9 things you NEED to know about waxing

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TL;DR:

Waxing (especially brazilian waxing) does come without pain. But it's worth it, and the pain goes away pretty fast. Exfoliating is key to stop ingrown hairs, and you want to avoiding exercising for ~24 hours after.

If you're a local, go to Cera Wax Studio and tell them I sent you for a 20% discount. 

 

 
Each room has it's own "theme" 

Each room has it's own "theme" 

Monica Gomez, co-owner of Cera Wax Studio 

Monica Gomez, co-owner of Cera Wax Studio 

Beautiful co-owners of Cera Wax Studio and sister Monica and Anna 

Beautiful co-owners of Cera Wax Studio and sister Monica and Anna 

Okayyyy, in case you didn't know, waxing has roots all the way back to 3000-4000 BC in West India, but the Brazilian wax became popular in the U.S. in 1987 thanks to the J. Sisters. Now-a-days, it's super normal and most every girl (and a growing number of dudes) have their go-to waxer and a standing appointment to keep them cleaned up. 

But for me, I was kind of anti-waxing for the longest time. Not because I hated waxing, but because I was kind of scared and didn't see the point of it...until I had a special occasion (like a wedding). Which brought me to my little foray into the world of waxing. In December, I struck up a conversation with Monica from Cera Wax Studio about whether I should come in two weeks before or the week before my wedding to get waxed. 

And I swear you’d think she saw a ghost. Oh my goodness, no, she told me. I needed to start waxing NOW in prep for the wedding — I needed a schedule. 

?!??!?! 

Honestly, though, I thought Monica was nuts. Um, no, I'm not going to be waxing my body in the middle of winter. But after lunch meeting, she  convinced me otherwise. By waiting until the week (or even the month) before your wedding, she explained, you're leaving a lot of variables up to chance.

Monica and Anna started Cera Wax Studio with a focus on niche Everyone reacts differently to waxing, whether it’s the sensitivity of your skin, the number of ingrown hairs you get, or how fast the hair grows back — and if you're getting ready for a big event, you want to give your skin some TLC, and make sure that you fully understand how it's interacting with the waxing process. 

So in December, I went in for my first waxing ever. We started with the eyebrows and lip. Then, in January, moved to the arms, legs and finally, the Brazilian (eeeeek!). Now, firmly through 3 cycles of waxing, I can say that I'm hooked — and a lot of it is thanks to the incredible women of Cera Wax Studio, especially the owners Monica and Anna. 

"[Waxing] is very social environment which makes it interesting and fun. Anna and I decided to open a waxing studio as we saw the need for a place for both men and women to go to where they can receive affordable, safe treatments. It was important that we provided this without compromising a stylish environment and steller customer service. We wanted to focus on a niche market and master it." 

For me, I love that their chic studio prioritizes privacy and top-notch hygiene without compromising style and luxury.  For each session, you can pick whatever music you want (apparently rap is very popular for brazilian waxes!), have a drink while you wait and then treat your newly-waxed-self to chocolate or nuts afterwards.  

⇣ M O O D  P O S T  B R A Z I L I A N ⇣

Oh, and the owners, Anna and Monica created their own line of sugar scrubs to help with the exfoliation and self-care post-wax! Why? 

"Sugar Scrubs and moisturizing are a very important step for our clients post waxing. We want to ensure we are providing the best customized products for them, so we created an all natural suguar scrub that not only gently exfoliates, but also pushes moisture in to the skin with the various essential oils." #BossBabes

Keep scrolling down for our top tips for your first wax (or some things to know even if you're a long-time waxer! 

 

 
Comfort is key for waxing appointments 

Comfort is key for waxing appointments 

Pre-wax (left) and post-wax (right) 

Pre-wax (left) and post-wax (right) 

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THE 9 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT WAXING

1. Double-dipping is a HUGE red flag

This should go without saying, but usually doesn't. Double-dipping, i.e. when a waxer users the same stick twice to dip into the wax, is a HUGE no-no. It's a sign of an unhygienic salon and can be a major health risk. Many horror stories from waxing come from the fact that salons are double dipping and spreading bacteria. Oh, and if your salon tells you that they heat the wax to 130-140 degrees to kill bacteria? RUN. The wax will burn your skin, and STILL spread bacteria (eeeew!). 

2. Don't shave or trim your hair before your wax

Shaving in-between waxes is going to promote hair growth, making hair grow back in faster (counter intuitive to the results you want from waxing). And trimming your hair can make it too short to wax. The best thing to do is just leave your hair for 2-3 weeks before your wax! 

3. You don't want to work out after waxing

Waxing means that you're ripping out the hair from the source — and you want to keep it clean as it heals. So that means skipping your 6 p.m. spin class in lieu of a wine night. Why? "The sweat and friction during the workout can increase the chance for ingrowns and bacteria," Monica explains, which is especially true if you're wearing tight leggings that rub your skin. Try to wait at least 24 hours (or more, if you're getting sensitive areas waxed).

4. Everyone's hair grows in different

This is one of the big reasons why you don't want to wax too closely to an event or big date (especially if it's your first time). A big misconception is that waxing makes your hair grow in thicker, but Monica explains, "waxing can actually, over time, cause your hair to grow back finer and less (in most cases)." 

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5. Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate

This is crazy important. Exfoliating is going to help prep your skin for the wax by removing dead skin calls. It'll also help to prevent ingrown hairs. A nice sugar scrub is perfect for in the shower. And post-wax? Wait two days before you start to exfoliate. 

"Using a sugar scrub helps to gently exfoliate the dead skin that can trap the hair from growing out properly. It helps to minimize the potential for ingrowns and keeps the skin nice and soft too," Monica explained. 

(Want to make your own? Start with an 80/20 sugar to oil ratio then go from there with some of these combos. Washingtonians — Cera Waxx Studio sells their own formulation that I swear by). 

6. There are two different types of wax: Hard wax and soft wax

Hard wax: Hard wax is applied to the area, it dries (or hardens) and then the wax itself is removed (without a strip). It shrink wraps around the hair and avoids adhearing to the skin, so it's a more gentle removal. Hard wax is typically used for all sensitive or small areas (bikini, facial, underarms) as it is a very gentle wax. 

Soft wax: Soft wax is applied to the area, but unlike hard wax, it does not dry. Instead, the waxer will apply a fabric strip to the wax, hold down the skin and remove it quickly. This is best used for large areas (like the legs and arms). 

Watch this video for a great visual on the differences. 

7. Don't overthink it — or watch waxing videos right before. 

Waxing HURTS when you get a Brazilian or anything around the vajayjay area. I mean, it’s sensitive to begin with, and now we’re ripping hardening wax off of it. BUT it doesn’t hurt as badly as you think. I watched a lot of waxing (especially brazilian waxing) videos before hand and got myself totally worked up. If I’m being totally honest, the worst part is butterflying your legs open and trying not to make eye contact with your waxer. Like, hello, you’re in the most vulnerable position ever and they’re applying warm, quickly hardening wax to a very private area. 

8. Chill with the caffeine

One of the most surprising things (to me) was that you should try to limit your caffeine/alcohol intake for about 12-24 hours before your appointment. Drinking too much will tighten your pores and heighten your sensitivity, making the waxing more painful. 

9. REMEMBER TO BREATHE! 

At the end of the day, the bark is so much worse than the bite — and there's a reason that so many women are addicted to waxing. Nice, smooth, hairless skin for weeks on end is hard to beat! Remember, the more you breathe and the calmer you are, the easier it'll be. 

Looking for more info? Click here. 


p.s. If you’re a fellow Washingtonian, this is the part where you should listen up: Go to Cera Wax Studio. They’ve consistently been ranked as the best in the area, and their waxing services are PHENOMENAL. Not to mention, they make the entire experience absolutely enjoyable. Each waxing room has it’s own speaker system and, upon arrival, you get to choose what music you want to be waxed to. Apparently, a lot of women go for hip-hop or rap while getting a brazilian. LOL, yes, that is a thing and I am here for it. Honestly, though. 

*This post was created in partnership with Cera Wax Studio*

 

9 things that helped me overcome burnout

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I've been so overwhelemed by the response I've gotten to talking about burnout — and I've received more than a few messages asking me to share what (specifically) helped me get back to where I felt *~ME~* again.

I tried to jot them down quickly without overthinking it. 

1. I CHANGED MY CAREER. 

I was in corporate marketing and left to do freelance work and get more involved in the wellness community. 

2. CONTROLLING WHAT I COULD: LIKE MY SKIN  

I started really caring about my skin and about what I'm putting into my body. We were both in slow food, and so I know you already care. But I started listening to what helped my body, what made my body bloat, etc etc.

3. DAILY MOVEMENT  

I started working out or doing something active EVERY DAY

Whether it was barre class, spin class, or spending 10 minutes on the elliptical. Sometimes, I'll just roll out my yoga mat and M O V E for 10-20 minutes. Sometimes it's ab work, sometimes it's just a basic sun salutation. 

4. I MADE SLEEP A PRIORITY
I got better about making sleep a huge priority. I actually will take a puff of weed to help me sleep, or I have an entire article here that helps me: https://www.honestlythough.org/blog/insomnia-sucks

5. I WENT TO MORE EVENTS

I joined a few women's collectives and FORCED myself to go out with friends. It was really nice to connect with like minded women and truly just disconnect. and talk.

6. BUT I ALSO LEARNED TO LOVE STAYING IN 

7. 

8.

9. 

Also on that note, I've been trying to more seriously work on my female friendships.

I'm actually working on a post about everything I've been doing and I'll send it to you.

I'll also let you know how this bootcamp goes. I know a LOT of women who have been in similar situations to us that come out of Bootcamp feeling like a new woman. idk where you're based. but they have another one in NYC & SF & DC

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weekend guide {February 9-11}

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weekend guide for February 9-11

Happy weekend! My week has been pretty mellow, but this weekend is jam-packed for me — I have a baby shower for a friend, several restaurant tastings, a secret project to work on and I have to pack for a week in LA! In this edition of my weekend guide, find a great study on gestures vs. voice AI, a new podcast and — oh yeah! — my feature in Teen Vogue! 

what to do (washingtonian's only) 

this and thats

  • Maxim and I are trying out Felix Gray glasses to help with digital eye strain — review coming! 
  • I'm on a wire basket kick right now and have been organizing our apartment with these
  • Added this book on curating to my Amazon cart. 
  • This is the grossest and also most weirdly satisfying toy I've ever seen. 
  • My exact thoughts on the new Snapchat update. #RIP 
  • My new favorite K-Beauty toner — with ginseng. 
  • & I have been spending an *ungodly* amount of time falling in love with the Instagram account for The Kangaroo Sanctuary

what I'm reading

  • Everything that happened at the Winter Olympics opening ceremony.
  • The insights that apparently there's a problem with people cuddling too many chickens...? 
  • Months after hurricanes tore through paradise, a heartbreaking story of reality in the Virgin Islands. 
  • Watch Katie Couric "skimm" the history of the Olympics for you. [Fun fact! From grades 3-6, when asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I said Katie Couric. I was her biggest fan girl.] 
  • An old article from Bon Appetite about soy — because the battle over whether it's good or not never ends. 
  • A look into the life of a "low-tech"-er (aka someone without a smartphone). 
  • If you're feeling morbid, a look into a nuclear war with North Korea. 

weekend guide {february 2-4}

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weekend guide for february 2-4

**PSST: LOOKING FOR MY VEGAN FOOD GUIDE FOR THE SUPER BOWL? CLICK HERE**

what to do (washingtonian's only) 

things I'm loving

  • Maxim and I are trying out Felix Gray glasses to help with digital eye strain — review coming! 
  • I'm on a wire basket kick right now and have been organizing our apartment with these
  • Added this book on curating to my Amazon cart. 
  • My new favorite K-Beauty toner — with ginseng. 

 

what I'm reading

I burned out — emotionally and spiritually. But I'm getting back on track.

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Friends know me as the lady whose schedule is always packed. Always taking on new ventures, new projects, forging new paths. I hate the feeling of chilling — just sitting around absolutely terrifies me and fills me with anxiety. I thrive and soar off the high of never sleeping, chugging coffee and brazen independence. It's my drug. 

But behind the flashing smile, the overtly bubbly personality? I struggle. And at the end of last year it all became too much. 

One night, while in Key West — and after a few cocktails — a wave had rushed over me. A sense that I wasn't where I wanted to be. I was not the person I believed in, not the person that I had always strived to be. I was in MaRkEtInG — taking government white papers and cubicles under harsh lights and turning it in click-bait for a numbers obsessed CMO.

I was unhappy — like-crying-everyday-at-the-thought-of-going-into-the-office unhappy. The company I worked for had come off their most successful year ever, won multiple “best places to work” awards and still, I was miserable. My attitude took a negative, bitchy turn. My acne was getting worse. 

The only thing I had to look forward to was rising up the corporate ladder to what...Head of Marketing? Head of Digital? Head of Social Media? None of it interested me. In fact, most of it made me want to turn and run. Run as far away as possible.

I was crazy unhappy in my career and feeling lost about what the future had in store for me. I was simply burned out — emotionally and spiritually. 

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So what did I do?

I took ahold of what I could control and made a change to focus on what I wanted in my career & life — not what the corporate structure wanted, or what (I thought) society wanted. 

I made a major career change (and my acne cleared up the next day. seriously.) 

I started taking more spin & barre classes.

I gave myself space to  f a i l .

I started reading books more and (though it’s a work in progress), I’m remembering to

〰️ B R E A T H E 〰️

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Now, firmly into January, I'm flying high — but remembering to land every so often for a breath — I'm taking on this already adventurous new year. 

I'm learning that sometimes a day filled with Netflix and pajamas and laundry is the best thing I could ever ask for. And at meal times, I'm(putting away my phone and opting for conversation or reading — that is, after I take a few pictures. 

I feel spiritually more fulfilled. I feel as if what I'm doing has purpose. And a paart of that is attending a weekend "bootcamp" filled with courageous, inspiring women that are "BOSSES" in their own ways. Together, we'll connect and discover how to continue conquering every part of our life. 

So here's to making 2018 the year of BREATHING, the year of becoming a BOSS in all parts of my life. Here's to a year of BEING a boss. 

Honestly, though. 

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Join me at Bootcamp? I partnered with BossedUp to give you 20% off your ticket. Simply use code PHOEBE. Have you ever experienced burn out? What did you do to get back on track?  

weekend guide {january 26-28}

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photo by dave mentzer

weekend guide for january 26-28

what to do (washingtonian's only) 

  • FOR THE BLOGGERS: Come meet other local bloggers and women entrepreneurs at Blonde In The District's monthly Bubbles & Bloggers. 
  • FOR THE CLASSY COUPLE: Check out the giant igloos perfect for a date night, complete with chocolate and wine. 
  • FOR THE POLITICS BUFFS: Former mayor of Philadelphia (and now author) comes to Politics & Prose to talk about the "best job in the world
  • FOR THE LADIES AND BADASSES: REST UP! Because next weekend is Bossed Up Bootcamp and I expect to see you! (code: PHOEBE = 20% off) 
  • FOR THE SPEED DEMONS: Check out the Washington Auto Show downtown (it's only here until February 4!) 
  • FOR THE PHILANTHROPIST: Dance the night away to benefit Children's at Dock5 this Saturday. 

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what I'm reading

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this and thats

winter beauty essentials for oily skin & my winter skincare routine

winter beauty essentials for oily skin & my winter skincare routine

Everyone knows that winter's moody weather and dropping temps can wreak havoc on the skin. As a naturally oily person, winter can be awful. I stress about moisturizing too much, because my pores will get clogged. But if I don't, then I'll get dry and wrinkles. 

Read More

wine wednesday: a sulfite-free red for winter nights

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BOTTLE: Stellar Winery's Live-A-Little Really Ravishing Red

Origin: South Africa

What is it: 100% Shiraz grapes

Year: N/A

Where to find it: Whole Foods, Mom's Organic Market, Total Wine & More, Boutique Wine Shops (call ahead) 

Price Range: $9 

Thoughts: A lovely red that pairs perfectly with homemade pizza or a piping hot bowl 'ol curry. Fruity, but not too dry, and a little spicy. It's organic, sulfite-free and has less sugar than most wines. It's a perfect weeknight wine, which is why Maxim and I have found ourselves reaching for on our trips to Mom's Organic Market. 

Become a sommelier: Though wine has been made in the area that is now South Africa since the 1600s, it saw a major setback in the 20th century. Insects and pests ravaged vineyards, and for a large part of the century, the grapes were distilled into cheap brandy. But today, South Africa is one of the world's top ten sources of wine.

Enjoy your Wine Wednesday! 

And ICYMI: I'm learning what goes on behind-the-wine each week with the help of Wine: A Tasting Course. Buy the book and learn right along with me!