DIY Body Sugaring

6 Posted by - July 26, 2012 - DIY & Crafts, Hair & Beauty

When people started requesting pins, this is one of the first ones that came up.

Image from TipNut

I can only assume that this means my fans (or the Pintestes– I like it) are sadists. Waxing in itself is horrible enough, and that is someone else ripping out your body hairs by the follicle. So doing it yourself? That’s got to be worse, right? I mean, I’m picturing Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman setting her own broken arm or giving herself stitches, without even the aid of a shot of brandy (because vaguely Christian lady doctors don’t do that shit, y’all). Not cool.

But I decided to give it a go. Mostly because it involved me growing out my leg hair for weeks. Any excuse not to shave my legs, guys. (I’m sexy and I know it.)

I opted for the microwave version instead of the candy thermometer anal-retentive version, just so you know.

Basically, the recipe involves mixing the ingredients (sugar, honey, lemon) and zapping them in the microwave, which even I can handle. It looked like this when it was done cooking.

Looks like applesauce, tastes like the nectar of the Gods, I am not joking. Yeah, I tasted it. What? Also, it only required the juice of half a lemon, so the other half of that lemon’s juice went in a Tom Collins for me. If you’re going to ask me to rip my own leg hairs out, I’m having a drink. Don’t judge me, Dr. Quinn.

I was somewhat dubious about the whole experiment once the mixture had cooled to room temperature.

Also, I couldn’t figure out what to use for the fabric strips. I settled on a shop towel. Mostly because that’s what I had.

Drink and sugaring sugar in hand, I headed for the bathtub. I figured if I was going to get sugary mess all over everything, the bathtub would be the easiest place to clean it up. Also, if I decided to drink a bunch of Tom Collins, I could just stay there and sleep it off.

I sugared myself up and pressed on a strip of shop towel.

And then I stared at it for a really long time. I told myself I was letting it dry. Or cure. Or something. But mostly I was just drinking my drink and screwing up my courage. There may have been lady-having-contractions breathing going on while I psyched myself up. I may have shed a single, terrified tear. And then I ripped.

It kinda hurt. But not as much as I was expecting– which is good, because not as much hair came out as I was expecting, either. I think I counted… one. That’s right, one tiny leg hair on the entire strip. Siiigh.

Can you see the one leg hair? It’s like Where’s Waldo, only disgusting.

In the name of science, I decided to try again. Emboldened by the fact that it didn’t hurt as much as I thought it would, I decided to rip harder. (heehee) I gave myself a countdown. 1… 2… RIP– OW! That one hurt like fucking hell. I whimpered and poured a little Tom Collins on it and then checked the strip for hairs.

Click to enlarge so you can see the leg hair. (Why would you DO that?)

Success! Or so I thought. Then I looked at my leg. The cloth strip, though it was holding a significant proportion of my leg hair, had not done a complete job on the strip of leg from which it was ripped. There were hairs remaining. This was very disappointing. I might be willing to painfully rip out my leg hairs a one-inch strip at a time if it meant less shaving, if I could be guaranteed that all the leg hairs would actually get pulled out. But no.

I tried a few more strips, more out of curiosity than anything else, and also because I rewarded myself with a sip of my drink every time I ripped off a towel strip. But, ultimately, I gave up because it was taking too long and my butt was falling asleep from sitting on the edge of the tub and also because I ran out of towel strips and was not about to wash them all and start over.

Also, shop towels? Not a good option, in case you’re planning to try this.

(That’s pieces of towel on my leg. And do not judge my bathtub. It’s not dirty, I promise, but the douche-nozzle who lived in my house before I did apparently thought it was appropriate to wash out paint brushes in the tub and just leave the splatters there for the next homeowner.)

If you’re going to try this for real, I will tell you that the sugary stuff is surprisingly easy to wash off, even when drunk. Water soluble and all that jazz. So, go ahead, try it. I’m going to get a spoon and eat the rest of mine.


  • Florist in Hyderabad July 26, 2012 - 4:34 am Reply

    any side effects? please advice

  • Aurelia July 26, 2012 - 4:37 am Reply

    These pictures look painful but I love your wonderful painkiller Tom Collins!

  • irohawk July 26, 2012 - 9:41 am Reply

    You know, when I see a picture of them putting this concoction on an already-hairless leg? I’m pretty much sure it isn’t going to work. ^_^ I want to see a before-and-after shot! I never did understand why anybody would bother with an at-home concoction like this when you can buy the wax kits for at-home already. And once you know how to do it, you could do the at-home concoction by buying cheap candles or wax blocks from the hobby store and gauze strips (or even cheap thin fabric from the sale pile at the fabric store) and save just as much money as the honey-version. *shrug* And clearly, it would work better. :) 

    • Nikki July 26, 2012 - 10:28 am Reply

       @irohawk I really hope you do not try candle wax,
      I really hope that was a joke. Candle wax and body wax are not the same thing!!!!

      • irohawk July 26, 2012 - 11:02 am Reply

        The only difference is the melting temperature. Certainly you can get candle wax too hot to do this with…but you can also be careful with it and not be a moron and still do it just fine. If you get beeswax or beeswax candles they have a significantly lower melting temp as well. Then again, some of us have years of experience of playing with melted wax and know exactly how hot the different kinds of wax can get. ^_~ 

        • Nikki July 26, 2012 - 12:04 pm Reply

           @irohawk What do I know, I only have YEARS of experience waxing eyebrows and doing hair for a living. 

        • JoannaK July 26, 2012 - 2:36 pm Reply

          I make candles and there is no way in hell that candle wax would work for waxing your legs. It’s a totally different type of wax.

        • Kathleen R. February 2, 2013 - 7:19 pm Reply

          Woah, beeswax has a comparatively high melting temperature. It’s quite easy to get burned with it. The paraffin from a hobby store cools far too fast to wax anything with.

  • lisbonlioness July 26, 2012 - 12:19 pm Reply

    PMSL! Lovin’ this one, and there’s no way in hell I’ll ever try it, not even as an excuse for getting drunk. I’ll just keep stealing the Misters’ razor, thankyouverymuch.

  • JoannaK July 26, 2012 - 2:34 pm Reply

    I did the stovetop version of this and the first time, it didn’t work. Not even a little bit. I tried it again after my leg hairs grew a little more and it worked. Sort of. Also, to keep it from feeling as if you are skinning yourself, rub babypowder on your to-be-waxed/sugared? area. It helps a little bit. Not a whole lot, but some.

  • jmc July 26, 2012 - 3:04 pm Reply

    I Love your blog!!!  I did not judge, but try cleaning your tub with Bar Keepers Friend.  It is Amazing!

  • kristin July 26, 2012 - 3:24 pm Reply

    Well first of all you missed half of the fun and most of the best drinking time by NOT cooking on the stove. I have tried this several times….I can’t even begin to tell you how frustrating it is to cook this crap for 25 min, let it cool and then have it become a giant ball of goo on your leg, removing no hair yet making your leg very red…That being said I did not give up, on my third attempt it worked, well at least long enough to remove my leg hairs. I guess because I live in the PNW, not the Middle East, its too cold here and stops working after one day. I tried to do my underarms the next day…ball of goo…Had to scrape it off in the shower and shave. 

  • mellie July 26, 2012 - 3:53 pm Reply

    You’re my hero, pintester, keep up all the hard work so the rest of us don’t have to!

  • ixnayontheLindsay July 26, 2012 - 4:23 pm Reply

    Haha, “douche-nozzle” – I am going to use this one next time

  • Yakityyak July 26, 2012 - 5:32 pm Reply

    Loved that it provided a snack at the start and end… Unexpected

  • adromitman July 30, 2012 - 2:47 am Reply

    your blog will give me a heart attack…everything is so HIGHlarious…:)) there was never a dull moment. from now on, i am a fan!

  • Carolynn Binnie August 1, 2012 - 10:52 am Reply

    Go to a Professional …. check out Alexandria Professional – the New Smooth

  • BlogHer, BlogHe, BlogThem, BlogErr’body | Sonja Foust August 5, 2012 - 11:08 am Reply

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  • Yavonda August 5, 2012 - 9:08 pm Reply

    OMG, you are too funny! I’ve had to put you as a link on my blog. I’m considering it a public service to anyone who needs a good laugh!

  • Melissa August 6, 2012 - 9:28 am Reply

    Holy cow Pinster Girl, I love you.

  • Allie August 6, 2012 - 6:56 pm Reply

    Seriously, your blog makes me laugh so hard, I cry.  Love it!

  • AE August 7, 2012 - 10:16 pm Reply

    This recipe actually removes the hair quite well if, instead of wasting time letting it cool and messing with cloth strips, you spill a large glob of the molten sugar on your leg as you’re removing it from the microwave. Then, stand in the kitchen shrieking and frantically trying to wipe it off before realizing that you’re a moron and should just run some cold water over it. Once you hike your foot into the kitchen sink and spray it down with water, the wax easily peels right off, along with your skin. No skin=no worries of unsightly hair. 

    • Vaid August 16, 2012 - 2:10 pm Reply

      I just about peed myself when I read this! Had to wait for the tears to dry before I could type though. lol

  • rainrosen August 8, 2012 - 6:57 pm Reply

    I’ve done this twice and yeah, doesn’t get all my hair. I thought maybe it was my fair, fine hair, but pretty sure it’s because you are literally pouring candy on yourself and then ripping it off. On the plus side, definitely thins out the hair so I have to shave less, and I am full in favor of anything that means I can shave less. Another commented said it, but it bears repeating: the best drinking time comes while heating that shit up and waiting for it to cool.

  • SerenityMoon27 August 9, 2012 - 9:37 am Reply

    You know, I tried this one as well.
    I heated the mix longer until it was more translucent…it worked a bit better, but you have to work faster.
    It cools into a nice hard rock of delicious candy FAST!…I only got a 1/4 of one leg done before this happened..Fairly good success…but only half of ONE calf was mostly free of hair. Meh.

  • Pri August 9, 2012 - 10:27 am Reply

    Your blog is so funny- it made my day!

  • HopeAnna August 9, 2012 - 5:42 pm Reply

    You are amazing! I love how you so “eloquently” choose your words! Very tasteful and F***ing Hilarious!!! Keep doing what your doing girl… You ROCK!!!

  • EffingHilarious August 10, 2012 - 12:25 am Reply

    Of all the things I have attempted on Pinterest, all of them have FAILED big time except for the “Make your own popcorn in a brown paper bag” It’s easy and cost effective and a no brainer.  It’s the only FAIL PROOF “recipe” I have yet to find that is easy, useful, inexpensive, and actually works!

  • SonnettL August 11, 2012 - 2:30 pm Reply

    I made this, but I opted for the stovetop and candy thermometer version, also I used some scrap fabrici had and this worked great! I did it about a month ago and the hair is just long enough now to do it again. Must add that I did my arms and there wasn’t really any serious pain! Doing the stovetop version mine turned out just like the picture on pinterest.

  • Zina August 15, 2012 - 3:00 am Reply

    I’ve been “sugaring” since I was 14 (it’s a passed down method in the Middle East). It’s organic, clean, and the hair takes at least a couple of weeks to grow. Yes, it hurts, but I think it’s worth it. The only thing I can tell you is that it takes practice to get the proportions right.

  • Sayyy August 15, 2012 - 4:50 am Reply

    Wrong paper. Muslin. Thats WAY to line.

  • Sayyy August 15, 2012 - 4:55 am Reply

    That paper is way to light. Need to use muslin or just not make your own shitty wax and use store bought. I gave myself a brazilian yesterday. C’mon girl. Buck up.

  • Abbey August 16, 2012 - 8:55 pm Reply

    OMG I just laughed so hard at this I literally cried.  I love your site; I love Pinterest but it is so full of shit with stuff like this.  You are my hero.

  • ShandiKDews August 17, 2012 - 12:00 pm Reply

    I do this, but I dont use strips…it works great. I have not had to shave in more than a year. If you know what you are doing, it wont fail.

  • ThePintester August 21, 2012 - 6:07 pm Reply

    @trinacollette Thanks for the share!

    • trinacollette August 22, 2012 - 4:56 pm Reply

      @ThePintester You are seriously awesome. I love your blog!

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  • Noelle August 27, 2012 - 2:11 am Reply

    Ha! I have also tried this.  I am licensed cosmetologist and have real waxing experience and supplies.  The day before leaving out of town I ran out of real wax after waxing 1/4 of my leg.  I didn’t have time to make it to the beauty supply and had a vague memory of seeing some DIY sugar wax.  After a quick internet search and I found a recipe and cooked up the stuff.  My instructions said to cook it until it was a dark amber then let it sit to cool.  So far so good, right color seemed like a good consistency, cooled for a long time.  Then I did something so stupid I can’t believe.  I tested the temperature by putting a tiny bit on my arm, which is what you do when you use a professional wax warmer before slathering it on your client’s skin.  What I should have realized is that a wax warmer only heats the wax to a reasonably safe temperatures but molten sugar is ridiculously hot.  A tiny bead of the sugar wax hurt so bad and its trail down my arm instantly puffed up to a big blister.  Ouch! Ouch! Ouch! Ouch! ARGGH!  Think it’s officially a scar now.  I can’t blame that fail on anyone but me though.  MUCH later after more cooling I proceeded to try the sugar wax.  I used cloth strips purposely for waxing and used like any other wax.  It took out about half the hairs whereas than the real waxing that actually works takes out all but maybe 1 straggler now and then.  I consider this a 50% fail for the technique and 100% fail for my own common sense. 

  • slippergirl August 27, 2012 - 4:26 pm Reply

    Tears…tears coming out of my eyes right now!!  You are so funny!

  • sisi August 30, 2012 - 7:46 am Reply

    I use the sugaring method with the candy thermometer, but instead of using cloth I use an expired credit card to flick the paste off quickly. It works great. Maybe because I don’t have the idea from Pinterest?

  • NoaleenCollins August 30, 2012 - 8:16 am Reply

    You are the best. Keep up with this site you are the best medicine for anyone

  • Lady Jack August 31, 2012 - 12:26 pm Reply

    I’m laughing because this sounds very similar to my first…ummm…SEVERAL attemps.  Only I went for straight Jack, but whatever works…we all have our own poison!  I must say that I have gotten rather better at the process.  Or maybe I just drink enough to think I’m getting better.  I do the stovetop method, and I let the wax completely cool before using it.  Usually I make the wax the day before and pour it into an ice tray then stick it in the fridge.  Then I just pop out one piece at a time and roll it around in the hand that my drink isn’t in until it’s flexible.  Helpful tip – EXFOLIATE BEFORE SUGARING!  It seriously helps.  Then I sprinkle a tad baby powder on the area I’m sugaring to avoid it sticking.  And it makes me feel like I’m doing some high class and fancy method.  Stretch it on in the direction of hair growth, then rip >insert choice words, fuckbag is a favorite of mine< and drink.  Since the wax is cool you don’t have to use any kind of strips.  Sometimes I have to go over the areas more than once to get the stray hairs but overall it works great!  And I completely agree, GREAT excuse not to shave!  Let that hair grow darlin! 

  • Joanne September 3, 2012 - 7:11 pm Reply

    I actually tried this and was quite successful. The reason yours probably didn’t work was because you used towels. That will not properly pull the hair. What I used was just some thin cotton fabric I had lying around.

  • guest2034 September 8, 2012 - 2:46 am Reply

    OH MY GOD YOU ARE HILARIOUS!! I tried this one myself…it was a complete fail. First of all i burned myself, and it took a good 6 tries to get even half of the hair out. And keep in mind I did this sober (lol). Some things are just too good to be true… Reading this entry was hilarious, though, you actually had me laughing out loud. Love the bluntness, its all so true!

  • JennShinose September 22, 2012 - 9:17 pm Reply

    um, I DID look. I did see the hairs. haha. Just sayin’.   

  • rockyj October 13, 2012 - 10:15 pm Reply

    I tried this and didn’t have any success at first. However, I then realized that my body heat was keeping the sugar-stuff from “setting”. To fix this, I grabbed an ice pack out of my freezer to see if that would help. After a bit of waiting (my skin got kinda numb, but that might have helped dull the pain lol), I tried again. Success! It worked so well! it pulled everything out. So. Try adding an ice pack!

  • Not_Supermom November 11, 2012 - 7:25 pm Reply

    Sweet Mary, mother of God, why would one do this to themselves?!  Christ on a crutch.  ::runshides::

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  • Megan January 14, 2013 - 4:52 pm Reply

    You didn’t cook it long enough. I sugar regularly, and the mixture should come out amber brown. Yours is way too pale. It’s also better to make on the stove top.

  • Kathleen R. February 2, 2013 - 7:22 pm Reply

    I have used a store bought version of this (because I am lazy). The trick is to spread it very thinly on your skin. The photo that they show wouldn’t work very well.

  • Chi March 12, 2013 - 1:44 am Reply

    I remember trying this about a year ago on my underarms. To get the wax “warm enough to work” and spread on, I actually felt like I was scalding myself. Otherwise it seemed to be a sugary ball of goop that just left a little sticky behind on my skin and hair. It did make it easier to tweeze the sugar clumped hairs away though. And a pain in the butt to wash my tender skin. (I tried it about 3 different before tossing out the left overs.)

  • Rachael March 16, 2013 - 3:29 pm Reply

    I’ve been wanting to try this, and I still probably will, despite your experience. But what I REALLY wanted to say was, I loved the Dr. Quinn reference!!

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  • Carla February 1, 2015 - 8:12 am Reply

    I’ve been laughing so hard through all of this, best DIY ever! 😀

  • Ruckus March 7, 2015 - 7:15 pm Reply

    The splatters in your tub are most likely from hair dye. I dye mine all the time and it does stain my shower, If you make comet into a paste put it on a damp paper towel then stick it on the spots for a while they disappear. No scrubbing needed C: just sayin….

  • Kate May 17, 2015 - 10:11 pm Reply

    if you are drinking before or during this the alcohol will cause the hair follicles to tighten and make the process more painful, same with coffee by the way

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