Wax On, Wax Off

Written by: Chrissann


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Caveat: For those of you who read the title above and found yourself hoping to attain some sort of Mr. Miyagi-esque sagacity from this post, I feel compelled to provide full disclosure – the aforementioned wax is not the karate skill-inspiring car polishing variety, but rather, this post is about bikini wax.


Many of the basic services people take for granted out there in the real world are the little things I often long for. From dry cleaning, to a good tailor, to a cobbler (both the kind made of peaches and the man who fixes your shoes), to food delivery options (seriously – nothing fancy – I would dance in the streets if I could get a pizza delivered) are all on the list. But no matter how much I yearn for a proper bakery and the like, I would stop whining about it all if only I could have a good bikini waxer.

Once upon a time in my past life in The Land of Convenience, I used to get fantastic bikini waxes on a regular basis. And while I realize “fantastic” may seem like a bizarre word choice to describe the procedure of having scalding hot liquid poured on your lady parts and ripped off whilst attached to your hairs by the root, I now know just how fantastic  my experience truly was. Each month, I would visit my favorite chamomile-scented day spa and see an efficient French woman named Françoise. Not only was she quick, she skillfully minimized the pain in what can be a torturous enterprise and I left there with skin so smooth and hair-free, if I wasn’t 5’3″ (and, you know, womanly) you’d think I’d just been born.

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Having lived in the islands now for close to 8 years, I am disappointed to report that I still do not have a waxologist who I can trust. It is a cruel injustice to live in a place where you wear bikinis year-round and not be able to get a good bikini wax. In my fruitless search for The One, I have been burned, ripped, and pulled in ways that still make me shudder. Commiserating with my fellow women on rocks, the tales of disappointment in waxdom abound – one friend even had the top layer of her skin inadvertently pulled off. Down there. It bled for days. I wish I was exaggerating this in some way, but I am not.

And it’s not just that these so-called estheticians lack an aptitude for depilatory treatments, but I have yet to even find one that actually uses the appropriate type of wax. Why is it me telling them, the “professionals”, that they’re using the wrong wax? They look at me with the same feigned patience I would give some random patron telling me they could do my job better, but really – I could do their job better. It’s my sensitive lady skin that is being punished here and I feel like this is not one of those situations where you can just grin and bear it. Let me just tell you – there is NOTHING like a bad bikini wax.

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Life on a rock often motivates you to start taking matters into your own hands. I have become much more resourceful living down here; when something I desperately want is unavailable, I have been known to try to fill the void on my own. I have learned how to make all sorts of shit I would never have attempted if it were readily available – I make my own whole-grain bread, veggie burgers, sorbet…hell, I even made my own hair serum. I’m not quite sure why it has taken me so long to decide to start doing my own bikini waxes, but in a fit of frustration after my most recent waxing debacle, I finally made the decision to go at it on my own.

I decided that if I was going to do this, I was going to do it right. I researched and shipped in the right kind of wax and even got myself a salon-quality wax heater. I figured it was best to not complicate things by adding the microwave into the equation.

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On the day of my waxing appointment with myself, I was already smug before I had heated the wax. I imagined that I would emerge from my first self-bikini wax with the same victory I experienced when I realized I could make my own almond butter. It’s so easy! And cheap! I can’t believe I’ve been paying $27 a jar for it all these years!  Spoiler alert: doing your own bikini wax is nothing like making almond butter.

Conducting a self-bikini wax is quite literally a sticky situation. Gravity is working against you and despite your best intentions, you end up dripping a considerable amount of wax on inopportune places – in between your toes, for example. And sadly, the “Wax Removing Lotion” you lavishly purchased along with your Easy Bake Waxer does not, in fact, remove wax. It is also safe to say that I am now in need of a new set of bath towels, as the ones I sagely used to protect the floor are crusted in what looks like a honey explosion.

I will not go into the specific details of my bikini wax endeavor, not because I am shy, mind you, but more due to the fact that my brother reads this. I will say it wasn’t a total fail, but the ease I had so arrogantly anticipated was illusory. An experience that typically takes around 20 minutes at the spa consumed 2 1/2 hours of my Saturday and it was nowhere near complete; it turns out, I am not as bend-y as I like to believe. Another unpleasant side effect was the unrelenting crick in my neck that lingered for 3 days following due to all of my below-the-navel gazing.

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Alas, bikini waxing remains a service I still wish I could pay somebody else to do. I suspect I will improve as a self-waxer with time, but it’s a lot tougher than I presumed and there’s only so much you can do with one set of hands. Until I can work up the courage to try someone new again, I may just have to make it more of a festive affair by adding music and copious amounts of wine to my self-waxing Saturdays. But I would like to send out this S.O.S. – if you live in the big world and are an adept esthetician looking for an island adventure, pack your bags, friend, and head for the tropics. You can stay at my house. The wax is already warm.

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Chrissann Nickel

About Chrissann Nickel

Chrissann’s home rock in the British Virgin Islands, against all logic, feels bigger to her than it actually is. Though after spending five years on a teensy one acre island, the current 13-mile long rock she’s residing on now IS ginormous, at least by comparison. As with everything in the Caribbean, it’s all about perspective.

Once upon a time she used to care about things like matching her purse to her pumps, but these days, she’s a card-carrying member of the Barefoot Nation. She is utterly enchanted with vinyasa yoga, especially when practiced on somewhat precarious, deliciously Instagram-able surfaces (she's @WomanOnARock) such as paddleboards, boats, cliffs, or even the occasional willing friend’s body. She vehemently believes that toucans are the best animals ever (period.) and there is no convincing her otherwise (though imperious roadside goats come in as a close second).

As the Editor in Chief of this site, she spends a lot of her time working from home all by her lonesome writing, editing, and cultivating content designed to make her fellow islanders laugh. Besides her writerly pursuits, she moonlights as a yoga instructor, and attributes at least a smidge of her insanity to the amount of time she spends talking to drunk people. If you’re somehow still reading this and feel inclined to find out more about this “Chrissann” of which we speak, you can also take a gander at her eponymous personal website, www.chrissannnickel.com




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16 thoughts on “Wax On, Wax Off

  1. Get enough of your friends together to buy me a ticket and I will work it off 🙂 or we can Skype and I can give you the best tips for self waxing. Love you cousin!!!!

  2. Good day!
    Sooo funny! Good luck on your next waxing adventure. Use wax paper or paper towels instead of ruining bathroom toweIs. I don’t wax anymore. The ripping of my skin was too painfuI :'(
    I found that the sugaring method is less painful and I see the same wonderful woman, my sugar lady, on the island of St. Thomas, VI. Have fun & a wonderful day 🙂

  3. Chrissann….A few years ago my sister tried to self-wax. She waited until her daughters were in bed and then started the procedure. The wax went on just fine but when it was time to “rip it off” she just couldn’t do it. She called on her husband to help. She sat on the toilet with her hubby kneeling between her legs bracing himself for this unfortunate task and then…….their pubescent daughter walked into the room. Wish I could have been there to see the look on all three faces.

  4. Two ideas, if the sugaring thing doesn’t work out:

    (1) Form a waxing “club” with a friend or two, using whatever tips Danielle gives you, to become more and more proficient. Then you can…um…”service” each other for just the cost of the wax.

    (2) Buy this gizmo instead (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000C9PE32). I’ve used them for years on my lady parts. It does not hurt “bad” the way one reviewer said, unless you wait until the hair is long before using it. Make sure you pull your skin taut with one hand while using it. People have different reactions to the Emjoi. I know someone who just couldn’t use it on her nether regions but had no trouble using it in her armpits. Me, I just CAN’T use it on my armpits, too painful, but experience no discomfort whatsoever using it instead of waxing.

    • Hi Karen,

      LOL at the “waxing club” – that would certainly take Girl’s Night to a whole other level. 😉

      Thanks for the link, maybe I’ll give that a try!

      I appreciate your comments,


  5. I can tell you, from a level of experience and self discovery I didn’t imagine was possible before moving to a rock, there are a few things to keep in mind when you decide to go down the self-wax road. 1) tequila is NOT an appropriate pre-wax beverage. Period. I keep trying. 2) it is never pretty or clean. Just start with the assumption that wax will get everywhere and no matter how good you get, tere will always be hair left. 3) liquid bandaid does not work “down there.” All you can do is lather on the coconut oil and go commando for a few days.

    That being said, if you stick with it, it will get easier and you will get faster it. No less messy. You’ll end up with some great stories to share when boding with fellow self-waxers. Eventually you care a little less that resemble a jungle woman, and embrace your hairiness (tequila can help with that.)

  6. Thanks for the insight! I’ll be sure to pack my wax kit for Roatan 🙂

    So two things I’ve started doing as part of my home waxing are:
    1) Designate a sheet or old bed skirt (something big and spreadable that you don’t care how sticky it gets) as your space on the floor and do everything there (it helps with gravity too.)
    2) Use azulene oil after to make everything not sticky. Those wax removers never work for me but that oil does.

    Happy Waxing!!!

  7. Make a 6 weekly trip to Tortsville (Tortola) to see Kim at the Sanctuary. She does the “Oh so much better” sugaring! Over time you will find this method not only hurts less but when the hair grows back it is thinner and finer making it much less of an ordeal and eventually you will even be able to make less visits. Her number is 495 1614.

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