The Pros And Cons Of Waxing At Home

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I first learned about Brazilian waxing from the debut Gossip Girl book, in which Blair Waldorf casually undergoes the modern cosmetic procedure. Naturally, I wanted to emulate the Queen Bee of the Upper East Side—who doesn’t?—so I escorted my 18-year-old self to the closest spa and signed up for the works. Some 30 minutes and 30 screams of agony later, I emerged from the covert room bare as can be and a changed woman. Sure, I wasn’t as posh as Miss Waldorf, but I felt empowered and euphoric from this new smooth secret I had with myself.

Cut to today, 10-plus years later, and I’ve scarcely missed a waxing appointment since. Whether single or attached, I relish the luxury of being completely naked down there and never having to deal with unsightly razor burn. Beyond that, I even love the relationship I have with my aesthetician, which is not unlike therapist to client. However, said connection has recently come under scrutiny as I’ve begun to harshly examine my budget. Professional waxing runs me $50 a visit, which adds up to around $500 per year—yikes!

Hoping to put the funds toward something more exciting—say, a chic pair of summer slides—I decide to explore another, more bank-account-friendly option: waxing at home. (Insert jaw-dropping emoji here.) After garnering encouragement from beauty message boards and even one fellow Zoe Reporter, I purchase an at-home wax kit and reserve an evening to get up close and personal.

The Pros

Hunched over the edge of my bathtub, I’m immediately surprised by how effortless the application of Sally Hansen strips is. Requiring no microwave heating (minimal mess!), I simply warm the strips in my hands, stick them on and tear them off like a Band-Aid. Contrary to what you might expect, the process is relatively pain-free, or about a 2 on a scale of 1 to 10. Thanks to this, and the fact that a box costs a mere $7, I’m almost a self-waxing convert.

The Cons

This independent method doesn’t come without its drawbacks. While the strips are effective, they fall short of the glory of salon wax. Certain spots require multiple applications, and in one sitting I burn through the entire box. The procedure also takes twice as long as a professional wax, when you factor in the tricky positions I have to maneuver myself into, and the tweezing required to remove the strays the strips miss. Of course this will depend on whether you’re opting for a bikini line touch-up or something more intense.

The Verdict

After careful consideration, I decide on a compromise: I’m going to continue waxing at home (and hopefully hone my skills) but supplement self-grooming with a couple of salon visits a year. Depending on how open-minded you are, I highly recommend trying this DIY method—just be sure to purchase two boxes upfront (and a body oil to remove leftover wax). Good luck!

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Self-Wax Essentials