With Memorial Day is behind us and summer in full swing, the demand for summer beauty treatments--pedicures, bikini waxes, spray tans--sky rockets. Many of these services involve a technician--usually a virtual stranger--getting all up in your personal space. So how much do you tip? And what happens when you're not happy with the service you received? Is it OK to totally stiff someone who just spent 20 minutes getting intimately acquainted with your bikini line? We investigate.
This holiday season I've been inundated with beauty products meant to evoke the season--peppermint scrubs, cranberry lip gloss, sparkly red nail polish, and vanilla candles galore. But nothing says "Merry Christmas" quite like a...gingerbread bikini wax. Yes, this exists. And yes, I got one.
There's been a lot of attention lately on the sexualization of children (remember Thylane Blondeau and lingerie for four-year-olds?), and now the beauty industry is under some scrutiny. We already know that a little girl can get a spray tan, but she can now apparently get a bikini wax at the age of 11. Yesterday Good Morning America (you can watch the segment on Jezebel) did a piece about beauty treatments for girls, and we were pretty surprised by the services salons (and parents) were willing to perform on kids as young as 11. We're not talking about a pretty hairdo or a manicure here--although those are offered for one-year-olds! We're talking about bikini waxes for girls who are barely pubertal. The waxing seemed the most egregious to us, so we decided to poke around a bit to see if there really is a demand for waxing services for girls. We were pretty surprised by some of the things we discovered.
It’s almost beach season, which means if you’ve been neglecting your bikini line all winter it’s time to get that thing in check. Timing is everything when it comes to bikini line maintenance, so we spoke to Cynthia Chua, the owner of Strip Ministry of Waxing, to get some guidance about when, where, and how to keep things nice and tidy. How soon before hitting the beach or pool do you recommend waxing and why? Do wax two to three days in advance, especially if you are new to waxing, as people with very sensitive skin might incur slight redness or blotchiness. It will calm down in a day or so. Waxing removes hair from the root, which keeps your skin hair-free for around 2-3 weeks. How should you take care of the area after you get a wax?
Cynthia Chua, the founder of Strip: Ministry of Waxing (and a long-time beauty entrepreneur and owner of a chain of spas), studied the art of the Brazilian bikini wax in New York and almost single handedly introduced its, uh, pleasures to Asia. Cynthia’s native Singapore was the first eastern spot to embrace the ritual of hot wax on one’s most sensitive regions, and the trend quickly spread. There are now almost 30 Strip locations throughout Asia and London. Executing a complete 360 degree journey, the student has now become the master. In a (hairless) ballsy move, Strip recently opened an outpost in New York, with eyes on the West Coast soon. It's challenging the waxing establishment by offering less painful, cleaner, and quicker waxing services. So how do they compare? I went in to find out.