Monday, June 1, 2009

Adventures in Hot Wax . . .

Yep; you read that right. I got a bikini wax yesterday.

First time ever, and I have to say, it was a pretty positive experience, and not at all what I thought it would be. I have to give a major shout-out to the girls over at Trim, the Bucktown/Wicker Park salon I went to. They only do waxing, as opposed to a salon that cuts and styles hair and has their waxing hidden in the back, like the bastard child nobody talks about. Waxing really is one of these things that most women have some interest in, or at least curiosity about, but that no one feels comfortable discussing. When telling my sister or my mother about the experience, even I had some trouble figuring out good words to use to describe what was going on, without either sounding like a high school health movie, or a porn film. There was certainly nothing pornographic about the experience, nor was it clinical. It was actually pretty neat.

The salon, to start with, is adorable. Done all in red, black, and white, with traces of chrome thrown in, it is modern but also vintage; the walls are covered in tasteful but slightly naughty Vargas girls and black-and-white glamour shots from the '40's-'60's. The waxing rooms have pocket doors painted red, as you see here:

This, of course, cuts down on the ability to inadvertantly see inside the rooms, which any girl has to be grateful for, but it is a little detail that might easily have been overlooked. Not by the Trim crew, however; every detail, even the bathroom with bowl-sink and expensive faucet fixture, was impressive, artfully done, and designed to make you feel comfortable.

The Reception area was cuter than this; this is obviously on older picture. There is an extensive little retail section where they sell sexy little panties and lots of products for skincare post-waxing. I wanted to steal the little couch too: it was upholstered in a red poppy floral and piled with mod pillows;)

Here's the row of private waxing rooms. Each one has a little cushy table (a helluva lot nicer than the one you find in most doctor's offices, though just as clean), waxing station, and more black-and-white glamour and art photography for inspiration. Looking at Joan Crawford glaring down from the wall is enough to steel any girl's nerve for what is about to occur, as though she's arching her sharp-enough-to-cut-paper brow and growling, "Man-up, baby."
My technician was the incomparable Fiona; she was petite and soft-spoken, and very professional while still friendly enough to put me slightly as ease (remember, I was pretty nervous coming in!). I shucked my pants and prepared for her to come in, and then she got to work. She advised me to be as relaxed as possible, as it would make it less painful, and we got started.
I won't go into graphic detail, of course. A few things I do want to mention, though: when you go to someone who knows what they're doing, it does not hurt nearly as much as you think it will. Yes, it hurts. But, the strips were pulled off quicker than a band-aid, and the pain was gone that fast. I chattered the entire time, trying to distract myself, and ended up with a Brazilian; she was talking to me, and removed an extra strip! She mentioned it then, and I decided that was perfectly fine with me; I even made my follow-up for the same treatment next time!
I know there is sometimes a feeling that the only women who go for bikini waxes are pampered princesses or super models, and that it is an unnecessary luxury. It is not exactly inexpensive, but when you consider how much many women spend on their children, their dogs, or their significant others without batting an eyelash, why should it be considered such a luxury to spend a little on ourselves? I think we live in a society where we are incouraged to treat ourselves very cheaply, that it is almost a desirable trait to practice regular self-denial. I, for one, am glad I decided to try this; after I got home and looked in the mirror, I felt sexy and empowered, and that is something I certainly don't feel very often.
That is worth any price; it was certainly worth what I paid for it! If you're considering taking the plunge, I say: go for it. And, if you're in the Chicago area, go to Trim to get it done; you'll be glad you did;)

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