Who Brought the Bearded Lady?

The other day at work I encountered a woman who clearly cared about her appearance – her hair looked as though it had just been done, her nails were neatly manicured, and her clothes were neat and stylish. Sadly, her whole look was marred by an obvious strip of  hair above her upper lip. With all of her careful grooming, how could she have forgotten her mustache?

Facial hair is, unfortunately, a fact of life for most women. We ladies are not supposed to have facial hair, and as a result it’s often left undiscussed and is frequently unaddressed. This means that, as was the case with my mustachioed client the other day, many women are letting a little bit of fuzz ruin an otherwise well-groomed face. Here, some common types of female facial hair and how to get rid of it.

Fly Hairs: Puzzling and embarrassing, these random hairs are usually dark and stiff, and are some how able to grow to abnormal lengths before you will notice one on your neck or chin. There it stands, all alone, a single long dark hair poking out like the beard of a pubescent boy. Your best bet with these babies is to leave them alone until you can tweeze them. Nothing is less attractive than catching someone twirling or pinching a random neck hair. To catch them early, grab a magnifying mirror once a week and take stock of the area. But if you do notice one while out in public, take heart; chances are nobody else will.

Upper Lip Fuzz: Probably the most prevalent and stress inducing form of facial hair, the female mustache can be as insignificant as a dusting of nearly invisible peach fuzz or as thick and dashing as Tom Selleck’s. The fact remains that, in either case, removing this particular patch of hair will do wonders for your overall look and polish. My recommendation in this case is waxing. At home wax strip kits are inexpensive, easy to use, and work well on this type of hair, as long as you follow the instructions on the package. Some people choose to tweeze errant upper lip hairs, and this is also an effective, although more time-consuming, option. I would urge readers to avoid bleaching their upper lips, as this often has the undesired effect of drawing attention to the problem: the hair often comes out too light, and if you have enough upper lip hair to bleach, you’ll just end up with a blonde mustache.

Eyebrows: I’ve touched upon them before, and for a crash course in grooming your brows you can reference my earlier post, “Taming the Beast.” There are many schools of thought regarding eyebrows, with some women essentially eliminating them while others prefer to keep them full and sometimes bushy. Regardless of your personal style, regular brow maintenance is one of the easiest ways to brighten up your face and keep yourself looking put together. If your brows are out of control, seek professional help and get them waxed. From there it’s easy to keep up the general shape with regular tweezing.

 

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Let’s Talk About Armpits

Armpits. What an irritatingly unfeminine body part. Left to their own devices they grow hair, are sweaty, and produce an aroma that begs to differ with the saying that “women only glow.” Right.

A few summers ago a friend of mine arrived at a party and, clad in a tank top, proudly displayed what had to have been the most attractive armpits I had ever seen in the real world. We’re talking deodorant commercial, model-on-a-billboard type armpits. She was not plagued by stubble, and her underarms did not have that dark appearance that most do, thanks to close-to-the-surface hairs showing through our delicate underarm skin. Instead, she freely raised her arms and showed off her smooth, pretty armpits. How?

She had discovered the Epilator, a seemingly torturous device that essentially yanks hairs out by their roots and is most definitely effective. Shortly thereafter my sister became a loyal user of the Epilator, and although she is generally in agony for a short period after de-fuzzing, she swears by the thing.

Another friend of mine recently confessed to waxing her armpits anytime she wants to wear a sleeveless shirt, and has apparently been doing so since her teen years. I once read somewhere that the key to beautiful underarms was tweezing, but I’ve never made it past one hair. I apparently just don’t share my friends’ patience and tolerance for pain. As much as I’d love to have the kind of armpits they write songs about (if, in fact, they do), I’ve stuck with the razor my entire armpit-loathing life.

Shaving gets the job done, but it definitely leaves something to be desired. Which is why I was intrigued when I heard about Dove’s latest creation, Dove Ultimate Visibly Smooth anti-perspirant deodorant. This product claims to condition your underarm skin and, over time, it’s supposed to make hair softer, less noticeable, and easier to remove.

It comes in a couple of nice fresh scents (pretty standard for Dove products). I chose the wild rose scent, which thankfully smells nothing like the old-lady-ish rose petal creams I was imagining before I sniffed it. My review? First of all it smells fantastic and (and this is the number one deodorant priority in my book) keeps my armpits dry. I’ve found more and more lately that  most anti-perspirant deodorants, even the top brands, are great at covering up body odor but fail when it comes to stopping sweat. So far, two weeks of use later, Dove Ultimate Visibly Smooth has been great on both counts. (I’ve also found that Lady Speed Stick is another very reliable anti-perspirant and deodorant, and it comes in a lot of different scents.)

As far as the reduction of armpit hair, it may be too soon to tell. Honestly, I haven’t noticed a real change in that regard, but I do think my underarm skin looks noticeably nicer. And I’m so pleased with how good I smell and how little I sweat, I will definitely buy it again.

So the quest for pretty armpits continues. I guess two outta three ain’t bad.