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I Waxed My Own Legs and I Kind of Loved It?

Illustration for article titled I Waxed My Own Legs and I Kind of Loved It?
Graphic: Lucrezia Carnelos (Unsplash)

When people ask me how I used my confinement time, I will look them dead in the eye and say, “I waxed my own legs.”

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Sometime in, oh, 2019—haha remember 2019? No? I don’t either.—I bought a body wax kit on a whim. I’ll be honest: I’m a sucker for packaging, and these Flamingo wax strips sang to me from their perch on the shelf at Target. So I bought them! And they sat, tucked away in my bathroom, because if I’m being really honest about things, I could never bring myself to grow my leg hair out enough to use the thing.

But then! Oh then, sweet, sweet confinement began (I am in the Stockholm Syndrome stage of confinement, where my confinement is also my protector, yes) and I figured there was never going to be a better time to grow my leg hair out. So I did and wow, I did NOT enjoy it.

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What I did enjoy, however, was waxing all that hair off and yes, I am as surprised to write that as you are to read it! But here we are, so let me tell you more because you will have questions.

“Did it hurt?”

Not really! I mean, it didn’t feel like a refreshing herbal massage at a Balinese resort, but it didn’t hurt nearly as much as I expected it to.

“What/where did you wax?”

I started with my lower leg — I figured it would be the easiest body part to self-wax, and also probably the least painful. This proved to be true! If you would like to try out at-home waxing, I’d definitely suggest starting with your lower leg.

“Okay but what/where else did you wax?”

After my success with my lower leg, I got bold and moved upwards to my thighs. Waxing the front of my thigh was no problem, though not as easy as the lower leg because, well, it’s fleshier. The fleshier the body part the harder it is to wax, because you need to pull the skin taut with your non-dominant hand while your dominant hand rips the wax strip (and hair) from your flesh.

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Illustration for article titled I Waxed My Own Legs and I Kind of Loved It?
Graphic: Gabe Carey

Waxing the back of my thighs was also pretty tricky. It required some contortionist moves, which was fine mostly because it reassured me that I had not lost my limberness while in confinement, but also I know deep in my heart that there are spots I missed back there. I’m also okay with that for the time being!

“Jolie for real, we know you’re holding out on us: Did you wax the V?”

Oh and I did! Okay so it didn’t hurt as much as I thought it would—I know I keep saying that and you probably don’t believe me but it’s true!—but it was pretty awkward. Based on my experience I would recommend this approach to bikini waxing: The strips are good for cleaning up the bikini line, but if you want to wax more than that, you’re probably better off going with a hard wax rather than a wax strip. In my research, the Bliss Poetic Waxing Kit was the one that got the highest marks for bikini waxing.

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“Was it messy?”

No! The Flamingo wax kit is a ready-to-use soft gel wax strips system — basically, the wax is already on the strip, which you apply to your skin, press down firmly and then rip off. Using wax strips means that you don’t have to apply hot wax directly to skin, which makes a much, much, much less messy experience.

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As for cleanup, the kit comes with what they call “post-wax cloths” that remove sticky wax residue from your skin. Now, I will note that my hands, in particular, were deeply sticky when I was done and simply washing them did not do a thing to fix that. But two things did work: 1. Using the post-wax cloth and 2. Rubbing them with body lotion and/or cooking oil. I tried both, yes! And both worked to remove the sticky wax residue.

“But what about skin irritation? Did you end up with red bumps or bruises??”

Possibly the most surprising thing about this whole body waxing folly of mine—even more surprising than the fact that it didn’t hurt all that much!—was that my skin didn’t go haywire after the fact. I have very sensitive skin! But the extent of the irritation I experienced was some redness along my bikini line that went away after a few hours and one small bruise on a spot where I had had an ingrown hair. Nothing a little ointment couldn’t clear up!

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“How long did it take?”

The initial waxing was a bit time consuming and tedious, but then again I had let my leg hair grow out for 3+ weeks (yes), so there was a lot of removal to be done. But! I put on Schitt’s Creek and waxed while I watched and it was fine. I do think that now that the initial waxing is done, maintenance will be fairly easy and won’t require setting aside a large chunk of time for hair removal.

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“Any closing thoughts?”

Yup! I actually cannot believe how much I loved this kit, you guys. Honestly, it’s the best $10 I’ve spent in ages (Flamingo isn’t paying me/us to say this, either). One thing I would recommend, however, that I did not do because I guess I’m just throwing all caution to the wind during this time of great stress, is to test the wax on a small area of skin and then WAIT before proceeding. I noticed when reading reviews of the product on Amazon that a number of people reported skin irritation, so doing a small test and waiting to see how your skin reacts is probably a good idea.

Also, since Flamingo isn’t paying me/us to review their product, it’s also well worth noting that there are similar other wax strip kits available

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Jolie Kerr is a cleaning expert, advice columnist and the host of the podcast Ask a Clean Person

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