Friday, October 12, 2007

Wax on, wax off: a Brazilian tale

About a month ago I mentioned that I'd had my first professional bikini wax. I alluded to a story which I simply didn't get to. Now I feel like sharing the love.

And I do mean sharing the love.

In September I decided to go for a day of beauty. You know, mani, pedi, waxing. Since I had no previous experience with professional waxing I only had the vaguest idea of what to expect. I've tried waxing at home with really messy and spotty results, it's just not worth the effort. But because of that I knew what the actual 'waxing' would be like - though I certainly knew it would be less messy than a do-it-yourself job, probably more effective and hopefully less painful.

I went to a nail salon around the corner from my apartment because I've been there before for pedicures. (I know, sooo girly, right?) But manicures and pedicures are done in the open, in the main salon. I didn't know what might be lurking in the back rooms. Would it be an opium den of melting wax pots on hot plates, or a serene candle-scented oasis? No clue.

I walked in without an appointment and a very nice Asian woman, let's call her Madam, asked what I needed. I told her, mani-pedi, leg wax and a bikini wax; then, with some trepidation, threw in 'a Brazilian'. She smiled, put her arm on my shoulder and led me to the secret back rooms where the 'beauty' happens. Wheeee!

All in all things were going really smoothly (no waxing pun intended). I got through my fear of asking for what I wanted, and I felt very proud of myself and at ease. The room was about the size of a walk-in closet. There was a padded table pushed against one wall, with a fresh roll of paper spread over it, very sanitary, and pretty silk pillows for your delicate head to rest on while having hot wax poured over you and ripped off. All the equipment was very clean and neat and while not a super-deluxe luxury spa, it was comfortable.

Madam started with my legs, to ease me into this brave new world of waxing, and it was a breeze. I was very happy to find that the waxing procedure itself was not any where near as painful as I had expected, nor was it any where near the sort of pain I had inflicted on myself during my DIY experiments. This made me far less apprehensive about the dreaded Brazilian. I was fast becoming a wax-pro. Ta-da!! This was the way to go! No more daily razors! Faster showers! Ever-smooth and sassy legs!

Then it was time to travel south to Brazil. I half expected to hear Johnny Mathis.

mmm-mmm. Sorry. I went to Johnny Mathis land for a moment. I love Johnny Mathis. *sigh* Now back to the wax.

Understandably most women would be a bit nervous about this sort of waxing not just because of the pain associated with it but even more so because of the fact that you have to be completely undressed. No panties. No g-string. No nothing. Not even a paper drape like at the gynecologist. This was bare it all in a back room with a total stranger. Thing about me is, that doesn't bother me. Not even a little. Which may seem weird. I'm actually more shy when my clothes are ON. Yeah well, I never said I was typical.

Madam started and I was prepared to scream blue murder at the top of my lungs. But truthfully I have a ridiculously high pain threshold, if I say something hurts, it REALLY hurts. I was completely fine. I was even laughing and joking (shocking, I know as I am usually pretty damned dour). I was stoic when it was uncomfortable and there was one spot that actually caused me to screech "OUCH!" but even that wasn't so bad and it was actually funny because nothing had hurt until that one "ouch" so it shocked us both. Oh we laughed and laughed, Madam and I. Funny funny stuff.

When she was done she stopped and clasped her hands in front of her and gazed with what can only be described as pride at my newly waxed bikini area. It was like she was watching a favorite child at her first piano recital. After a few seconds I said, "you look so proud". She laughed then patted her art work and said "so smooth, like a baby! It's beautiful!"

Well thank you Madam, I'm sort of fond of the whole thing myself.

After everything was done Madam got a small bottle of oil and poured some into her hand and then massaged it into that beautiful area that had just been waxed. This was a Brazilian wax. You with me people? She didn't simply apply the oil. She massaged it in. No, I mean she really MASSAGED it in. Get it? Precisely.

Now I'm not shy about being undressed, waxed, admired (thanks again, Madam, I love a compliment) and oiled... but I was a little... shall we say, surprised. But what the hell did I know? Like I said, this was a first for me and it seemed to make sense that you'd want to soothe all that delicate skin that had just endured so much tugging and pulling. Right? RIGHT?

The next day I asked a friend of mine, who has had some non-Brazilian waxing, about the oil bit. She seemed surprised, "um... no, no oil, just powder. And no massaging it in either." Hmmm. She then asked her sister who has had Brazilian experience. Same deal "No oil, just powder."

Now the interesting thing is that before this whole thing went down (Stop it. No. Just stop it.) I had tried to research a little on the 'net to see if I could get a step-by-step account of what to expect. Oddly enough there was no mention of any sort of massage. Strange.

Now I wonder... maybe I should have given her a bigger tip?


whimsicalnbrainpan said...

Oh. My. God. I think you have a new special friend.

That was just too damn funny Joy! I haven't laughed this hard in ages.

I have been told recently that I should get a Brazilian wax. Now I know what to expect.

BTW, how much do they cost and how much do you tip (if they don't give you a massage)?

The Crazy Purple Wombat said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you!! I not only was thrilled when a friend, with whom I have been tentatively discussing getting up enough courage to have a Brazilian myownself, emailed me the link to your blog! You rock - completely and utterly!! I have only had leg and armpit waxes myself and I have had oil massaged on my legs, but it never ocoured to me that it could translate to a Brazillian, and my 'mamoiselle' didn't recommend doing the armpits since I would be unable to wear deodorant for a day or so anyway and it might make me more moist rather than less...

Oh you are one in a million Joy, and aptly named! I suffer from depression but seem to have a positive and optimistic outlook despite it, so I feel like I know you well already!! I can be black as a stormy night inside but I'll smile and look at the blue sky and know in my heart that things do always get better, sooner or later!!

Thank you again - I will be stopping by here regularly!!

Love, CPW x x x

Gary said...

Oh my. I already know this story and still all I can say is "oh, my".

Ladron de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

Funny how one can weave Johnny Mathis into just about any situation.

Joy said...

Whim - I'm so glad I gave you a chuckle! The cost varies, but mine was around $50 - I tip 10-15%... or more if there's a massage. ;)

CPW - HELLO! I'm so glad you stopped by. Go for the Brazilian, you meet the nicest people that way. And let me know how it goes!!

Gary - I know, I know. If it's going to happen to anyone, it's gonna be me, right?

JT - I can manage to work Johnny in anywhere.

Anonymous said...

Man, oh man. I recently found a place with incredible reviews and thought I'd do a bit more research on the actual topic of Brazilians- my sisters both get them regularly and I'm tired of my razor and the inevitable knicks that result from it. Reading this left me (is excited the wrong word) eager to give it a try. Thanks a bunch!