The Accidental At-Home Wax Tester

For the past couple of years, I’ve alternated between shaving and waxing my legs. I’d wax when I had time (and an appointment) and shave when I unexpectedly needed to wear a skirt or dress (you just can’t predict those nice days sometimes). About three months ago I decided I was done—no more shaving. I was over smooth skin that only lasted a day, itchy legs, nicks, and cuts. So, I committed to waxing only, which was great, but expensive.

Enter at-home waxing. Turns out, not all are created equal.

I didn’t set out to compare at-home waxing techniques, but somehow I did. Here are the three I’ve tried (below), including my amateur opinion for the best. 

Hair Remover Wax Strip for Body: These are “pre-waxed” so all you need to do is warm the wax (wrapped in plastic) between your hands. After that you peel the plastic apart and apply directly to hair and pull off.

First of all, I’m a girl, which means I have poor circulation and my hands are hardly ever actually “warm." They don’t give you many strips in the box and the ones they do barely work. I think this would be good for really small hair removal places (eyebrows?), but the strips did not rip off much hair on the legs. I’ll give it bonus points for being a good last option on the go. Grade: C

Simple Spa Wax Warmer: In addition to wax, you are purchasing a re-usable machine to heat up the wax tins. This system is by far the most professional looking. The wax tin heats up and then you apply the wax to your legs using the wooden sticks that are included and pull off.

Wow. This was the worst by far. The box says it only takes 25 minutes for the wax to heat up, but I think it was closer to 40 minutes for me. The whole project was a mess. There were little shreds of wax everywhere, from the towel I was sitting on to random places on my legs. The wax was hard to pull off in one piece and usually didn’t get all of the hair. Also, I only had enough wax to do half of each leg (and I think I have pretty normal size legs!).  The only good point I can say about this one is that it wasn’t that painful (though, again, it wasn’t getting all the hair off, so, who cares). Grade: D-

Extra Strength All-over Wax Hair Remover: The kit contains a wax you heat up in the microwave for about a minute, wooden sticks for spreading wax, paper strips, and oil (for removing wax that didn’t come off when it was supposed to and for calming the skin). You put the warm wax on your skin, smooth down the paper over it, and then yank off.

Winner! This was the first waxing type I tried and by far the most effective. One strip could get off a large amount of hair. Yes, it was a little painful, but that’s because it works. At the end, you just throw out the pieces of paper (not millions of tiny wax pieces) and you’re done. The oil that’s included is a great and useful bonus that really does make your legs silky smooth. Grade: A