I pictured myself venturing out in public with a red and swollen face, so I waited until I had two days with nothing planned. Finally, the time was right. I pulled the cup of wax from the box, and carefully following the instructions, popped it into the microwave.
Waxing facial hair is not high on any woman’s list of things she looks forward to doing, and I have studiously avoided it for years. But at last, I had to concede that my face was starting to resemble that of a teddy bear.
People who say they love me would offer reassurance that the peach fuzz was “kinda cute,” and my mustache was “barely noticeable.” But last week, makeup became matted in the peach fuzz, and from the corner of my eye, I caught sight of my ‘stache glinting in the sun. I was either going to have to wax my face or change my last name to Ruxpin.
I started on a small scale, spreading the hot, purple wax over one side of my upper lip. After waiting ninety seconds for it to harden, I slooooowly began to peel it away. Ripping it off like a Band-Aid would probably have been less painful, but I couldn’t quite bring myself to do it.
Tears streamed down my cheeks. I should have been more diligent about not getting wax on my actual lip, which was now slightly bleeding. I wanted to stop, but after careful examination in the mirror, realized it wouldn’t do to have only one half of my upper lip hair-free. But I didn’t want the other side to also be skin-free, so I was careful with the wax this time.
During the ninety second waiting period, I used the flashlight on my iPhone to get a good look at my chin. My lands! It was like a legion of little stick men had taken up residence. Without allowing myself time to think, I quickly globbed hot wax onto the area.
Now, I had two spots to remove. Taking a deep breath, I ripped the wax from my upper lip. Doubling over in pain, my forehead met the corner of the sink.
“Don’t cry, don’t cry, don’t cry!” I demanded of myself. “Thousands of women do this every day, and you can too.”
Perhaps it was the throbbing in my head that made the chin hair removal seem easy, but I began to feel an element of confidence. Ready to tackle the sides of my face from jawline to cheekbone, I reheated the wax and slathered it on nice and thick without waiting for it to cool to a “honey-like consistency.”
Looking in the mirror, I admired my purple contouring job. Then…reality hit. I was going to have to peel the wax from my face, tearing thousands of hairs from the root, and removing a layer of skin. Bracing myself against the sink, I held my cheek taut with one hand and began ripping the wax as quickly as I could with the other.
The horrible realization that I had inadvertently globbed wax directly into my hairline and along one earlobe…
At last, it was finished. My face was incredibly smooth. All traces of Teddy Ruxpin had vanished, and I could once again turn my face to the sun without fear of resembling Salvador Dali. If not for the bloody lip, the burgeoning knot on my forehead, and the bald spot along my hairline, I would be happy to show my face in public.