Beauty is in the eye of the beholder...and those of us holding the mascara wand.

After two decades of covering the beauty industry, I've come to learn what makes it so alluring. Finding the perfect shade of makeup to match your skin tone, adding a swipe of eyeliner to give your tired eyes a lift, discovering an innovative new product line, or indulging in a totally luxurious spa treatment. My experiences have been documented in magazines, newspapers and websites worldwide. I've tested newly formulated products in the lab, explored hair removal options, shopped for lipstick, added shine to my hair and succumbed to massage marathons--all in the name of beauty. I've written press releases, hosted makeover events and co-authored a Do-It-Yourself Beauty book (Alloy). On this blog, I write about products and services that I come across every day as well as those that have been provided by publicists or the companies that make them. Either way, I write what I think. I hope to share some of my insights--and bring you the latest, greatest beauty news right here. Join me in the quest to find all things pretty.

Monday, April 4, 2011

smooth move

Nobody enjoys it: exposing ourselves in the back rooms of tiny salons and letting strangers pour hot wax on our bodies and rip our hair out. In fact, when you think of it that way, it sounds like some ancient torture method. Uni K Wax centers (pronounced "UN EEH KAY") set out to change the experience--and they did. Uni K offers clean modern, facilities, expertly trained professionals and a world-renowned wax formula that makes the experience virtually pain free. Of course, I didn't believe any of this till I tried it.

It had been a while--given the birth of two kids and all--that I actually had time to take care of myself and treat myself to such a luxury. But when my friend returned from visits back home to Florida, where Uni K Wax Centers are almost as popular as Duane Reade drug stores and Chase banks in Manhattan, and continuously raved about them, I had to give it a try. Of course, it didn't hurt that magazines like Allure, InStyle, Time Out and Ocean Drive were equally big fans.

Upon entering the salon in Murray Hill, I was presented a waxing menu. My first thought was the same one I had when I was 12 and walked into Baskin-Robbins for the first time: Who ever thought there could be so many options? First, I had to decide whether to subject my eye brows, upper lip, underarms, bikini line or full body to the process. I decided to go for my eyebrows and bikini line but then there were even more decisions to make: 1/2 bikini, full bikini, Brazilian bikini? And whose eyebrows to emulate? Julia Roberts? Salma Hayek? Julianne Moore? I decided to leave the specifics to the esthetician and bravely awaited my turn.

As an added bonus, the owner, Ozzie, came out to greet me and gave me a tour of the center's laboratory. He gave me a behind-the-scenes look at how they mix the all-natural, green wax (made from the resin of a unique aromatic pine tree, beeswax, aloe vera and other natural ingredients) and showed me how, when you pull it off the skin, it literally stretches with your skin, pulling the hair with it for a less painful effect. Ideal for the most sensitive skin because it's applied at body temperature, he said it took years for them to perfect the consistency and elasticity of the wax and they pride themselves on that today. The wax not only removes hair from the root for long-lasting hair removal, it also exfoliates and softens leaving skin as smooth as silk. He then handed me off to the technician who led me to one of maybe 30 makeshift rooms in the huge space.

She was friendly and attentive but also speedy and got right down to business (I mean, who needs to spend more time than necessary with their waxer?) She shaped my brows and bikini line, and added an upper lip fix, in no time. I was amazed at how comfortable it felt and how painless the process was. After the fact, I was not only hair free but my skin felt soft, smooth and clean.

As spring is here (barely!) and summer is fast approaching, this is the perfect time to try the Uni K Wax experience. You'll feel better about baring your skin. The best part: The services are remarkably affordable so there's no reason not to indulge.

Uni K Wax centers originated in South Beach, Florida in 1993 and revolutionized the world of waxing as the first and only waxing Center with the best face and full body hair removal services for men and women. It was there that the Brazilian Bikini wax was born to accommodate the fashionable “string” bikini when everyone else just offered the bikini line wax. The Brazilian Bikini is now a popular service world-wide and is perfected at the Centers.

To learn more about Uni K Wax centers, go to, where you can also check out the company's face and body skincare collection created with the freshest natural and botanical ingredients to keep your skin in top condition in between waxing services. Products include Citrus Body Polish & Glo, Body Perfect Dry Oil Spray with orchid flower, Hand & Foot Glo, Ultimate Balm with green tea and cucumber and Sun-Pro for Face with SPF 30.

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