Preparing for Waxing

Preparing for WaxingEarlier this year, I signed on as a European Wax Center customer (more on why in another post). And that’s the extent of our relationship, they know nothing about my blog – to them, I’m just a paying customer. Some would have you believe that waxing is totally painless…and I’d call that, “some,” a bunch of cruel liars. The first experience was brutal – which, from what I understand, is fairly common if you were previously a shaver. I had looked up advice on preparing for waxing, but nothing I read properly set my expectations: the first time sucked.

Hair grows in cycles, going in as a former-shaver probably means there’s a greater density of hairs – meaning more hairs closer together. That first experience can suck because SO much is being pulled out so close together. In some cases, the length required for waxing can cause the hairs to lay over top each other; so instead of coming out cleanly, they can tug on each other. Ow. Future visits are at least 80% better, if not more. Not only is the hair sparser because of how growth cycles work, but your skin grows accustomed to the process.

Here are some tips on preparing for waxing that makes the whole process suck less.

Exfoliate

This isn’t rocket science. Pretty much any form of hair removal benefits from exfoliation. This isn’t just for immediately prior-to-treatment, however. Getting the dead, upper-layers of skin out of the way reduces the barrier unwanted hair is coaxedripped out from. Ongoing exfoliation between appointments reduces the likelihood of uncomfortable, unsightly ingrown hairs.

You can pursue physical (scrubs), chemical (serums, wipes – so think AHAs and BHAs), or enzymatic (fruit peels) to help you along with this. Aim to exfoliate once every other day and work up from there if needed.

Note: If you go with a scrub or chemical exfoliation route, my esthetician suggests not using them within the 48 hour window before your appointment. She explained that scrubs, by their very nature, irritate the skin and chemical exfoliants can still be, “working,” for up to 48 hours. Enzyme-based ones, she says, are fine to use up until immediately before. Personally, I live on the edge a bit and will go up to 24 hours prior. It hasn’t been an issue, but it is crucial that you really know your skin. If you’re unsure, absolutely listen to your esthetician or doctor over me, some schmuck on the internet. If you choose not to follow their advice, you’re doing so at your own risk (I’m not a dermatologist or esthetician).

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Mario Badescu Buffering Lotion

Mario Badescu Buffering LotionMario Badescu Buffering Lotion, $19

I broke my No Buy again. Just days before the weekend-long event that caused me to miss a few posts, I had a cystic blemish begin to form (thanks, cycle). This was perhaps the most painful one I’d ever experienced and I decided I could.not.take.it.

But What to Do?

Fortunately, my wax specialist happened to mention recent success with Mario Badescu Buffering Lotion for this purpose. She suffers cystic blemishes too and reported that this stuff is nigh-miraculous. Recalling this conversation, I consulted the internet – her experience isn’t unique. The next day, I stopped in Ulta and grabbed a bottle of it and used some of my reward points to soften the blow of the infraction.

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Invisalign: X-Rays and 3D Scans

On Monday, I mentioned regular content was returning next week. I have an Invisalign update for now – so here’s this for today, then we’ll be post-less on Friday, then back on Monday.

A week ago, I went in for my X-Rays and 3D oral scan that are used by my orthodontist and Invisalign to develop my treatment plan. X-Rays were taken like any are, but the scanner – man, if you appreciate technology, this thing is neat.

Instead of taking impressions with a weird goo that you bite into for a couple minutes (which I would have had to do, had I opted for SmileDirectClub), my 3D scan was taken via an iTero Element intraoral imaging device. A tech uses a small wand to take high-resolution scans of your mouth; it then assembles them into a 3D rendering of your mouth. It is weird and awesome all at once. I haven’t had issues with impressions before, but apparently using the scanner is better for people who have gagging issues.

My orthodontist says based on experience, my case will run about 18 months, require a single extraction, and require attachments. Attachments are small, tooth-colored nubs that they will affix to certain teeth to facilitate the process. The clear aligners will fit over the nubs. Patients report varying degrees of visibility of them; regardless, I’m fairly unconcerned. Most people in my life, including people I work with, know that I’m pursuing this. I’m not embarrassed by that much.

I return to the practice in about two weeks to review my ClinCheck – that’s what Invisalign calls the progression of their treatment plan. In the meantime, I’ve been trying to get a head-start on adjusting my eating and drinking habits to support my soon-to-be-restricted eating and drinking regimen.

In support of that, I’ve started assembling a purse-friendly care kit. Because I 1) work and 2) can’t just eat breakfast and dinner and still be a reasonable human being, at least five meals a week take place away from home. I need to be prepared.

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Taking a Week

Hi Readers,

Sorry for the lack of post today (and last Wednesday).

I run an annual event that has nothing to do with this world, and foolishly thought I could operate in multiple channels at once. I didn’t give myself enough grace to build up a buffer schedule.

Regular content will return next week, but I may have an Invisalign update this week.

Thanks for hanging in there.

How I Save on Beauty Products

Reigning in my Beauty Spending

I’m acknowledging that I’m fortunate to be in a place where I can spend money on what many would deem a completely frivolous hobby.

Actually Use the Damn Samples

Raise your hand if you’ve ever had a drawer or bin full of sample products that went neglected for ages! So many retailers do free samples with purchase, not to mention Gift With Purchase (GWP) promotions. I’d toss them in a centralized location with the intention of using them when the occasion arose (traveling, feeling adventurous, etc) – but even the products I already knew I liked went unused. Stupid! I had accumulated 10 sample tubes of mascara at one point, then found myself replenishing my (favorite) drugstore one. Why?! I had at least six months (realistically more) of product there, even assuming I disliked half of them!

Granted, not all samples are going to be appropriate for you. Foil packs of foundation, for instance – I have what feels like a thousand and none are right for me. But the ones you will use? Use them!

  • Pre-pack a travel beauty bag. One less thing to check off the travel to-do list.
  • If you have a desk or locker at work, stash some samples there. Future you (or a teammate!) will thank you.

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