I’ve been experimenting with beauty a lot lately – blue lipstick, eyebrow pomade, blow drying my hair (I know this isn’t experimental for most people, but I’m a nearly-25-year-old who has blow dried my own hair three times in my entire life). Inspired by this, I decided to try revamping a routine that I’ve been doing the same way for 15 years: shaving my legs. I’ve heard so much about other body hair removal options that I decided to try one. I went for sugaring, which is a popular alternative body hair removal method. But instead of paying to get it professionally done, I decided to do it myself. Yes, I mean DIY sugaring. Does it work? Let’s find out!
First, a little back story: Except for one time in junior high when I tried to use hair removal cream and my sensitive skin immediately erupted in an itchy rash, I’ve shaved my legs once or twice a week since I was 10-years-old. Because depilatory cream was a disaster and waxing sounds extremely painful, I picked sugaring.
Sugaring is similar to waxing in that it involves spreading a substance on your body and then removing it, but it’s supposed to be more gentle because the mixture sticks only to the hair and doesn’t rip up skin. Sugar gel uses cloth strips to remove hair, like waxing, while sugar paste is applied and removed using just your hands. “How hard can this be?” I wondered to myself. Armed with the three simple ingredients required to make my own paste, I set out to DIY sugaring in hopes I could kiss my razor goodbye.
Step 1: Assemble the ingredients
Sugar, water, and lemon juice. Easy peasy. I even ate the lemons after I squeezed them, because I’m weird like that.
Step 2: Cooking
I’m not much of a chef, but combining three ingredients and bringing them to a boil is something I can manage. The recipe I used said to simmer on low-medium heat for 25 minutes, so I set a timer, put my iPad on the kitchen counter, and watched an old episode of Parks and Recreation.
Step 3: Transfer sugar paste to airtight container
After pouring the mixture into a glass container, I realized that even though I simmered for the required amount of time, the color wasn’t quite right. The instructions specifically called out the difference between the correct color – dark amber brown – and the wrong color -the brighter red brown I was seeing. Oops?
Step 4: Cooking again
So, back in the pot it goes. I checked the color every two minutes for an additional 20 minutes until it was finally the desired amber hue.
Step 5: Cooling the sugar paste
Looks just like the instructions say it should. I let the mixture cool in the fridge while I watched yet another episode of Parks and Rec. (I’m really behind.)
Step 6. Preparing the paste
After scooping it out, the directions instruct you to “roll it into a ball.” Look at this mixture and tell me if that even looks possible. It was super sticky and thick. Considering I could hardly separate my fingers due to the intense stickiness, this was just not going to happen.
Step 7: Application
You’re supposed to roll the ball on your legs, but that wasn’t really an option since I couldn’t even make a ball. This is where I started wondering if this was a bad idea. Since the whole ball technique wasn’t working, I just smeared some on my leg, applying in the opposite direction of the hair growth as directed, and hoped for the best.
Step 8: Hair removal
The described technique for removing the hair is a fast flicking motion with her hand in the same direction of the hair growth. So that’s what I did. It was difficult considering the stickiness of the sugar paste – half of it stuck to my fingers and the other half of it just moved down my leg in a sludgy manner. Side note: this image is NOT me, it’s one I found of professional sugaring. Since mine didn’t work correctly, I didn’t take a picture.
Conclusion: Don’t try this at home
I applied the sugar paste to four other places on my legs and tried and tried again, but to no avail. My legs remained as hairy as a week’s worth of growth leaves them, and my hands, legs, iPhone, iPad, and selfie stick just got stickier and stickier. The best part of the entire process was catching up on those two Parks and Rec episodes. Will I try a store-bought sugar paste? Maybe. But for now, my razor will firmly remain part of my beauty routine.
Have you ever tried sugaring? Would you ever try at-home DIY sugaring? Let us know in the comments.