Friday, March 18, 2011

Torturous Beauty Devices: The Blood We Shed for Looks

Posted By on Fri, Mar 18, 2011 at 9:30 AM

Spring weather has sprung in Tucson, and that can only mean one thing: It’s time to break out the torturous beauty devices.

Beautification and torture devices can be one in the same.

Winter’s colder weather has afforded us the privacy of long pants and jackets that allow our body hair to grow to shag-rug proportions. But here come the cropped pants, tank tops and Daisy Dukes.

While women have traditionally been the primary recipients of painful beauty practices, more and more men are getting into the groove—even with mankini waxes. Equality rocks, although we do hope guys steer clear of cropped pants and Daisy Dukes.

Shaving unwanted hair is so passé when we have newfangled ways to get rid of it—like with the epilator.

Don’t be fooled by the apparent cuteness of this sweet little hand-held device. The epilator means business. Epilators are kind of like mini lawnmowers you push across your skin. But instead of mowing down unwanted hairs, it yanks them out by the roots.

Don’t use it on your eyelashes.

Small, manically snapping pairs of tiny tweezers line the rotating epilator head, ready to wrench out anything in their path. Don’t wear fuzzy socks when you’re doing your legs.

Hair that has been brutally yanked out by its roots takes longer to grow back than hair that’s been shaved, which is a good thing since it takes some time for those little red bumps on your skin to subside.

While the epilator certainly increases our pain threshold, it does nothing for those winter calluses that have formed on our feet.

We can’t very well wear flip-flops when our feet look and feel like textured cement. Here’s where the pedicure kit comes in, a collection of tools my friend’s husband used to call the tootsie torture chamber.

He was particularly put off by the foot shaver, which is basically a razor blade on a stick. You grab the stick and use the blade to shave off dead skin—or live skin, if you’re not careful. Fru-fru fashion magazines always warn against the foot razor as being too dangerous and brutal.

That’s probably why so many people like it.

When you’re done shaving off chunks of dead foot skin, you still need to smooth out the newly formed craters and slough off dry, patchy areas. Start off the process with a tool that resembles a pink plastic-based cheese grater and finish it off with one that looks like a scouring pad.

The most effective pedicure devices look like kitchen implements—although you’ll want to avoid to avoid any that resemble a meat grinder.

Other handy tootsie-torture chamber devices include cuticle cutters, long sandpaper-textured rocks you scrape vigorously on your heels and heavy-duty nail clippers that could probably cut through palm frond stalks.

Perhaps they can do double duty in your garden. After all, it is spring, time to spruce up, grit your teeth and beautify.

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