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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.