Wednesday, May 16, 2012

How Not to Do Homemade Beauty: Waxing

One of the big reasons I started blogging was because I spent so much time researching natural and homemade beauty solutions that it only made sense to condense and share it with others. I've tried a lot of things: olive oil on my hair and skin, going shampoo-free, and utilizing baking soda as an OTC skin care solution. These things were easy to do while I was away at school: they require minimum preparation, materials, and clean up (really, most natural beauty solutions do). One thing I was waiting to get home to try is homemade wax for leg hair removal... and while I'm glad I waited to do it until I came home, I'm annoyed with myself for choosing to try it in the first place!

Yes, natural beauty can be messy. So can natural eating. But, usually, it's worth it. I'm a big proponent of that concept of "don't put anything on your body that you wouldn't put into your mouth." While I don't always follow it (makeup and sunscreen are my exceptions) I have made a major effort to try. For hair removal, I cut out shaving cream (tough but worthwhile) and forced my skin to adapt to water and Gillette Razor Blades alone. While it gets the job done, the idea of waxing has always been a seductive one for me; the fact that waxing lasts longer than shaving is especially alluring for ladies with dark body hair. So, with no obligations to fill my day, I decided to attempt a homemade wax using the following recipe that I found here.

I want to stress that I am not insulting the recipe or methods of the authors. The good thing about homemade beauty advice is that bloggers are typically not sharing recipes for personal gain. There are usually pictures and testimonials in the comments section that can help you decide whether or not to do it. Of course, being so excited about the DIY project, I neglected to read that no one in the comments had actually tried it themselves, and that even the author did not testify to doing so. This, obviously, was an enormous mistake.

To make a long story short, I started by slightly burning my finger in the hot wax (my fault), made a mess of my bathroom while fruitlessly trying to spread the wax (price of doing business), and managed to achieve only minimal results despite trying both suggested methods to the best of my ability. Honestly, I lost more of my nail polish as the wax hardened to my fingertips than I lost leg hair. After practically peeling my fingernails off, I got to spend another thirty minutes cleaning the wax out of the container and off the spoon I had attempted to spread the wax with. Yes, it was an unmitigated disaster, but it was also a learning process.

The moral of the story is this: consult multiple blogs that contain testimonials before you try any potentially messy or dangerous homemade beauty products/projects. YouTube videos are best for any marginally complicated processes. Yes, the waxing worked to a certain extent for me, but now I realize that no matter how good I got at it, the results for this particular recipe wouldn't be worth my effort. It's not as if I won't try it again... I'm thinking of using a recipe like this, which includes intricate step-by-step directions vital for success. I'll let you know how it goes, but you should consider looking for a few more reviews before you try it for yourself... trust me.

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