Shave, Sugar, Wax

I highly doubt that self-done hair removal qualifies as anybody’s top pastime, unless you’re one of those weirdos who finds solace in digging at the odd ingrown hairs (Uh what?! I don’t do that…). But if you’ve reached a point where you’re looking for alternatives to your shaving or waxing rituals, then you’ve come to the right place. Here I’ll be diving into my experiences with shaving, waxing, and sugaring and providing you with my own hair removal routine, which you can either try or tweak to your liking.

Disclaimer: Please understand that my experiences are my own and might not be the same for you. I am in no way an expert in sugaring or waxing but have done my research to have made an informed decision on which hair removal method is better suited for me. Take the time to read the resources that are out there if you are debating what’s best for you!

What Is Sugaring?

Sugaring or sugar waxing is a form of epilation (i.e. hair removal by the roots) that was discovered to be used nearly 4,000 years ago. It might seem like a new craze if you haven’t heard about it, but it’s really an ancient technique.

What Makes It Different From Waxing?

From what I’ve seen, sugar and wax are quite similar in texture and how they’re applied. (I have only ever used hard wax and Veet Easy-to-Use wax strips; the latter is one I highly recommend NOT using – they practically make waxing 10 times more painful and 10 times less effective.) In my experience, both sugaring and hard wax are fairly equal in effectiveness as it mostly depends on the product you use and the skills of your wax/sugar technician. And in terms of pain, well no matter what, when you pull hundreds of hairs at the root out of your skin, it’s going to be painful. So let me explain why I chose sugar over wax.

The Wax Experience

When I finally got tired of razor bumps and wax strips, I made my way to an affordable and reputable wax salon: Frilly Lilly. I loved it there and my first professional underarm and Brazilian experiences were as positive as they can get. A great feature that Frilly Lilly has is that they use different types of wax for different hair thicknesses – they will typically use three waxes: one to get the coarser hairs, another to get the thinner hairs, and a third “cleanup” wax to get the stubborn little hairs. Another bonus at Frilly Lilly is you get 15% off with a CJSW Friends Card (students get this for free!). But after going back to school – and working practically zero hours – I stopped going in an effort to save money.

_MG_1084.jpgFor a couple of months I tried hard wax on myself with the Gigi Brazilian wax kit. Although not the fault of the product, this was the worst Brazilian hair removal experience of my life and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. Seriously ladies (and guys), if you’re thinking of performing at-home waxing on yourself, please familiarize yourself with the heat needed, application technique, and time to wait before pulling off the wax. If you’re not an expert in hard wax usage, DON’T PUT IT ON YOUR NETHER REGION! Get acquainted with it by using it on much less sensitive areas, read instructions, and watch the DIY videos provided to you.

I was able to continue waxing my underarms with my Gigi kit but I halted the Brazilian routine completely and went back to shaving (and sometimes bikini waxing). But I couldn’t hold out for long. It just wasn’t the same anymore! So I decided to seek out a professional again.

My friend Cindy introduced me to the concept of sugaring and after watching some not-so-PG how-to videos and reading up on the pro’s and con’s, I found that it was a supposed less painful alternative to wax that was both less traumatizing to your skin and more preventative of ingrown hairs. With this knowledge, I looked into finding the best sugaring salon for me.

The Sugar Experience

_MG_1091.jpgMy BFF Gwen and I decided to have our first professional sugaring experience together. After some profound searching, I found the perfect spot: GimmeSomeSugar on Elbow and Southland Drive! The salon has incredible customer service, fairly affordable price points, and awesome technicians. The first sugaring session was pretty painful, not going to lie. But see, when you revert back to shaving, you allow your hairs to strengthen and thicken their roots; so when you finally pull the little guys out again, the effect it has on your skin and nerves is much more traumatizing than if you were to periodically remove them according to your hair growth cycle. But I kept going and the benefits of sugar vs. wax were undeniable:

  • There is no heat applied to your skin, unlike wax which requires to be heated and can be borderline painful for those with sensitive skin.
  • Sugar wax is pulled in the direction of hair growth, making it potentially less painful than wax which pulls in the opposite direction.
  • Sugar wax is completely natural and can be made from three simple ingredients: sugar, water, and lemon juice.
  • Sugar wax is water soluble and can be easily wiped away, whereas wax can leave residue on your skin and would need to be pulled off somehow even if you chicken out last minute.

Although I’ve had only positive experiences with both sugar and hard wax at professional salons, I made an active decision to continue with sugaring because of its natural character and the lack of potential dangers that come with this technique. If you’ve had different experiences or have chosen differently, I’d love to hear from you!

The Routine

So I go to GimmeSomeSugar for my monthly Brazilians, but I continue my underarm waxing at home with the Gigi hard wax, which I’ve gotten much better at using since my Brazilian fiascos. The reasons why I still use it are because a) it’s really convenient and quick to perform at home whenever I have the time; b) it’s still a great kit with the pre-epilation oil and post-wax cooling gel; and c) I don’t like to waste. Once I’m done with the wax, I’m moving to sugaring which I’ll either get my amazing sugar technician to do for me, or I’ll try my hand in another DIY!

What About Legs?

Ah yes, my legs. Unlike my bikini area and underarms, my legs have very thin hair and I don’t consider them to be a priority for waxing or sugaring. So I invest a minimal amount in razors and shave them on a weekly basis. It’s just less costly to do it this way. BUT while we’re on the topic of shaving, I don’t use shaving cream. In fact, a couple years back, Gwen introduced me to the idea of using olive oil instead! Yes, straight up olive oil. It’s the best thing to scrape off those dead skin cells, it creates a longer lasting shave, and it leaves your skin smoother than a baby’s bottom. The only downside to this alternative is the potential need to clean your razor, which you can do by using an old toothbrush.

I Don’t Care About Hair Removal

Shaving, sugaring, waxing, or even laser hair removal (which I have never yet tried) aren’t for everyone, and hair removal is quite definitely a beauty standard formed by society. Some of you might not consider it to be a priority and/or very much enjoy the sight and feeling of your own body hair. You should be 100% confident with that and shouldn’t feel inclined to change it just because society says so! I, however, find that my smooth, hairless skin amplifies my own sense of beauty and confidence, which is why I make it part of my lifestyle. All in all, choose what best fits you and your own standard for beauty!

Disclaimer: This post is not at all sponsored.

My Leap Into Natural Products

Up until recently, I didn’t give much thought as to what I’ve been putting on my skin, in my hair and how it transfers into my body. I would generally choose products based on affordability and how much I enjoyed the scent. Yes, I know I wasn’t the only one who’d grab the cheapest beauty care item off a Wal-Mart shelf, or go with a multinational and reputable brand because, well, everyone else uses it. But I realized that although I’m still in my early twenties, I wasn’t getting any younger. I needed to start paying attention to the stuff I was putting on my body, face, teeth and hair every single day.

My awareness started when I could no longer stand the dryness in my hair throughout the winter months. My boyfriend Jason encouraged me to try applying Argan oil on my hair, as well as cutting down the frequency of the times I washed it. I had been told many times from friends that washing my hair every day was in fact damaging it and stripping away the natural oils from my scalp, but my fear of smelling like a grease ball always stopped me from trying to wash it less frequently. But Jason’s encouragement and his carelessness for my potentially funny smells pushed me to give it a try. He then persuaded me that going paraben- and sulfate-free was the way to keep my hair growth strong and healthy. But that’s a topic for another blog post.

So. I was making healthier choices for my hair, but I hadn’t yet done the same for my body and face. What I realized was that it really takes someone to reach a level of dissatisfaction before they think to make any changes. And I was pretty content – or, at least, not dissatisfied – with my skin and the routine products I used to care for it. It took me a while to realize that my skin won’t be like it is forever and I need to strive to make it better.

_MG_0833-2.jpgI came across Skwiik products at GimmeSomeSugar back in February of this year. They just so happened to have a 50% off all Skwiik items at that time and I was in need for another birthday gift for a friend. I thought she might enjoy the body scrub (or body polish, as Skwiik likes to call it) so I grabbed one for her and one for myself. For a few months, my Herb scented body polish sat under my sink collecting dust, until one day I had enough of my darned ingrown hairs and thought I’d give the salt scrub a try. It left my legs and underarms feeling smoother than ever and my feet free of cracks and calluses! I didn’t even need to moisturize, despite Calgary’s dry air.

It became my go-to body exfoliant and just this week I purchased the Molido body polish. The Molido has become my new fave – it smells like a peppermint mocha! I feel so tempted to lick the salt off my body it smells so good… And in actual fact, I probably could! All of Skwiik’s products are all-natural. They carefully handcraft each one with a perfect blend of essential oils and natural ingredients. Although perhaps I should restrain myself from tasting them…

My third item so far is the Beaux Rêves lip balm: a collaboration with Ollia Macarons & Tea, my number one favourite macaron shop in town. The lip balm’s oils and butter are infused with Ollia’s Beaux Rêves tea, making this a match made in heaven. It leaves your lips with a cool breeze and it’s perfect for right before bed.

All in all, if you’re looking to make a change in your beauty products and dive into some more natural options, I recommend looking into your local curators. Because smaller businesses like Skwiik and Ollia care about what you put in or on your body.

Disclaimer: This is in no way a sponsored post.