Last week, on Tuesday to be exact, I had my very first bikini wax -- and yes, it was a Brazilian. You’d think that someone endeavoring on this very special experience for the first time would need some kind of good reason, right? Am I seeing someone special or about to book a cruise to the Bahamas? Nope. In fact, it’s been so chilly lately that I’m still in tights, hardly baring my legs much less -- well, anything else. But Completely Bare offered me the opportunity to try out their hair removal methods for free, in exchange for an accurate assessment of what I thought. At first I was slightly incredulous. We’ve all heard some pretty terrible things about getting a first bikini wax. Were they really so confident about what they had to offer that they trusted me to write an unbiased review?
Well, luckily for them, I happened to like it. Not that it wasn’t also...memorable. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
The night before, as I enjoyed Mexican seder at Toloache in Midtown (...yes, you read that right), my girlfriend was telling me all about the time she tried a bikini wax -- once. She said that I was crazy. She said that I’d better drink up, indicating my full margarita glass. She said that getting a bikini wax was a rite of passage that every woman should do once, but that I should be prepared for the fact that I would probably only ever do it...once. I would not put myself through that again.
That morning, I managed to be running very late. Waiting in line at the post office and then getting lost as I headed to their downtown location (of six in NYC) added up to a very breathless, hectic arrival. But that actually worked in my favor, I think. I didn’t have time to dwell on what I was about to do, nor did I have to wait long in the chic but stark reception area:
Once I got into my private room, I met with the exact stereotype you'd expect: a foreign, curt, no-nonsense wax woman. I told her it was my first time, so I'd like it if she communicated with me about what she was doing as we went along. In short, she essentially said, "Look, I'm not going to lie to you. It's going to hurt. If anyone said different, they are lying. It's probably also going to bleed. I just want you to know. Don't say I didn't tell you. Now open your legs."
When waxing, it's both more and less violating than you might expect. For me, I was mostly wary of the all-white room I was in, which was sterile like a hospital. Forget the idea of Enya playing and pictures of beaches and mountains and bamboo. It was just all bare white. Over the table, which itself was draped in sanitary paper, was a magnifying lamp that would light me up and amplify me down there so the lady could have a clear sight. That was all highly intimidating to me.
On the other hand, I found it sort of easy to pull off my panties and hike up my dress and climb on the table. I figured if she was going to be stoic and professional, than I could put on a brave face and act all business, too. I was told to put the soles of my feet togather, knees apart, like a butterfly position. I surprised myself that I wasn't too out of shape to do this. This position sort of gives the woman access to the surface without exposing more; your legs are basically as closed as possible. She started patting on some preparatory lotions to sink in while she stirred and heated up a batch of wax. She stood by my head. We made chitchat.
The actual heart of the matter wasn't so bad. Really. Did it hurt? Yup. Each strip, especially in certain areas, hurts right when she rips it, like a bandaid. But right when it's done, it doesn't keep hurting. Or it didn't for me, anyway. The strips kind of blurred together; she let me know before she did most of them and she let me know which ones might be worse so I could brace myself. She showed me the two kinds of wax she used, telling me which was used on more sensitive areas in a very clinical and informative way. She asked if I was all right throughout. She told me I was a good sport.
The last part was the part that makes the Brazilian the Brazilian -- the back. For this, I had to change position. I put my knees together -- still with a manner of decorum -- and held those up against me as I rested on my back. She went to work. The worst part, all in all, was the cleanup. The woman peers right down there and finishes everything up with a tweezer. The individual plucks made me more impatient than one fast pull. Having her face closer felt more mortifying for me. And this is going to sound really strange -- at least, judging my the look on my specialist's face when I told her -- but when she plucked in certain places close to the pelvic bone it actually tickled. That was driving me nuts. Apparently this is just me, although I'd love to know if anyone else has ever experienced that??
And then, we were done. She left, I got dressed and paid. (Normally, a Brazilian runs about $75; a tip of 20% makes the total a round $90.) I wasn't uncomfortable walking out nor was I the rest of the day in my chair at work. And since then, I've really been enjoying being bare down there. I really don't think I'll mind doing it again when I have an excuse and the cash. I'm just worried that knowing what to expect will actually make me more nervous than I was just going in with no expectations and assuming the worst.
All in all, I recommend that before you go to your first bikini wax, you have a friend terrify you about it. That way, no matter what it’s like, you probably won’t suffer as much as you expected. Then, you should not arrive early and give yourself too much time to think about things. On the flip side, don’t arrive too late and have a hurried, bitter woman waxing you; that can’t be good.
And then, maybe you’ll be like my friend and never, ever go back. Or you might be like me and feel slightly addicted. But either way, there’s only one way to find out.
Completely Bare offers complimentary consultations if you’re interested to learn more. Honestly, I recommend just biting the bullet and making an appointment. In my experience, that's the way to get your first bikini wax.