Saturday, September 4, 2010

Wax On, Wax Ooof - My Thoughts On The Rio Complete Wax Kit!

Advantages: Smooth hair free skin, Save money, Convenient, Easy, works well, Easy & cheap for replacement bits

Disadvantages: A little painful (you get used to it), Have to let hair grow to wax it off  

Thinking about body hair reminded me of a fantastic piece of kit that I have owned for the last few years; it’s the Rio Complete Wax Kit and it’s for use at home. I had never heard of this until I was given it as a present a few Christmases ago because my sister had sworn by it ever since she had owned one herself and knew I would make good use of it.

The box contains a number of items that have various uses:

  • 1 black and silver unit with a dial on it and a mains lead to plug it in, this is the main item that is used to heat the wax that you use (as it’s a warm wax system) and the dial enables you to control the temperature of the wax and also turn the unit off. This is quite quick to heat up, so you don’t have to spend ages sitting and waiting for your wax to even start to melt.

  • 2 silver mini saucepan-type cups with black handles,  these are what hold the wax to heat it up in the unit and also are fully transportable to wherever you are waxing so that there’s less chance of wax getting stuck to everything in-between the unit and your skin. Although you should still keep the heating unit nearby as the wax does cool down if you leave it out too long and can become harder to use, not to mention more painful.

  • Spatulas – a number of these (I haven’t counted, but there’s quite a few) and these are for applying the wax to your skin. I have found that whilst these are decent for most areas, they feel a bit too big for my eyebrows and I am not confident using them in that area for fear of ripping out too much hair. For this reason I went to eBay and found some smaller ones for a reasonable price.

  • Wax equipment cleaner – to remove waxy residue from bits from equipment that it should not be on, or to try and help to clean any accidental spillages. It says it is effective to use on all surfaces, including plastic and natural fibres – although I haven’t really had any major spillages in the time that I have owned this product *touch wood*.

  • A tub of soft wax – this is the most common kind of wax that you’re used to that gets applied with the spatula and then removed using a waxing strip. It’s decent quality and does the job; it’s cheap to replace too, which is a bonus – I’d recommend replacing it with tea tree wax when the time comes as tea tree helps to soothe the skin.

  • Hard wax – This used to come in blocks that you broke into quarters but these days comes in flakes in a sealed plastic bag, this is easier to use as you don’t have to break fingers/nails to get the ‘portion’ you require into the cup so it can be heated. It doesn’t need wax strips to remove the wax from the body, but you do have to wait for it to cool down and set/get hard (which traps the hair in the wax) before you can peel the edge a little and then rip it off and the hair will come out along with it. This is said to be better for more sensitive areas and will cause less skin irritation than normal soft wax with no interference with the lymphatic flow, it’s also less sticky than soft wax. Obviously because it has to go hard and set first, it does take a little bit longer (and more patience) but it is definitely worth using.

  • Waxing Strips – To remove the soft wax, along with the hair from your body; these can be folded once one side has been used and reused (all be it being a little shorter, but still very useable). This means that you don’t have to buy replacements quite so quickly; although I have found they are quite cheap to replace anyway, but it’s also more environmentally friendly to do it this way which is another incentive to do it. You can also cut the strips into smaller strips for use around the eyebrows or any other smaller/more intricate waxing areas.

  • Instruction book – Pretty self explanatory really, and definitely worth reading.

  • A DVD – This may or may not come with it, my sister got one and I did not – apparently this has guides for the more ‘troublesome’ areas of the body (bikini, underarms etc), but I have never thought ‘oh I could really do with a DVD to watch for this bit’ so I don’t think it is essential really.

Application of the wax is easy, dip the spatula into the wax (whichever one you’re using) and coat it with a small amount for the soft wax and enough to make a thick coat for the hard wax - make sure you don’t have any wax ready to drip as you move it away from the cup (just for neatness really) and smooth it over your skin following the direction of the hair. Another tip for neatness is to dedicate an old towel to the task and have it under the body part being waxed so if any wax does drip, it drips on something that you don’t mind getting ruined.

Removal of the wax is an easy action in itself, however the pain you anticipate will make it the most difficult thing you could think of doing to yourself. Whilst I’m not saying that it’s not painful, it isn’t anywhere near as painful as it is if you hesitate and end up pulling the skin so like they say for plasters, do it quick and in one go if you can. Pull the skin taut too as this will stop the skin being pulled as much and can help lessen the pain. The action to remove the wax is to either put the wax strip over and smooth over it and then pull AGAINST the direction of the hair (ie opposite to the way you smoothed the wax on) for the soft wax, or once the hard wax has set peel a little bit up at the edge and then rip that up in the same way as mentioned for the soft wax.

You may also find that you need help with hard to reach areas and bikini line etc, but I usually find my fella is more than happy to help on these occasions. I have saved a HUGE amount in salon costs in the time I have had mine so finding somebody help is a small price to pay.

This product is available in many places, most notably Tesco online and Amazon, priced around the £39 mark which is a fantastic price for such a brilliant product that WILL save you money if you replace your salon visits with it, and will save you the embarrassment of stubbly bits from shaving, or hairy bits from not doing anything (haha)!

Rio manufactures in the UK, which is brilliant for economy and environment alike. They have a page dedicated to their environmental actions and aims for the future here:

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