The luxurious Meatpacking spa uses a hard, blue wax to make pampering less painful

Women accept that there are some things in our lives that are just going to cause us pain.  I can think of three off the top of my head.  One of them is bikini waxing.  I’ve tried everything from numbing cream to the power of positive thinking.  But that instant when the strip of paper stuck to the hardened wax that is now attached to my bodily hair is ripped from my suffering skin still makes my heart seize.

Until I stepped into Stark Waxing.  Maybe it’s the soothing atmosphere of this cozy spa space.  Maybe it’s the sensitive fingers of aesthetician Lura Jones.  Or it could be the wax.  “The wax that we use is exceptional,” she explained.  “We use a blue, French hard wax which is extremely gentle on the skin.”  There is some scientific explanation about how the wax adheres to the hair as it lifts off the skin.  Whatever.  All I know is the most fearful 15 minutes of every month of my life suddenly turned into a calm and nearly pleasant girly experience.  I’m not saying it’s pain free.  You hair is still being ripped from a part of your body that was designed for mostly more pleasurable pursuits.

Stark Waxing opened about five years ago in Los Angeles to rave reviews and a full appointment book.  They’ve been in New York for about five months now, and the response has been the same.   The typical Stark customer, says Lura, “is someone who’s looking for a really clean, high-quality waxing experience.  It ranges from a stay-at-home mom to celebrities to everything in between.”

Part of the reason for Stark’s popularity is the experience of their aestheticians, with usually seven or eight years at other shops before they can work here.

Of course, it’s not just about the bikini.  Eyebrows are carefully shaped, legs are waxed quickly and cleanly.  And, when I explained that I was really unhappy with the look of my brows, she imparted tips to help them grow in better.

Waxing isn’t cheap, but, according to Lura, it’s so much better.  “You shave and then a few hours later, you have stubble.  You wax, and there will be no hair growth for the first week.  The hair starts to grow back finer and softer, because you’re actually pulling the hair out by the roots.”

Her tips for a more satisfying waxing experience:  leave your brows to a professional.  Trying to shape them yourself can only create problems (never mind the pencil by the nose trick).  Dry exfoliate the bikini area daily to prevent ingrown hairs, and moisturize every day.

My tip:  go to Stark Waxing.  Once you’ve tried the lovely blue wax, you’ll never look back.

Photography: Anton Brookes

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