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New North Van wax bar shows latest trends
“English tea party meets grandma’s house” isn’t what usually comes to mind when stepping into a waxing salon. But it suits Cutie Pie Wax Bar — think tiny teacups, pink flowered wallpaper and vintage chairs — perfectly.
These added touches, including overhead TVs playing chick flicks, help customers feel relaxed, says owner Lindsay Brown, who held the grand opening of her second Cutie Pie location on the North Shore last week.
“We take what can be an uncomfortable situation and make it more enjoyable and fun,” she tells The Outlook on a tour of the wax bar.
“We just do waxing, so we focus on one thing and we do it well.”
Most of Brown’s customers come in for a Brazilian (dare to go bare), but French and bikini waxes are offered too. Men, however, shouldn’t feel left out — Bro-zilians and Mankinis are also on the list.
Another hot trend is Vajazzling, says Brown, adding the sparkling glitter or rhinestone designs “are fun, not taken too seriously” and perfect for holidays like Halloween, Christmas and especially Valentine’s Day.
First the customer pics a stencil – like a cat, ghost or witch’s hat — then it’s filled in with glue and one or two of 30 different colours of glitter. Again, guys shouldn’t feel neglected with Bro-jazzling available as well.
Waxing has been on Brown’s mind since she started in the beauty industry. After working overseas for five years, she quickly realized it can be a “nightmare” to find a reliable waxing salon.
So to help fix the problem, she opened Cutie Pie’s first location in West Vancouver last summer. After realizing many of her customers drove all the way from North Van, she opened a second, much larger salon to fill the void on the other side of the North Shore.
The key to running a successful wax bar is to ensure customers feel at ease with their treatment, says Brown. “We’re clean freaks. Everything is disposable, so no double dipping with wax strips.”
So how much does it really hurt?
Around 80 per cent of people rate it a three or four, on a 10-point scale, where 10 is the most painful, says Brown. But despite numbing gel and taking the recommended aspirin half an hour before, she adds, a very small number of people find waxing excruciating.
Despite all the pain, why has the Brazilian become so popular? Brown credits the TV series Sex and the City with starting the craze in New York in the mid-90s.
“One episode sprung Brazilians into the mainstream, and it took off from there.”
Cutie Pie Wax Bar is located at 112-223 Mountain Hwy in North Van and 15-636 Clyde Ave. in West Van. For more info, visit cutiepiewaxbar.com.