Overrated! Sally Hansen Extra Strength All-Over Body Wax

Sally Hansen is one of those stand-by drugstore brands that is reliably good quality for a reasonable price. I do take issue with the fact that I have never even once been able to find the Tracy Reese for Sally Hansen nail polishes in a store (oh Nasturtium, we would have been such good friends), but I've kind of resigned myself to that sad fact at this point.

Despite my general respect for the Sally brand, I feel obligated to report that my experience using the Sally Hansen Extra Strength All Over Smart Wax Hair Removal Kit ($10) was pretty disappointing and frustrating. And I'll tell you why.

First off, the reason I was even trying this is that my usual waxing go-to brand, Parissa, is unfortunately not available anywhere in my vicinity except via a 30 minute drive to Ulta. Typically, any reason to go to Ulta would be exciting for me, but things have been busy and I haven't been able to make the trip. Meanwhile, my legs keep getting more and more frightening. So it was in hairy desperation that I popped into a nearby drugstore and picked up Sally's kit. It looked to be a standard offering: microwavable wax, spatulas, cloth strips and soothing finishing oil (which for some reason, my brain always reads as "fishing oil"). The "extra strength" designation reportedly relates to its ability to eliminate hard-to-remove hair and the "smart wax" is referring to the fact that the wax is supposed to be able to discern ugly unwanted hair from nice skin. So there's that.

My biggest complaint is with the central ingredient, the wax. Obviously, wax is sticky and needs to be sticky in order to effectively remove the little hairs. However, this stuff was just absolutely beyond any sticky wax I've ever used. It was difficult to spread and cooled rapidly, requiring several more trips to the microwave than kits I've used in the past. The wax was additionally quite stringy and challenging to apply. Maybe this is the "extra strength" bit, but I don't know. The worst part, however, was the cleanup. It is a royal pain to clean this stuff up, both on yourself and on any unfortunate surfaces that it came in contact with in your bathroom. Even after rubbing the finishing oil on my newly waxed legs, there were still innumerable little bits of wax that have to be individually pulled off. I find this to be exceedingly annoying. It really made me appreciate Parissa's sugar-based waxing formula because it cleans up easily with only a bit of warm water. The Sally Extra-Strength wax laughs in the face of warm water.

In all fairness, this kit was quite effective at the stated purpose of removing hair. And maybe the ultra-sticky nature of it is required for hard-to-remove hair. Ok, I get that. But the clean up is ridiculous and, the worst insult of all, the instructions that come with the kit have exactly no information on how to clean this stuff up. No tips or suggestions on how to get rid of any lingering or spilled bits. I find this to be really inconsiderate of Sally Hansen. If the wax has to be extra sticky to be extra effective, then fine. But at least help me out by telling me how to clean it up. I guess the frustration of this mess is probably worth that 30 minute drive to Ulta after all. I won't make that mistake again. *Sigh*

Incidentally, my friend is a new convert to Moom so I may have to check that out -- even though it is expensive and seems even harder to find than Parissa. Strangely, she tells me that I'm the one who recommended Moom to her. If I did, I have zero memory of that. Weird.



The Q said...

I used to pay so much for regular waxing at my salon. It got pretty expensive, so I decided to try waxing at home. I bought a kit and tried it--it was easier than I thought it would be, but it took me a couple times before I really got the hang of it.

Now that I've done it regularly, I'm a pro! And the best part is that I'm saving money. I bought this kit: http://www.salonhive.com/wax-n-waxing-32oz-kit.html and it cost me as much as ONE TRIP to the salon for a wax job of my legs, bikini area and underarms. But I can use the kit several times--so it is totally worth it.

Anyway, great blog post and I may try this brand the next time I have to buy a kit just to see how it compares to the one I've already got.

June 4, 2009 at 8:41 PM

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