Terrorizing the Low-Maintenance Boyfriend: A Lesson in Eyebrow Waxing

To hear my boyfriend tell it, I, “came at [him] with a pair of tweezers.” This statement implies two things. First, his words suggest an attack movement on my part, however the plucking was done with love and care. Second, it’s not like I didn’t warn him by saying, “Sit tight–I’ll be right back with my tweezers.”

Let me tell you a little about Mike: Ex-Marine. Quarterback. Basketball shorts. Despite a successful career in toughness, Mike’s kind heart affords him the tolerance to withstand my “torturous” whims– which brings us back to brow maintenance.

I combed and trimmed his brows with ease and marveled at how this step makes such an amazing difference every time–especially on men. Aestheticians, including myself, do this before plucking or waxing; combing brows upward and trimming offers instant results and low risk to ruining their shape. However, the tweezers pushed Mike over the edge.

“Just let me wax them,” I offered.

He retorted, “Hell no!”

“But this is my job. I do this for a living- waxing is way easier than tweezing.”


“But you get pedicures…”

He growled, “That’s for the [leg] massage! No.”

Boyfriends and beaus past always accepted my brow maintenance attempts with quiet reserve and surrender. Mike’s resistance presented a new challenge and I silently vowed I’d get to wax those brows. Later, I casually mentioned the football coach who is a body waxing client. “No.” I told him I wouldn’t do a complete brow design, but would only clean them up. “No.”

He called his mother to say hello and tattle about how wicked I was for daring to tweeze three eyebrow hairs. She told him, flatly, that her husband waxed regularly. Although Mike raised a bushy brow in consideration, he maintained the “devil wax” wouldn’t leave the Honee pot.

A few hours later, I was offered the deal of a lifetime when Mike bartered information for brows. My eyes lit up. “So, if I tell you, you’ll really let me wax them?”


High levels of testosterone, as found in males, generally indicate a surplus in hair growth. The hair is often thick, coarse, and dark. Unless you’re a Doctor, an Aesthetician, or work for Animal Control, don’t look at the next photo if you’re eating. One, lower-brow swipe did a world of good in the low-maintenance man’s brow routine:

When I swiped the wax across his lower brow bone, he commented that the warm wax was soothing. When I pulled the strip, Mike said the pain was nowhere near what he anticipated. In fact, it really didn’t hurt. We might go for a full-fledged brow design next time, but I considered our session a success:



SHAVING: Avoiding the Sasquatch and/or Scaly, Dragon Look.

I have Type II Skin and am rather sensitive. That said, I’m not one who those girls who can shave her legs with soap and live without itchy consequence–nor, shave my legs the night before going to the beach without my shorn skin breaking out in stinging, red bumps in reaction to the salt water.

These are the shave mediums I’ve tried over the years: Baby oil, gylcerin soap, French milled soap, moisturizing body wash, shave gel, men’s shaving cream, and shampoo. Baby oil produces a slick shave, but clogs the follicles and eventually leads to ingrowns. Soap is very drying to the skin and always leaves me ashy–same thing with expensive shave gels.

The only shave medium I use on my body, ever, is Biolage’s Hydratherapy Conditioning Balm. Conditioner is pH balanced to the skin. The formula remains non irritating as it’s free from dyes and fragrances. In essence, by shaving with this quality conditioner, the skin is infused with moisture.

Since making the switch, I no longer have to wait 12 hours between shaving and beaching. My legs stay silky smooth for longer than before and I never suffer from painful razor burn. In addition, this method saves me cash because I only have to purchase one product, not two. My razors also seem to last a little longer.

Sounds good, right? A boy looked at me like I’d gone totally nuts when I suggested that he use the conditioner on his face.

“You shave with conditioner?” He wrinkled his nose as if I’d offered him a jar of lard.

“Sure, it works great.”

He looked from the jar, to the razor, and at his face in the mirror. Maybe he was imagining his face broken out and cut to hell and back. As he cut his eyes to me, he probably waged my ability to pull-off practical jokes. What joke? No joke. Baby smooth skin. No cuts or razor burn. Smiling in the mirror.


Summer Waxing

I recently received an email concerning at-home waxing techniques; I do not condone clients performing their own waxing services. Hair removal seems simple, but it’s a very strategic process. If waxing is not performed correctly, the client becomes victim to pain and bleeding (which can lead to infection) and even permanent scarring. When waxing, the first two (dead) layers of skin are removed along with the hair from the root; scarring occurs when more than two layers of skin are removed. Visual trauma, due to poor waxing techniques, is made worse and more obvious by the sun. Although salon services sometimes appear costly, their value and necessity increases when faced with permanent disfiguration. However, if you’re hell-bent on waxing at home, here are a few steps responsible Aestheticians always follow:

  1. CLEANSE: Cleanse the area twice with an oil-free cleanser to remove debris and surface oils. Apply a pre-waxing cleansing solution to a cotton ball or square and gently wipe the area to be waxed; this simulates a sterile epidermal environment.
  2. PREP: Once the skin has dried, apply a light coat of dusting powder. If you’re not using a professional powder, use cornstarch over talc or baby powder, which is loaded with perfumes and chemicals.
  3. TEMP TEST: Check the wax temperature on the back of your wrist. You don’t want to scald the skin.

Cream or honey waxes are good for facial, arm, and leg waxing; it also works well on the bikini and under arm area on clients who have fine body hair. If using a cream or honey wax, smear a super thin coat to the skin in the direction of the hair growth; globbing the wax will only “lift,” or remove layers of, the skin and lead to damage. Smooth the wax strip in the direction of the hair growth and leave ½-1 inch free so that you have something to grip. Hold the skin taught, grab the end of the strip, and pull in a fast motion parallel with the skin. That is to say, don’t rip up.

Hard wax is formulated for coarse hair, such as bikini areas, or male backs & chests. Hard waxing follows the same preparation and wax temperature testing practices as soft wax. However, it is applied in a thick layer in the direction of the hair growth. Instead of using strips for removal, create a small lip at the end of the wax patch. Wait a few moments for the wax to set (do not let it fully harden) and flip up the lip with your fingernail. Hold the skin taught, grasp the wax, and pull in a fast, parallel motion.

4. SOOTHE: Apply a post-waxing or oil-free moisturizer. Massage the moisturizer into the skin to remove any residual wax. If redness appears, or lingers for more than an hour, ice the waxed area to reduce puffiness and calm the skin.

  • Avoid waxing services at nail salons—you know the ones I’m talking about. Products are generally low grade, which lead to break outs, and their technique is generally under-par because they specialize in nails, not waxing.
  • Avoid waxing on or around your period; our bodies are more sensitive to pain and post-wax breakouts.
  • If the house catches on fire and you don’t have time to pull the strip before running out of the house, do NOT yank it off once the firemen leave. Instead, apply coconut or olive oil to the wax to dissolve its bond to the skin. This also works well if wax ends up on hair for which it was unintended.