Wax Like An Egyptian

Okay, we might not have had the best summer this year, but at least autumn's off to a warm, sunny start. The only downside is, while we'd normally be slipping into skinny jeans and pulling on our Uggs, we're still happily baring all in skirts and slides - which means unseasonable overtime in the hair removal department.

So here's a project for the weekend: master the ancient art of body sugaring. Apparently, this is how Cleopatra and clique kept their legs emperor-enchantingly smooth, and thoroughly modern misses have recently started buzzing about it too.

So why the comeback? Well, sugaring works a lot like waxing - a paste is smothered over hair-baring areas and then whipped off with cloth strips - only with two major plus points. A sugar-based goo sticks only to hair, the theory being that this will sting the skin less when stripped off. And, made from gentle, natural ingredients and applied at room temperature, it gives sensitive types less to flare up about.

Plus you can cook it up in your kitchen for silver change. Some sugaring recipes have a pinch of chamomile or a dash of honey, but if you've got two cups of sugar, 1⁄4 cup of lemon juice and 1⁄4 cup of water, you're set. Just mix and heat until the blend looks caramel-like, then let it stand in a jar until it's pliable and cool enough to slather on with a spatula.

It sounds like a cinch, so I'm going to take a saucepan for a spin. But if you're not much of a domestic goddess, hunt down a ready-made-from-similar-ingredients option (try Nad's Natural Hair Removal Gel) instead. I'll keep you posted on my DIY experiment ...

So did a spoonful of sugar help the hair removal go down?
Well, it's tricky to get the stickiness just right, and yanking hair out from the root still isn't my idea of a good time, but my legs are feeling silky and the residue rinsed off more easily than expected with warm water. The saucepan scouring was nail-destroyingly tough, though. Note to self: if I'm going to commit to Cleopatra's routine, I've got to get myself some slaves...

Tracey Withers

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