Damn, DIY Sugar Waxing... You've directed over 300,000 people here in the last few days. I don't know if you've noticed, but I've been 'on a break' like Lindsay Lohan's on a break from acting... meaning I wasn't sure when I was going to return, if ever.
I had NO IDEA people were that interested in ripping out their own hair with what essentially is hard candy in the soft ball stage. Welcome one, welcome all.
We've had more comments than we can field so here's a list of answers for your curious minds, ladies (and brave lone man):
1. You use your fingers to both apply and remove this stuff. No cloth necessary. If you want to use a spoon or something to get the sugar wax out of the pan or jar in which you store it (so that you don't have to put you bacteria-harvesting fingers in it) that's cool.
2. You apply the wax with your fingers (I use index and middle (in an inadvertent f*** you to my b*tch-ass hairs... they're going down!) in the opposite direction of the way the hair grows. So basically do exactly the opposite of what the sturdy Russian lady does for you at the waxing salon and you're golden.
2a. You CAN apply it with strips (as the pic I borrowed in original post from Etsy would indicate), as some people do, but the traditional way is fingers. Okay, I don't know if that's true, but that's the way I learned, so my family tradition of 1 year is with fingers. I would assume that you have to heat/make your sugar wax slightly differently for strips? If you're keen, there's a recipe on Instructables for a how-to sugar wax with strips here > http://bit.ly/uR0PY3
3. As per point 1, this stuff can be stored. For how long, I do not know because I use it (and maybe taste it... many times) too quickly to ever see if it spoils or grows a forest of funghi or something. I would store it in a mason jar or other like glass jar with a wide mouth (for ease of extraction) and a lid. This way you can pop it right in a pan of hot water to soften and use. Don't do that with a plastic container unless you want the plastic container to become one with your sugar wax or don't think you're already getting enough BPA as part of your well-balanced diet.
4. I've never used pre-packaged lemon juice (because it's. just. so. easy. to use a real lemon), but I don't see why you couldn't. I'm pretty sure it's just used for the acidic properties, which the packaged stuff still has. Although it's lame.
5. Don't apply the sh*t if it BURNS. Meaning, people, like with regular wax, you let it cool to a temperature where you can apply it WITHOUT removing your top layer of skin. Sheesh.
5a. CARAMALIZED SUGAR, WHICH IS WHAT YOU ARE MAKING, IS REALLY REALLY HOT UNLESS YOU COOOOOL IT BEFORE USING. Seriously. Lady on Instructables said it right. This stuff is like Napalm if you apply it right away and will just melt your skin away. Be forewarned or risk becoming a minor burn victim by your own hand.
6. To that end, this stuff goes from light orangey-amber lovely sugar wax to dark and burnt-smelling stuff that's almost hard-as-a-rock in the pan and brittle (and useless at pulling out hairs) in the blink of a eye. So wait until your wax is done cooking before you go ferret out that bottle of wine and wrestle with the cork for 5 minutes.
7. Re: cooking it. I can't give an exact time, but I can give an exact(ish) temperature. You want this stuff to be like what candymakers (do they still exist? I want that job) call the 'soft ball' (minds out of the gutter, ladies) stage. That's when the stuff hits 235 degrees Farenheit. Maybe you can even nudge into Firm Ball territory too (up to lke 250F), but once you go Hard Ball and Soft Crack, you're f***ed. Get that stuff off the flame when your candy thermometer says that temp and you should have a good virgin wax to work with.
7a. Get a candy thermometer if you're crap at eyeballing it.
7b. What the hell is it with candymakers and their naughty double entendres? Clearly work bores them just as much as the rest of us.
7c. Use a good pan. It should be heavy enough to cause damage if you swing it at someone's head. None of these $1 IKEA numbers that feel like teflon-coated air. Heat distribution will be BAD in a cheap-ass pan and your wax will cook unevenly. At the very least, use something like an All-Clad. And don't worry about washing it out of your nice pans (if you've been saving them for more noble cooking pursuits). The stuff comes right off (unlike regular wax) because it's just sugar and water. Even if you burn a batch. I know because I've done it. Many. Times.
8. You can go over the same area more than once and there is, even when repeat waxing, less irritation than regular waxing, or so I've found. Surely it's different for everyone. Probably don't sugar wax your face if it gives you a rash that looks like angry teenage acne.
9. This isn't an answer to anyone's question but just a friendly reminder that the tauter you can pull the skin, the cleaner the wax! So if you're doing the jiggly bit of the back of the calf and you just let it hang all loose in the wind, it won't work as well as when you use the idle hand to corral some of that loose flesh impeding your hair removal.
10. Probably you'll mess it up the first time you try. And maybe the second. Quite possibly the third. But eventually, you will get it. Promise. Just don't give up on it because you balls it up a few times. I mean, it's just a few cents of sugar and a squeeze of lemon. Don't let it defeat you.
11. Do not stir the mixture after you start heating it up or it'll crystalize and be useless, even as caramel syrup (because the same rules apply to making caramel to eat too).
And I think that's about it. Holla if you have further questions. I'm liable to shut this sucker down again at any moment to keep on keeping on with my attempt at a re-design.
Over and out.