Monday, January 12, 2009

Beautification initiative

Talk about shaggy!!

Okay. A New Year. Pledges for improvement. My doctor wants me to watch my cholesterol. My closets are a mess. I had my performance review at work, and want to work toward my Assigned Goals. I want to walk in the mountains more, do more writing, organize my bookcases and lose about five pounds.

Well, this weekend I took the first positive step towards improvement for the New Year. I got my brows done.

It was initially alarming to realize when the year counter clicked past 40 and kept on going, that my body and my face were changing. One of the interesting changes was the sudden sprouting of hairs on my upper lip. [The Man I Love] calls them my "catfish whiskers" and in the beginning even volunteered to help me pluck them out - but, sadly, as time progressed they became too abundant for him to deal with.

I have always had my brows shaped at my stylists', and it only seemed right to ask them to do a little number on the moustache, too. But about four years ago, I got burned by an unskilled cosmetologist. No lasting damage, thankfully, but who wants a moustache-shaped scab adorning her upper lip for two weeks?

In India and the Middle East, ladies remove unsightly hair from their faces using a twisted thread. Los Angeles has thriving immigrant communities, and there are beauty shops all over the place where threading replaces waxing for beauty.

I go to Rozina's beauty salon on Venice Boulevard in Culver City. Although there are always clients coming and going, there's usually not much of a wait, maybe just a few minutes. You sit back in the chair. The stylist combs your brow and if you have any special instructions, this is the time to give them. Then you close your eyes, and she starts in.

You hear the faint buzz of the thread spinning on itself, and feel the hairs pulled out with a slight tingle - no worse than tweezing; not as bad as the quick shock of waxing, but it takes longer. You have to help out by using your fingers to pull the skin around your eye taut, and then later to plump our your lip with your tongue to make the hairs easier to grab. The slight sting always makes my left eye water - not my right eye, only my left. Why is that?

It's over in about two minutes. You get a little swabbing of witch hazel, maybe a touch of the brush, and you're good to go.

There's usually Bollywood music playing on a TV over the little payment counter, so you can lie back and listen. The stylists chat among themselves or with their customers. Sometimes there's someone getting a haircut. Once I was here when a little boy about four years old was getting his first haircut. He was terrified, and screamed like a siren while his mother and the stylist murmured and pled with him. Poor little guy.

Good thing he wasn't getting his hairs pulled out by a thread!

There. All done. What do you think?

Eyebrow shaping costs about $8. The upper lip costs about the same. I drop a $20, and figure I've gotten a pretty good value.

Oops. Missed a hair!


shrink on the couch said...

But will they buzz cut my shins?

JCK said...

Your new brows look lovely. Really shows off your eyes!

I haven't tried threading. I'm still recovering from my last waxing, which I have done for years but like I said still recovering.

Gary's third pottery blog said...

sometimes it seems easier to be a GUY

Queenly Things said...

I have one little chin hair. But being a person of very blonde hair, that darn thing is only visible in the proper light. Sometimes it gets out without my noticing.

Unknown said...

That is such a bargain : ). I would like for one of those shops to come here near Philly! I think there is a salon that does it in town, but it is exclusive and glamourous and it cost at least $50

You are beautiful! Hair sprouts and all!

Anonymous said...

Looks great! What a bargain too. I need to let my brows grow - I got a little too pluck-happy one night. Oops.

I am a Tornado ~ proven fact! said...

Perfect for the new year. And you look gorgeous! I am completely insane with tweezers so the brows are a non-issue.

On my list - a manicure and a pedicure. Oh I so love them! The ultimate in girly stuff. Maybe this time I'll take my little ones - oh they would love that. Okay. There is a plan ... this MLK day is a holiday for me - I'm taking my girlys for their first manicure! YIPPEE!

Anonymous said...

It looks great. I've always wanted to try this, but never have.

So far I've missed out on the lip hair. Maybe I'll stay lucky.

Liz Harrell said...

The brows look great! And I have to say, I totally love and respect the fact that you posted those before pictures. You're a hero in my book! :)

Briget said...

You're lookin' good, girl!! I don't need either one, but I have the opposite problem - my formerly luxuriant hair is thinning like mad. Startling amounts of hair down the shower drain...*sob*. It was the double whammy of menopause + the onset of Type 1 diabetes in my mid-40's 10 years ago that did it. The only upside is that - pit and leg shaving happens every 4 months or so, and no waxing (or threading) needed at all.

There's always some kinda Silver Lining, even if you have to get out the Tarn-X to make it shine...

Me said...

That is freaking amazing! I agree with Liz - You are so brave to put your pictures up! Good for you!

Kathy Rogers said...

The maintenance is a bitch and it just keeps getting worse, doesn't it? And yet I will not throw in the towel.

My eyebrow person is a goddess. She has only hurt me once. As for the rest of the unwanted weirdo facial hair, gaah!

The odd thing is, I barely have any hair on my legs any more. I swear, I could "shave" my shins with a tweezers.

All things considered, however, I'd rather have gorilla legs than a soul patch...