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hair removal
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Oh, the joys of unwanted facial hair. Growing up with dark, curly hair means that facial hair removal has been a part of my vocabulary and beauty routine for as long as I can remember. I still have flashbacks to the moment when my family and I were out to dinner and my little brother yelled across the table, “Heather has a mustache!” I was mortified. (Thanks, Mike.) It was then that my uphill battle with hair removal began.

First, I tried tackling it with at-home waxing kits (ouch) and DIY depilatory creams, which stung and stunk (literally). I tried “professional” waxing at my local nail salon (whoops), which left my skin red and bumpy. Sure, some of these hair removal methods helped get rid of the hair but most had crappy side effects that made me debate if leaving the hair was the better option. When I moved to New York and became a beauty editor, I was excited to try all of the new options available. I gave threading a whirl, arguably the most painful method in my opinion.

Then I attempted laser hair removal at a dermatologist’s office. The technician told me to chew gum and place it under my upper lip during the treatment (a really helpful tip). I made it to four consecutive appointments, then stopped because traveling to the Upper East Side on my lunch break just wasn’t sustainable. Then, while doing an interview with a reputable esthetician, I realized that men weren’t the only ones shaving their faces. Turns out, some of my fellow beauty editors were doing just that, as a quick, painless way to remove upper lip fuzz and even chin hairs.

Guys, it worked. I didn’t need an appointment, I could do it in the comfort of my own (closed door) bathroom, and, best of all, it didn’t hurt.

And, no, the hair didn’t come back darker or thicker (FYI: Derms say that’s a myth). I even discovered some “sexier” razor options, like a slim, pastel-handled razor from Tinkle, which was my go-to until I was introduced to the little gadget that changed my life (drum roll, please)—the Flawless Finishing Touch.

Credit: Ulta Beauty

Shop it! Flawless by Finishing Touch Instant and Painless Facial Hair Remover, $19.99, Ulta.com.

Yes, the name sounds a little gimmicky and, yes, it’s something you might see pop up in an infomercial, but it works. It’s a handheld, battery-operated purple and 18-karat gold-plated (TSA-approved!) device that cuts hair at the surface and sweeps it away. You use it on clean, dry skin (this is key), moving in circular motions.

It works on cheek peach fuzz (my foundation has never gone on smoother) as well as dark, coarse hair (think: upper lip stubble).

A few other highlights: It has a built-in light so you can see the hairs even in poorly lit places and the kicker is that you don’t have to wait for your hair to grow to use it (unlike most methods). You can use it every day. Talk about satisfying—after you use it, simply twist off the cap and dump out the fuzz (which might resemble a tiny cotton tail). And, in case you’re shy about hair removal (I’m obviously not), its chic purple case will ensure no one else knows what the heck it is.

This story originally appeared on RealSimple.com by Heather Muir Maffei.