I woke up this morning to my gorgeous boyfriend staring sweetly at my face.
“Hi babe!” I greeted him.
“So uhhh… what’s goin’ on with those brows” he responded.
… He had a point.
I’ve been a strict once-every-3-week waxer my entire life, but I recently let things get a little out of hand (before you judge me, why don’t you try finding an eyebrow artist in Serbia or Portugal) and was going strong into week 7 of growth. Unless you’re into the Frieda Kahlo look (which neither me nor James happens to be), it wasn’t cute.
When I finally hauled myself out of bed, I decided it was officially time to do something about the caterpillars (or, really, caterpillar — singular.) growing on my face. I had heard good things about “Exclusive Beauty Clinic“, which sounded super glitzy and was only a few blocks from my apartment. Score.
When I walked in, I was both confused confuesd. It looked a hell of a lot more like a Medi-Spa than a waxing salon, and some of the services advertised on the wall included dermal fillers, permanent makeup and a “STOP SMOKING AND WEIGHT LOSS” treatment that I was too scared to ask about, but also kind of want. Still, it was better than the back alley beauty spot I’d subjected myself to in Cambodia, so it seemed like it would be alright.
Since I had already trekked the two blocks to the odd little place, I figured I may as well get a full workup and opted in for a bikini wax too, aka the worst 25 minutes of every month.
“How deep?” the front desk woman asked me.
“For your bikini wax. How deep?”
… Um, what?
“Brazillian?” I ventured, a myriad of traumatizing options running through my head.
That seemed to be the answer she was looking for, because she immediately led me into a private room that looked a lot more like a doctor’s office than the relaxing spa atmosphere I’m used to being in when I’m practically being ripped limb by limb.
Enter: My Esthetician, who spoke no English. Considering I don’t speak any Czech, either, I knew we were in for a real doozy.
Despite the language barrier, things were going totally fine with my nether wax — probably because “OW” is universal — until it came time for the “flip.” (Ladies, you know what I’m talking about. Dudes, you should really, really appreciate the shit we put ourselves through for you.)
She was trying to instruct me to turn over onto my side, which is not a position I’ve ever been ask to assume in the context of a bikini wax. I kept rolling from my back onto my stomach, and she kept shaking her head and motioning for me to flip over. Keep in mind that I was completely pants-less, so things were pretty awkward.
After a few less-than-flattering tumbles, she finally got out her phone traslator, which instructed me to lay on my side.
Once that was settled, she continued to give me instructions in Czech, which obviously went straight over my head. Out came the phone translator, which politely asked me to “Hold onto your butt cheeks, please.”
Somehow, I survived the experience, but not without shedding an actual tear because it hurt so much. It was legit the most painful bikini wax I’ve ever had — both physically and emotionally — but also one of the best in terms of everything else. (Side note the spa used some sort of “sugar wax” which is effective AF and I need to find out where to get it in the US).
I thought it was all over, BUT THEN, there was a knock at the door and another woman came in and told me she had to “check” my wax. At first I thought she only wanted to look at my brows (which also got waxed, but far less event-fully) to make sure they were even, but nope! She wanted to peak under the hood too. Luckily, she spoke a little bit of English so at least I understood wtf what was going on. And yes, both waxes passed her inspection. AHHH
At this point, I’ve now lived through bikini waxes in seven different countries, which means seven insane different experiences trying to navigate a language barrier with a stranger who’s staring at my hoo-ha. Gone are the days of Tammy, my trusted waxer (or really, artist) in college, who I knew could get the job done flawlessly and in 13 minutes flat. The situations have ranged from painful to awkward to paiiiiiinfully awkward, and I’ve gotten extremely comfortable using hand gestures I never thought I’d have to use.
As a friend of mine recently put it:
… It’s better than going full caterpillar au natural, though.