Construction Literary Magazine

Fall 2020

Hot Girl in NYC: The Trials and Tribulations of Facial Waxing

Hot Girl in NYC: The Trials and Tribulations of Facial Waxing

Photograph via Flickr by digipam

Editor’s note: Once a week, Laura Morton will use personal history to put a Craigslist ad into perspective.

The Story

I’m fair-haired. I grew up strawberry-blonde, but now my hair is more auburn. I burn in the sun and have light but abundant freckles. The hair on my face is polar bear translucent.

The light facial hair, though, is substantial. I took a stage makeup class in high school, and in using my face to show how to highlight jowls, my teacher exclaimed, “Wow, you really have a lot of hair on your face, don’t you?”

After college, on a tour with a children’s theater company, we were sent out to talk to our audience before the show started. I sat on the floor of an auditorium with five first-grade boys. The sun poured in and I caught them all laughing. I asked them why and one brave soul pointed to my face. “You have a mustache!”

I told him he had one too and walked briskly backstage until the show began.

My mustache, my friends, is blonde, but she is mighty.

When I moved to New York, I decided to finally take control. I was going to be a lady in a big city. I would have those beautiful manicured eyebrows and no excess facial hair.

My first apartment sat at the end of Seaman Avenue, up in Inwood. On the walk from the 2/3 train, I passed a small salon, and one Saturday afternoon, I got up the nerve to go in.

It was hot in the salon; fans were blazing. A woman sat with her feet up, watching the television in the corner. Faded posters of Spanish beauty products lined the walls.

“Hello?” I said.

She turned to me. “Hi . . . can I help you?”

“Yes, I came in to get waxed.”

“What do you want waxed?”

“My brows . . . and upper lip . . . please?”

“Oh—sure. You sit here, and I’ll get the wax.”

I sat in the chair and she wheeled a cart with a tub of what looked like earwax out from the back. She pulled out a Popsicle stick and stirred it for a moment. “It has to heat up.”

I watched, mesmerized.

She leaned my head back. She touched my face delicately (something I’ve gotten used to over the years) and said, “You have a lot of hair.”

“Yes, I know.”

First, she waxed my brows. She rubbed the hot wax on my forehead and around my brows and took out the flimsiest looking pieces of cloth and pulled and yanked.

“You have such sensitive skin. You’re all red.”

“Yeah, I always have.”

She finished my brows and placed a warm wash cloth over my eyes. I sat there, with the warm weight on my face and felt the same hot waxy sensation cover my upper lip.

And then it was done.

I looked in the mirror.

“You’re all pink,” she said.

And I was. Huge pink donuts surrounded my eyebrows and I now donned a hot pink Fu Manchu.

She grabbed a few tissues from the counter, sprayed them with rubbing alcohol, and dabbed my face. She gave them to me to take home.

I walked home, getting looks from people I passed, even with the tissues hiding most of the redness.

When I walked into my apartment and looked in the mirror, it had gotten worse. I put warm water and cold water on my face. I put witch hazel, lotion (which burnt like hell), astringents, and anything else I could find. By the time my roommate got home, it was not just hot pink but blistery as well.

It finally healed a week later.

And, sadly, I’ve been doing it ever since.

The Ad

tippecanoe craigslist > for sale / wanted > health and beauty – by owner

gigi’s wax warmer set – $15 (47905)

call xxx-xxx-xxxx

The Response

Maybe, in all this time, I should have figured out how to do it to myself.