Those of you that have known me for a long time have seen my many fashion mishaps, from grandma-style work clothes to a stubborn determination to wear men’s pants instead of women’s. One area that I’ve always kept up with, though, is making sure that my Italian eyebrows don’t turn into caterpillars. My stepmother taught me how to wax my brows in middle school, and I’ve been doing it ever since.
DIY facial waxing is convenient, inexpensive, and actually pretty easy. First, you need a few supplies:
Now that you have the paraphernalia, it’s time to smear wax all over your face. Just follow these steps:
- Have an idea of what you want to do to yourself — this site has good tips for brow shaping.
- Plug in the wax warmer and set it on medium heat. Allow 15 minutes or so for the wax to soften.
- Put your hair back.
- Wash your hands and face. Don’t put any toner or lotion on your face.
- Using a popsicle stick, apply a thin layer of wax to a small area where you want to remove hair, in the direction of hair growth. The wax shouldn’t be so hot that it is uncomfortable.
- Cover the wax with a muslin strip and press down firmly.
- Hold your skin taut with one hand and rip off the strip with your other hand, in the opposite direction of hair growth.
- Continue waxing, and then tweeze any hairs you missed. Don’t ever wax over the same spot twice!
- Afterwards, spread some “wax-off” lotion over the area with a cotton ball to soothe skin and get rid of any sticky stuff.
You can use this same technique to wax other areas of your body. However, if you want to remove hair from your, ahem, “bikini area,” here are some extra words of wisdom:
- Don’t be a hero — anything vaguely Brazilian is best left to the pros.
- Hair needs to be at least 1/4 inch long or waxing won’t work.
- Take one dose of an over-the-counter pain reliever half an hour before you attempt this, and then drink a beer. It helps.
Another random tip: keep the wax machine in a shoebox, so that if you drip some wax over the edge by accident, it won’t get all over your bathroom.
I can’t say that all my years of waxing have been free of errors, but I’ve never injured myself or accidentally removed an eyebrow. If you’re tired of shelling out money at the salon or fixing your brows one tweezed hair at a time, DIY could be the solution for you. Happy waxing!
Originally published in February 2011.