Saturday, 3 August 2013
Since an unfortunate episode at the beauty salon, I've been avoiding beauty salons like the plague and I've been taking charge of the unwanted hair on my face at home. I've been scared to get my eyebrows waxed at the beautician (any beautician, not just the one who butchered my brows) so I have been trying to maintain my brows myself with a pair of tweezers. As I get older, removing unwanted hair around my eyebrows is getting easier and easier. My eyebrows just don't grow as full as they used to anymore and I find myself spending more time filling them in rather than tidying them off.
Hair on the upper lip, however, is still a problem. You'd think as you get older, hair on this area will stop growing too but no. Lately I have been trying to control the appearance of facial hair on the upper lip whilst bleaching it. The problem with bleaching is that the hair is still there, less noticeable but it's still there. As I was photographing some stuff for the blog, in my kitchen, on a sunny day, one day, I caught sight of my upper lip foliage and was horrified. The same day, I found myself in the aisles of Boots, purchasing my very first hair removal cream kit.
The choice of hair removal creams was quite baffling for the newbie like me. I remember that there was a product for the face, from Boots own brand at £2ish but I opted for a pricier product and went home with the Nair Upper Lip Kit (RRP: £5.10) formulated for sensitive skin.
The rationale behind my purchase was two fold:
1) A pricier product would mean better quality. If I want to have a memorable first time, I want to give myself as many chances as possible of liking the product. So I might just as well go for a good product, instead of choosing a cheapie one and running the risk of being put off for life from a method of hair removal I never tried before. I also remember the days when I was trying to learn how to put false lashes on and it was only when I spent £5 in a reputable brand like Eylure that I managed to put for the first time a pair of eyelashes with confidence.
2) A product for sensitive skin would be better suited for hair removal newbies.
Do you know where this is going yet? I am trying to write this in the most neutral way as possible, trying to manage the suspense, only to reveal my opinion of the product at the end of this post but I feel like you can already sense where this is going.
I made the effort to read all the instructions but chose to ignore the bit where it says you have to patch test a small area to see if you develop a strong reaction with it. The packet suggests that you do the patch test EVERYTIME you use it. Really? Who does that?
My first impressions were really good. The kit contains 2 tubes: the blue one is for removing the actual hair and the pink one is the moisturiser, to use after you've done removing the hair, to soothe and moisturise the upper lip. The colour coding makes sense in a way. The blue (blue for boys) is tough, like men are tough and strong and removes the hair. The pink (pink for girls) is girlie and adds some needed ‘gentleness’ to the world
What also impressed me that is that I didn't notice any scent at all, in either the blue or the pink product. It's only after I was done with the product that I realised that it didn't have any scent.
I wanted to leave the product for the 5 recommended minutes but as I tried to sweep some of the hair off, I noticed that it didn't come off easily so I decided to leave it on for 5 more minutes, making sure not to exceed 10 minutes overall. I was definitely ready to take the product after 10 minutes as I could feel the tingling sensation getting more and more noticeable.
As I expected it, my lip felt very tender when I removed the product. I was expecting this feeling to last maybe 4 hours, as this is usually the amount of time that my lip feels tender after an upper lip wax. The problem is that my lip felt sore for a whole 48 hours. It wasn't red, it wasn't a burning sensation as such but it just felt weird to the touch, so incredibly tender but numb at the same time, like the pain you get after a lip wax, but a pain which would last 48 hours. As the hours went by, my lip felt better and better but the first 24 hours were just extremely uncomfortable. Then 2 days later, when the pain had finally subsided, the hair started to grow back. Hair Regrowth felt quite sharp, a bit reminiscent of leg hair regrowth but at a smaller scale.
It's extremely unlikely that I am going to re-use the Nair upper lip kit ever again. I can't say it's a bad product and Nair did very well to create a scent free product but I think it's this particular method of hair removal which is not suitable for me. It's an experience that I never want to go through again. It's not worth it, 48 hours of uncomfortable pain and when the pain finally subsides, you have to contend with regrowth. To be honest, I don't know how long my upper lip stays hair free when I have it waxed but it certainly lasts longer than 2 days! To be fair, the product *did* mention that it would remove all visible hair, not hair from the root as waxing would but I expected better than that. And if I'm going to have 'sharper' lip hair again after 2 days, I might just as well use a razor and be done with it.
If you're quite accustomed to hair removal products and quite like this method, you will probably enjoy this kit. No need to mix anything, it has a handy slanted applicator nozzle thing, and it has no noticeable smell, from what I can remember anyway. If you're new to the method altogether, I would recommend to experiment with a cheaper product and see how you get on with that, with a view to upgrade in the future. The Nair upper lip kit retails for £5.10. To add salt to injury, it's on half price at the moment: £2.55 at Boots. Grr!