Monday, October 1, 2007

Microwaveable Wax: Messy, But It Works

When my local pharmacy was sold out of my usual weapon to fight facial fuzz, Sally Hansen's Wax Strips for the Face, I decided to pick up a box of their microwaveable wax instead. I normally prefer ready-made wax strips because they require no heating and are as easy to use as scotch tape, but in the interest of vanity, I was willing to try this different kind of wax to see how it works.

Now, before I go on, let me just say that "stripless waxes" are not really my thing. I've had some nightmarish experiences in the past with products like Zip where the wax dried onto the skin so fast I couldn't remove it without scraping it off with my fingernails, or using tons of baby oil. I even got burned once from the wax being too hot. Thank goodness there were no scars.

But considering that I've been waxing with ready-made strips (either by Nair or Sally Hansen) for what seems like eons now, I figured I was now more experienced with the technique and more confident to take on the challenge of the "stripless wax". Sally Hansen's Microwaveable Eyebrow, Face & Lip Wax is a "stripless wax" meant to be used like the homemade sugar waxes used in the Middle East. The package says the product is "mistake-proof", and they are right, but it's not exactly "mess-proof".

Heating it up to a safe temperature was no problem, it only took me a few minutes, and it comes with a heat-sensing applicator that changes color to let you know if the wax is too hot. (In which case, you wait for it to cool down before you apply.) But application was extremely messy, and I blame this entirely on the flimsy applicator. Remember the little white applicator that comes with the facial bleach creme kits? That's what they included for this kit, and it allowed the wax to dribble off onto my sink and countertop while I was trying to apply it to my face . Not good, especially if you're a novice at applying this kind of wax. I think a small wooden tongue-depressor would have been a more practical tool to include for application, I've seen the pros at the salons use those to apply wax and they work great. In fact, if you get this kit, only use the white applicator to test the temperature, because that's all it's good for. I suggest getting a few wooden popsicle sticks from the store and using those to apply the wax instead.

That being said, the wax product itself is amazing. Once I figured out how to apply and remove the wax (the instructions are detailed and included in the kit), I found this type of wax removes hair better than the cold-wax strips I've been using all these years. There's something about the warm wax bonding onto bare skin, it removes even the finest microscopic hairs. I normally have to spend a little time tweezing after I wax to pluck out the hairs that didn't make it, but this time, there was hardly anything left to remove. I'm actually looking forward to the time I can use this again, just so I can get another chance to practice the waxing technique.

There is a learning curve involved with using this kind of stripless wax, but once you get the hang of it, it works very well. I still won't give up the convenience of my dummy-proof strip waxes, but on those occasional days I've got a little more time on my hands, I'm going to turn to this microwaveable wax instead.


  1. For people who live in Canada (Quebec, specifically) I recommend Bibicure. It's a natural sugar wax.

    For Sally Hansen the one I liked best was the purple lavender "spa" wax, which they've now discontinued. It seems that they just changed the scent and now it's sold in the blue container as the brazilian spa kit or something. OTOH, it *definitely* has a learning curve. I've burned myself one too many times!!!

    A friend recommended getting a wax warmer. I think she got it at Sally Beauty? Come to think of it, she is desi and would probably like this site.

    Good job and thanks chic mommy! I am going to add this site to my blogroll separately (I am on wordpress but this is off my old blogspot account)

  2. thanks mm! I saw the Brazilian kit, but I'll have to check if they make one for the face. This one was specifically for all the facial areas (and we know we don't limit that to just the upper lip). I think it's going to take some practice to perfect the technique, but I love how well this kind of wax gets every single hair! I've gotten burned in the past too, which is why I swore off these hot waxes in the past and stuck to the cold wax strips. But, now I'm starting to like them again. :)

  3. Yeah, that's the double-edged sword!! The hot waxes get out all the hair but you have to test the temperature and consistency of the wax all the time to make sure not to pull of the skin at the same time. That was the first part of the trick for me-the second was making sure to put only the lightest layer of wax on. They work together-when the wax starts cooling down, it thickens, and you will start smearing on thicker patches and there's more risk for skin ripping off. So for me, it's getting that thin, fluid consistency without the temp being high enough to cause an instant burn, and then monitoring the wax as I go about my business to make sure it isn't thickening so that it will stick too much to the skin and pull it off. I actually think that's why my friend's suggestion of a warmer is brilliant, it keeps it at the constant temperature.


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