Life, Optimized!

Remember when I was inspired by genuine curious, coming-from-a-good-place white woman, Gwyneth Paltrow to optimize my life? She was speaking about life optimization through the lens of wellness on Goop Lab, but I am taking it to the most basic pain points of life.

Next up…

how to optimize body hair removal

What is the best method for body hair removal? I found myself considering this over the course of the pandemic. Below are the pros and cons of each method and which method I recommend on which body part. Note: I am only discussing the methods with which I have firsthand experience.


Fact: Save for the three days I was stuck at my parents house post-tropical storm-triggered power outage that eliminated hot water supply, I shaved my legs every day of the pandemic. In addition to those three days, with the exception of the three days I was in the hospital recovering from childbirth (love you, Pamper Pirate!), I shaved my legs every day since I took a six month hiatus from work in favor of pursuing a yoga-filled life of wellness when my husband and I moved to Monterey, California for six months at the beginning of 2019. Namaste.

Shaving is low effort, high reward. It was one of those things that just make you feel cleaner. There is no better feeling in the world than jumping into a bed with high thread count sheets with freshly shaven and moisturized legs.

Up until recently, I also shaved my armpits. I don’t know if it is the local water, but my armpits have become especially dry with itchy patches. As such, I started refraining from shaving that part of my body. Talk about crunchy!

how to prepare

I shampoo before starting in order to allow the steam to accumulate, which allows for a more comfortable shave. Apply shampoo, shave one leg, apply conditioner, shave the other leg, go about the rest of my shower.

Lately, the water supply has been drying out my skin. As such, I upped my moisturizer to a thicker, more luxe moisturizer. Highly recommend.

what to expect

Do you need me to answer this? Legs you will need to shave the next day lest accumulate stubble.


In a throwback move, I purchased a Groupon package for several laser hair removal sessions when I lived in Philadelphia. I had to psyche myself up for the first session, as I was quite terrified of whether it would hurt.

However uncomfortable it was, I would move forward with buying another set of sessions, and at full price. Unfortunately, laser hair removal is not an option for pregnant women or during a pandemic.

how to prepare

Though it seems counterintuitive, shave all areas to be lasered the day of or night prior to the treatment. Don’t wax, don’t Nair. Shave.

what to expect

Lasers on the below the waistline area… Let’s be clear, any hair removal method will be uncomfortable on this area. This method does hurt in the way that rubber band snapping against the skin hurts. A session goes by as quick as you allow the technician to work, so it is best to sack up and do not request a break. I tried to distract myself by commencing the group chat with my immediate friend group or going live on Instagram with my reactions.

Once the hair starts growing back, the first regrowth will fall out. I scheduled a session every six-to-eight weeks, which is how long the next permanent regrowth took. If pandemic nor pregnancy affected my hair removal selection, I would choose this method year round.


I recently came around to waxing. After discovering I was pregnant, therefore eliminating laser hair removal as a safe and viable method, I stocked up of waxing products. All of which, by the way, I subsequently did not use until….

My husband gave me a wax at the initial stage of the pandemic, when I was nine months pregnant, the Saturday before the Pamper Pirate due date. After that weekend, I did not pick up a box of hair removal wax until packing toiletries for our big move abroad.

Cut to two weekends ago when I decided that the Completely Bare waxing strips did not look too scary. Since my armpits became dry and itchy from shaving, I opted for waxing. I prepped and applied the strips and my husband ripped them off. They were not at all messy and easier to apply on oneself.

I only allowed my husband to rip off a handful of wax strips at a time. Soon enough all of the strips were used and I still had sparse armpit hair. Luckily, along with the wax strips, I had also purchased a microwaveable wax kit. I should have just started with this kit because it was ever efficient and caught all of the hair that the Completely Bare strips left behind. After the armpit success, I decided to ride the wave and got my husband to wax below my waistline.

how to prepare

Pick out your wax product. Again, I like the microwavable wax and paper strip kit. While you are waiting for the wax to cool to a temperature that will not burn the skin upon application, lay a thick beach towel down on your bed. (In case the wax drips, you will not have to throw out your sheets.)

Regardless of what wax product used, I recommend having a partner or friend rip off your wax strips for you. Make sure said person has lightning quick hands. Someone who does not have it in them to go for a fast rip, will only end up causing a more painful wax.

The hair should not be longer than a half inch.

Have olive oil on hand for removal of excess wax…or in case you chicken out.

what to expect

Getting waxed hurts but again, the quicker the rip, the quicker it is over. It is as gross as it is fascinating to marvel at the used wax paper strips. This is only more encouragement to keep waxing.

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