Wax On, Wax Off

I've only ever shaved my legs.

It seems crazy in this modern day and age where new and improved hair removal treatments are coming out by the truck-load, but that's all I've ever done. I'm mostly happy about that - apart from losing several layers of skin across the last decade since a sharp razor combined with some dodgy co-ordination skills does not an unscathed leg make.

Every time I prepare to set off on a bout of travelling, I always wonder if I should bite the bullet and go for a professional leg waxing. A few weeks of not having to constantly be aware of the fuzz and bristles sprouting from my legs would be heavenly.. but alas, I am on a budget. And paying someone to cause me great pain and discomfort seems like a not so pleasant way to spend my limited shiny dollars.

I also have the pain threshold of a flea. Well, it's not so much about the pain itself, it's more that I can't stand the mere thought of pain. You know how ripping off a band aid hurts, but only for a quick second? I'm the kind of person who sits there and thinks about how painful it's going to be - essentially working my fears up to make it way more scary and painful than it was ever going to be. I think I got more than my share of the over-thinking genes.

I've had one short-lived experience with waxing, if you can call it that.

When I was fifteen, I decided I'd been a wimp for too long and I really ought to give it a go before I declare myself a non-waxer for the rest of eternity. Of course back then I was also not rolling around in the moolah, so I decided to take the budget approach and buy a home-waxing kit. Applying strips then ripping them off quickly? I can do that! It seemed pretty simple, and they had lots of diagrams to go along with it AND step by step instructions. I'm sold.

I followed the instructions word for word. I remember setting up my own little sterile area of my bedroom, ready to go. I had a towel underneath me (perhaps I was expecting an emergency, like accidentally waxing off my entire leg or something?) along with a few bowls to catch the used wax strips and a mirror. Don't ask me what the mirror was for: maybe I thought I'd get brave and venture on to other areas, once I'd mastered my technique. Preparation, ftw!

Ha. Haha. HAHAHAHA.

I had no technique.

Once I'd applied my first strip, I proceeded to sit there and admire it for a while - look! It's on straight! No bubbles! In reality, I was completely terrified of the fact that it had actually had to come off, and so I sat. And I waited. Eventually I decided to just DO it already, but just as I'd gripped the edge of the strip and began to count myself down, I wimped out. Repeat this a few times, and I'd turned into a big quivering heap at the mere thought of getting this ONE strip off, let alone continuing with the rest of my leg.. and other leg.

What I did next was what no woman should ever attempt to do when home waxing: I started peeling the wax strip off slowly. What followed was a lot of yowling and whimpering and me becoming a very, very frightened young woman, because WOW, THAT HURTS. Don't ever do that. Peeling slowly with gooey wax = slow, torturous death. By this stage, I had gone from slightly smug and highly self confident teenager to a flailing, panicking mess:

Come to think of it, looking back now it kind of reminds me of that scene from Friends, where Monica and Phoebe are experimenting with the wax strips that are supposed to be "pain-free". Only they persevered and kept on going. I couldn't do it. I wimped out after a few dismal attempts at removing the strip, slouched off to the bathroom in defeat and had a hot shower to soften off the strips before peeling them off in a big, gooey heap.

And then I shaved my legs.

Looks like I'll be sticking with my trusty razor for my upcoming travels.

Are you a leg shaver or a leg waxer? How do you cope with the pain factor?

Also: I'm a guest-poster for Britt who is off on her honeymoon as we speak - come check it out & leave her some love!


26 Comments • Labels: ,  

26 comments:

Fiona said...

I pretty much jus shave.

Got waxed for my last europe trip which was convenient.

I do however have regular brazilians.`And Have a high pain threashhold - I nearly dozed off once....

LaLa said...

I used to wax my legs but I just can't validate the cost now that I have a mortgage. I do get a brazilian though and you do actually get used to the pain. Hint: never wax when you're expecting that time of the month, it hurts twice as much!

CuppyCakes said...

I'm a shaver. I did venture into the light pulse hair removal thing once. It hurts like sweet effing jesus. They lie when they say it's pain free. I honestly thought the part they were lightpulsing was going to fall off. Plus all the other options are expensive. I'd much rather spend my shiny gold dollahs on the travel.

thoughtsappear said...

I did Alase hair removal on the lower half of my legs, so now I just shave them occasionally.

Before that, I was a waxer. It was uncomfortable the first couple times, but the more you do it, the less it hurts. I think the hair gets weaker or something.

Hilary said...

I am a total shaver… I have never waxed my legs. After toying with the thought of a Brazilian, I finally tried it this summer, and I was shocked! It wasn’t as bad as I expected, although, I did come home and have a shot of tequila! I so admire you for trying to wax on your own. I never would be brave enough for that!

Becky said...

About a month before my wedding up until earlier this year I would go and get my undrearms waxed every month (by someone else, NOT by me!) and the first couple times hurt/stung but after that I got used to it and I didn't even flinch. However, at $15 a session and having to let your hair grow enough to make it worthwhile it wasn't worth it and I'm back to shaving.

I would have to be on some serious drugs to ever get a bikin wax much less a brazilian!

Julie Q said...

ouch. it hurt just reading this! i'm all about the shave. tried a Brazilian wax once and i was limping for 4 hours afterwards!! i know this is leg talk, but i went there anyways :)

Natalie | The Bobby Pin said...

I have never waxed! Only my eyebrows and I always cry at that pain. I do really want a Brazilian someday though, so maybe I'm one for punishment.

Jess said...

Ouch! Home waxing kits are also known as torture devices. I shave my legs and have never waxed them. The only time I've ever waxed was when I got a Brazilian wax before my wedding and honeymoon. It wasn't nearly as painful as I was expecting. In fact, it barely hurt at all.

Operation Pink Herring said...

Man, did my comment just get erased?

Amanda said...

I was a waxer for a long time. I tried with the melt in the pot type kits once or twice, but that was rubbish-- the ready made strips that you warm between your hands are the way forward. I stopped mostly out of sheer laziness, but I never found it hurt that much. I think the queue for me was working myself up so much that the real thing couldn't possibly be as bad as my imagination.

I'm waxing next week before our holiday, so I don't need to worry about shaving while we're gone. Will probably have to steal Jay's razor for my underarms though :) j

Amanda said...

Queue? I think that should read key!

heidikins said...

I always shave my legs, every day, no matter what. No matter what I wear, no matter what season it is. Every day.

I have had my hooch waxed and while the pain was horrifying, it was short-lived. However, the ONE TIME I attempt to self-Brazilian...well, the emotional scars will never heal from that experience. Oh. My. Hell.

xox

Mrs. Higrens said...

The thing with waxing, for me, and maybe I have super-duper-hairs?, is that even a thorough bikini wax never lasts more than 5-6 days. So between that and the pain images I've never ventured beyond the bikini line, and that not very often. I'd rather spend the money on disposable razors so that the blades are always sharp.

Allie said...

I once accidentally waxed off half an eyebrow in college. Good times. :)

I bought a home wax heater and was waxing my legs at home. I loved it, but it's always a process, and I'd get to the point where I needed to wax and didn't have time, so I'd just shave. Then it takes awhile to grow out again. I think now that it's winter and the growing out process won't be an issue, I'll go back to it.

Angela Noelle said...

I get my eyebrows waxed and from time to time a bikini wax, but I've only ever had my legs done once and it was AWFUL!! And then the lady missed spots. And the hair that wasn't grown out yet when I waxed still turned fuzzy. So I had to shave anyway. I don't recommend it!!

Erin said...

I'm a leg shaver. I've never, ever had anything waxed. Not even my eyebrows.

Becs said...

I only shave my legs. I have gotten my lip and eyebrows waxed professionally and that wasn't too bad.

The one time I tried to wax my lip myself was a nightmare. I have no idea what I did wrong, but when I pulled the strip off, a layer of my skin came off with it. I had a scab all the way across my lip for weeks. Mortifying.

Teacher Anonymous said...

In response, I've posted my own horrible home waxing experience.

Snoskred said...

I began my journey with waxing while in the UK for a wedding. I wanted my eyebrows waxed. I booked in to get my eyebrows waxed. I thought I was getting my eyebrows waxed. Imagine my surprise - and pain - when I discovered my eyebrows were tweezed instead. Yeow.

After that experience I found waxing to be painless and relaxing. I've always had both the eyebrows and legs waxed ever since then. The more you do it the less painful it is. I actually look forward to the waxing and I enjoy the results. :)

steph anne said...

OUCH! I've never waxed my legs or "down there" before. Shaving my legs don't bother me and it helps that I have blonde hair so if I go for 3-4 days without shaving it's not too obvious.

I do get my eyebrows waxed every once a while though and it's not painful at all since I'm used to it now.

Emily Jane said...

Oh goodness I've never waxed in my life! I'm terrified!! I've thought about laser hair removal, but it's SO expensive... maybe one day, but until then I'm strictly a razor girl :)

~Mum~ said...

LOL
I SOOOOOOOOOOOO remember this

and you did work yourself up so much. I'm going for that hair removal cream now - worked on my 'stash' LOL so gonna try the stronger one for the legs

lifeinwhite said...

I use Nair on my legs, but bikini waxing is really not so bad.

terra said...

I've never waxed anything but I really want to try a bikini wax. BUT - I'm terrified....but it would make my life SO much easier.

Chantel said...

Lol this post made me laugh!! I am reminded a little of myself. I work myself up over things like this and always so much worse in my head afterwards, yet it still doesn't stop me freaking out the next time!

I have never waxed my legs but I get my eyebrows waxed and I have had a brazillian a few times and they hurt! But it's worth the result I think. I did try it at home once (a brizillian) using a pot of wax and it was the WORST IDEA I EVER HAD, lol!!

I just stick with the razor for the legs and pits ;-)





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