BEAUTY TABOO: LET’S TALK ABOUT FACIAL AND BODY HAIR

Does anyone still remember the infamous shot of Julia Roberts turning up at the Notting Hill premiere in 1999 in a sequined dress and – fuzzy accessory du jour – armpit hair? In the last 20 years a sprinkling of celebrities has sporadically turned up at glamorous events confidently displaying various degrees of body and facial hair, from armpits to monobrows, but it’s failed to become a mainstream movement. Or has it? Admittedly eyebrows have become bushier, this trend having been driven almost single-handedly by Cara Delevingne, but we’re still very much in the groomed territory. A recent study reveals that nearly one in four female millennials don’t shave their underarms. Now that’s quite a high percentage of the 23- to 39-year olds. And although I am a millennial (albeit at the higher end of the age group) I still find it hard to flaunt unshaven legs or ungroomed eyebrows. I have a near-obsessive relationship with my tweezers (my husband will vouch for that), the last time I let my eyebrows go untamed was 5 years ago during a 6-day boat trip around the Philippines. The pleasure I felt at re-shaping them when I got home was akin to a large glass of wine and a family-size chocolate bar. And with lockdown having affected our previously taken-for-granted access to beauticians, those of us who aren’t quite there yet with the as-nature-intended look have turned to at-home hair removal treatments. Hair – especially facial – removal is certainly not the glossiest of beauty topics, but it’s one I’m keen to explore further so here I trial handy tools to keep the fuzz at bay.

No mo-stache facial razor

When a PR company contacts me with details of a newly launched range or product I’ve never tried before, as long as it’s something I’m actually going to use then I’m usually up for trialling it. For me it’s the best way to discover new beauty trends, incredible ingredients or smart designs, and this pocket-sized facial razor falls into the latter category. No Mo-Stache offers a range of nifty little accessories with the aim of making hair removal as easy, mess-free and pain-free as possible. This razor is aimed at tackling peach fuzz, upper lip hair and rogue eyebrow hairs. It folds into a neat size that easily fits into a small makeup bag and can be whipped out for a quick tidy up. I use it on my upper lip and am delighted with the ultra-smooth result achieved with the sharp blade. I’m not sure how long the blade stays sharp enough to deliver this level of precision, but for £6.50 you’ll get your return on investment pretty fast if you’re used to getting threaded.  

No mo-stache lip wax kit

Well this is such a neat little tin. Described on Cult Beauty as a ‘quick and convenient home-waxing kit to eliminate whiskers without irritation’, it certainly brings the cute factor to upper lip waxing – who knew that was even possible. The pink and white portable tin contains 20 double-sided wax strips, a sachet of post-wax aloe cream, and how to use step-by-step instructions. You do need to do the vigorous rubbing between palms with these strips to heat the wax, then pull them apart and apply to skin before pulling off in one quick movement. They are so easy to use though: I applied them to my big toes whilst on a call with no mess, no fuss, and smooth result. RRP £9.90

Nair Coconut Body Wax Strips

For everyday hair removal I tend to reach for a disposable razor, but pre-holiday prep always involves a trip to the beautician for a bikini wax and a chat with Coco Beautique salon owner Lorna. But at-home waxing? My mind automatically flashes back to the episode from Friends where Monica and Phoebe try out a ‘painless’ (ha!) leg waxing kit (yes I have old school references, but then again I hear the show is having a resurgence amongst Gen Z-ers). During the lockdown months however I decided to take the plunge and give these body was strips from hair removal specialist brand Nair a go. I mean it says it’s for sensitive skin so it must be gentle right? Well it’s still painful, but no more than any other wax treatment. And it is really easy to use: no heat required, no enthusiastic rubbing to warm up the strips. Just separate them into two, placing one of them onto clean dry skin and pressing down in the direction of hair growth. Then holding the skin taut, one quick decisive pull of the strip in the opposite direction, and it’s done, keeping hairs at bay for the next 3 to 4 weeks. I reapply the same strip a couple of times to catch stray hairs and it’s over. Until you need to tackle the other side. The moisturising post-wax wipe provided is soothing, but considering there are 2×10 strips in the pack I expected more of it to cover all the applications. RRP £6.99

What at-home hair removal products have you been using during lockdown? Please leave a comment below to let me know.

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