The practice has been traced back to Mesopotamia, Greece, and Egypt, though these days, you can find somewhere to get it done on nearly every corner of New York City. It involves using a paste made of honey, lemon, and sugar, which is applied to the skin and then quickly pulled off in a series of artful flicks. Unlike shaving or laser, it’s equally as effective in removing dead skin cells as it is getting rid of hair (and yes—it can be done anywhere from your face to your bikini line) for up to two weeks.
“It’s a lot less abrasive, and it removes the hair from the natural direction of the growth so you don’t have irritation,” says Courtney Claghorn, founder of Sugared and Bronzed. “It’s gentle, which means it’s great for sensitive skin types, and it prevents ingrown hairs instead of causing them which shaving and waxing can both do.” Another great thing about sugaring? You can choose to either get the job done by professionals (which costs around $89 for your full legs), or try it out on your own.
For the sake of #journalism, I tested out both options. First, to learn how to properly sugar myself (…talk about a phrase that sounds dirty, but isn’t), I paid a visit to the Sugared and Bronzed studio on the Upper East Side. There, sugaring technician, Amanda showed me some very ASMR-friendly ways to handle the paste, and taught me everything I needed to know about sugaring at home. She did one half of one leg—which it’s worth noting, didn’t hurt at all—then sent me on my merry way to finish the rest in my own itty-bitty, non-air-conditioned bathroom.
The process… didn’t exactly go as planned. To see what happened—and find out why I will be leaving all future sugaring treatments to the pros—check out the video above.
Oh hi! You look like someone who loves free workouts, discounts for cutting-edge wellness brands, and exclusive Well+Good content. Sign up for Well+, our online community of wellness insiders, and unlock your rewards instantly.