Do you want to know a secret?
Shh! Come closer…
I waxed my own face.
I know what you’re thinking: “Oh. My. God. She went there.”
I’m not supposed to talk about it, right?
No one wants to talk about it. But if I had to guess
(and I do, since I’m not sitting there reading this with you)
instead of being disgusted and clicking away from this page, you probably leaned in a little closer and ignored the ringing of your work phone or your kid’s request for another cup of water.
Facial hair is a major pain in the ass for women. I don’t have a lot of it but it’s enough to bother me, and since having kids the occasional black hair will pop out on my upper lip like a hormone waving a flag.
I hate those things. They have to go.
When I went hunting for pictures related to waxing for the top of this post, I Googled “facial waxing”. These are the ridiculous images associated with such a search, the total crap the peddlers of facial wax want you to think.
And this one just kills me.
No one smiles during while getting their face waxed. And if she just got waxed, why isn’t she red?
After some digging around on the internet, I finally found an image of what waxing really looks like.
Do you see her eyes closed, anticipating the hair about to be ripped from her face? I guarantee you she’s thinking, “I pay for this??”
And this is what your skin looks like after:
All hair removal methods that promise to be pain free are lying, but I can’t think of many things more embarrassing to a woman than having someone call attention to her facial hair.
I know this because someone did it to me a long time ago. In retrospect I thought it was remarkably kind of me to let him live.
Maybe some of you are putting on a brave face and saying, “I don’t care if people know I get rid of facial hair with waxes/tweezing/bleach/whatever.”
And to that I call bullshit. You care. Or you wouldn’t be doing it.
Maybe there is one woman in a million who genuinely doesn’t mind if people see her facial hair. A woman who rocks her ‘stache with pride.
If you’re that woman, this is not the blog for you. Only those with facial hair insecurities are welcome here.
There are a lot of facial hair remedies on the beauty market. There are creams and bleaches full of God knows what that are either supposed to make the hair less visible or just fall out.
I’m afraid to use these because I am cursed with two things: an active imagination and super-sensitive skin. It’s just too easy for me to picture monstrous chemical burns ringing my mouth.
Shaving is supposed to be a big no-no. I don’t do it so I don’t know exactly why it’s bad, but I think the hair is supposed to grow back thicker and darker, leaving you with a sexy five o’clock shadow.
There’s laser hair removal which, I hear, is costly. Waxing can be costly too, but I found a way around that. A topic I will return to in a minute.
There’s tweezing and tweezing’s bigger, meaner cousin, threading. If you’ve never heard of threading, Google it. There are tons of videos out there. I’ve tried threading and found it to be a modern day form of medieval torture. It works and there are no chemicals involved, but it took too long and holy Mary, mother of God that hurts.
So my facial hair removal method of choice is waxing.
Before you say, “But that hurts too!”, um, yeah, I’ve noticed.
But it’s quick and when it comes to my upper lip I would rather deal with ten seconds of pain than a mustache.
Of course, waxing has its own drawbacks. I discovered the hard way that not all waxes are created equal.
I’ve tried the yellow wax with the cloth strip. This kind is too harsh and makes me break out. It does me no good to use this kind of wax. I’ll end up facial hair free, only to have the hair replaced with pimples and red stripes across my face for the next twenty four hours.
And by the way, believe me when I say it’s not cool to have the person waxing your face look down at you and say, “Oh. You’re a bleeder.”
By purest accident I stumbled across an esthetician at a salon who used a green ‘sensitive’ wax. My face was still really red after trying the green wax, but for the first time I didn’t break out.
The esthetician bought her own wax and when she left her job at the salon the wax went with her. I followed her green wax around for a while until I lost track of her and never heard from her again.
Then I found the European Wax Center.
If you wax and you’ve never been to a European Wax Center, you’re missing out. The wax is for ‘sensitive’ skin, but this time it was purple. It wasn’t cheap, but my break outs didn’t come back and, bonus, the red stripes went away even faster.
So I’d finally discovered the right wax, but due to the inevitable red stripes I still had to time my appointments so I could immediately drive home and not leaving my house for at least two hours. I liked the results but I hated planning around those appointments.
I was complaining about this to a friend – for the sake of anonymity, we’ll call her Jane – telling her I wished there was an easier way. Jane shrugged nonchalantly and told me she waxed at home.
I stared at her wide eyed with wonder. “Really?”
“Sure. I just go to Sally’s and buy the sensitive wax. I wash my face and put Vaseline on my lips so I don’t rip the skin off. It’s not hard. I’ve been doing it for years.”
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.
I’d never considered waxing my own face mostly due to a story my hair dresser told me. She said she tried waxing her own face once.
She got the wax on, applied the cloth strip, gripped the end of the strip, and… froze.
Relating the story to me later, she said, “I couldn’t make my hand pull it. So I just decided to go into hiding and live with the strip on my face. Forever.”
The logistical nightmare of this solution was how she going to get from her room, across a busy salon and out to her car without anyone seeing the cloth strip stuck to the wax on her face. She was staring at herself in the mirror, contemplating this problem when her friend walked in and mercifully ripped the strip off her upper lip.
Until Jane told me she was waxing at home, I figured I was stuck having someone else wax my face for me. The last thing I wanted was to adopt a life of seclusion because I’d chickened out in the middle of the act.
But if Jane could do it, then so could I. I decided to try it.
Jane sent me a picture of the product she used and I made a trip to Sally’s. I brought it home and got ready, washing my face and laying out all the necessary items on the bathroom counter.
Then I went into the kitchen and put the little white jar of wax in the microwave. While the wax was melting I poured myself a (large) glass of wine. The microwave beeped and I took the little jar and my glass of liquid courage back into the bathroom.
I tested the wax temperature on the back of my hand until it was just right. I drank deeply from my wine glass, deciding this was a ‘now or never’ kind of thing.
I applied a generous amount of wax to my upper lip. I took another drink of wine while my heart beat hard and the wax cooled on my face. When it was cool enough I took a deep breath (and maybe another drink) and yanked that sucker right off.
It hurt but no more than I was expecting and sure enough, no more hair on my face.
I sent a wildly happy text to my friend: I DID IT!!
So, ladies, I feel your pain. Quite literally. Facial hair is a misery a lot of us put up with. I found my solution.
I look forward to a bright, shiny future when there will be world peace, clean drinking water for everyone and (on a much more selfish and shallow note) pain free hair removal for all.