How to Give Yourself an At-Home Brazilian Wax*

*This gets a little graphic, depending on your boundaries (i.e., if you have a problem reading the correct names of girly bits). You have been warned.

1. Look at the stock market and all the Op-Ed articles talking about unemployment rates, plummeting retail numbers, and all the foreign capital buying America.
2. Realize that, maybe, you should save the $80-plus-tip and give yourself the Brazilian that you so desperately need. (Your Vagina: "Hello? Is anybody there? I can't see. Helloooo? Hm. It's dark in here.")

1. Buy some Sally Hansen Extra Strength Brazilian Bikini Waxing and Shaping Kit (with No Mistakes Mirror) ($10.99)
2. Grab your spiffy Tweezerman tweezers (already purchased: $20)

1. Read directions. Remember especially to a) always put the wax on in the direction of hair growth - remember that in certain areas hair grows more than one way, b) not work in sections of more than 2 inches at a time, and c) work from the outside in.
2. Start at the outside, toward the back, with an appropriately-sized two inch region. Apply wax. Allow to cool to just the right consistency, then remove, quickly, against the hair growth.
3. Congratulate self on what a quick, clean job you did. Note that you don't know what you were doing wrong last time you tried this with a more expensive product, because that time you didn't even make it beyond the basic bikini line.
4. Continue with a second small region, then a third. Tweeze the stragglers as you progress. Realize you are possibly the best self-waxer ever, and should probably write on contract for Marie Claire and Glamour, because you obviously have a lot to offer.

1. About half way through your right side, realize you are getting to a tricky part.
2. Choose this juncture to slather on too much wax, so that you accidentally put it on against the hair growth, over a large area, where the hair grows every which way.
3. Try to remove the wax strip. Try again. Try again. Start to cry a little, thinking about living the rest of your life as That Chick Who Got Sally Hansen Bikini Wax Permanently Glued to Her Vajayjay. Realize that you could probably get on Oprah or something, to warn other of the hazards of self-waxing.
4. Get your thumb nail caught on the top of the still-not-cooled wax while trying to pry if off for a fifth time.
5. Spend the next five minutes tugging up the wax in sixteenth-of-a-centimeter bits of progress. Genuinely ponder how likely it is that you might seriously maim yourself.
6. Finally get the godforsaken gob of wax OFF. Notice that, despite what you thought, it is apparently possible to give yourself a labial hematoma.

1. Realize that the wax has congealed to something resembling Nutella. Evil Nutella.
2. Straighten up from your weird hunched-yet-standing position to reheat the wax. Realize that your neck and back are now permanently stuck in a shape that resembles Quasimodo.
3. Return from the microwave and glance in your No Mistakes Mirror.
4. Realize that you did your genetically less hairy side first.
5. Wonder if you could rock an '80's-style half-short-half-long hairstyle... down there.
6. Realize you just... can't. Not matter how much you'd like to. Cry.

1. When your spouse inquires, tell him that you are, despite what it sounds like, not committing hara-kiri.
2. Ask your spouse whether there is possibly some vodka or other hard liquor in the house.
3. Unleash at string of colorful curses when he tells you, "No."
4. As you progress on your second, more daunting side, convince yourself that every little bump or blemish you see is probably vulvar cancer, and you are probably dying. Then realize your tumor is actually a spec of wax, or a spot of skin irritated by all the tugging and paiiiiiiiin.
5. Admit to yourself that no matter how flowery the idea of natural childbirth is (when the time eventually comes), you are not cut out for it.
6. Reheat the damn wax again, OMFG.
7. Daydream about becoming a professional waxer, but only taking appointments from women whom you know... and hate.
8. Resolve to tip your usual waxer, Ninetta, 50% next time you go. (Instead of 20. Not that you ever tip less than 20%. Because only assholes do that. In New York, at least.)

1. Take off the last strip of hair. Stand there in the kind of unbelievable relief probably only felt previously by, say, POWs upon their release from captivity. Or by other women who have been boneheaded enough to attempt this self-Brazilian thing.
2. Feel a surge of pride at the fact that you actually. gave. yourself. a full. Brazilian. wax.
3. Realize that you have probably just ruined your twenty dollar ($20) Tweezerman tweezers, because the wax, she is not coming off.
4. Leave the bathroom and beeline for the kitchen. Glance at the stove clock and realize that you were at it for an hour and a half OMG.
5. Pour yourself a large glass of wine. Emphasis: Large.
6. As you walk, realize that your entire genital area is... well... numb. Pray to God that this is not permanent.
7. Invent a time machine. Go back in time to yesterday. Make an appointment with Ninetta. Pay her the $80 + 50% tip (because now you know how much she truly, truly deserves it). Avoid the whole At Home Self Brazilian charade.

Post Script (October 2012):
You know what I've JUST FOUND OUT?  After ALMOST FIVE YEARS of doing this?  (Yeah, I never bit the fiduciary bullet and went pro again.)  If you let the wax cool ~just enough~ but ~not too much~, the pain factor reduces by at least half.   With the Sally Hansen wax, I'd ballpark this point at "when the wax is still warm and malleable under your fingertips, but no longer makes an effort to attach itself to your fingernails."  Sorry, that's probably not very helpful.

Also, the post-wax oil?  Use it on your fingers and nails during waxing to keep the wax from sticking to them.

Post Post Script (Updated October 2012):
I hope you found this post educational, or at the very least, entertaining; it was certainly fun to write, if not so fun to research.  It is, however, a departure from my normal focuses on this blog.  Check out the Who, Why, What, and Where pages above to read more about what the blog is usually about.  I hope you stick around!