Since my early teens I had shaved my legs everyday up until about a year ago when I tried waxing. I detest body hair and had always believed that shaving was an immediate and effective way to painlessly remove hair as I ran a razor across my skin each morning in the shower. I hated how after shaving the blunt hair still left a dark shadow under the skin and would grow back by the evening feeling sharp and stubbly to the touch.
After a disastrous home waxing attempt in the bathroom as a teenager, my legs were left burnt, sore and only one strip waxed off as I cried like a baby at the pain and couldn’t face doing the rest. So last year I gave professional waxing a go and had a full leg wax at a beauty salon and loved it. It was incredibly convenient, took less than quarter of an hour to complete both legs and left my skin silky smooth from hip to toe. Although hair removal can’t ever be entirely pain free, it can certainly be made comfortable, and that’s the beauty of having a professional wax at a salon. The beautician is quick, effective and can minimise any pain and discomfort. Just like pulling a plaster, the more you stress out and work yourself up about it, the harder it is to do, it’s far easier to take a breath and pull.
So at the ripe old age of 26 I decided to give home waxing another go, and for this event I have compared two home methods of waxing to review the process and results, as not all wax is the same so I am testing the difference between hot and cold. The hot wax method I am using is the Veet Easy Wax Electrical Roll On Kit, and the cold wax method is Wilkinsons Smooth As Silk Large Wax Strips. I will be using one technique on each leg to get a fair result.
As the Veet Easy Wax is my hot wax option I shall start with this, as it takes around 20mins to heat up and melt. The Veet Easy Wax Electrical Roll On costs £29.99 and the pack contains a self heating device and its cap, a 50ml roll-on wax refill specially designed for use on legs & arms, 12 non-woven strips, 4 post depilatory wipes, a base to hold the device, an electrical cable, instruction leaflet and 2 year guarantee. Each refill cartridge costs £9.99 and various types are available for different areas of the body.
I am using a legs and arms cartridge which clicks into the handset, plugs into the mains and after heating for 20mins is good to go. I start by preparing my right leg with Johnson’s Baby powder which allows the wax to catch the hair and not the skin, although you can use the wax without powder if you like. Veet Easy Wax is made with the same ingredients as salon wax, making it easier to remove short hair right from the roots and giving you smooth skin for up to 4 weeks. With natural pomegranate oil suitable for all skin types including sensitive, it leaves the skin exfoliated and touchably smooth, with regular use you’re said to get fewer, finer and softer hairs growing back. This product promotes salon-waxing results in the comfort of your own home.
The self-heating unit prepares the wax to the right temperature with no buttons or dials and maintains it throughout, so you cannot burn your skin or overheat. The roll-on applicator ensures a clean and even thin layer of wax for total coverage. It is a bright pink colour that is clear to see on the skin and glides on beautifully, catching my spindly black hairs in a band of sticky wax, which I place a strip over the top and rub with my hand. Rubbing the strip presses it into the wax and catches the hairs to ensure that sufficient contact is made. The warm wax and rubbing also help to massage the skin and make it less painful to wax. The technique for removing the hair is to get a grip on the bottom of the strip and pull firmly and swiftly upwards towards the knee, keeping the strip as close to the leg as possible to remove each hair from the follicle.
The wax feels beautiful and it is hardly noticeable that my hair is being removed, as it feels more like pulling a low-tack plaster than removing follicles, certainly not the same horrific punishment that I remember as a teen. Immediately my skin is left perfectly hair free, smooth and soft like a babies complexion. I apply the rest of the wax in straight lines, working in stages around my lower leg and up to my knee strip by strip and the process is complete in several minutes from start to finish. I then use a Veet wipe to smooth over my skin, with it’s moist and slightly oily texture gliding and soothing across my skin to protect the open follicles.
A few minutes later my leg begins to prickle with a small red dot appearing where each hair has been removed. This is perfectly normal and will reduce over the next 24hrs, showing that the waxing was successful. I then move onto my other leg and the cold wax which is Wilko Smooth As Silk.
Wilkinsons Smooth As Silk Large Wax Strips cost £3.00, they are a form of ready to use wax strips which are quick, easy and safe to use, helping to keep you hair free for up to four weeks. The Smooth As Silk strips can be used on arms, under arms, legs, bikini line and the face and the pack includes 20 wax strips and 4 finishing wipes. The instructions suggest you warm the strips in your hands for thirty seconds prior to use, before peeling them apart and placing them onto the skin. The strips are a clear plastic with a green wax which you peel apart like a plaster and have two pieces from each.
I dust my left leg with Johnson’s Baby powder first, just as before, and warm a strip in my hand for 30secs. As I have chosen the large strips for coverage across my legs they are of a decent size and should make short work of my leg hair. Peeling my hand-warmed strip apart, I stick it in place on the bottom of my shin and rub it just as I did the hot wax to ensure that every hair is caught. I take my grip on the bottom of the strip and pull swiftly upwards and squeak with the sensation as I can feel every hair being pulled. Suddenly I can sympathise with my first teenage waxing experience.
Inspecting the strip after use I was surprised to see that there weren’t many hairs attached, and when I looked at my leg there were quite a lot left behind. I’d deemed my leg hair long enough to have a wax, but it’s clear that cold wax works better on longer hair than it does short. Removing the wax strip took a moderate amount of effort as they grip the skin despite using powder, and felt similar to pulling a strong plaster from a tender knee; I wouldn’t say it was painful, but certainly uncomfortable. The Smooth As Silk strips were very very quick and easy to use as there isn’t much involved, you simply warm, stick and pull.
I then opened the sachet to remove a finishing wipe which cleanse and moisturise my leg and the treatment was complete. A few minutes after I finished the red prickles appeared on my skin where the follicle had been removed and I was able to see the plain areas where the shorter hairs had been left behind.
There are many pro’s and con’s between using hot and cold wax for home hair removal and so it’s only fair that I compare the results across several different areas to determine a winner:
Time: Wilko Smooth As Silk
Taking a minimum of 30secs to warm each cold wax strip in your hand before use means that it’s a 10mins preparation time for twenty Wilko Smooth As Silk strips, with the waxing itself taking a further several minutes; cold wax is half that of the 20mins heating time of the Veet Easy Wax and as a result wins the time challenge. The large Smooth As Silk strips also conveniently cover a greater area of hair at a time, unlike the narrower strips of the Veet Easy Wax.
Results: Veet Easy Wax
The Veet Easy Wax left my legs beautifully soft and smooth with only a few stray or ingrowing hairs that I was able to pluck out with a tweezer afterwards. The Wilko Smooth As Silk strips however missed around a third of my hairs as cold wax clearly works best on the long hairs, for convenience you need the best product for the job or you’ll end up doing it twice, so the Veet Easy Wax wins hands down.
Size: Wilko Smooth As Silk
The Wilko Smooth As Silk strips are altogether no bigger than a single sanitary towel, so very convenient and easy to store and use. They can pop into your handbag, pack in your flight holdall and transport easily to wherever you may need them. The Veet Easy Wax can only operate with a plug, mains wire, stand, strips, wipes and a refill cartridge; although it is handheld and compact it would take up a fair amount of space in a handbag and is far heavier than strips and wipes alone.
Comfort: Veet Easy Wax
On a scale of 1-10 for comfort, with 1 being comfortable and 10 being uncomfortable, I’d rate the Veet Easy Wax at a 3, as the warm wax is soothing on the skin masking the feeling of the hairs being removed as it simply feels like peeling off a plaster. The Wilko Smooth As Silk doesn’t have the same warmth so I would place it at an 8 for comfort as I could feel each and every hair being tugged. It all depends on what you’re willing to go through in the name of beauty, but for me the less pain the better!
Price: Wilko Smooth As Silk
At just £3.00 for the Wilko Smooth As Silk it is incredibly affordable for all. The Veet Easy Wax is a whopping ten times more pricey at £29.99, and with cost being a major factor in turning a beauty treatment into a regular regime, you can’t go wrong with affordability.
Results: Veet Easy Wax
Weighing up the results, each product has its own merits, the Wilko Smooth As Silk is affordable, easy to transport and can be done quickly on the go when you need it. The Veet Easy Wax is comfortable, pleasant and gives salon-quality results without the professional price tag. I believe in doing a job and doing it well, and quality is something I cannot sacrifice on, so the Veet Easy Wax is my clear winner. I would however suggest that you invest in some reusable wax strips to use with the hot wax as twelve is no way near enough to do two legs top and bottom.
Here is a video of me using the Veet Easy Wax: