This may be TMI for some people. If you are extremely squeamish, just skip this post! I don't know how to do half of a post "after the jump" or however it works.
So. At home waxing. I'm one of those people who really hates shaving, but who doesn't want to spend a lot of money getting continual professional waxes. I can deal with shaving my legs, but my underarms and bikini line? No way, Jose. I'm not going to get all graphic on you guys, but I did a little waxing today, and I wanted to review the wax I used.
Surgi Wax Waxing Kit, $6.49 at drugstore.com: I got two of these waxing kits for about $10 on drugstore.com (some sort of promotion), and I figured that getting at least four waxes for $10 was a pretty darn good deal. In each kit you get a little bottle of pre-waxing oil, 4 ounces of wax, and two wood applicator sticks. Here's the little blurb from the box: "start with the best salon quality hard wax available and add maple honey to increase the grip on each hair for complete removal right from the root." The wax is greenish-brown, and smells a bit like maple syrup. Since it's a hard wax, you don't use muslin strips, you just apply it to your skin and rip it off (sounds fun, right?).
Alright, here's the actual process. You want to cleanse the area to be waxed with warm (not hot) water, and dry it off. Then you want to apply a decent amount of the oil to your skin, rubbing it in a bit. The oil keeps the wax from sticking to your skin--ow. As for heating up the wax, it gives you a guideline on the side of the jar for how long you need to heat the jar depending on how much wax you have left. If you're starting with a new jar, you heat it for 60 seconds, at 15 second intervals, stirring each time. You want the wax to be evenly heated. Test the temperature of the wax with your fingertip--it should be warm, but not hot. If any of y'all watch Kourtney and Khloe Take Miami, you know that hot wax can be VERY bad for your skin if it's too hot. It will burn you, and that will suck. Before you start waxing, you need to make sure that all of the hair to be removed is about 1/4" long. Any shorter or longer and it won't come out properly, especially if it's longer.
You want to get a bit of the wax on the end of the wooden applicator, and spread a thin layer of the wax on your skin. It should be about 1/8" thick, half an inch wide, and an inch or two long. If the wax is too thin, it won't take off enough hair, and if it's too thick, it won't come off in one piece, and you really, really don't want that too happen. You always pull the wax off against the direction that the hair grows, so you want to have the end of the wax strip in an area with no hair. That way it creates a little handle for you to get a grip on. If you start and end the strip of wax completely on hair, you'll have no way to get all the wax off. Leave the wax to dry for about 30 seconds (it should still be a little tacky). Flick up the end of the wax to create said handle, hold down the area around the wax with your other hand, and pull of the wax in a quick, fluid motion. Voila! You'll probably have to reheat the wax at least once, because as the wax cools it won't spread as easily. Because you have to work with such small areas at a time, and will undoubtedly have to clean up with tweezers, I'd say this would be best for small areas of high, like the bikini line, underarms, eyebrows, etc. To get the excess wax off your skin, rub in a little more of the oil.
Your skin will look very, very angry for a few hours. Can ya blame it? Don't wash the waxed area for at least six hours, and wait two days before you begin exfoliating the area to prevent ingrown hairs.
I'd say it took me about 30-40 minutes to do my bikini area, and that was due mostly to the learning curve. This is the kind of thing that's much easier to do after you've already waxed the area, and the hair is just beginning to grow back in. I used 1/2 to a 1/3 of the jar, so it cost me about $2.50. That's crazy awesome. Now, it's definitely going to hurt, but so is any wax. Your skin isn't exactly thrilled to have hair follicles ripped out at the root. I did it with no painkillers or ice or anything, and it was pretty decent. The one issue I ran into was when I started/ended the strip of wax in hair on both sides, and ended up not being able to pull the strip off or get the wax off my hair. That hurt a LOT. So always end the strip of wax on an area with just skin, and no hair. I can't say that one enough.
Awkward Chic rating: B+. It's very messy, and the jar is hard to keep clean, but overall it's a very effective product.
Surgi Wax: drugstore.com.