How to (Almost) Painlessly Wax Your Upper Lip

woman's lips
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While upper lip waxing might sound easy enough to do at home, we give you the professional tips you need to get the best results. Like how to avoid needless pain, get rid of the most hair and help you avoid seeing red.

The cold wax strips look like an easy and economical solution, but they don’t grab onto the hair that well. Use cream wax (compare prices) heated up in a wax pot. Creamy wax is wonderful for the delicate skin on the upper lip because it’s one of the gentlest waxes.

It’s also easier to work with than honey waxes because of its less sticky consistency.

Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: 10 minutes

Here's How:

  1. Buy waxing kit. Compare waxing kit prices.
  2. Have enough hair. Hair needs to be at least 1/4" long.
  3. Pull or pin back hair. You don’t want your hair in the way or end up getting wax in it .
  4. Wash hands. You would never work with dirty tools, would do?
  5. Cleanse facial area. Wash upper lip area, pay dry or use apply a pre-wax cleanser (compare prices on Amazon). Lightly dust powder on the area to be waxed. Don’t overdo it on the powder, more isn’t better.
  6. Work in sections. We’re going to break the upper lip into five sections when applying wax. The area where the skin sinks in between the nose and upper lip is one section. The areas on either side of where the skin sinks in are each broken into two sections.
  7. Wax on.  Apply wax evenly in the direction of hair growth using an applicator (wooden stick) to the first outer section on the left side of your lip (side closest to cheek). Be careful! You want enough wax to thoroughly cover hair, but not so thick that it becomes too thick to remove. Get the wax on near the corners of your mouth where hair tends to hide by sticking tongue under upper lip to extend skin out.
  1. Cover with a strip. Apply strip in the direction of hair growth (usually down), leaving some leftover strip at the end not attached to hair like a tab (say hair grows from left to right- leave leftover strip on right side). Press and firmly smooth hand over the strip in the direction of hair growth a couple times, to ensure wax is attaching to hair and has slightly cooled.
  1. Turn in lip. Tuck your top lip under lip like you’re trying to hide your lips, which makes skin tauter and helps with pain, redness and less breaking of hair.
  2. Wax off. Grasp onto the end of strip that isn't attached to the hair. Hold skin taut with one hand, and remove strip in opposite direction of hair growth in one quick pull, all the way to the other side. Don't pull up, which might be your natural inclination. Press hand down on ​skin to help relieve some of the pain, after strip is removed. (Sounds silly, but it works!) If a little bit of wax with hair remains, simply put strip back on hair and pull off.
  3. Repeat. Continue with steps 7-10 finishing up the left side and the two other sections on the right side.
  4. Wax middle section. Repeat steps 7-10 on the middle section, applying wax from top to bottom works best here.
  5. Clean up missed hairs. While holding skin taut, use clean tweezers to remove any hairs missed by the wax.
  6. Clean wax off skin. Remove any remaining residue, with wax remover, baby oil or petroleum jelly.
  7. Soothe skin. Apply after-wax lotion, or an aloe based lotion or gel. If you need to go somewhere and your skin is still red, apply a bit of mineral foundation.


  1. Do not perform upper lip waxing if you are taking Accutane
  1. Wax in front of a large mirror (not hand-held) so you can see clearly.
  2. Practice using the wax on a small part of your body, like your arm so you get the feel of it. Always test a small amount of wax on hand before waxing, to make sure it’s warm, not hot.
  3. If you're worried about pain, apply a numbing spray (compare prices) to a cotton swab and then to upper lip area. Make sure not to get directly in eyes.
  4. After waxing keep hands away from the skin to avoid getting red bumps and irritation. 

What You Need

  • Wax warmer
  • Cream wax
  • Pre-wax cleanser
  • Baby powder
  • Muslin or pellon strips
  • Wooden applicators
  • Wax remover for the skin (or you can use baby oil or petroleum jelly)
  • After-wax lotion, or aloe based gel
  • Tweezers