The Words that Crushed My Spirit (+ a review & giveaway)



(This post was very hard for me to write… it required that I reach way back in my past to a very painful time.  These are the sort of memories that aren’t fun to dredge up.  But they’re real.  And they’re part of who I am.  I ask for your kindness as you read it… I humbly admit the raw, scarred adolescent still lives inside me.)


I was 12.  And a strange combination of skinny and early-developing.  My hair was a permed wedge (all the rage at the time!) and I was mere weeks away from (finally!) getting contacts.  I had braces.  I was taller than all but one boy in my class.  Adults frequently called me pretty but it would be years before my peers or I would see it at all.


Still, even with all the angst and tumult that goes along with the junior high years, I was okay.  I had a nice group of friends and was content with the fact that I was always going to be one of those brainy girls.


Until Jay waltzed into French class that one day and said, “Hey Gigi (my French name– did you have those in your language classes??)– what’s up with the moustache?”


I am fair.  Fair skin.  Light brown hair.  Blue eyes.  I don’t fit the profile of the girl who’d have any issues with facial hair.  And, I swear to you, I never thought I did have issues until that day.  But Jay’s words were a life-altering game changer for me.  I went from a typically awkward seventh grader to a mortified, devastated shell.


I was crushed.  Humiliated.  And convinced I was horribly and irreparably flawed.  So embarrassed was I that weeks would go by before I would even confess what had happened to my mother.


I dealt with it.  Really, it wasn’t too difficult, and I don’t want to paint the picture that I had some glossy black moustache curling across my upper lip.  I did not.  But I did have some hairs there that the charming Jay had noticed.  I doubt he knew what a profound, crippling effect that one sentence would have on me for years.*


In reality, I don’t know if the hormone shift of having babies or the effects of a few years of waxing changed the pattern of growth, but I have less to deal with now than I did back in high school.  But it’s still something I monitor and deal with.  For the most part, I tweeze.  It works.  It’s low-tech.  It’s cheap and portable.  It’s also a tad painful.  And occasionally time-consuming.


(I seriously love you all.  I really do.  There is simply no other explanation for my willingness to go WEEKS without touching a pair of tweezers and then DOCUMENTING it for you.)

Because of this, I was delighted to be given the opportunity to try out New Olay Smooth Finish Facial Hair Removal Duo.  While, in truth, I probably would have been even MORE thrilled back when my self-confidence was ripped out from underneath me at the tender age of twelve, I was still happy to give it a try!


And here’s what I’ll tell you about it:


  1. This product does not have the strong, characteristic stench of most depilatories.  Let’s face it; I was using it right under my nose.  It wasn’t scent-free, but it wasn’t in any way overpowering.  This made it less noticeable on my face, though the two-year-old definitely noticed it and, giggling, remarked, “Daddy cream?”  Ah, well.
  2. On the topic of not noticing it much, I can honestly say the New Olay Smooth Finish Facial Hair Removal Duo did not sting or hurt my face.  I was given the formula for fine-medium hair (the correct one for my hair type) and, after applying the special protective Skin Guarding Balm, included, I spread on a generous layer of the cream.  I couldn’t really feel it when it was on.
  3. There was no significant redness after using the New Olay Smooth Finish Facial Hair Removal Duo.  I am very fair, as I mentioned earlier, and my upper lip was slightly pink right after removing the cream.  It had faded to normal within ten minutes, however, and was never uncomfortable.
  4. Finally, the process was simple.  It took me less than a minute to apply the Olay Smooth Finish Facial Hair Removal Duo and it was removed and done within ten minutes.  During that time?  I mixed up a batch of cookies.  This is something I couldn’t accomplish while tweezing.
Long story short?  The product was easy to use, gentle on my skin, and does what it claims.   It made me feel good… which is a whole lot more than I can say for Jay from junior high.


(*Side note:  Ten years after devastating me with his cruel remark, Jay happened into the restaurant where I worked.  My stomach dropped, and I swear I felt 12 again.  Then he asked my co-worker, “Who’s the hottie behind the bar?”  The “hottie” was me.  The guy sporting a beer belly and receding hairline?  That was him.  True story.)

BlogHer and Olay are teaming up to give one lucky reader a $50 gift card!
To be entered for a chance to win, leave me a comment letting me know what inspires your inner beauty and how you show that beauty.
The sweepstakes runs from 1/3/2012 – 2/3/2012.
No duplicate comments.
You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
b) Tweet about this promotion and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
c) Blog about this promotion and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
d) For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.
This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older.
Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail.
You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.
The Official Rules are available here.
Be sure to visit the Promotions & Prizes page on where you can read other bloggers’ reviews and find more chances to win!

While we’re on the subject of looking good, you might want to check out the “Looking Your Best” posts in the Life Well Lived section of There are some great tips and expert posts!

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