Archive for the ‘Brazilian wax’ Category

Oh hey, Vancouver!

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Vancouver! We opened our 6th location on Friday March 24 and we couldn’t be more excited to bring what we do best (dazzle you) to Washington.

I have to say, it was a looooong few weeks! That is the deal with construction: it’s a lot of waiting until the last few weeks, and then: BOOM! Everything has to fit together in just a few short days. We did it, but it was a close one!

I love opening new locations. It is the most exciting time, and also I get to be surrounded by my favorite people. There is a whirlwind of activity, and everyone comes together to just get it all done. It is really amazing to see how the space transforms in just a few days.

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Do Angie and I look like zombies in this picture? At one point I looked at her and she looked grey from lack of sleep! That woman is not only always on the go, she also has a one year old baby boy at home! I will tell you, when she is tired she thinks I am very funny…so that is a bonus!

The Vancouver Chamber of Commerce came on Friday and we did a ribbon cutting that was very fun. Big scissors? Yes, please!

It was a great day and we cannot wait to see you there! Now…onto our next Vancouver location! Hazel Dell will be opening in July!

xo,
Shannon

Urban Waxx
16415 SE 15th St
Vancouver WA

 

 

A Toast to 2013!

2013nye2013 was a pretty stellar year at Urban Waxx! We had a lot of new faces join our team, bringing our current number of Urban Waxx employees to 40! It is always so neat to be involved with so many women and the events that they celebrate. We had engagements, weddings, pregnancies…you name it!

2013 also saw a complete overhaul of our successful and beloved product: Serious Serum. If you have not checked out the beautiful new website, I encourage you to do so!

I am always so interested to see how many services we did each year at Urban Waxx. The most popular services are the Brazilian and the brow wax, so I have pulled the info and here is how many guests we smoothed out in 2013!

We did, in all 3 locations, 23,000 Brazilians! We also waxed 12,000 brows! That is so amazing and we obviously could do have made any of it happen without the best, most loyal guests in Oregon (probably the world!)

I want to give the warmest thanks to my outstanding team of Receptionists, Waxxers and Managers. They work so hard every day to make the Urban Waxx Experience a reality.

Happy New Year!

xo,
S

 

Brazilian: Just the Facts, Ma’am

Looking at the Urban Waxx blog stats, the blog that I wrote in 2009, “What the heck is a Brazilian, anyway?” is by far the most read post. I can only guess it’s because there are still millions of people googling the definition of a Brazilian on a daily basis. I almost forget that there are people out there that have NO idea what a Brazilian bikini wax is, or how it will totally change your life. Ok, maybe it won’t change your life the way winning the lottery might, but it’s still pretty cool.

So let’s talk about it. What is it? Well, it’s the complete removal of all your hair from the entire bikini area. ALL of it. That means your complete “undercarriage” including labia and butt crack. However, you have the option of leaving some hair at the top. What do I mean by that? Well I’ll include a diagram, courtesy of the Brazilian Bikini Wax Spa, to give you an idea of what we can leave behind.

Get the idea? I would say that the most popular at Urban Waxx are probably the Landing Strip, or the Bermuda Triangle (we call it a Dorito) or the Clean as a Whistle. But, what we leave behind is as individual as the gal, or guy, that is getting the wax. Do you love this diagram? I kind of do. I might do something similar for the website. I think it’s brilliant!

You will see, whilst perusing waxing menus, that they are often set up differently. A lot of salons have wax prices like this:

Bikini wax $35 and up

or

Brazilian wax $70 +

This is something that I am not a fan of. At all. It leaves a huge gray area. I’m not a fan of “gray area” when it comes to the service industry. I imagine the dialogue going awkwardly like this: “Uhhh, yes, we USUALLY charge $70 for a Brazilian, but you, lady, you’re going to cost $95.” I mean, come on. So weird. We charge the same price across the board. It’s a protocol that we have at Urban Waxx that takes all of the uncomfortable conversation about the cost out of the Esthetician’s hands. Then they can spend all of their time focusing on the client…and get down to business!

We are also always asked if waxing hurts. As I have mentioned in several other posts, yes, I’m afraid it is not completely pain free. But isn’t there a certain amount of pain involved with almost any beauty treatment? I mean, have you ever worn high heels for more than a few hours? Now that’s pain. There is a little bit of pain involved, but honestly it is so quick, and we are SO good at what we do, that it’s very bearable. Seriously, I’m a huge baby when it comes to pain, and I am a regular waxer. But, just in the interest of full disclosure, and because I think this is kind of a funny YouTube video, enjoy the below video. However: please be aware of the fact that this is NOT at Urban Waxx, not our clients, not even the type of wax that we use. It’s just for laughs, people. Let’s not get worked up.

If you EVER have questions about waxing, wax, Brazilians, or YouTube videos about waxing (ok maybe not that one), then don’t hesitate to contact me. My email is shannon@urbanwaxx.com. And I LOVE to talk about waxing!

xo

In the Wax Room, Part 4

So this is something that comes up a lot in my chosen profession, and I want to clear something up once and for all: Brazilians are NOT disgusting. I would like to add to that: We are NOT disgusted giving Brazilians! I swear it! I know that there may be some of you out there that cannot believe that most of the employees at Urban Waxx have seen as many women with their pants off as the average gynecologist, but it’s true. And, I am here to say that when I ask every employee at Urban Waxx what their favorite service is to give, they almost all say the same thing: the Brazilian.

I bring this up because the other day I was having a chat with another Esthetician. She mentioned that there are times that a client will come in and as she is about to begin her Brazilian, the client will say something like: “Aren’t you grossed out doing this?” or “I feel bad for you! This must be an awful job!” Hmm. I have to think about that for a hot second. I can tell you that we are 100% NOT grossed out doing Brazilians. After the 2nd or 3rd it’s all just hair and skin. After the 1000th, I could probably do them blindfolded, asleep, and with one hand tied behind my back. There is nothing gross about the human body. Seriously. And anything I did think was gross when I was younger (for me, vomit), is no longer even mildly gross after having 2 children. Seriously. As far as it being an awful job, actually, it’s quite the contrary. It’s an amazing job! We have fun, we connect with lovely people, and when the employees leave, they don’t take their work home with them. Part of what makes Urban Waxx such a great environment for our clients is that it’s also a really great environment for us. I think it’s pretty apparent when you walk through the doors that we love what we do.

I think that women ask us things like that because some women feel uncomfortable about their bodies, and they can’t imagine that anyone would want to be looking at them in such an intimate way…not to mention under such bright lighting! I mean, honestly, I think everyone has hang-ups about their physiques, present company included! But I wish everyone would understand that when we are waxing we are NOT judging. I tell you I have waxed all shapes and sizes…we all have, and it’s all the same. It’s all hair and skin, and our mission is to remove the hair and leave the skin baby smooth. Doing an amazing Brazilian is what we are known for, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. xo

To Decorate or not to Decorate…

So I got an email from a client the other day. In the email, our client said that when she came home from her monthly Brazilian appointment, her husband said “Oh, another Brazilian. Don’t you want to do anything fun with the hair down there?” She said that she thought about his suggestion, and although she loved her normal Brazilian, it would be fun to mix it up once in a while. She wondered what were the latest trends in Bikini shaping.
First of all, in my humble opinion, any husband who’s wife maintains a monthly Brazilian is a very lucky man. Yes, Brazilians are wonderful for the woman, and there are countless women out there who are unattached and still come in to get waxed. But imagine all the dudes out there that would LOVE it if their gals did some waxing in the nether regions.

Ok, so that being said, let’s talk about what is hip, cool, and current in the world of Brazilian waxing these days. I have always considered myself a bit of a purist when it comes to this service, and I’m not too interested in shapes, designs, etc. However, we do have clients that like a heart shape, those who prefer a landing strip, a Dorito, you name it. People are very partial to their own particular shape. I have even waxed a few initials in my day. Yes, once I painstakingly carved a “J” in a gal’s bikini hair. I’m assuming her man was named Joe or Jeff or something of the like.

There has been much ado lately about Vajazzling. Yes that’s right. Apparently this latest trend has been brought into the open by Jennifer Love Hewitt, who said in an interview that after a bad break up the only thing that made her feel better was to apply Swarovski crystals to her “precious lady,” (her words, not mine), and make herself feel like a wee disco ball. You can view the clip here. It’s…uhhh…interesting.

Anyway, it all really comes down to preference. I love a Brazilian where all the hair is removed. It’s no fuss, no muss, it looks great, it’s my personal favorite. But the bottom line is that everyone is different. Everyone has their own idea of what looks good and what makes them feel good. You want to change it up this wax, just ask. As far as Vajazzling…not sure if we will be offering that in the near future, but who knows! We are going to Las Vegas next month. Maybe we will get inspired!

In the Wax Room. Part 3

It seems that I have been a wee bit remiss in my discussion of how we do things at Urban Waxx. Many times I focus on the business end of things whilst blogging, because that’s the part that I tend to get caught up in on a daily basis. The waxing side, well, at this point in my career it’s like walking and chewing gum. I can do it without even really thinking. I tend to forget that the actual wax is what most of our blog visitors are the most interested in. Most notably, the Brazilian wax. So, I thought it would be helpful to demystify the process by breaking it all down one step at a time. And anyway, TMI is my middle name!

When a client calls to make their initial appointment, they will have an opportunity to ask any and all questions that they may have about their wax of choice. The menu that we created is designed to be as direct as humanly possible. As you may notice, there are different names for every waxing service, especially those in the nether regions. I have heard what we call a Brazilian be called a Sphinx, Playboy, Las Vegas (huh?), Hollywood, and on and on. I don’t really go in for cutesy names for the Brazilian. We offer the Brazilian, the Thong, the Thong/Crack. Pretty obvious what these wax services will cover. I had to laugh because I was just Googling different types of Brazilians and I came across this:

The Tiffany Box - All hair is removed, including in the buttocks area, except the hairs that remain are a square. The remaining hairs are dyed the famous jeweler’s aquamarine color.

Oh goodness. I giggled at that. I’m not necessarily sure if the man in my life would have the same reaction to seeing a Tiffany Box as I might, but who knows. Different strokes, right? We also don’t offer an “and up” price option. Like, your Brazilian can be $65 and up. We have a flat price. I think it’s ridiculous to change the price depending on each client. How awkward to walk up to the front after a wax and hear, “OH…usually we charge $50 but your wax will be $100. It was a LOT of work.” No. Not for us. It’s a flat price. $70 for your first Brazilian at Urban Waxx and then when you reschedule within 6 weeks it will be a $50 maintenance price each and every time. Simple.

Anyway, after all of your questions are answered by our exceedingly comfortable and adorable front desk team, you book your appointment. When you arrive, you will be greeted, checked in, and offered a tasty beverage. We have red and white wine, hot tea, Diet Pepsi, etc. You can snack on some candy and check out a mag for a minute or two, and then your waxer will come to get you.

When you enter the treatment room, the first thing the waxer will do will asked you if you have ever been waxed before, talk to you about your past experiences (if any), and then talk to you about the service you will be receiving with us. Let’s say for the sake of this blog it is a Brazilian. Then you will be asked to undress from the waist down and lay on the sheet covered table. While you are undressing we don’t leave the room, and there are a few reasons why we don’t:

  1. We are about to see you completely nude, on the table, in about 3 seconds. It seems a little silly to leave, step outside, wait, knock, then come back in.
  2. I feel it would be 100% more awkward to be laying on the table, sans bottoms, and have the waxer enter the room. Yikes.
  3. I assure you: while you are undressing we are NOT checking out your panties! We are making sure the wax is at a perfect temp, putting our gloves on, and getting ready for you. I promise!

After you are undressed from the waist down, laying on the table, we start to wax. Now, in the past, I would use a hand towel to preserve some sense of modesty, but again, over the years I realized how silly that was. To get the MOST efficient wax, we need full access. I understand, Brazilians can be intimidating. But as I have stated time and time again, we do Brazilians ALL day long! That is 90% of what we do. Brazilians are my most favorite service to perform! I know, I’m weird, but everyone has a calling and this is mine.

So, the actual Brazilian is a pretty quick process. We apply a very high quality wax onto the pubic area. The wax we use is a hard wax, which means we put on a thick layer and then it hardens, and we pull it off. There is no need for a strip. We cover the entire pubic area, the labia, and the butt crack. If you want to leave a little patch at the top then we leave it. We DO NOT have you get on your hands and knees to get your crack. You lay on your side, facing way from us, and get in the fetal position. This gives us perfect access to your hiney and it much more comfortable for you. Trust me, I’ve been waxed on my hands and knees. It’s an event I would rather not replicate.

Then, you flip back over, we give you a once over to make sure there isn’t any stray hairs left, we finish with some soothing lotion, and you’re done! We step out of the room so you can get dressed and check out our work. We will meet you on the other side of the door to talk about after care, address any additional questions you may have, and bid you farewell.

The reaction that we always get is: “WOW! That wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be” or “Why didn’t I do that sooner?” That makes us feel great! And getting a Brazilian is great. Seriously. It feels…empowering! It feels like you have a little secret.

Listen, we LOVE what we do. It’s true! We are those people who are obsessed with hair removal. If you have questions, we have answers. You can call us, you can email the salon, you can email me at shannon@urbanwaxx.com. I’m always looking for blog topics, so if you have a question: ask!

6000 Brazilians? That is no joke!

In 2009 Urban Waxx did 6000 Brazilian waxes. 6000! We did 4000 eyebrow waxes! That is so unbelievable! I think that it is so thrilling that Portland has completely embraced us and what we do over the past few years. It makes me get a little emotional!

When Cody and I first moved here, Cody was a wee bit skeptical that a wax only salon could make it in a town like Portland. I mean, let’s face it, Portland has a bit of a rep for being “crunchy.” I, however, was not deterred. I know from years of waxing that you cannot judge a book by it’s cover. ALL women wax. All of them. Young women, mature women, soccer Moms, hipsters, big girls, waifs, gay, straight…it doesn’t make a tiny bit of difference. And don’t get me started on the men! You think you know the type of guy that gets a male Brazilian wax? Hmm, think again.

I love that what we do has no specific demographic. We have one mission: to give the best wax you’ll ever have. Seriously. That means to everyone. That makes me happy. It means that we are really doing what we set out to do. We have created a place where everyone gets waxed, everyone feels welcome, everyone feels valued and appreciated. That is fabulous.

So thank you to all of you hair-free Portlanders (and all of you that traveled from farther away)! Thank you for trusting us with your eyebrows, and backs and legs, and other private areas. We are so grateful, and we promise we will keep up the excellent work!

2010: 7000 Brazilians or Bust!!!

Naked shmaked. The dish on taking it off.

So today we had our monthly staff meeting. One of the new things I was asked to implement was a Suggestion Box for the back room. I have always been reluctant to put one back there, for fear that I would be reading 100 suggestions like: “Can I have an independently wealthy boyfriend?” or “Puffy Cheetos.” There were 1 or 2 suggestions that I rolled my eyes at, but most of them were really great! Someone suggested: “Can you please write a blog telling our clients that we are 100% comfortable with nudity?” So, here it is!

We ARE completely, totally, 100% comfortable with nudity. In fact, I am so immune to seeing my clients naked that I am always surprised when I have a new client that is shy. We get so used to dealing with naked bodies that it honestly does not phase us. We have clients of ALL shapes and sizes, too. You know what I have come to realize that everyone, no matter how beautiful or toned or perfect their bodies are, has body issues. I have clients that have the most perfect bodies, with not an ounce of fat to be seen, and still they will hop on the table and say: “Oh don’t look at my cellulite!” Yes, people, it’s official: people are crazy.

My point in talking about this is that I know that getting naked in front of a stranger can be daunting. There is a fear of the unknown and the huge fear of judgement. But, I can assure you, we don’t judge. We don’t talk about our clients after they leave. We understand that our clients put their trust in us and we feel very strongly about honoring that trust.

Another thing: I promise we aren’t fixating on what your vaginas look like. Although I look at lady parts all day long, when I am waxing, I sort of go into a different mode. All I see is hair and skin. I become a wax robot: “Must. Remove. Hair…Hair. Is. Bad!” Ok, well maybe not quite, but pretty close. I have been doing this for so long that I could probably do a Brazilian blindfolded, all while finding out the gossip about my client’s latest date. It is second nature to me, and to all of us.

So, that’s it. Naked, shmaked, that’s what I say. If your fear of stripping down in front of us is keeping you from visiting Brazil, then relax! If it makes you feel any better, all the waxers at Urban Waxx have seen me with my pants down. Can you say that about your boss?

Welcome to Urban Waxx, now gimme a Brazilian!

I think it’s pretty funny that part of my training process with new waxers is that they have to give me a Brazilian wax. I always wonder, as I’m laying on the table, what other jobs require you to see your boss naked. Not too many, I imagine. 
Clients always ask me, “Well who waxes you?” and I always joke and tell them that I go somewhere else. Come on! Of course I get waxed at Urban Waxx! First of all, we are the best wax around. I firmly believe that! But second of all, how could I possibly feel comfortable letting my clients get waxed by a waxer that I have never been waxed by? Oh no! No, I routinely get my Brazilians, and I am always so excited to be reassured that all of the girls blow my mind with how great they are!

I bring this up because yesterday I received a Brazilian from our newest addition, Gina. She is absolutely charming and adorable, and I knew during her training that she was a very talented waxer. So I wasn’t nervous at all. However, as strange as it may seem: I am a HUGE baby when it comes to getting waxed! My pain tolerance is about a 2 on a scale of 1-10. I whine. I fidget. I constantly look at the area being waxed to see how much longer have. I sweat. I complain. Yup, I am pretty much our idea of a “nightmare client.” So, I always tell the gals that I am the worst case scenario. I think that they assume that I am doing it to test them, but really, I am just pretty wimpy.

Yesterday I tried our new numbing serum, Numb-IT. It was pretty amazing. It definitely numbed my nether regions and helped with the Brazilian. And, as I expected, Gina was quick and efficient and in no time I was hair free and on my way. I still think it’s funny that my entire staff has seen my privates, but I guess when you are in the business of Brazilians, it comes with the territory!

A note about the Urban Waxx Maintenance.

One topic that I would like to chat about is the way Urban Waxx prices our most popular service: the Brazilian wax. Our policy at Urban Waxx is that a client that is new to us pays $70 for a first time Brazilian wax, with us. After the initial wax, if the client reschedules the Brazilian within 6 weeks, she will always pay $50, for a maintenance price. What happens if a client only comes in every 9 weeks, 3 months, once a year? Well, then she will always be considered a Brazilian, and be charged $70. But, the majority of our clients get off of the table after the first wax and swear they will NEVER shave again, and we see them every month or so and they always pay $50.

I chose to price our Brazilian this way for several reasons. 
  • Having a Brazilian every 4-6 weeks makes it a TON easier on the client. It is much less painful, there is less hair growth, and your waxing gets on the same cycle as your hair growth, which is about a 4 week cycle.
  • Waxing a client every 4-6 weeks is a lot easier for us, as well! Let’s be honest, waxing a retro 70′s bush every time requires a lot of wax and a fair amount of elbow grease! Although we are waxers and in the business of inflicting a certain amount of pain, we don’t want to make our clients uncomfortable! We want them to hop off the table and exclaim “That was awesome!”
  • Having a maintenance program gives our clients incentive to return to Urban Waxx, on a regular basis, to have their Brazilians.
When I first started pricing our services at Urban Waxx, I looked at all of the salons and spas in the area that did waxing. I also took into account that we use the absolute highest quality wax and waxing products that are available. I tried to price our services so that they are fair to our clients and to us. Choosing to provide a maintenance price to our clients that come monthly is like a little thank you for them each time they get a Brazilian. 
Of course, I understand that sometimes our clients are facing economic hardships. In my opinion, waxing is a necessity, not a luxury. However, I understand that not everyone feels that same way. To be fair, our motto is “The BEST wax you’ll ever have,” not “The CHEAPEST wax you’ll ever have.” There are places that are less expensive than Urban Waxx, of course. There are also places that are much more expensive than Urban Waxx. I invite you to see all of your options and find what is the best fit for you. I think Urban Waxx is flat out the best, but I’ll admit: I’m a tad bit biased! ;)
I am confident that we are the best wax you’ll ever have. Seriously!