Cindy Barshop may have a familiar face. She gained reality-TV fame as a cast member of The Real Housewives of New York City, but she found success much earlier when the Madison Avenue spa she founded more than 10 years ago grew into a hair-removal brand known throughout the country. Completely Bare’s waxing specialists dab bikini lines with the shop’s proprietary blend of ouch-less wax, which adheres to hair instead of skin to avoid the painful pull that often accompanies a waxing session. The blend is hypoallergenic and does not cause acne, which makes it ideal for depilating sensitive skin and touchy bodily zones. Routine waxing sessions add extra sparkle with the salon’s vajazzling service, which bedecks newly hair-free spots with up to 70 Swarovski crystals arranged into such shapes as hearts, stars, peace signs, and MPAA ratings. The spa specialists also migrate beyond the below-the-belt area to polish the rest of the body with facials, laser hair removal, spray tanning, and teeth whitening.
In cosmetology school, MieleDolce founder Luis Iturralde let his fellow students wax him for a class demonstration. His allergic reaction to the chemical wax made it a demonstration of more than proper waxing technique; his brief modeling gig also showed the importance of beauty treatments that avoid irritating skin. Iturralde carried this lesson to his spa, MieleDolce, where the staff sidestep chemical waxes in favor of threading or electrolysis.
The center’s specialty, however, consists of extending hair: its semipermanent silk and mink lash extensions come in a variety of lengths and curvatures, and technicians ensure a natural look by attaching them hair by hair. Additional services range from slimming body wraps infused with aloe vera and herbs to micro skin needling, an anti-aging treatment that can combat wrinkles, scarring, and signs of playing rugby in a crawlspace.
Warren Wilkes Salon is quite capable of cranking out pretty hairdos with dazzling highlights, but its owner is also able to deal with the wind- and sun-ravaged hair that only comes from frequently riding a motorcycle. According to an Examiner.com article, Warren, a biker himself, knows exactly where to add layers so that the hair still maintains a great shape even after being smooshed under a helmet and tied with hair bands. He even tells his long-haired clients to place covered hair bands in tresses every 3 inches in order to keep hair protected from the elements and frog plagues.
When Warren and his stylists are not tending to bikers’ hair, they correct color, add hair extensions, and create updos. Aestheticians work alongside Warren and his hairstylists, beautifying faces with microdermabrasion and lash tinting.
Erica Arancibia has two areas of expertise: getting rid of unwanted hair and caring for the skin underneath. She works with both hard and soft wax to clear away hair from almost any body part—though her specialty is Brazilians—and has aftercare products on hand to stave off irritation. She has also mastered the Alexandria sugaring technique, which removes hair in the direction of its growth for reduced discomfort. Erica never double-dips or uses recycled wax, and she always wears disposable gloves, both for hygiene purposes and in case she needs an emergency balloon.
In addition to her hair-removal services, Erica administers facials and peels. Her skincare treatments target conditions from dryness to acne with technology such as ultrasound treatments and crystal-free microdermabrasion.
Bollywood Stylz's staff specializes in the ancient Indian practice of threading eyebrows, masterfully clearing away rows of hair to form crisply defined brows that lend eyes a striking frame. They gently twist threads to catch unwanted strands and lift them from follicles on eyebrows, stray facial hairs, or necks. The process avoids the irritation that comes from waxes, benefitting those with sensitive skin or those who are themselves made out of wax.
In addition to threading, the stylists trim and color tresses, wax legs and bikini lines, cleanse pores with facials, and pamper guests with other salon services. Another in-house specialty is the intricate, reddish-brown designs of traditional henna body art.
The white tulip chairs, sleek charcoal and orange d?cor, and recessed lighting may give Wink Threading Salon a modern feel, but their specialty service is rooted in tradition. Instead of relying on harsh wax, chemicals, or duct tape, the hair removal experts reach for a simple length of antibacterial thread. By twisting the threads together and sweeping them across the skin, the stylists are able to swiftly and precisely uproot stray hairs, creating smooth, sure lines on the brows, upper lip, chin, or forehead. A writer for D Magazine in the feature "The Best Eyebrow Job I've Ever Had" called Wink?s threadong process "less painful?than wax" and "less tedious than tweezing," and even claimed that afterwards she was so pleased that she "could [not] stop looking at [her brows] in the rearview mirror."