By Erin Williams


If you’re like me your mother didn’t tell you a thing about waxing and all of your info is from friends and magazines. I wish someone would have told me what I’m about to tell you. I decided to go to the Elizabeth Arden Red Door Salon and Spa on 5th Avenue for my inaugural waxing, as I had heard that they boast an “Ouchless Bikini Wax”. Here’s what happened –

I walked off the elevator onto the floor for waxing – yes, there’s an entire floor. I had decided to go in for a bikini wax, nothing serious, no Brazilians thank you for offering. But it was, as I said, my first official wax (that time at camp with a jar of Nads doesn’t really count in my book since I only made it through one rip). They led me to a little room with a chair, like one you’d see at the dentist (different open wide though – but I’m skipping ahead). I was handed a gauze thong and given a moment to change. So I was sitting on the dentist chair, basically naked from the waist down, waiting for my new friend to come back and engage in a little wax-ology. She instructed me to lay back in the chair and hold my legs as far apart as possible. Next I had to pull up the paper thong so I was holding it taut, in a bunch, on my stomach. At that point in time I wasn’t sure exactly why it was there at all because it looked more like a party decoration than a pair of make-shift undies. Nevertheless, I acquiesced.

Next we discussed “how far in?” I wanted. No hearts and stars, just enough to be comfy in a swimsuit. Then she broke out the wax. You should know that even with a bikini wax, they’re going to go “underneath” you – not just up in the front. I wasn’t aware of this, nor could I say I was entirely ready for the experience-mentally. In a matter of minutes I would learn that there are some things for which there is no real way to be prepared…contrary to my Girl Scout mantra.

So here comes the wax. It was warm but not too bad. Tap, tap, tap and she ripped it off. Pain? Yes. Bearable? Yes. We finished that side and I started breathing easier as we got to the other side. Done there. “Sweet Lord, we’re finished” I naively thought. No, no. She went back to the first side and this time the wax felt hot because the skin has basically just been ripped off. More tapping, more ripping, more wishing I had popped some pre-appointment Advil to dull the pain. Both sides were “addressed” three times total. I wasn’t sure if that was because I had never had a waxing down there before, or whether it was common practice at this particular salon. I didn’t have a clear enough head to ask.

After she was finished she told me to “look down at straight lines. Very good. Very straight.” And we admired her handiwork together – which was a little strange to do, I can’t lie – checking out your genital region with a stranger. But the lineswere straight. She powdered me and left the room and I got a good look at my new ‘do’. I pulled on my underwear and skirt and went out into the world a new woman.

It took about 4-5 days for the redness to dissipate (mind you, I’m fair, Irish, and hadn’t taken Advil pre-waxing) but once it did it was pretty sweet! We were at the beach for over a week and it was really nice not to even have to think about shaving. The skin felt amazingly smooth and the “job” lasted for a couple of weeks at 100% and a couple more weeks that were passable. I’m pondering doing it again, since I’m told that each time you wax, the hair grows back finer and softer. Hopefully that means much less ‘ouch’ in the process.

The Elizabeth Arden Red Door Salon and Spa is located at 691 5th Avenue, 212.546.0200,

Originally published August 2006



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