Thursday, September 11, 2014

Why I Love Sally Hansen

God, Sally Hansen, Google, Craig, my family, my friends, my home, Puget Sound. 

That's my priority list in the order in which I'm most grateful. You wonder who Sally Hansen is? I'll tell you why she's very high on my list. 

I secretly started shaving more than my legs and arm pits… at about 20 years of age. This was after I tried hair bleach, which turned my upper lip fuzz a disturbing color of yellow. My mustache was presenting thick, dark fuzz like a pubescent boy's. Embarrassing, but not worth wearing a bag over my head for.

After I birthed children, the fuzz turned course and black. The hair on my head started turning grey, but not on my lip, unfortunately. I started dreaming of electrolysis and laser treatments. We didn't have money for such luxuries. 

My kind and generous husband graciously handed me his razor after he used it. He comforted me the first time he did by saying he was sure Christy Brinkley must have facial hair she had to deal with. 

When our girls grew older and money wasn't quite as scarce, I started pampering myself with a pedicure once every couple of months. I couldn't help but notice the posters and menus for this foreign thing called waxing. I wasn't quite sure what some of the items meant, but they made me blush. 

I got the courage to ask my pedicurist to shape my eyebrows. It felt as awkward as ordering my first  latte in a strange town. Looking back, she probably itched to get at the obvious whisker shadow on my top lip and chin while she was at it. 

Graciously, she waited till I was ready. When I found the courage to ask for an upper lip wax, she told me she had a special going that day and would do everything above my neck for a fixed rate and let me see how I liked it. She proceeded to rip my face apart with zeal and gusto. 

She defined the hairline on my forehead. A soul patch I didn't know I had was removed post haste. The inside of my nose, my unsuspecting sideburns, the moles, and the offending fuzz between my eyebrows was zipped off. I was slick and smooth as a newborn baby's bottom. The oil did not help my traumatized skin as much as she promised it would. Waxing treatments should last for 6-8 weeks. 

My hair must be fertilized by all the coffee I drink  because within 3 weeks, I needed help. I couldn't find time or didn't have the money - so I started shaving again. The fuzz turned to whiskers once more. 

If you aren't hairy, you need to know that going to the eye Doctor or the Dentist is exposing. They wear magnifying glasses and get up close enough to count blackheads on your nose. Before your appointment a shave is the last thing one does after flossing and using mouthwash. 

Occasionally, I went back to have a professional wax for weddings or special events so I could feel confident and unconcerned about the time I returned home before the shadow returned. I imagine Cinderella felt the same trauma and time constraints about her pumpkin? 

My daughter just left home. Before she went, she persuaded me to go to a beauty supply store for some waxing equipment and education. Mom, you should learn to wax on a regular basis because shaving takes its toll -- it is demoralizing for a woman. The soft fuzz supposedly diminishes with every wax, coming in thinner and thinner over time - unlike shaving which causes whiskers and 5 o'clock shadows. Ok, no more giving kisses, hugs, and whisker rubs for me. 

We agonized over the warmer, the type and brand of wax, the strips, the sticks. Nobody informed us we needed a collar for the warmer. It took a long time to figure out what it was or why we needed one. 

The first time did not work out like the directions or pictures. Strings of sticky wax dripped everywhere -- our clothes, the sink, the floor, our skin. My skin turned bright red because the temperature was too hot. The damage made my face sag anew with melted wrinkles.  

Curses upon Pinterest and YouTube. They lie. I saw an 'easy recipe' for sugaring. No mess, no fuss, no sticky wax, easy clean up. Not only did the video show how to make it, but how to deplete your hairy legs. 

Because my mom was fun when I was young, when I got to the part where you have to play with the ball of cooling sugar I remembered taffy pulling parties as a kid. Oh boy, this was fun. And familiar. I had some previous skill to put to use. I kept the hot ball of sugar going like a hot potato from one hand to the other until I could stretch it and fold it together again. 

When we pulled taffy, we buttered our hands. I couldn't use butter as it might ruin the recipe. The ball started sticking. I didn't remember it sticking to the girl's hands in the video but I couldn't replay it to see without washing my hands. I forgot to take my rings and bracelets off. Before my hands turned into boxing glove sculptures made with cement-like sugar, I turned the faucet on with my elbow and washed and washed until it dissolved. Shaving seemed like a serene experience. Who cares about whiskers? 

Then I met Sally Hansen. She makes these sticky strips on some tidy, clear plastic. You warm them in your hands, peel them apart and apply to the area you want hair free. And rip or zip as the professionals call it - against the way the hair lays. Simple and economical. They don't mention the involuntary scream that accompanies the zipping part. 

I don't know if you look in the toilet when you're done, or look at your kleenex when you're finished -- but do look at Sally Hansen's wax strip when you can breathe again. Nothing equals the pleasure or intense gratification of a patch of hairs imbedded permanently in thin wax with their follicles still quivering in shock.