Eyebrow-hair removal is the worst—I’m a weenie when it comes to pain for the sake of beauty. While most gals can bite their lips and withstand a bit of pain for the perfect brows, I’ll just opt to keep my bangs long and my visits as few as possible. After a bit of experimentation, I’ve found my favorite—and affordable!—methods for brow upkeep. Some are more painful than others, but all do a fantastic job.
There are a few risks to eyebrow waxing, or so they tell me. Though this is still my preferred method for eyebrow upkeep—one swift pull, less time, happier me—the drawbacks include the possibility of ingrown hairs. While the risk is minimal, just make sure you have a trained professional. If the hair is removed against the direction of growth, hair follicles may be damaged, and then you’ll end up with hair that grows in different directions. My favorite brow-waxing spot is easily the Benefit Brow Bar inside Macy’s at South Coast Plaza. Though it’s a bit pricier at $20 than that seedy nail salon down the street that charges five bucks, these are all trained professionals who will trim brows, wax, then apply a soothing gel to make it allllbetter. After the waxing’s through, your waxer will tweeze stray hairs. Lisa’s my go-to waxer at Benefit. Just be aware that the makeup gals will try to get you to buy one of everything at the counter.
Benefit Brow Bar, 3333 Bristol St., Costa Mesa, (714) 556-0611. $16-$20.
It’s actually a lot less painful than waxing. The sugaring substance used to remove hair is capable of just hanging onto the hair and not the skin—unlike waxing, which can sometimes make your forehead feel like it’s being torn off. The actual paste is all natural and can be made with anything from water, sugar and honey to molasses and lemon juice. After the paste is applied to your skin, the aesthetician will perform a continuous “lifting” motion, grasping at all those hairs. The downside: It’s a bit more labor-intensive, and the cost of sugar itself is higher than wax, so this method always costs more. Sugaring is also said to be a good conditioner for your skin. Check out the Sugar Shack in Old Tustin; ask for Julia.
The Sugar Shack, 220 El Camino Real, Ste. 1, Tustin, (714) 505-9103; www.sugarshacksalon.com. $20.
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Threading is an ancient method of epilation that traces back to the Middle East. Using an ultra-thin cotton thread, technicians swiftly pluck hairs at the level of the hair follicle. While threading isn’t as swift as sugaring and waxing, it can remove entire rows of hair growth at a time. The gals at Nanu are meticulous and make the experience as relaxing as possible. A word of caution: It hurts like hell. Expect tears to be streaming down your face if it’s your first time. (Or was that just me?)
Nanu Threading, 3033 Bristol St., Ste., K, Costa Mesa, (714) 545-2050; www.nanuthreadingandbeauty.com. $8.