Oils From the Earth. On My Jeans.

My 600-hour adventure in esthetics school. Read about the project or catch up with weeks 1-10.

This, for the uninitiated, is a paraffin foot dip.

At Beauty U, we keep blocks of paraffin wax constantly melting in a warmer, which looks like a large, rectangular crockpot, circa 1978. When someone wants a paraffin dip, we use a disposable plastic cup to scoop out some molten wax and pour it into gallon-size plastic baggies (for feet) or pair of latex gloves (for hands). Then we kneel before the client, carefully lower their appendage into the hot wax and give it a little massage to spread the wax around.

Those are my feet up there so I can tell you that while it looks ridiculous, a paraffin dip feels AWESOME. These days, there aren’t too many beauty treatments that I’m getting excited about — maybe because last week centered around having my face bathed in acid— but I would get this done every day if they let me. It’s heaven on earth if you go through winter with permanently cold hands and feet (like I do), or spent your weekend sanding and stripping wallpaper (like I did) so now your hands feel like sandpaper, because paraffin is warm and toasty and turns your skin to butter. (Oh, and unlike the wax used on your bikini line, hot paraffin wax doesn’t stick to your skin. It just cools down to a Playdoh-like texture that peels right off.)

But paraffin dips are definitely from the department of it’s better to receive than to give. It doesn’t help that tonight is one of those nights when we’re all feeling the pain of stuck-here-till-10-PM. The teachers are squabbling with each other over tests gone missing and scheduling changes. Stephanie’s cats have a tape worm. One of the senior girls is on a tear about the rest of us not remembering to take out the trash. The cosmetology students put their towels in our dryer yet again, so all our sheets and spa wraps come out covered in gummy clumps of hair.

And I go to perform my first-ever paraffin hand dip on Miss Jenny, hold the wax-filled glove at the wrong angle, and do this instead:

To my favorite pair of jeans (which, by the way, I’m only wearing because getting a 95 or higher on a written exam entitles you to a one-night jean pass).

I also coat a good portion of the floor, which means spending the next half hour scraping it up with a Popsicle stick.

And so ends my paraffin love affair.

Related: Whenever Milady’s refers to paraffin wax, mineral oil, petrolatum, and the like, it makes sure to note that these petroleum-derived ingredients are “oils from the earth.” There are also a lot of comforting phrases like “biologically inert,” “hypoallergenic,” and “time-tested.”

I guess that’s all technically true, but don’t words like that make just about anything sound nicer? Like you might dig up some lovely “oil from the earth” while mucking about in the garden or frolicking with some cute woodland creatures.

You know, instead of getting it this way:

And seriously: Anyone know how to get wax out of denim?

[Paraffin wax photos via my iPhone, oil drilling photos via HowStuffWorks.]


Filed under Beauty Schooled, Body Treatments, In Class, week 11

4 responses to “Oils From the Earth. On My Jeans.

  1. kateashford

    I always use a hair dryer and a paper towel when I get candle wax on the carpet. (Direct hot air on it until part of it melts, then wipe. Repeat. This also works on coffee tables.) According to the wisdom that is the Internet, you might have good luck by scraping off the excess wax (butter knife?) then covering the wax with a couple of paper towels and ironing on low. Supposedly the wax melts and then gets absorbed into the paper towels. Good luck!

  2. Have you tried sticking the jeans in the freezer? The wax may harden and flake off more easily – you could also try sloughing off the frozen wax with an old toothbrush.

    Ah, this makes me think of the old days writing “simple solutions” for women’s magazines.

  3. Pingback: Would you like your breasts included in this service? « Beauty Schooled

  4. Pingback: [Best of Beauty U] Would You Like Your Breasts Included in This Service? « Beauty Schooled

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