Don't Try This At Home: Homemade Waxing Edition

Sugar Wax may sound like a sexy bar full of mojitos and Rihanna, but it's actually a simple syrup you can make in order to rip hairs out of your legs in a supposedly less painful fashion.
Publish date:
October 16, 2012
sugar waxing, DIY beauty treatments

Waxing is a complex business and everyone has their own routine. For example, I'm perfectly happy spending an hour in the bathroom using wax strips while saying "WHY ME" and "FUCK YOU". I've done this ever since a nice woman called Linda told me "don't leave it so long next time" after putting her leg on the table to get sufficient leverage.

Oh, Linda was a wax technician, not just some woman in the street commenting on my bikini line and putting her leg on things. I don't wander around commando in back-to-front arseless chaps. Not since 2004, anyway, when I misunderstood the whole Christina Aguilera Dirrty look and spent six months hanging around faulty shower rooms trying to snog girls. What a year that was.

I should add that waxing doesn't make you a real woman, and you're entitled to not wax anything ever, but for me it's an experiment. I wished to question a) Is it better than shaving? b) How many ingrown hairs will I get? c) Does it last THAT long? Answers: a) yes, b) 10, c) no, not as long as I thought but that's because I thought it would last 8 weeks. Also, the swearing is getting less severe; last time I shouted "BALLS".

When you're single, you can do this sort of thing. For example, I've recently began trying out fake tan so, in order to guard against going OTT, decided to only tan one arse cheek. That way, if the contrast becomes too stark, it's immediately noticeable and easily rectified. As well as being a fun in-joke you can have with yourself. One day I will go out with someone who finds this as amusing as I do, but that's for a different article. An article entitled Arseless Chaps & Multicoloured Buttcheeks: Why Men Don't Find Me Attractive (And Why They Should)

Anyway. The homemade wax alternative is the one thing I haven't yet tried and it's known as sugar waxing. Yeah, Sugar Wax may sound like a sexy bar full of mojitos and Rihanna, but it's actually a simple syrup you can make in order to rip hairs out of your legs in a supposedly less painful fashion.

"Surely it can't be as easy as they make it look on the videos!" I hear you all cry with your hearts. Unfortunately, I must disappoint you. Because the face masks last week were crap, I really hoped this would work so as not to appear like I'm fucking everything up for comic effect. Sadly, I fucked it up again. And there wasn't much comic effect.

The research was extensive. Seven videos, three articles and googling the phrase "how to make sugar wax without a thermometer" (answer- don't) later, I found this video and used it because the backing track made me want to get down. The Inception soundtrack works equally well if you'd prefer added anticipation/dramatic tension.


1. Put two cups brown sugar, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 1/4 cup water in a medium saucepan.2. Bring to the boil and simmer until 250 degrees Fahrenheit (or until mixture becomes thicker in consistency)3. Take off the heat and pour into a bowl to cool.4. When warm and with a honey-like consistency, spread on legs and put a paper strip over the top.5. Wax as normal.


1. Put two cups brown sugar, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 1/4 cup water into a medium saucepan.2. Read a Thought Catalog article called How To Love Being Alone and look at old photos of Diana Rigg (the two aren't related)3. Have a dance to The Strokes' First Impressions of Earth (first four songs, awesome. The rest of the album, terrible) and pretend am in film where the lead character is a fun lovin' girl who's just about to go on a road trip with friends. I just really, really want to go on a road trip with friends.4. Remember the sugar wax. Stir it a bit.5. Realise I don't have a thermometer so don't know when to take it off the boil.6. Google "how to make sugar wax without a thermometer" and come across the above video which stipulates the process should only take eight minutes.7. Sugar wax has already been boiling for fifteen minutes and is like water.8. Twenty minutes: still like water.9. Twenty-two minutes, remove sugar wax and cool for half an hour.10. Sugar wax becomes of a thicker honey-like consistency- but I don't have any paper strips so consider using the Money Section of last week's Sunday Times. That's too flimsy (LIKE THE ECONOMIC CORE OF OUR COUNTRY, RIGHT GUYS?) so go for high gsm A4 paper.

Aaaand here's how it went:


Look, everything appeared to be going OK. I took it off the boil when it started to thicken up but it didn't harden enough. It just stayed the same. I put it on my legs and attempted to wax them but nothing happened except a bit of syrup went on my slippers that almost perfectly replicate a dog's face and I reassessed my life. If I wanted to spend my Tuesday mornings waiting for wax to dry, I'd work at Madame Tussauds (WHAT A JOKE! Classic.)

Which leads me to the best tip ever, straight from the failed horse's mouth: if your wax is too drippy, just leave it forever. As in, put it in a bowl and don't touch it until it hardens because if you leave it long enough it WILL harden.

An hour and a half later, it still hasn't hardened and am forced to admit that the above best tip ever was pure conjecture as opposed to, y'know, hard fact. Only do this with a thermometer, guys.

Has anyone else tried making sugar wax? It obviously can work, but how many times did it take you to get it right? I've already got waxing strips and while everyone explains how concocting your own mixture is far less expensive, my strips only cost around £4. Once you've gone through three bags of sugar and 50 lemons dripping with failure, it probably works out the same. And think of the gas you're using on the hob! OK so that's negligible.

I'm just trying to justify why I really disliked this experience. Especially considering everyone on Youtube is having such fun waxing everything willy nilly while I drip a bit and am left with a bowl of sugar soup.

On the plus side, it tastes quite nice (NB: if you manage to make this work, avoid eating after use).

Next week I have no idea what I'll be doing but it's not going to involve cooking and I will be wonderfully successful at it.