Not too long ago, for one amazing year of my life, I lived in Taipei, Taiwan. I loved it there. I loved it because the food is outstanding, it’s beautiful, and I was surrounded by a completely different culture. But Taiwan also has a special place in my heart for a slightly shallower reason: it has some of the BEST SHOPPING on the planet. Especially if you like kitsch, costume jewelry, and innovative yet confusing beauty products. And who among us doesn’t?
There was a shop in a student-heavy area of Taipei that I could not resist. It became my go-to stop for absolutely everything. Everyone just called it “The Emporium,” and it looked as if a Target, Sam’s Club, Sally Beauty, and the insides of several thousand children’s vending machines had exploded together inside Graceland. The top floor was all housewares. The bottom floor housed “everything else,” including a huge section devoted to inexpensive beauty items—the purpose of which wasn’t always clear.
I bought everything. I bought the lip gloss/flashlight/scissor/dental floss keychain. (No need to call 911, I have everything I need in case of an emergency now, thank you.) I bought the lotion that promised to grow me bigger boobs. I bought the mini ear-braces that were designed to help me wear giant earrings without “unsightly ear sag.” I was very happy. One day, combing the aisles, I found something new: a springy little metal coil with plastic, rounded ends, which was designed to remove unwanted facial hair, as far as I could tell from the photo. DUH, I bought it. I took it home and tried it, but couldn’t get it to remove my exquisite lil’ blond mustache at all. So I put it in a bag, and forgot about it.
Fast-forward to the present day—while browsing beauty tutorials online, I came across Beautylish member April A.’s demo explaining how to use a facial hair removal coil tool! Dumbfounded, I watched April explain the simple process: you take both ends, bend the coil into an upside-down “U” shape, and then roll the handles inward, toward your face, as you glide the coil up against the skin. It was supposed to be better than threading, faster, and something you could do at home, any time. So I did what I had to do: I dug through everything I owned until I found my facial removal coil thingie, ran with it into the bathroom, and tried what I’d just learned. I bent the coil, ran it up my face, and...shrieked. ALL MY FACIAL HAIR was coming off at once, owweeee!!
It worked. It really worked. I tried it on my upper lip—and yep, it yanked out all the fuzz, right from the root. (At 1:30 in the video, April explains a trick for working on this area; essentially you close your mouth and puff out your cheeks like a fish.)
You have to roll the tool over each area several times to remove all the hair, and it’s super satisfying to see all the little hairs trapped between the metal coils. It’s eye-wateringly painful, but effective. There are several versions of the tool available around the web, some as inexpensive as $2.99.
Now, because I apparently hate myself and love you, I decided to test what happens if you try this on your elegant, unshaved winter legs. DO NOT DO THIS. Also, do not “see what happens” on, say, your bikini line, unless you think your neighbors will enjoy what sounds like you, re-enacting the shower scene from Psycho.
The verdict: the facial hair removal coil works, friends, and it works well, but only use it on your face, mmkay?