Laser Hair Removal

The average woman will spend more than 1,402 hours of her life shaving, according to a recent survey by the American Laser Centers. That’s 58.4 days—nearly two months—that I could be sleeping or reading a book instead.

In the spectrum of my daily tasks, shaving falls somewhere between unloading the dishwasher (incredibly annoying) and flossing my teeth (annoying but worth it). The idea of never having to shave again leaves me delirious.

Which is why I am so drawn to laser hair removal. No longer just for women with hair-raising issues—like facial fuzz—this high-tech treatment is gaining popularity as a solution for anyone seeking permanent hair removal.

At American Laser Center in Minnetonka, I sign up to treat my underarms. A standard package is six treatments, several weeks apart, after which the center guarantees I will be at least 90-percent hair-free. Multiple treatments are required because hair follicles are on different growth cycles, and the laser only detects “active” follicles.

My first session is quick and painful. I lie still with arms overhead, while the technician repeatedly zaps my bare underarms with what looks like a staple gun. The laser works by targeting the dark pigment in the hair follicle, then destroying it with heat. The sensation—a combination of pinching and burning—lasts only momentarily. After a dab of post-op lotion, I go about my day without any discomfort.

I can see a difference within the first week. There is visibly less hair. After a few sessions I start forgetting to shave—because I don’t need to! The best part, however, is that the follicles are dead, the hair never to return. Suddenly, I have more time to floss my teeth and empty the dishwasher. Super.

What: Laser hair removal
Where: American Laser Centers, seven metro locations,
Time: Six sessions, 30 minutes each
Price: Varies by area treated; $1,560 for underarms

Beauty Bag

THE EXPERT: For more than 20 years, makeup artist Suzy Martin has worked her magic on models, locals, and the artist formerly known as Prince. Her specialty? Keeping faces looking luminous despite the drying effects of winter.

PREP WORK: “A primer ensures that makeup goes on smoother and wears longer.” Try: Becca Mineral SPF Primer ($42) on top of your daily moisturizer.

SECRET STRATEGY: “Start with your undereyes. Once you cover dark circles, you’ll realize you don’t need as much makeup everywhere else.” Try: Bobbi Brown Corrector ($22), followed by a layer of your favorite concealer.

SKIN SAVER:“Your foundation should mimic your skincare routine. In winter, that means using creamy, hydrating products—and very little powder.” Try: Becca Luminous Skin Colour ($42), which has SPF of 25.

QUICK FIX: “A pop of color on cheeks lifts and brightens your entire face.” Try: Becca Beach Tint ($25), a creamy cheek stain that doubles as lipstick.

Martin is available by appointment at Denny Kemp Salon Spa, 612-676-0300.


Ocean Memory

]If you can’t head south this season, the next-best thing might be the Ivy Spa Club’s new Ocean Memory body treatment. Designed to mimic the soothing effects of the sea and sand, this nearly three-hour escape incorporates an algae scrub, bubbling aromatherapy bath, gentle massage, detoxifying body mask, and moisturizing mousse. No sunscreen required. $225, 201 S. 11th St., Mpls., 612-343-3131,

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