Tips on Plucking Facial Hair

Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

While plucking facial hair yields beautifully smooth, sculpted results, depending on what you're plucking, this seemingly simple process can be painful at times, and feel tricky to complete. If you're looking for ways to achieve a more comfortable experience before or after plucking, or if you're beginning to wonder if the tools you've chosen are optimizing your experience, consider some solid tips for successful hair removal.

Treat Gently

Before you go into attack mode, plucking every out-of-hair place you can find, start by prepping your skin. Either take a warm shower or place a warm, damp wash cloth on the skin in question. The warmth softens hair and opens pores for a more thorough, less painful plucking experience. In addition, consider applying a bit of numbing ointment, such as tooth and gum gel, to take the sting out. Take care of skin afterwards, too, if it's raw or red by applying an ice cube and a gentle moisturizer.

Create Guidelines

Plan ahead, particularly when plucking eyebrows. However, the same is often necessary for other visible areas, such as hair that trails from your sideburns down the sides of your face. The last thing you want is to accidentally overdo the plucking and end up with missing patches of hair or an asymmetrical appearance. Use an eyeliner pencil in a color that contrasts with your skin to draw guidelines to follow while plucking. For example, draw in the arch and depth of your brows so you can simply follow the line without guessing.

Step Away

One of the best tricks to plucking facial hair sounds simple but is actually quite powerful -- step away. First and foremost, start by pulling out stray hairs, whether on your chin, upper lip or eyebrows. If you feel like you're not getting your eyebrows even, for example, step away from the experience before you end up removing both eyebrows altogether. In addition, use your daily mirror rather than a magnifying version. Because you're a mammal and your body is covered in hair, attempting to remove those usually invisible hairs can drive you crazy. If you can't see them when you glance in your regular vanity mirror, chances are, nobody else can either.

Choose Your Tools Thoughtfully

Before you rely completely on your tweezers, if eyebrow plucking is part of your life, make sure you have an eyebrow liner or shadow on hand. Fill in small holes or unevenness with this simple makeup trick rather than feeling the need to pluck your eyebrows into extremely thin, odd shapes. For the most effective tweezing, choose slant-tip tweezers that can grasp even the tiniest hairs. Then again, if you have areas that require a lot of plucking -- such as an upper lip or chin area -- look for coiled hair removers that pluck multiple hairs at once. Pluck any leftover strays and you're done.