Lunchtime Tune Ups: Waxing Poetic or South of the Border

For the first phase of my lunchtime tune-ups, I took a trek south of the border... No not to Mexico, but to Brentwood, to get a Brazilian wax from Rhonda of "Faces by Rhonda" - A Private Skin Care Studio.

Before the Wax

Rhonda is a former model who had to learn all about makeup, skin care and waxing as part of her modeling career. She learned from some of the best talents modeling had to offer including RuPaul and the like. When she got her first "Brazilian", the technician handed her a mirror and said, "look, now that's sexy". Afterwards she ended up studying the "Brazilian" in New York. For the past 10 years she has helped make some of Hollywood's finest actresses, producers, producers wives, and politicians, look "sexy". And, yes, she also has made some of us commoners look pretty hot, too.

So, I head to Rhonda's studio and enter the waxing room. She tells me to take off my pants and lie down, and I comply, bringing my handy notebook along so I can capture any gems of wisdom that might fall from her mouth. (As an aside... it is just a little difficult to take notes while someone is ripping hair from your body! Go figure!) "The first thing I am going to do," Rhonda explains, "is trim you up a little". She takes out a pair of scissors and begins trimming, as I breathe deeply, trying not to be worried about sharp pointy objects moving so close to my ________. I close my eyes, picturing lawn mowers and hedge clippers, and then promptly remember I am supposed to be taking notes. I ask Rhonda if she has any funny stories to tell.

She was hesitant to tell me many stories, wanting to keep the privacy of her clientele. No name-dropping at Faces By Rhonda, it seems. You and your hairy secrets are as safe as if you were at confession. I did learn, however, that one of her clients got into a car accident on the way home from her wax because she was so busy admiring herself. (Now what do you tell the cop for the accident report in that situation, I wonder?)

Another story I was able to drag out of Rhonda - a client was once getting a massage at a shi-shi Beverly Hills spa. Her client was passing a woman in the hallway and they looked at each other, smiled and said "Rhonda". At one point I was on all fours (with my back arched) and she says to me "I usually don't even recognize my clients on the streets. I generally have to get into a conversation before I realize who they are."

Back to my wax. The scissors disappeared and I started to take notes. Rhonda told me that since this was my first "Brazilian", she was going to do it in small strips for my comfort. This ended up being good thinking on her part, and good luck on mine. The waxing really wasn't too bad, although there were times when I had to stop writing and really concentrate not to scream. I maneuvered into many interesting positions, presumably for the best wax access. (I didn't ask, since I was too busy concentrating.) What I didn't realize at first was that these waxings can actually be very dangerous for the technician... at times my foot was right next to Rhonda's face, and if I was a kicker... yikes. I asked about this and Rhonda said she can usually tell who is going to be trouble. There have been clients who grab her or hit her as she pulls. And yes, she ended up across the room once or twice after being kicked.

After the Wax

Rhonda is an artist when it comes to her work, and she can do designs (lots of women like rocket ships) and sometimes even sparkles. She labels herself as a germa-phobe, and when I asked, mentioned some of the benefits of the "Brazilian": no hair for things (or smells) to stick to, and enhanced sexual sensations. She mentioned of a few things we as consumers need to be aware of before we wax anything: drinking alcohol the night before a wax can increase the pain of the wax, as can caffeine. Remember to tell your technician if you are on any medications like Accutane, blood thinners or clotters, Retina, Renova even Botox or Collagen. Make sure the waxing room and salon are very clean and hygienic. The biggie, according to Rhonda? Beware the Double Dippers, technicians who dip a tongue-depressor into the wax, apply the wax to your body, and then dip into the can of wax again. This should never happen. It's important to always use a clean tongue depressor, since this is a perfect way to pass on bacteria from one person to the next.

After my wax, Rhonda gave me a list of things to do for follow-up care and I left feeling very exotic and sexy. It didn't take a lot of time 15- 20 minutes tops. Definitely a great tune up you can do during a lunch hour. Just be sure to get it done a couple of days before you want to make a grand "unveiling of the masterpiece". I have sensitive skin and left looking very red; it took me a day or two to get back to normal. I have included some before and after shots for those of you interested... and to clear up any misconceptions concerning the difference between a bikini and a Brazilian wax. Just remember that in Brazil they aren't afraid to take it all off.

Rhonda can be contacted at "Faces by Rhonda" - a Private Skin Care Studio. She'll wax it all from head to toe, and also offers a variety of facials, eyebrow and eyelash tints, bikini bleaching, body care, and makeup. She is located in Brentwood at 13050 San Vicente Blvd, Suite 107. You can reach her by phone at 310/403-1935 or online at FacesByRhonda.com

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