The first time I went to get my eyebrows (and upper lip, but somehow it is not ladylike to talk about that) waxed, the eyebrow lady sat me down and attached strips of cloth to my face with wax. She then yanked them off. After about 10 minutes of this, she finally stopped, and then she went to put the after-wax gel on me. She stared at me.
"You don't...uh...have to go anywhere today, do you?" She asked, before she handed me the mirror.
"Oh no, just home to do homework." I reassured her, as I took the mirror from her. As soon as I saw my face, I understood why she asked. My entire forehead and upper lip, plus the sides of my nose where she had grabbed a few strays, was beet red. My face also felt like it was a combination of numb and on fire. I was not particularly surprised by this reaction, because I have very sensitive skin that swells easily (I've had a positive TB test entirely because of this) and whenever I had tried at home waxing or plucking my eyebrows (if you are clumsy and have no sense of what your eyebrows should look like, leave this to the pros), my skin would flare up.
What I was not expecting was that the reaction did not go away. After a few hours and the addition of some more post-wax oil, some aloe, and a cold compress, the swelling did go down. But then, over the next two days, several zits appeared where my hair had been - something I credited to the fact that several layers of my skin had been removed, and that my pores were exposed and vulnerable to anything I might have put on or touched to my face that would clog them.
So whenever I went to get my eyebrows waxed from then on, I knew I needed a week recovery time - a full day for the swelling to go down, and then a week because I knew my face would break out. Needless to say, this was quite the hassle and I got my eyebrows waxed infrequently. I was planning to do it last week while I didn't have to see people, but I kept putting it off. Then suddenly it was Wednesday and I was wondering what to do, because I want to look nice at these weddings coming up and at my new job...but I didn't have a week to recover!
Then I remembered reading about eyebrow threading. Eyebrow threading is a technique where they lay a thread on your eyebrows or wherever and then twist it, pulling up all the hair that was there. It is more similar to plucking, except its really really fast and does pull the hair all the way out at the root. I don't know if you need to get it done more often than waxing. Supposedly threading results in significantly less pain and inflammation though, which for me, was enough to get me to one of my two local threading salons.
I contacted two places - Usha Salon and Studio 921. 921 was very nice looking, a little more expensive, and recommended an appointment. Usha did not require an appointment, so I figured I would go in what little spare time I had left for Michigan. I headed down there this morning, got last, found it, walked in, and requested a quick thread.
My first, and only major, mistake was not talking with the girl first about what I wanted in my eyebrows. Mostly all I want is for my eyebrows to be the same size (they aren't naturally), and for them to be a little neater. She just started threading away - and it was pretty painful. Not as bad as waxing, but it takes longer. As she kept threading away and I wondered if I had any eyebrow left, I thought about saying something, but I figured it was too late, and how bad, really, could it be? Worst case, I would have to draw my own eyebrows on. I had an 8th grade science teacher who did that, but people still thought she was hot.
When she finally finished, I checked it and it looked a little like this:
I'm a girl, so it looks less weird. I'm not unhappy, but next time I will definitely ask for a little less shaping. It should be less painful and take less time. She also trimmed my eyebrows with scissors once she was done.
On to the important part - my face did not look like a volcano, and so far, even though there is a little redness around the eyebrows, it seems to be going down pretty quickly and it only feels a little numb. I don't know how I will do on the breakout front, but I hope okay!
If you have sensitive skin, but a moderate pain tolerance (I did find myself thinking of England and hoping it would be over), I recommend threading instead of waxing. You can probably even do it a day or two before your wedding (which you can't necessarily with waxing), although I wouldn't recommend it if you've never gotten it done before. I liked Usha and it cost $17 total for eyebrows and upper lip (and if I bring my receipt back next time, I get $1 off the eyebrows.) I went to their Fort Ave. location, but they also have a spa in Towson. Studio 921 is a little more expensive - $30 for both, and is also down on Fort.
Has anybody else tried threading or wanted to?