Beauty sleuth: Ruth Griffin on the latest trends
From face creams to hair removal, our expert has all the latest trends
Sun's out, legs out… Razors out? Body hair removal may appear to be quite a modern beauty invention - it's certainly true that female shaving and waxing has become mainstream since World War 2. However, hair removal actually has a 6,000-year history. The Egyptians removed all body hair apart from their eyebrows and eyelashes. In ancient Greece, body hair was deemed uncivilised and as such is completely absent from all their ancient artwork. These original beauty buffs used a form of depilatory cream called 'dropax', a mix of vinegar and earth to trim back body hair.
While today we have a huge array of body hair removal options - Brazilians, Hollywoods, landing strips - something of a backlash has begun, with women shunning hair removal in the name of feminism.
Celebrities including Cameron Diaz and Lena Dunham have made keeping their body hair a political statement, contributing to social media hashtags such as #armpithairdontcare. Gwyneth Paltrow (pictured) describes her bikini line as "working a '70s vibe", while Madonna posted a selfie proudly displaying her dyed underarm hair in an effort to encourage body positivity and autonomy.
I wholeheartedly applaud their gumption and totally understand the point they're making. Ultimately, it comes down to personal aesthetic and choice. Wherever you stand on the issue of female body hair, I know very few women who would be comfortable with excessive or very visible facial hair. And I can't imagine any of those celebs above gracing the front cover of many magazines with their furry moustaches and chin whiskers blowing in the wind machine.
So, if body hair is not your thing, take a look at the panels on the right for some pain-free and effective hair removal options.
La Prairie Skin Caviar Luxe Eye Lift Cream, Brown Thomas
The cult beauty brand delivers serious results, but with an eye-watering price tag.
Illuminating Cream, Aldi This supermarket product is an impressive alternative.
3 of the best Hair Removal Products
Remington Lady Shave, €19.99, pharmacies nationwide
For ladies not keen on waxing, this shower-proof battery-operated razor is a powerfully precise yet hypoallergenic alternative. Comes with a bikini line attachment.
Dr Bronner 18-In-1 Castile Soap in Almond, €12.30, health food stores nationwide
This fantastic brand is fully organic, vegan, biodegradable and has an industry-leading environmentally friendly ethos. This is their hard-working hero product - it has 18 different uses from cleaning skin and hair to cleaning floors, clothes and even the dog! Brilliant when used as a calming shaving cream - perfect for sensitive skin.
Kiehl's Nurturing Oil for Mom & Baby, €21, department stores
For silky smooth baby soft skin post wax or shaving, smooth on this 100pc natural product. It acts as a nurturing and super-soothing post-shaving skin balm.
(NOTE Mineral oil - is a petroleum based oil used in numerous skincare products. It is extremely unhealthy for skin. It is comedogenic (clogs pores, increases likelihood of acne and blackheads) It infuses the skin with zero nutrients and does not actually penetrate the skin' s surface - it may feel silky but actually it has been proven to merely sit on top of the skin. To be avoided)
Treatment of the week
Lycon waxing, available in beauty salons throughout Ireland. See lycon.ie for stockists.
Brazilia, South William Street, Dublin 2. (01) 675-0000, brazilia.ie
Lycon is an all-natural Australian soft wax that is 60pc less painful then strip waxing and threading. Areas that can be treated include the upper lip, chin, face, nose and nipples as well as bikini, leg and underarm areas.
This was such a brilliant discovery for me. There was absolutely no redness or discomfort afterwards because this wax sticks to the hair not the skin, resulting in a much more gentle treatment. Lycon wax can be used on hair as short as 1mm so it’s ideal for facial waxing. It uses only natural ingredients, aromatherapy oils and a very low temperature. Results can last up to six weeks. Much less abrasive than strip waxing or threading.
(TIP: Get waxing done a week after your period — your pain threshold will be a lot higher!)
Lycon Ingrown-X-It Soloution Smooth this lotion onto affected areas to decongest and minimise the occurrence of ingrown hairs after waxing. €21.50 at Brazilia