the Korean TV drama True Beauty (2020) is about a homely girl who transforms herself into a goddess using makeup, it was obligated to have one of these. Jugyeong's first attempt to improve her look with makeup has...less than optimal results...
    Jugyeong's mom: Makeup my butt! That is ghost makeup! Did you just come out of filming for "Korean Ghost Stories?"
  • In Two of a Kind Ashley gets an ink stain on her cheek a few days before class pictures are being taken and Carrie attempts to cover it up with makeup. The result is a completely white face, over-rouged cheeks, and clown lipstick.
    Ashley: Oh my God, I look like Grandma.
  • An episode of Yeralash is about a little girl who's left alone with her mom's cosmetics. In the end, two robbers break into the flat... and run away in fear.
  • There was a small early arc in Yo soy Betty, la fea where Betty tries a makeover by buying a new dress and trying a new hairdo and makeup. Unfortunately, she doesn't have any fashion sense and let herself in the hands of the saleswoman and the hairdresser, who are as clueless as she is. Predictably, it fails horribly, prompting the rest of the cast to say that she looked worse than her usual self. Later, (after the proper makeover) this experience becomes an inspiration, and she capitalizes it into a program to create salesgirls with fashion knowledge, so they can act as consultants for the clients and they can get a better experience (and clothing that suit them).

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Josette Bynum (aka TNA's Sojo Bolt) talks about a mean make-up artist who would often deliberately make the female wrestlers look bad if she didn't like them or was in a bad mood. She recalls one botched job that was done before a photoshoot - and weirdly enough the photos turned out better than she was expecting.
    "I hated this! I cried! That's why my eyes are red in the picture."
  • Madison Rayne was not used to presenting herself on a wrestling show (ironically she was a former pageant queen, so make-up was no problem to her), so on her first-ever show she got a head-to-toe spray tan and jokes about how orange she looked. Austin Aries apparently came up to her afterwards and said "you had no business being out there".
  • The Wood Brothers were only teenagers when they debuted, and initially just appeared on shows as they would for training. They had to be given a pep talk about making sure their hair looked good, wearing tan, trimming facial hair, etc. They had to rely on their father doing their tan for them, and one of Lewis's early matches had him sporting a horrifically orange Oompa Loompa glow.
  • The NXT documentary series Breaking Ground shows that the WWE developmental females get classes on how to do their make-up themselves on the road specifically to avoid this. Bayley for example was completely clueless, saying learning how to do make-up herself was harder than the actual wrestling.

    Video Games 
  • In Bully, the already unappealing cafeteria lady Edna puts on some makeup to go on a date with the chemistry teacher. The makeup does nothing to cover up her warts and wrinkles, and literally makes her look like a clown.

    Visual Novels 
  • The Fruit of Grisaia: When it comes to makeup, only Amane regularly wears any. Yumiko manages to competently apply some when directed, Michiru puts on five different false eyelashes since she thinks they’ll make her look tsundere (but probably really just because she got bored) while Makina looks like a goth clown. Sachi however... is such a catastrophic example that instead of seeing her we get a discretion shot.

  • Cursed Princess Club: When the Pastel Kingdom princess sisters go to the Plaid Kingdom for Prince Lance's birthday, they're given makeovers and plaid-patterned outfits by the local maids for the occasion. Maria and Lorena turn out fine, but Gwendolyn proves more of a challenge for the maids, resulting in her getting a tacky outfit, frizzled hair, and way too much white makeup and eyeshadow. Maria and Lorena freak out because they initially mistake her for the "vampire clown" that scared them back at the amusement park haunted house...but once they recognize Gwen underneath, they get mad at the maids for doing such a terrible job and step in to fix things. Their makeover is considerably better.
  • In Gunnerkrigg Court, Gadgeteer Genius Kat falls for a boy at her school, tries to paint her face in an effort to impress him, and messes it up. Best friend Annie salvages the situation by removing all the makeup. When Kat notes that she doesn't look different from normal, Annie tells her that she's beautiful as she is, making this one of the rare instances where that particular Aesop is specifically employed. She is then cut off when she starts to ask why Annie wears makeup.
  • The Perry Bible Fellowship points out one more inconvenient aspect of vampirism.
  • Hannelore of Questionable Content tries to apply makeup with the help of a robot whose cosmetic knowledge is derived from porn websites, with predictable results.
  • Transcendent shows an example from Olive's (a trans girl) childhood before she came out, where she got into her mother's makeup right before her mom was supposed to go on a date. Her mom then fixed her makeup for her even though it would make her late on her date, gently chiding her for the color combination.

    Western Animation 
  • In As Told by Ginger, the heroine and her two best friends try to make themselves look beautiful for the school photo, by stealing Lois' (Ginger's mother's) cosmetics. Then, when they're found out and forbidden from using makeup, they follow a magazine's instructions for making "fake-up" out of household materials. The results are predictably disastrous, especially since the foundation was made from gravy.
    Miranda: Are they auditioning for clown school?
    Courtney: If they are, I think they're going to get in.
  • Katara and Toph try out cosmetics after a day at the spa in one episode of Avatar: The Last Airbender. The makeup doesn't look that bad, but it's still off enough to attract the attention of a trio of snooty girls. Toph and Katara respond to the criticism by dropping them into a river and washing them downstream.
  • Bob's Burgers: In "Bad Tina", Tina's friendship with new student and wannabe "bad girl" Tammy involves Tammy giving her a "make-over" in the girl's restroom at school. Tammy and Tina's overdone make-up causes Andy and Ollie Pesto to freak out about "bathroom clowns". (Both the girls seem to be of the "what's the point of make-up if people can't tell you're wearing it from at least a hundred yards away?" school and don't see anything wrong with how they look.)
  • Camp Lakebottom: Gretchen does this to herself when she tries to prove she is girly enough to enter Camp Sunnysmiles beauty pageant in "Ring Around the Gretchen". When she buries her face on her bed in sorrow, her face sticks to the blanket.
  • Daria:
    • Jane suffers the hair-dying variety in the episode "Dye! Dye! My Darling". It's a subversion considering that Jane basically expected, at least subconsciously, Daria to screw it up in order to pick a fight with her, practically forcing Daria to do it despite her protestations that she was going to screw it up.
    • Also in "Of Human Bonding", the Fashion Club stays overnight at the Morgendorffers and they decide to give Helen a makeover. The end result leaves Helen looking rather clownish.
  • Dogstar: Happens when Gran decides to help Gemma 'look pretty' for the opening of the Dogstar museum in the first episode of series 2. Gemma wastes no time in wiping off the make-up as soon as she is out of sight of Gran.
  • An episode of Duck Dodgers shows a flashback to a time when he apparently worked as a cosmetician in a beauty salon. After applying foundation, body glitter, and perfume to a woman, and asks his boss how he did. Answer Cut to the customer looking like the freakin' Crypt Keeper.
    Cosmetician: You are so fired.
  • A few episodes of Ed, Edd n Eddy feature this. The Eds suffer it in "Quick Shot Ed", Plank in "Know it All Ed", and May in "Ed Overboard".
  • Futurama has Leela attempting to do her own eyeshadow and lipstick when her one eye is temporarily blinded. When she gets a second prosthetic eye, she again has trouble with eyeshadow, although Amy is on hand to help her out.
  • Helga of Hey Arnold! gives herself a makeover to look more girly for Rhonda's party. Her mother faints when she sees the finished result.
    "Maybe I should have gone lighter on the eye shadow."
  • In The Legend of Korra, the Tomboy-ish main character has absolutely no interest in make-up. In one episode she is faced with... DUN DUN DUN, a powder room. Sinister music plays as she suspiciously picks up the puff, only for powder to explode all over her face.
  • Happens in Pixel Pinkie when Pinkie (who is a genie) uses her powers to perform a makeover on Nina and Anni. They actually wanted a house makeover.
  • In the 1935 Popeye cartoon, "For Better or Worser", both Popeye and Bluto have been fighting to take Olive to get married. Prior to meeting up with them both, she put on an excessive amount of makeup and false eyelashes. Neither of them saw what she looked like because she was also wearing a veil the whole time. As they were both fighting to take her to the Justice of the Peace, she ended up getting banged up along the way and by the end of the cartoon, Popeye finally lifts the veil to find that Olive is looking pretty ghastly, causing him to head for the hills.
  • Sea Princesses: In "The Makeover", it's Polvina's birthday and Ester and Tubarina have a surprise party for her and also a surprise makeover! When the makeover turns out to be an ugly disaster, Ester and Tubarina have to try and unmake it before the party!
  • The Simpsons: In the episode where Homer tries to become an inventor like Thomas Edison, one of his inventions is the "makeup gun", a double-barreled shotgun loaded with blush, eyeliner, lipstick, etc. It works about as well as you would expect.
    Marge: Homer! You've got it set on "whore"!


Sora's Makeup

Sora attempts to use her own makeup, with poor results.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / CosmeticCatastrophe

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