The Best, Editor-Tested At-Home Kits to DIY (If You Dare)
For me, the worst part about getting a Brazilian wax isn't the pain. (Which, if you haven't had the pleasure, feels like a bolt of lightning traveling from your butthole to the back of your throat, where the audible gasp you'll inevitably be making originates.) Rather, it's the act of voluntarily spending the time and money each month to have a nice lady in pink floral scrubs completely ruin your day. I reserve these tender moments only for special occasions.
For every other time I need a wax, I lean on DIY hair removal kits — and a heavy pour of Cabernet Franc — to get the job done. In my quest for the best formulas out there, however, I have learned one thing (or two, if you factor in how humbling it is to try to reach the areas of your nether regions not even you have seen before): not all at-home waxing kits are created equal. Some paper strips grip the hair with aplomb; others leave behind globs of goo. Some hard wax kits are easy to maneuver; others crumble at the touch faster than a Nature Valley bar.
Which ones live up to the claims of an easy, pain-free process? Um, none of them — are you even listening? But if you're in-between hair removal appointments and want to give yourself a little touch-up, the DIY waxing kits ahead are about as close as it gets to the real deal. Now all you need is a mini pep talk.
Best Wax Strips For Pubic Hair
This wax kit may be the work of a lesser-known indie brand, but let me just say: this sh*t works. In my opinion, the formula itself has the strongest holding power of any waxing strip I've ever tried. It gripped my hairs with aplomb, which means I didn't have to go over as many areas afterward — a big win, if you ask me.
(FWIW, I've also tried the brand's general Body Wax Kit ($10) and yes — it works just as well, only with bigger strips to make getting larger areas like your legs a breeze.)
Best Hard Wax Kit
The Bliss wax kit is sort of like a scary movie — the sensorial experience is top-notch, but one wrong move and things can get messy, fast. I noticed that it takes a long time to heat up (you have to nuke it in the microwave in 30-second intervals), but it does feel much gentler on the skin. It also grips the hair just as well as any in-salon treatment. Just make sure to lay down a towel before you slather it on to avoid any drippage on the floors.
Best Affordable Wax Strips
Sally Hansen Hair Remover Wax Kit For Face ($5, originally $7)
This kit from Sally Hansen is, in my opinion, the best affordable option out there. It's worth noting that you do have to heat the wax strips first — you can do that just by rubbing your palms together with the paper in between — which can be particularly annoying for lazy people like me. Still, it grabs the hair nicely and doesn't tug too much at the skin.
Best Wax Strips For Underarm Hair
There's a reason these strips won a coveted POPSUGAR 2023 Beauty Award: they work with minimal tugging, don't leave behind too much goo (comparably to many on the market), and effectively take off every strand of hair, every time. The box comes with 36 strips in total, but we especially like the medium option (there are 12) for the thicker underarm hair.
Best Wax Kit For Sensitive Skin
First, the good news: this wax kit does a damn good job of removing every last hair without hurting (for the most part). The bad news is that the lingering wax remnants will stay on your skin forever — or until you massage them off with an oil. Still, for anyone sensitive many waxes and heat, this is a great place to start.
Best Wax Strips For the Face
These wax strips are effective yet gentle — for way less than what it'd cost you to tip your waxing technician. I used it on my bikini line in addition to the area above my eyebrow, and even though I have sensitive skin, it didn't leave behind any irritation and redness.
Most Instagrammable Hard Wax Kit
Here's what I'll say about the Instagram-famous Wakse wax beans: the metallic shades are damn pretty and make for the most aesthetically pleasing wax experience you'll ever have. Still, the hard wax was a little messy to use, so this wasn't my favorite formula of the bunch. If you want to enjoy giving yourself a wax (in the smallest way that is even possible), though, it's worth a shot.
Best Heavy Duty Hair Removal Kit
I, too, was dazzled by the glowing five-star reviews on Amazon for this wax kit, so I wanted in. And while the formula did work almost as well as an in-salon treatment, it was not exactly space conducive for my teensy NYC bathroom. If you've got the room, this is a great bet.