Pretty in the City - Is It Too Late for Best of Miami?

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Our annual Best of Miami issue has come and gone, and months after reporting and researching and writing our exhaustive entries, I’ve discovered a real candidate for next year’s Best Hair Removal category. (Yeah, I just made that up). Wax On, Wax Off is a spankin’ new salon right next to the CVS on Grand Avenue in Coconut Grove. I’ll admit up front – I absolutely adore this place. If you’re like me and you’ve been searching for a perfect new place to get de-furred, look no further.

With two glass walls on either side of the lobby, this place is bright and inviting. A bottle of bubbly sat on the counter, and as soon as I parked myself in a chair I was offered a glass. Or a mimosa. “How about both?” I asked, only half-kidding. After my last waxing tragedy, I was understandably apprehensive. But the friendly lady at the front desk made me feel at ease. And when I met my waxer-to-be, Erica, I felt immediately calm. Erica’s a bubbly, funny, chatty black female, and in my experience thus far, something of an anomaly on the local waxing scene. “I know, right?” she laughed when I expressed my surprise and pleasure to find similar to myself on the other end of the cloth strip. “We’ve been getting a lot of that kind of feedback.”

Having brown skin and naturally curly, Afro-textured hair creates unique beauty concerns, and Erica taught me a LOT in our speedy wax session. For example, the dangers of salicylic acid for darker skin tones. According to Erica (as well as Discovery Health and information available on Dr. Susan Taylor’s Brownskin.net), salicylic acid can do a number on women of color, leading to skin ripping during innocuous wax treatments, and consequent hyperpigmentation. Yikes! At Wax On, Wax Off, they use sturdy paper strips and a vitamin enriched aqua-colored wax that was developed in Paris 30 years ago, to soften and smooth the face, underarms, and bikini area. I was apprehensive because of the strip-waxing, but Erica involved me in the process, and made it quick, painless, and thorough. She kept up the chatter and played me with more mimosa when my nervousness arose. In no time at all, we were all done and I was a very happy girl. “Husbands love my work. I’ve had happy husbands send me roses!” Erica crowed. With good reason!

First time visitors get 15 percent off, and the prices aren’t bad – the “Barbie” bikini wax costs $33, underarms are $11, and an eyebrow wax will set you back $16. Oh, and there’s a bangin’ display of dangly earrings, Grove Soap Company products, and other enticing items in the lobby, so after you get your fuzz removed, you can reward yourself with a lovely parting gift. AND they’re open on Sundays? I am so coming back for more, Erica-san! Call 305-444-8455, or visit www.waxonwaxoff.com for a gander at their prices and special packages.

- Patrice Yursik

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