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Sugaring: a sweet way to remove hair

Procedure less painful than wax and tastes better, too

Posted: September 3, 2009 10:10 p.m.
Updated: September 4, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Landy applies a mineral-rich mud to the eyebrows after the sugaring treatment. The mud helps to soothe the skin and reduce any post-sugaring irritations.

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Beauty treatments usually make you feel good, but rarely are the products so good you can actually eat them.

However, that's the case with sugaring, a unique hair removal method which replaces traditional wax with a water-soluble, all-natural clear paste of lemon, sugar, and water.

Aesthetician and licensed sugar practitioner Angela Lark Landy of Lavish Salon in Stevenson Ranch let me try a sample when I received my first sugaring on Tuesday. The consistency is that of a very thick honey and the taste similar to an incredibly sweet concentrated lemonade.

"Sugar, lemon, water - just like for tea," Landy, who resembles a girl-next door version of Debra Messing, said with a smile.

Better yet, sugaring is gentle to the skin, which often is irritated with the rougher wax, strip, and rip method used for decades in salons across the country.

Landy warmed up a large ball of the sugar paste before applying it to my lower legs, which had been prepped with an alcohol cleaning and a sprinkling of powder, which allows the paste to adhere to hair follicles.

"Hair only needs to be 1/8 to 1/4 of an inch for sugaring, unlike waxing," she told me.

I blushed. Mine was well beyond that. What can I say? I hate shaving and waxing is out of the question. (I don't generally opt for unnecessary pain).

The paste was warm and soothing as Landy delicately molded it to sections of my leg, the clear amber turning slightly opaque as she gently worked it around.

I tensed for the inevitable.

Flick, flick, flick. A very brief sting was followed by - nothing. No residual pain or burn.

"I work with the natural growth of hair, not against it. There's less breakage," Landy explained. "Over time, sugaring helps diminish hair growth, so it grows in finer and more slowly."

Instead of strips, Landy uses her gloved hands to manipulate the sugar paste, which allowed for increased accuracy and decreased waste.

"If I miss a spot, I can run the sugar back over it. You could never do that with wax. It would be too irritating," she said. "Sugaring is awesome for people who do usually Brazilian waxes, or as we call them here ‘The L.A.' and for those who need hair removed from their underarms, which is really sensitive. It's also perfect for fitness pros and cyclists who don't want any hair."

After she was done, Landy rubbed a light yet luxurious shea butter oil into my skin. My legs, which are usually so dry that scaly comes to mind as a description, now felt luxuriously soft and smooth, with no apparent bumps or redness. Nice and girly, legs I could once again be proud to show off to the world.

Next, it was on to my eyebrows, which I halfheartedly attempt to pluck when things get too unruly, but in reality, are as woefully neglected as my poor legs had been.

Landy, who's also a makeup artist, lends her creative touch to sculpting the perfect brow for her clients.

After the warm sugar was molded in layers across my brows and gently removed, Landy gently whisked a special soothing mineral mud over them, cleaned them off, and presented me with a mirror.
"Brows add character to a woman's face that is very important," she said.


So true. Whose eyes were these?

My brows looked flirty and questioning, adding a youthful alertness to the eye area that I usually try to achieve, unsuccessfully, with excessive caffeine.

I loved them.

An added bonus - there were no telltale bumps I'd previously experienced with waxing, just fresh, clean brows.

Landy, who is called "Sugar Bare" by her friends, found the sugaring technique more than two years ago when she attended her first beauty show while studying at Santa Monica College for her aesthetician license. A fair redhead, Landy had struggled with traditional waxing.

"I thought, oh great, this is a lost cause for me, I'm going to be the only aesthetician in the world who shaves," she said.

A representative from a sugar paste manufacturer stopped Landy at the show and asked if she had heard of the sugaring method.
When Landy replied no, she was given a complimentary sugar treatment.

The gentle result was an epiphany for Landy, who immediately signed up for a sugaring certification course after received her aesthetician's license.

"I just felt I had found something so few people knew about," she said.

Landy brought the idea of sugaring to Lavish salon owner Jackie Ganuza, who welcomed the opportunity to provide the new service to clients.

It is currently the only salon in the Santa Clarita Valley to offer sugaring, which starts at $25 for brows and $35 for lower legs.

Landy is currently offering a complimentary brow or lip sugar with any other sugar service to new clients.

Sugaring's already proving to be a sweet success, according to Ganuza.

"It's getting more popular, especially with clients that have sensitive skin or are allergic to the ingredients found in wax, such as fragrances or nut oils," she said. "I have a good friend that gets sugared. She is fair with dark hair and used to get red, puffy and bumpy from waxing. With sugaring, she walks out as beautiful as she walked in."

Lavish Salon is located at 25269 The Old Road, Stevenson Ranch.

For more information on sugaring, call Angela Lark Landy at (661) 253-3483.

Landy is also available to provide mobile sugar services for private parties.
www.angelasoasis.com.

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