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So, Here’s The Thing About The Bikini Wax

Here is a rather unfortunate photo of me, your intrepid beauty experimenter, mere moments from having finished my very first ever, sooo terribly painful, awful horrible torturous bikini wax. And yes I’m standing up straight! In pants! And I even walked home!

Honestly, you’d think bikini waxes were like leg removal for all the hype surrounding them. And I’m being a little silly here, because actually, they’re not that bad. Are they that bad? No. Not at all. Are they painful though? Yes. Especially when you’re doing it yourself in your bathroom at 1AM. (Spoiler alert: don’t do it yourself in the bathroom at 1AM.) And then there are the weird rashes afterward. I mean, sometimes. But not all the time. Should we talk about this already? Let’s talk about this already.

For the purposes of this experiment, I decided to try one (1) full spa bikini wax experience, followed by one (1) full DIY bikini wax experience three weeks later. You know, to see how different they are, if at all, and worth the cost? And which hurts more? And etc and etc. After the jump!


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    This is what's nice about going to a spa. Robes! Blue flip flops! For my spa experience I chose the basic bikini at my local Bliss spa. The first step is you strip nakey.
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    Swap your clothes out for theirs and you're on your way!
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    This is where the magic happens. Those cute little paper panties on that bed? That's what you get to wear, then you slip under the covers and await your destiny.

    The technician comes in, asks a few questions about allergies, and explains the procedure. Bliss uses a hard wax, which I have heard is the best. The wax hardens and will grab just the hairs, not your skin. So, teeth gritted and unsure what to expect, I told her I was ready and away we went.

    The first one was a surprise. She sort of gave me a significant look and then RIP. And it wasn't that bad. Neither was the second one! The third one though, OH HOLY CRAP. And the fourth and the fifth. I found if you inhale when she rips it takes away a bit of the sting. And the good news is, once it's done, the pain is gone. It hurts during the rip but you feel fine after. Depending on how much hair you're working with, this is over in anywhere from ten to thirty minutes. I found my inner legs felt fine, my stomach area hurt like a mother. $35 for the pleasure and then I forgot to buy the anti-ingrown hair treatment pads on my way out, whoops!
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    And now I wish to discuss recovery. Guys, it's not that bad. I was red like a lobster, though. And I was picturing having a wax just before a vacation and how much worse lobster skin looks than hair and that was making me go "hrrm." And then there were some bumps the next day. We're talking a full 36-hour recovery before things were looking pretty. But the pain? I was in my normal tight pants within four minutes and never had any problems with swelling or feeling irritation. So!
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    About three weeks later, I got curious. $35 is a lot to shell out, though the results were so great. Smooth for a long time, zero maintenance in between.... what if I could get these results at home for less money? Enter Sally Hansen. Bring it on, Sally Hansen!
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    Here she is. I felt pretty ready for her. I mean, it was painful but not that bad, and the regrowth was thinner and would obviously take less time!

    But here's the thing. This hurt SO MUCH WORSE. For one thing, this wax doesn't harden. It stays gloopy forever. So it doesn't grab the hair well, and it makes a point of grabbing any skin it can. OUCH. OUCH OUCH OUCH. I had to go over the same spot three, four times to get a clean look. And dudes. OUCH. There is something about doing it to yourself and not being able to employ your hypno breathing when you need it and having to stay focused on actually being the one to rip that really kills your pain tolerance.

    I found that if I counted to three, and then inhaled sharply and RIPPED, that I could do it. And then of course afterward I did a little OWWWWWWIEEEE dance just a little, cause it helps. It does! Weirdly, the more painful areas this time around were completely flip-flopped from at the spa. Along the top it wasn't painful at all, but the inner areas? FORGET IT. The skin was too soft, or I couldn't get the wax spread evenly, or something, it was awful. It hurt so bad. I thought for sure I might die right there, covered in wax on the bathroom floor. How pathetic would that be?

    But I persevered! And finished! And I even did a semi decent job of it! Though the wax did NOT want to come off afterward and I had to spend a good five minutes in the shower SCRUBBING at it. On areas that had just been waxed a few minutes prior. It wasn't the best experience. (It wasn't the worst either, I mean, I've been through drug-free child birth, it's not even similar. People who say it's similar? No. What? Their babies must have been kinder and exited in a much more decent manner than mine did.)

    So, finally the wax was cleaned off, and here comes the most surprising part. The next day. No lobster skin. No bumps! It looked good right away and stayed that way for a good three weeks. I couldn't believe it. After all that trauma I put my skin through? That's it? No recovery time at all???

    So at this point I was all set to give the win to the Sally Hansen, despite the hassle of it all, because shoot! But then the next day I discovered that the lid hadn't been screwed on all the way and the wax that never dries had leaked all over my curling irons and brushes and tampons. I had to throw 70% of it away because it just wouldn't clean up. HUGE HASSLE OH MY GOSH. So the spa gets the win, by a hair. (Get it?) 'Cause honestly. I needed those curling irons.

 

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