A tale of two waxes
Brazilian bikini waxes have been around for awhile now, but a good waxer is hard to find. After an initial scary visit to the famed J Sisters Salon (where my waxer told me I had a "beautiful" lady part--ewww!), I loyally visited the now-defunct Ella Baché salon until it went out of business. I then found a trustworthy and gentle girl at Eve on Bleecker Street; after she had a baby and left the salon, I had trouble finding a suitable replacement there. I've since tried the East Village's Go Girl (no privacy whatsoever!), the random nail salon by my office (ditto!), and Spa Belles (great for manicures, not so much for waxing--hello, ingrown hairs!). So I decided to suck it up and try two of the most highly rated--and also some of the most expensive--hair removal specialists.

Armed with a Fashion Week gift certificate for a free Brazilian (thanks, Pegah Anvarian!), I headed to Completely Bare's Flatiron location back in April. CB's owner, Cindy Barshop, is completely press-savvy (hence the swag), so I was expecting a lot of hype and little substance. What I found, however, was a totally luxe, relaxing environment--I felt like I was at someone's trendy loft, not a salon--with friendly employees. My treatment room had a TV in the ceiling, which happened to be playing the Audrey Hepburn movie Sabrina while I was there. My aesthetician was young and cute (and a white American woman--which was a first for me), and we talked about my upcoming trip to Miami while she worked. We collaborated on a perfect shape (I actually prefer something between a Brazilian and a French wax), and I can honestly say it was the least painful bikini wax I'd ever had. Plus, at the end, you get a little wipey thing that makes your hoo-hoo smell like a pina colada. (And who doesn't love it when her hoo-hoo smells like an umbrella drink?) Of course, all this pampering doesn't come cheap--after all, someone needs to pay for Completely Bare's hard-working publicist--a Brazilian is $68, or $75, if you want to go "completely bare." Thank god for gift certificates!

Faced with shelling out $80 (with tip) last week, I instead decided to try Shobha Soho, an Indian salon recommended by Special Correspondent Leighann, and reportedly where Gisele Bundchen herself gets her hoobie waxed. (Hey, if it's good enough for Gisele...) Located in a random Soho office building, Shobha is bright and colorful, and the ladies working there are all very warm and friendly; my only complaint about the space is that if you have to pee pre-treatment, you have to schlepp down the hallway to the building's shared restroom. My waxer got right to work...and work she did, for a whole half hour. Seriously, it was the longest wax I've ever had, a fact not improved by the clock on the wall, which I was able to stare at for my entire treatment. Also, it hurt. A lot. So much that I breathed an audible sigh of relief when my hoob was treated to a cold compress at the end. Also, I am now hairless save for a small Hitler moustache; perhaps I didn't communicate very effectively with my waxer (whom, I'll admit, I had a hard time understanding), because I would've preferred a bit more hair to remain. And with tax and tip, the price came out to be...about $10 less than Completely Bare.

So I've learned my lesson. I know I have expensive taste, but when it comes to certain things--plastic surgeons, steak, shoes--cheaper isn't better. And doesn't my hoo-hoo deserve the best?


Amayaro said...

I recently moved from nyc to london - but i loved my waxer in ny - so much so that until recently i was going to see her every chance i was back in ny..
Her name is Bella and she works at Bliss Spa - The cost is probably about the same that you paid at the other salons but - I go completely bare and bella is fantastic! I searched for a long time to find her and am terrified of going to anyone else. She is a funny lady who is super efficient and never hurt me - i was not even sore afterwards in the least even with the full monty - and i have really difficult hair to wax (curly and with super deep roots). I have now had my first laser hair removal appt in london and i am soooo happy that i will not have to find a new waxer:)

Anonymous said...

I've been going to Haven in Soho for four years now - they're clean, quick, and do a fantastic job. It's also the best price I've been able to find anywhere in the city for the quality you're getting (and yes, I've had my share of bad waxes) ... about $40.

Anonymous said...

Karen's right-- everyone at Bliss soho has been fantastic. Marina was my fave, but Bella and Stella were also fantastic.

Of course, I finally went for the laser and never looked back. :)

Cheryl said...

Thanks for the tips, ladies! I will give Bliss a try next.

Fred McCoy said...

If you’re looking for permanent hair removal nyc or in New York as a gift for one of your girls, think about Electrolysis, there’s lots of great places for it in NYC and one of them is Susan Davina’s spa.

Jenna said...

woaaaah! sounds great. I'd love to get my brazilian bikini wax there. I'll share this to my friends and co-workers. thank you for this info! =]