Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Threading | The Fashion Dungjen

Before Veterans Day, it had been quite some time since I had my eyebrows done. Actually, it was right before I finished my summer internship in Portland, Ore.

Missy, one of my Portland roommates, was going for a bikini wax at a quaint, one-room shop, The Wax Shack. I sat in the 90-degree hallway for about 30 minutes waiting so we could hit up the Portland Beavers baseball game.

When they were finally finished and came to find me, the woman who runs the Shack took one look at my eyebrows (which had not been waxed since before I went to Portland about 11 weeks prior), and said “You cannot leave here like that.”

Long story short, that was toward the end of August. Veterans Day was last week. That’s a pretty long time to go without any sort of eyebrow grooming or upkeep. My eyebrows, to say the least, were a little out of control. So, when I went home, Mom offered to pay to have my eyebrows threaded.

Because Mom was buying, I was game. Over the river and through the suburbs of Dayton to the mall we go.

If you’ve never had your eyebrows threaded, it’s quite the experience.

Threading is an old practice traditionally used in Eastern countries, like India and Egypt. In the last couple of years it’s become more popular in the United States. You can even get your eyebrows threaded in Cincinnati. Maison De Sourcils in Kenwood Towne Centre offers threading. One session with them takes about 10 to 15 minutes, but costs a pretty penny: $32.10 plus tax.

(I went to Nirvana, a shop in Dayton Mall – the price there was $8, four times less than Maison De Sourcils, but also not an eyebrow specialty location.)

It’s a fairly simple process – the only thing the stylist uses is a piece of cotton thread and steady, precise hands. The lack of chemicals or anything else touching the skin means it’s super sterile, which is a plus for a germaphobe or anyone with allergies.

The cotton is wrapped around unwanted hairs, kind of like a lasso. The hair is pulled from the follicle, which means the threading is supposed to last longer than something more common like waxing or plucking.

Because the thread has to lasso the unwanted hairs, it’s ridiculously precise. Even after waxing or plucking with my favorite stylist I usually have to go back through and pluck
a few stray hairs. This time, no such thing.

It sounds pretty cool, right? Sounds like it might be worth your $8 for a simple procedure that lasts up to six weeks. (The hair removal can become permanent if you have it done often enough.)

But I, for one, will never have my eyebrows threaded again.

Threading took about five times longer than waxing and was at least 1,000 times more excruciatingly painful. I’ve since read testimonials that say the opposite, but, in those testimonials, they also say they were given a numbing spray or had a warm cloth compressed on their eyebrows to make it easier to remove the hairs.

Perhaps it was my anxiety that prevented me from finding any redeeming quality about my experience, but I could feel every hair being yanked from my face and the sound of the thread twisting was too much to handle.

My toes curled. My hands were sweating. I wanted to reach up, grab the woman who was threading my eyebrows and throw her to the ground.

I may or may not have cried.

My younger sister Kasey was next in line to have her eyebrows done. After watching me struggle to maintain composure she opted out of the experience. I wish she had volunteered to go first.

No more threading for me, but if you’re into some sadistic-type of pain, you might want to try it for yourself.

Wild about waxing or would you rather admire your flawless – but throbbing – threaded brows? Tell Taylor at

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A Cincinnati scarf?

I'm doing a little bit of Christmas shopping for my boyfriend. I love buying things for other people. It makes me feel like I have an excuse to then buy stuff for myself. Wrong or right, it's true.

He thinks I have a shopping problem. I happen to see things a little differently. But, that's another post for another time.

To the point:

I want to buy Richie a scarf. Why? I love scarves and I think that scarves add an instant and extra measure of attractiveness to an ensemble. Consequently, I want Richie to love scarves. He spends some time outside when he's at work, checking on whatever it is that he has to check on, and in the winter Northeast Ohio isn't really very forgiving. In fact, I'm surprised it hasn't started to snow yet ... Again, I'm getting away from the point. So, I'm looking for a scarf that Richie can wear when he's not at work (the Cleveland Brown's scarf that he has he can use for work). In the process of looking, I found a scarf called "Cincinnati."

It's maroon and navy. What about Cincinnati says maroon and navy? Can someone please clarify? (Don't worry; this is not something I'm considering for Richie. Actually, I find it quite atrocious.)

Insecurity in the Midwest

I think the Midwest has an inferiority complex. Or is at least a little insecure about how it stacks up to is cousins out west. And, quite frankly, there's a lot to be jealous of. But, even though it seems like they would want to mimic the beautiful state of Oregon, this part of Dayton, dare I say, is marvelous. (The above sign was taken in Dayton, Ohio, in the Oregon District.) Hands down, the Oregon District is probably one of the most incredible neighborhoods in Dayton. It's old. Has a brick road (Bonus points). The houses are so fabulous. It's the ideal neighborhood for my future grown up self. I picture myself living in one of the circa 1850s homes and then taking a walk down one of the tree-lined streets in a forest green, just-above-the-knee dress and a pair of ankle cognac boots around this time of year.

Fall is so good. I need to recruit a friend to go on a fall photo adventure with me.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Bookbag! | The Fashion Dungjen

Remember my column about book bags from a month-ish ago?

"From what I remember, backpacks seemed to last forever – as a kid, having the most awesome character from a TV show or movie made last week’s bag outdated before you could convince your parents that you needed it to maintain your playground status.
Now, I’m stuck. I have the mentality that backpacks are still for kids. On the other hand, I feel that same mentality tipping toward the whipping out my debit card to buy one each time the straps on my tote rip a little more. (I’m waiting for the day it busts on campus spilling all its contents as I watch a tampon roll down
the sidewalk through McMicken Commons.)
It has to happen. For the sake of not chasing toiletries across campus, it has to happen."

Literally, the day after I wrote this column, one of the straps on the bag I had been carrying was reduced to hanging on by one single thread. And a mighty strong thread it was. But, alas, karma bit me in the behind and the bag became one with the dumpster behind my apartment building.

Two summers ago when I was in Alabama, I bought a huge-0-mungo bag for farmers markets and grocery
shopping. Now that I never have time for farmers markets or grocery shopping, I converted the large tote into a makeshift school bag. Now, though the lining is ripping and the bottom looks like it might break out.

At the end of my column I posted a cry for help. I had no idea where to start looking for book bags, what types were better than others. I got more responses than I could have imagined. So, with the advice of some wonderful ladies -- go figure, no dudes had any suggestions -- I broke down and bought a book bag.

Pretty, isn't she?