Analysis prepared for yesterday’s post, Keeping Up Appearances, brought to my attention an alarmingly large monthly tab for personal maintenance. Allow me to recap: $1,000 per month (roughly $1,250 including cosmetics, skin and hair products) Just To Look Normal.
Once I recovered from the shock, it occurred to me that my personal maintenance expense category, sizable as it may be, provides an opportunity. While eliminating items from the category is not currently an option I am willing to explore, it is possible that my personal maintenance dollars could be spent more wisely, freeing up more dollars for debt service while maintaining my current level of grooming. The spas and service providers I frequent do a great job, but I haven’t shopped around to any extent. Additionally, although I rarely even file my own nails, there is certainly the possibility of taking on some personal Do-It-Yourself (”DIY”) projects. Certain items, such as Botox, laser and other treatments typical administered under medical supervision would not be applicable for DIY, but there are many other items that could, conceivably, be performed by civilian personnel, such as myself, provided directions are carefully adhered to.
The first item on my DIY list . . . bikini wax. Maybe a bikini wax seems an odd place to start, but frankly, its past time, and I do have some experience in this regard. Last summer, under duress and with a great sense of urgency (pool party – 4th of July weekend – no openings with any of my regular aestheticians) I performed a bikini wax on my own bikini line using the Poetic Waxing kit. Poetic Waxing, if you are not familiar, is a strip-less, low-temperature wax product – the wax comes in a cute campfire-style mug and melts in a pot of hot water on your stovetop. It is an amazing product for face and smaller, easier to reach areas of the anatomy, but in my view, not great for the bikini area. Due to the contours of the to-be-waxed area, wax could only be applied in small patches. Removal of the wax was painful. Pain Full. Truly a time consuming, painful and highly traumatic ordeal. I am having a flashback just thinking about it. The end result was cosmetically pleasing though, and most importantly, I was able put on my bikini and hold my head high poolside.
This time around the self-bikini waxing block, I tried the Nair Soothing Wax Strip kit, with fantastic results. Twenty minutes later, after very minimal discomfort, absolutely no mess and a very cosmetic result. The kit comes with pre and post wax wipes for the waxing area, and a set of large and small wax strips. I was also able to cut the large strips in half or thirds to customize with no difficulty. Again, seriously, almost painless. Zero trauma to skin, emotions or pocketbook. Retail for the kit at my local Target store was approximately $8.00. For my bikini line, I used approximately half a kit worth of large and small strips. (I am admittedly a bit ape-like in the bikini area – it is entirely possible that normal human women will need fewer strips.) I was so excited about the Nair waxing kit that I woke up 10 minutes early this morning and used the rest of the kit on my forearms – which are once again hair-free and feel wonderfully naked beneath my cashmere sweater.
Round #1 of DIY went really well, and I am feeling hopeful. So on to round #2. Earlier this week, while flipping through InStyle magazine, I saw an ad for Liquid Keratin, an at-home no-formaldehyde hair straightening solution. I visited the website to view the ‘how-to’ video. The process appears to be similar to the Coppola Keratin Complex straightening system I partake of three times a year in-salon. My results with the Coppola system have been nothing short of amazing – no damage, just the shiny, perfect, can-air-dry-if-necessary straight hair I have prayed for every day on this earth. Coppola can also be used safely on highlighted blonde hair – highlights are something I have in abundance and are necessary to my survival. The Liquid Keratin also appears to have no harsh chemicals, and indicates that the treatment “nourishes and replenishes colored and chemically treated hair”. At $500 a pop for Coppola three times a year in a salon, versus $69 for Liquid Keratin, I am open to a little experimentation. I should have my kit today and will let you know how it goes.