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Can I Wax My Eyebrows Myself?

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Woman plucking eyebrows
Image Source/Photodisc/Getty Images
Question: Can I Wax My Eyebrows Myself?
Dear Budget Style Guide, The other day, I sat down and figured out how much money I spend waxing my eyebrows and over the course of my lifetime it worked out to be more than I spent on my first car. So my question is two-fold:

1. Isn't that horrifying?

And 2. Can I just do this at home?

Thanks for any help.

Jesse M.

Answer: Dear Jesse,

I don't think you can judge yourself too harshly on the whole eyebrow issue. Long ago, I decided to stop doing those little tallies of how much I'd spent on this or that beauty procedure over time. It just makes you feel dumb about money, and also like maybe you've figured out why men do better financially than women. (You would be wrong about that last idea, by the way. It's because they make more money, and because they don't spend it on getting their eyebrows waxed. Much.)

And now for the issue of waxing your brows at home: I wouldn't, and here's why.

Although it seems cheaper to wax your own eyebrows, rather than drop your hard-earned cash at a salon, you have to consider the results. Most people aren't going to be able to duplicate the results an experienced waxer can get, at least not when they're first starting out. (Hair Removal Guide Naomi Torres has a great comparison of waxing at home vs. waxing at the salon, here. If you're totally bent on trying it, definitely check out her tips, because she knows what she's doing.)

I've tried the whole at-home wax thing, and burned myself on my face, which is one of my top five least favorite places to burn myself. I also waxed a whole extra strip of hair off of one eyebrow, necessitating an evening-off process that made me look like I'd been attacked by a drunk mime. And then, finally, I had to resort to going to back to the salon to get my eyebrows fixed, whereupon everyone laughed at me, as they deserved to. And then I had to wait for my wonky eyebrows to grow out, which took approximately 73 years, if we're going by how long it felt.

Now, before you get discouraged, let me assure you that I'm not suggesting that going to a professional eyebrow waxer is the only way to go. Not at all. What I will say is that if you must do your own brows, tweezing is easier. You can still go too far (and I do have an eyebrow story, but that's a tale for another day) but because you're generally removing one hair at a time, it's less likely that you'll inflict large-scale tragedy on your innocent brows.

The best thing about having spent all that money getting your brows tended professionally is that you have a great pattern to work off of. This makes it way easier to pluck your eyebrows at home, because all you're trying to do, basically, is maintain that shape. Beauty Guide Julyne Derrick has some great tips on how to do this at home without winding up looking like a depilatory disaster. I've used her advice myself, and I swear my eyebrows looked just as good as they do when I pay for a professional brow shaping. Also, she has advice on managing pain, which I've never seen in any other brow tutorial. Usually, they assume that you're resigned to your fate, pain-wise, and needless to say, I am not.

Finally, if you're leary of trying to shape your brows at home, you might give threading a try. In my experience, it hurts a little more than waxing -- mostly because it takes longer -- but it gives a great result, and costs about half as much.

Good luck!

Jen

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