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Wax on, Wax off

Beauty takes a trip to Brazil

By Dara Colwell

If the thought of a nurse clad in white, wielding a thick butter knife covered in molasses gets you going, then get yourself over to 77 Maiden Lane and spread those legs--it's bikini waxing time!

An admitted wax virgin (so unheard of in sunny California), I anticipated my first time with anxious glee. I imagined pain mingled with pleasure, an embarrassing moment or two and a great need to turn out the lights. As I entered the lobby--a pink, French-inspired expanse filled with elaborate flower arrangements and silver water decanters--I felt rather flushed, and I wanted to turn back. But the idea of having the bald, babyish bikini line of a Victoria's Secret model kept me secured to my olive-striped chaise.

Then she entered. Vanessa Ford, one of the salon's seven professional waxers, led me to a brightly lit back room filled with serene, classical Muzak. When I explained my inexperienced status, Vanessa reassured me, cooing, "waxing becomes addictive." I asked about the pain. She told me that she would prep the skin with cornstarch powder before coating it with warm European wax. Her clients experienced pain differently, she told me. Some veterans, like mothers who have given birth, feel nothing. I thought silently, wondering how apt the analogy would be.

Vanessa left me alone to don my paper panties, which covered very little--the rest would have to go. When she returned, it was time for the show. I was ready but my adrenaline level was high. Vanessa, who's been waxing local ladies for the past 12 years, was extremely fast and efficient, applying pressure to the skin after each, ah, how do you put it? Rip. Although I had nothing to compare it to, there were certain moments that were similar to prying off a stubborn Band-Aid; other moments were more akin to the Viking torture methods I had read about in college--but luckily short-lived. I could see how giving birth might be good preparation.

Vanessa's technique was great and the entire process took no longer than 15 minutes. At the end, I had a wonderful, preadolescent bikini line and was ready to hit the lingerie department. In four to six weeks, I'll be back--and I'll definitely ask for Vanessa.

Bikini waxes cost $25. Call the salon to schedule an appointment. The salon also offers leg, eyebrow and facial waxing, all professionally done.

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From the March 6, 2000 issue of the Metropolitan.

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