Hair Removal

When you think about the number of beauty issues out there like heavy-duty pimples, acne, scars… etc etc, hair removal seems relatively minor. However, it is an issue many women have to deal with, regularly, for most of their lives. It is tiresome indeed, but has to be done… dammit! So we start off with…

WAXING

Removes hair from the root, so hair takes longer to grow back. Typically, if your hair growth is average to fairly thick, you may need to wax once a month, or once in six weeks. However, waxing is painful, and certain, more sensitive areas can be acutely painful. In-growths, little red bumps on the skin, and other forms of irritation are also common. Gently exfoliating your skin with a pumice stone when you are in the shower should help with ingrowths.

If your skin does not react negatively to waxing, this may be one of the most convenient forms of hair removal for you – simply because you need attend to it just once in four to six weeks. Waxing also softens your skin – all that sugar is good! And, it removes dead skin. I however, have endured way too many red and black ‘bumps and spots’ on my skin, and have sworn off waxing for good!

FACIAL WAX or katori wax: If you have hairy sideburns, opt for facial wax. Heat it or not, according to instructions, and apply it to your sideburns. Pat down with your fingers, and pull off in a swift, upward motion. You can also use it on your chin. For eyebrows and upperlip, try plucking or threading. Avoid bleaching your face as far as possible.

SHAvING 

The most convenient method of hair removal! But as hair is not removed from the root, it grows back a lot quicker. In addition, shaving your underarms if you have thick, black hair, is not the best option as your underarms may start to look black. When you shave, you cut the hair above the surface of the skin – the rest of the hair is sitting just under your skin, and as all the hair grows back together at pretty much the same time, you will see this big black shadow emerging, effectively darkening your underarms. I would definitely recommend waxing armpits over shaving – unless the growth is very fine and scanty, or if you have light hair.

When shaving legs, make sure you shave against the direction of hair growth. Avoid shaving in random directions. If you have a tub, shave your legs in the tub after giving them a good soak and applying plenty of soap. Or, you could use shaving cream – lather it well. If you shave dry skin, you will get ‘razor burn’, so don’t do it! Always soap up well. Other options like body lotion, oil etc are not a good substitute for soap and water.

If you do get in-growths, exfoliate your skin regularly with a pumice stone. Soap up well and scrub GENTLY. Keep the area well moisturised.

ELECTRIC RAZORS are also a great option. you don’t need to soap up and can just run the razor over dry legs. The job gets done in a jiffy. You can also set the blade so it doesn’t shave too close to the skin. This will prevent in-growths.

EPILATING

Epilating is a good option, especially for underarms. If you epilate your underarms at least once a week, you can rest assured that you will never have to deal with armpit hair or dark underarms ever again. Epilating removes hair from the root, and so it takes longer to grow back. Although waxing your armpits is a good option, you will have to wait till the hair grows out before you wax it again. When you epilate, you can remove hair which is still very small, so you can ensure that you stay hair-free!

Epilation is painful, more so than waxing, so I would suggest that you first wax your armpit hair, and then, as soon as you see the first few hairs emerge, get rid of them with the epilator. If you epilate a few hairs when they are still very tiny, on a regular basis, the pain will be substantially less.

You can also epilate arms and legs, but epilating is a slow process. Be patient, be regular, so you can remove hair when it is short and scanty or it will be very painful. Also, as we tend to pull hair in various directions when epilating, in-growths are common. Exfoliate!

DILAPIDATORY CREAMS

I stay away from them. I would rather not apply harsh chemicals to my skin when there are so many other ways of removing hair. No doubt skin stays soft after applying hair removal cream, but if you shave and apply moisturiser, it will be just as soft. Hair removal creams, when appllied to underarms, may also cause darkening. Everyone however, needs to opt for a hair removal method that is best suited to their needs, and if you feel dilapidatory creams work best for you, use them as infrequently as possible. Apply the cream in a well ventilated area; turn on the exhaust in the bathroom or leave the door ajar. Don’t apply hair removal creams when you are pregnant.

Dilapidatory creams are good options for smaller areas like fingers and toes, and also for the stomach. Don’t apply on the face.

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Black Spots on Legs

Hi Beautybuzzerdiv>

I really really need ur help.
 
Okay my problem is this:
 For about 3-4  yrs I shaved my legs. I avoided waxing because of the pain and inconvenience. Now my legs are full of tiny tiny ugly looking thousands of black-brown spots. Please please help me get rid of them. I tried all home made remedies: haldi, lemon, besan, curd, tomato… You name it, I’ve done it!  But to no effect. I consulted a dermatologist who said laser hair removal would help, but I have my doubts, because its the scars and spots that I am bothered about, and not just hair.
 
The hair on my legs is thick  and black, and my skin is v light.
Please suggest a permanent cure … and also a dermatologist who can actually help me out with it.
Awaiting response.
Ur my only hope now.. pls help.
Best Regards,
MS
 
 —————————————————————————————————————
 
Hi M,

Black ‘spots’ after waxing or shaving are very common and are especially visible if you have light skin and a fairly thick hairgrowth. If you want to stick with shaving, always remember to shave in the direction opposite to hair growth.

Try using a pumice stone regularly in the shower. After applying soap, GENTLY scrub your legs with the pumice stone.  You could even try scrubbing your legs with a loofah or rough washcloth in the shower. Follow up with a body cream. 

You could also try switching to an electric razor. Set the blade so it doesn’t cut too close to the skin. The hair will still be invisible, but you will be able to feel it if you run your hands in the direction opposite to hair growth. And, you will never get in-growths again!

I’d suggest trying to get your hands on Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs. It’s a fantastic product, conceals most imperfections and makes your legs look fabulous! You can get it from cvs in the US, I’m not sure where u can find it in India.

Laser will definitely help, because the spots are formed by ingrown hair, dirt, and dead skin around the hair follicles. So once the hair is permanently gone, the spots will go too. However, as laser is very expensive, it could be a last option. First, try switching to an electric razor, and exfoliating.

Hope this helps! If you have any more questions, don’t hesitate to write in! Also, read my article on hair removal for some more information.

Beautybuzzer

The Pursuit of Beauty

It never fails to surprise me when I come across people who view the pursuit of beauty as a frivilous activity. I agree that one cannot spend all one’s time just trying to look good, but a certain amount of time is not only justified, it is required.

For all the time we spend going to school, sitting for exams, attending college, getting degrees, we need to understand that along with intelligence, looks also help pave the way to success. We all know that only intelligence is not a guarantee for success. Similarly, just good looks will not pay your bills… well, it may, but that’s another story. For most of us, we need to have a combination.

Good looks are a lot more than just a beautiful face and balanced features. Those are god-given. But we can all be attractive simply by looking smart, and taking care of our appearance. When I use the word beauty here, I mean ‘well-groomed, well dressed, a stylish haircut, appropriate make-up and generally well turned out.

A person who exercises regularly and is fit, is automatically percieved as someone who is disciplined. On the other hand it is easy to think of an overweight person as lazy.

Looks do play a role in a person’s success. Not a major role, unless you’re looking at modelling or acting, but a fairly significant role – not to be scoffed at!  However, the worst thing we can do is become obsessed by the way we look. This obsession can culminate in low self esteem, a negative body image leading to eating disorders and other forms of radical behavior. A healthy, balanced attitude to beauty is very important. Beauty matters, but it is not the only thing that matters.

The other advantages of being beautiful? Your chances of attracting the alpha male are that much higher – in the end that’s really what brings you happiness, isn’t it? A good marriage to a nice, fairly good looking bugger, good money, nice children, it’s the global dream, made possible by some attention to beauty!

Dark Circles

Many of us are often troubled by shadows under the eyes. In some cases, these dark circles are temporary, especially when they are caused by lifestyle choices.

Dark circles are often due to a lack of sleep, or a change in sleeping patterns. Make sure to catch up on your sleep, and you will see the shadows disappear.

Alcohol does at times cause dark circles and puffiness. Keep your drinking within limits. Everytime you get drunk, you’re not doing your liver or kidneys a favour, and if the effects of your debaucheries are showing on your face too, it may be worth curbing your intake just a wee bit 😉 

Are you anemic? Is your hemoglobin low? These factors could also cause dark circles, so if you haven’t had your blood tested in a while, I’d suggest going in for a blood test, especially if the dark circles are a new and fairly sudden occcurance. Alternatively, try a daily multivitamin supplement like Centrum. Increase your intake of green veges, and eat plenty of beetroot.

If you’ve never tried yogic breathing or pranayam, give it a shot. Doing this for ten minutes early morrning will not only make a marked difference to your health, but your face is going to glow, and you will see a marked difference in dark circles and puffiness.

Try applying tea bags and cucumber slices to your eyes, and lie down for a while. In addition to relaxing you, doing this cools down your undereye area, and helps increase circulation to the eyes.

Always wear sunglasses when stepping out into the sun, to combat uv radiation and consequent effects like pigmentation.

Drink water. Lots of it!

Break a Vitamin E capsule, apply a little oil on the area under your eyes, and drink the rest. It’s good for your skin, so apply it, eat it!

At times you may not be able to get rid of your dark circles completely, in which case concealing them is your best bet. Apply concealor in a shade lighter than your skin colour just under your eyes. Blend it well, and follow up with your regular eye makeup.

Try these tips, and let me know how it goes!

Quick Tip: Eyes

If you want a natural, unmade-up look for your eyes, try this. Apply a dot of lip gloss with a small brush to your upper eyelid, right in the centre. It will make your eyes shine. I did -this once and received a number of compliments. Don’t apply it to your lower lids if you are wearing eye make-up on your lower lid too, as your make-up will run. But just a dot of gloss on a sparsely madeup upper lid will really make your eyes pop. Try it, and let me know how it looked!

Brow Basics

For the longest time I resisted getting my brows plucked, but when I started, wow, I loved the striking difference it made to my eyes. So if you’re thinking: to pluck or not to pluck, go for it!

The very first time around, it makes sense to go to a professional. This way, you get the perfect shape and all you need to do is keep trimming it yourself at home. If you start from scratch, it is easy to mess up the shape. You pull out one extra hair, and your eyes are going to look wonky. 

When plucking your brows, stick to your basic shape and just clean up stray hair. Don’t go for something drastically different from your natural shape. A lot of women love thin brows, and so do I, but thicker brows make you look younger. If you have very thick brows and want to keep them thin, remember that they will require a lot of maintenance and it’s easier to go wrong when plucking.

If you have a low tolerance to pain, pluck your brows after a shower. The steam will open up your pores, and plucking will be less painful.

Never overpluck your brows, always pluck slowly and carefully. Pluck regularly, depending on how fast your hair grow back. Plucking will be less painful that way, and sticking to the right shape will be a lot easier. I pluck my brows every alternate day, cleaning up stray hair as soon as it shows up, but then, my hair grows monstrously fast.

You’ll need some basic tools to keep your brows looking in top shape.

Powder: I find that applying powder to the brows cuts the grease and the tweezers get a better grip on the hair, making plucking a lot easier.

Magnifying mirror: I have a mirror that magnifies 5x times. Its brilliant, I can see every single hair! It’s very difficult to pluck hair without a magnifying mirror, so don’t try it – you will only mess up the shape. Everytime I pluck my brow hair looking into a regular mirror, it ends in disaster. I never do that now!

Tweezers: Invest in the best pair you can find. The best tweezers will help you pluck out the finest hair with ease. Get one with a slanted edge, so you carefully pick out fine hair. My personal fave is Tweezerman.

Eyebrow Pencil: Fill in gaps in your brows and plucking errors with an eyebrow pencil. Get one that matches your brow shade fairly closely. I have black brows, but always use a brown eyepencil. Black makes my brows stand out a little too strongly. Brown, on the other hand, blends in very well with the skin and with my brows. Experiment, and find the colour that works best for you.

Scissors: Get a pair of small steel scissors to trim wayward hair. This adds a great finishing touch. Use an old toothbrush to brush your brows, and trim all hair that sticks out above from the brow line. Generally you will need to trim hair on the side of your brow closest to your nose. Use scissors that end in a point, rather than those that have blunt ends, for greater accuracy. Trim your brows after plucking, not before.

Finish off by applying a cooling/soothing lotion or gel on the area.

Thinking of threading or waxing regularly? I have had my brows threaded a number of times, and the look is sleek and perfect. The only issue I have with threading is that I need to pull my skin taut during the procedure. I don’t know about you, but I’m not happy with all the stretching the delicate skin around my eyes has to go through. I know someone who threaded her eyes every week for a number of years, and the skin around her eyes hangs a lot. She is not young, but she does look older than many of her peers, and I figure this could be one of the reasons. Thus, I thread or wax my brows only when I have a big night out, for extra oomph.