TODAY Style Editor Bobbie Thomas on summer's skin smoothing secrets
While most women already have a pre-pool party hair removal ritual, new technologies and products are making it easier than ever to achieve glossy gams and a beach-ready bikini line. From new Nair-like lotions to barber-type brushes, and the latest laser solutions, these hair removal methods will wipe away (literally in some cases) your stubble trouble. Whichever process you prefer, Bobbie Thomas, TODAY Style Editor and author of the Buzz for In Touch Weekly, has got your summer guide to smooth skin — and answers to your most hair-raising questions too:
While blades and brushes were at one time considered the center of men’s grooming, and only an afterthought for women, creative companies are shedding those old-fashioned views, and focusing on fabulous shaving products that are perfect for HER. Davies Gate now offers a sugar plum scented shaving cream that warms upon contact with skin -- opening pores to result in a close-as-can-be shave ($20; daviesgate.com), while Whish Body is a luxury line specifically deigned for ladies who want to pamper their legs. Shaving brushes covered in crystals, “shave crave” cream, and “shave savour” after-shave lotions are whimsical and womanly ($28-$180; whishbody.com). And even men’s shaving Mecca, The Art of Shaving, is now embracing the experience for women. Their four-step “perfect shave” concept has been converted into a women’s line infused with Rose Absolute, withnew products like pre-shave oil and ingrown hair night cream ($18-$60; theartofshaving.com).
Creams and Sprays
For those who want to avoid going under the razor, but still prefer a home (un)-grown approach, a few new lotions and other easy-on, easy-off products are making hair removal, well, painless. Nair has set the standard for depilatory creams, and the brand has reinvented the wheel once again with their new In-Shower Bladeless Shaving Kit. The kit is water-resistant and includes a hair removal device and cream applicator for razor-like results, without any nicks or cuts ($7.99; cosmeticmall.com). Carefree and Veet have both launched similar products recently as well, with Carefree’s Totally Smooth Leg Cream ($7.49; drugstore.com) and Veet’s Rasera Bladeless Kit ($8.99; cvs.com). Complete with a contoured blade-free applicator, the brands claim that with use of their product, your legs will stay silky smooth for up to twice as long as they do with a regular razor. And for those who want a super simple solution, Sally Hansen’s Spray-On Shower-Off Hair Remover goes on without any rubbing, spreading or touching ($7.99; walgreens.com).
If you’re looking for longer relief from your leg hair hassles, waxing is one way to do the trick. Whether you seek out a professional to pull off your pricklies, or opt for one of these at-home helpers, waxing will get to the root of your problem to leave you silky smooth longer. What was once an insider beauty secret, Bliss Spa helps to not make it hurt. Their poetic wax melts at a low temperature, which reduces redness and the likeliness of burning, and grabs at even the shortest stubble. But ladies, the best part truly is — that regulars say it´s virtually "pain-free." While the Spa has locations nationwide, those who prefer a more private solution can pick up a Bliss poetic waxing at-home kit ($45; blissworld.com).
And NYC hair-removing haven Completely Bare has come out with a Wax Works kit that will make all your how-to hair-removing fears fade away. The kit includes an instructional DVD that lays down the laws of waxing and provides a step-by-step guide for each body part. It is also one of the most complete kits I’ve ever seen — with a professional at-home wax heater, spatulas, strips, Completely Bare’s signature wax, and Completely Prepped and Completely Off products that cleanse skin before and moisturize and remove access wax after ($135; 212-366-6060).
For women who are looking for more than just a quickie when it comes to hair removal, laser techniques have a leg up on the competition. Designed to permanently remove hair (or at least rid you of it for months or years at a time), this method is shedding some light on fuzz-free fixes. While laser treatments are usually performed at a doctor’s office or spa, two out-of-the-box ideas will have you beaming with delight. Licensed clinical aesthetician Michele Leifer created Hair It Goes, a NYC-based mobile hair removal venture that will zap your unwanted fuzz in the comfort and privacy of your own home. Currently, Leifer only takes her portable SpaTouch laser to clients in Manhattan, but she hopes to expand quickly ($2,400 for 7 session half-leg package; 646-298-5348 or firstname.lastname@example.org). After all, ladies nationwide want their luxury laser services too.
And while it won’t be here in time for summer, a new at-home product is revolutionizing permanent hair removal. Starting this fall, the No No at-home hair removal device will be available in the U.S., exclusively at Sephora. Clinically tested, the No No by Radiancy can be used just like a razor, but it’s designed to reduce hair density over time, like the results you get from a laser. The device, which is already available in Europe and South America, has a patented Thermacon technology, which uses a heating element to destruct hair follicles (For more information, contact Dr. Sadick, 212-772-7242 or sadickdermatology.com. Available this fall $249; Sephora.com). All we have to say is a big Yes, Yes to the thought of no more hair!
Last but not least, PREP and CARE
If you get bad ingrown hairs, and are convinced you can’t do anything about it — chances are, you haven’t prepped properly. Exfoliating before you start the hair removal process is key, so be sure to take a loofa to your legs or bikini area first. And if all else fails, many waxing experts swear by the results of Tend Skin, a product that improves the appearance of ingrown hairs or razor burn ($20-$35; tendskin.com).