I’ve been wanting to try Brazilian wax for the longest time, and now I finally decided to get on with it. There was no question about where I wanted to have it done–Lay Bare waxing salon in SM Fairview has been around for quite some time now, and I’m really lucky that it’s one of the branches that has been consistently touted online as friendly and professional.
For those of you who are not familiar with Lay Bare, it’s a popular chain of waxing salons here in the Philippines. Their main selling point is their affordability and accessibility with a lot of branches around the country.
I booked an appointment online two days ahead. On the day of the waxing, I popped into the ladies’ room for a quick cleanup with wet wipes before heading to Lay Bare, which was just across. Apparently, at least on that day, it didn’t really matter if you booked an appointment beforehand. Perhaps it was because there were no other customers that time. I was asked to fill in some forms, then I was led by a waxing technician named Ivy to the first cubicle behind the waiting area. I have no photos, but Helen Blas of Lucky Citrine has photos of the SM North branch here and the SM Fairview branch looks highly similar.
The cubicle was small and clean with a bed on one side and a small drawer and mirror on the other. Ivy asked me if I wanted to wash first (apparently, they have a bathroom inside; I saw on one blog that they had several feminine washes and even a masculine wash there!), but I said I was already done. She left me to undress and came back around five minutes later with a mask on and all the needed tools.
Ivy then asked me to lie down then turned on a powerful lamp and lifted the skirt of my dress. She placed a sheet of wax paper underneath me, then gave me a towel…not that there was anything to cover. In hindsight, perhaps it was for the profuse sweating that followed. Haha!
What makes Lay Bare different from other waxing salons is that they use cold wax. The amazing part was that Ivy scooped a handful of wax, pulled and stretched it, then used it repeatedly (well, as far as I could ascertain…I couldn’t really see her work) to remove hair. I was like, wow, their wax is so sticky, one handful can be used on more than one area! No need for popsicle sticks! Ivy used two handfuls in all for the entire process. She was a quick worker–stick the wax onto the hair, yank it off, stick it on, yank it off.
I was pleased to see that Ivy wore gloves throughout the process. She started by sprinkling baby powder liberally so that the wax won’t stick to the skin. I guess the position your legs must be in depends on your waxer, so just let her direct you.
So how was the waxing? I won’t lie, it really is painful. At some points, I was mentally telling Ivy to stop because it stung so much. The pain made me sweat a lot. At times it felt like the skin itself was being taken off. But one thing I’m proud of is that I didn’t utter a sound of pain. Not even once. Sure, I flinched and winced, but I never screamed or yelled. That’s part of pain management, you see–suppressing the pain by not giving vent to it.
Afterwards, however, there was nothing. The area didn’t feel sore or raw. It was just…hairless. I saw little spots of blood in my underwear later on, but I expected that because yanking lots of coarse hair out of their roots will really draw blood. Again, the skin didn’t sting even when it came in contact with water.
The waxing took 20 minutes, even quicker than a pedicure. After rubbing soothing cream on the waxed area, Ivy reminded me not to wet it for six hours and not to scrub it for three days, then she left me to dress.
At the waiting area, they gave me another information card to fill up so that the session could be recorded in their system. They also gave me a loyalty card, which entitles me to P100 off on my 5th visit and P200 off on the 10th. Only services P300 and above will be credited, though. The card reflects their old prices; they implemented a price increase at the beginning of 2013, but their prices are still very affordable.
True to what I’ve read, the staff of Lay Bare SM Fairview are courteous and have a nice demeanor. They didn’t push me to buy anything. Service was quick and affordable. The only con is that there are a still a few small hairs left. Next time, I’ll ask my wax technician to pluck after waxing.
Whether or not you choose to groom down there is entirely up to you, no matter what society standards are. The important thing is to keep it clean. But if you are really curious about Brazilian waxing like I was, then go for it! I was really nervous the day before my appointment because I dreaded the idea of a stranger looking at my privates, but what some bloggers say is true: as you go through the process, you’ll forget about the awkwardness because you’ll be focusing on the pain. Haha! And it really is just another day at work for the wax technician. They’ve seen it all before.
As for the pain, well, I’m telling you I don’t have a high tolerance for pain but I survived the experience without screaming or fainting. It’s all about pain management. Relax and face the pain; don’t intensify it by screaming or telling yourself, “this will hurt!”. There’s no such thing as painless Brazilian, but when the waxing is over, you won’t feel any stinging.
Here are some reminders that may be useful:
1. Don’t wear jeans on your appointment. Wear something loose, like dresses or skirts. Leggings are fine too. You don’t want anything chafing against your newly waxed skin. That being said, don’t wear tight undies either.
2. If you shave or trim, wait two to three weeks after your last shave/trim before getting waxed. You don’t want to be rescheduled because the hair is too short, and they can trim it anyway if it’s too long.
3. Wash very well before getting waxed. Take your time. You don’t want your waxer to bookmark you as “the one with a smell”.
4. Don’t wait too long between appointments because if the hair grows back to its old state, it’ll be like having a Brazilian for the first time all over again.
So there! I’m now one of the many fans of Lay Bare. They have a 15% off promo on any service plus free eyebrow threading on your birthday month. My birthday’s coming up next month, so the promo is a good incentive to avail of another Brazilian! Like their Facebook page here if you’re also a fan. It’s nice to see that they reply to customer complaints and do something about it.