Monday, April 11, 2016

Wax Away: My Experience at Allure Body Bar, the Waxing Salon from Danforth, Toronto

When it comes to beauty treatments, I always try to use the most efficient methods available; and when it comes to hair removal, my favorite method is waxing. In today's story I will share about my most personal and intimate beauty treatment of them all, the one that I have never written about -- Brazilian waxing.

Yes ladies, today we'll be talking about Brazilian.

I had my first Brazilian experience ten years ago, when I finally mustered the courage to go for one at my usual beauty salon that I was visiting at that time. The salon was located mid-town Toronto where I lived, and I was going there for my hairdos and some beauty treatments, like leg waxing.

Before I introduced myself to Brazilian, I tried on all the other intimate hair removal options -- shaving, Veet creaming, electric epilator. And I have long learned that beauty comes at a high pain cost. It's like invest and return, the higher the level of pain, the higher the hair removal efficiency. Same stands for the other way around -- no pain no gain, and if you shave or Veet cream, it won't hurt, but you'll have to do it again in three days.

I like it squeaky clean (squeaky hairless that is), and so does my man. When it comes to intimate hair removal, I think women don't do it (just) for themselves, they also do it for the man in their life. Saying otherwise would be just a little bit hypocritical, don't you think? And I will be honest here and admit that I do it for both myself and my significant other. I like it, he likes it, and it is more enjoyable for both of us. I also appreciate him to do it (no Brazilian waxing though, but Veet creaming), and just like me, he does it not only for himself, but also for me.

Back to ten years ago, when I had my first Brazilian, I still remember the new to me beauty experience at that salon mid-town Toronto -- it was painful to death, and I was screaming on that beauty table like hell. But I wanted to do it, so I bravely went through it. Never regretted it. The esthetician, Rita, a Chinese girl, did a pretty good job. I came back to Rita for a new Brazilian the next month, and I wrapped up my mind around the fact that although painful, it's a necessary thing to do, and that from now on I will do it once every four to six weeks, for the rest of my life.

However, I didn't necessarily want to settle with Rita. She was my first (Brazilian waxing specialist that is), and I couldn't help but wonder, are there other, more skilled waxing estheticians out there, besides Rita? Why should I assume that Rita is the best, just because she happened to be my first? At that time I was working at a bank downtown Toronto, at Adelaide and York, and I was looking for a beauty salon nearby my office where I could go for my next Brazilian. I found out that a nearby Yves Rocher store was also offering beauty treatments, including waxing, so I made an appointment with them for a Brazilian. It was not a bad experience, and it felt like at Rita's, more or less. I kept looking. Next time I stopped by at another beauty salon, also located close to my office, and I inquired about their waxing services. I made an appointment with them for a Brazilian, and so I met Junita.

And Junita turned out to be the Goddess of Waxing. Yes, finally, I found you! Finding the perfect waxing esthetician is like finding the perfect partner, or the perfect apartment in New York, it may take years. Lucky for me, it didn't take me years to find Junita, it only took me a few months and a few tryouts at three different salons in the city of Toronto. But from now on, I was ready to commit to Junita, for a long-term beauty relationship. All of this was happening in 2006.

I was happy to have finally found a great and skilled esthetician. Her secret was doing it fast, with the least possible amount of pain. It still was painful, but just more bearable. And I continued to see Junita for my usual Brazilians (but also for leg waxing) over the next few months, without even thinking to try other salons or other estheticians. I was hoping to develop a higher tolerance to pain associated with Brazilian waxing over the years, if I kept doing it regularly, every four to six weeks.

However, the next year I changed jobs, and I started working at another financial company located in a different area of downtown Toronto. Junita's salon was not so conveniently close anymore, although not very far away either. One time when I was supposed to get my next Brazilian, I was so swamped with what was going on in my office, that I made a compromise -- instead of making an appointment with Junita in a timely manner, that is a few days in advance, I called another salon, the closest that I could find near my office, where I could make a quicker appointment.

Junita was very good at what she was doing, her services were always in high demand, so if you wanted her to be your esthetician, then you had to be vigilant to make an early appointment with her; otherwise, you either were in the position to go to another salon, or wait until Junita was available again and could see you. So here I was, unable to get a same day appointment with Junita, but I didn't want to wait until I could see her, so I thought, ok, this time I'll just go to another salon, close to my office, and next time I'll go back to Junita.

So I went to this new salon at Yonge and Queen for my next Brazilian. It wasn't bad, but still it wasn't as good as Junita, and I was convinced, one more time, that Junita was definitely the best. And so, I never went to another salon again, and from now on I always made the effort to get a timely appointment with Junita, and the best waxing services possible. I was happy with Junita, and for the next 7 years she was the only esthetician who has done all waxing for me.

Then one fatidic day, two years ago, I got "the call". It was February 2014, and Junita called me to let me know that the salon she worked at, the one from Adelaide and York where I had been going for my waxing for the last 8 years, was closing down and she was out of job. She was calling all of her customers to let them know that she would be unavailable for the next while, until she found a new job, and then, once she found a new job at another salon, she would call us again with her new location. I was heartbroken to hear this sad news. My favorite waxer, the best in the city, was suddenly unavailable, and now I had to look for another waxer esthetician for my Brazilians. Remember, it may take years. Could I find another one as good as my skilled and talented Junita? Time would have shown that. I wished her good luck in her efforts to search for another job, and I also suggested to leave my name and my phone number to potential employers as a reference, as I was more than happy to provide a good reference for her to interviewers. And of course, I urged her to call me back as soon as she found a new job.

Junita never called me again, and it's been more than two years since we had that last conversation. Within the next 12 months since we last spoke, I kept hoping that one day she will call me back, and we could be together again for my beauty treatments. And then, when I saw that time passed and she didn't call me back, I lost hope to ever hear from her again. One of the two things could have happened. She never found another job in Toronto, which is pretty hard to believe, since she was such a good waxer and a master of the Brazilian. I bet my last penny every salon in this city would have been happy to have her on board, since she was so amazing at what she was doing. The other possibility, which I find more plausible, is that she went back to her home country, India, where I knew she still had family. Or maybe she moved to another city far away from Toronto, and never bothered to call her old customers from here, since it would have been inconvenient for them to travel a long distance for waxing appointments.

Whatever the case, I was heartbroken that my awesome waxing esthetician was not part of my life anymore, and I had to move on. Years ago I used to subscribe to two Canadian fashion magazines, my favorites, Flare and Fashion. I still keep many of those issues since the days I was a magazine subscriber, and I still have dozens of magazines from 2012-2015 in my house, part of my fashion magazine collection. I remember reading a story about Brazilian waxing in one of those issues, but I can't possibly remember whether it was in Flare or Fashion. I only vaguely remember I read it sometime in 2012. When I was writing the story that you are reading now, I pulled my entire fashion magazine collection from where I keep it in my office, and I tried to locate the story. I wanted to re-read it, to refresh my memory, and also I was hoping to get some inspiration for my own story about Brazilian waxing. For some reason, I thought I had read it in the February 2012 issue of Fashion magazine, so that was the first issue that I checked out. I didn't find it in there. Then I checked the next Fashion issue, the one from March 2012, and again, no luck. Then I scanned a number of other issues, both from Flare and Fashion, and again, I couldn't find that particular story about Brazilian. In the same time, I didn't have the patience to scan every single issue that I have in my fashion magazine collection (dozens of them), so after a few attempts I just gave up, and I decided to finish writing my Brazilian waxing story without reading that old story that I had read in a fashion magazine years ago.

The author (let's call her Lena, as I can't remember her real name either), was sharing about her Brazilian waxing experiences. Just like me, she had had her own Junita, a great waxing esthetician in Toronto who was taking care of her Brazilian waxing needs. And then her beauty lady left Toronto to move somewhere else, and she left a heartbroken and devastated Lena uncovered in terms of waxing services. At the time when I read this story in that fashion magazine years ago, I was thinking: "Look, I have a great waxer myself, just like Lena who wrote this story did, what if my Junita ever leaves me uncovered like this, how am I going to find another good waxer? There are plenty of waxers in this city, but not necessarily all of them are really good waxers." Then, after a while, I went on with my usual day to day, and I stopped thinking about Lena's story that I had read in that fashion magazine. And now, when my own Junita left, I realized that I felt exactly like Lena -- devastated and heartbroken, because how am I going to find another great waxer in this city?

There came the day when I had to accept the fact that I would never hear from Junita again. It was time to look for another salon, and another great waxing specialist. I found a local salon close to my home sometime during 2014, and I started going there for my Brazilians. It was ok, but honestly, not as good a Junita. I kept going to that salon for the convenience of the location, and the waxing itself was pretty good, comparable to Rita, my first waxer from 2006. But last time when I went there, in the summer of 2015, there wasn't the same waxing esthetician that I knew from my previous visits at the salon, it was a new girl. That made me wary at once -- ok... let's see how it goes...

It was terrible -- that girl was so brutal, that I just hated the whole experience. I never went back to that salon again, because I just couldn't bear to have it done so brutally by that waxer, and it seemed that she was the only waxer who worked there at that time, there wasn't anyone else. So yet again, I found myself in the position to look for another good salon and another skilled waxing esthetician, for my monthly Brazilians.

Recently I received an invitation to try on waxing services at Allure Body Bar, a waxing salon and beauty spa located in the Greek town of Toronto, at 735 Danforth Avenue. I have heard about these guys before, and it was only good things that I've heard about them. Honestly, they were sounding really great. I keep in touch with their PR team, and they introduced me to Allure a few months ago, when they sent me some information about a line of Allure body care products -- body lotions, scrubs and salts, and I published a story about these products on, where I write a fashion & beauty column. But also, this is when I found out about Allure waxing services, and they sounded so good, that I became curious about them. Allure's signature waxing treatment is the quick Brazilian, or Quickzilian, and they call it like that because they do it really quickly -- in 15 minutes or less. Pretty impressive, eh? In my previous experience, a Brazilian took an average of 35 minutes, in all the places where I have ever done it in Toronto. Junita was really great, but she was doing it in about 35 minutes. Which was never an issue per say, it just never occurred to me that there are waxers in this city who can do it much faster than the average of 35 minutes. And this is not all. They also do it for men. Yes, you've read it right -- Brazilian waxing for men. Can you believe it? Before Allure, I have never heard of anyone ever doing Brazilian waxing for men. They call it Manzilian at Allure. I did know about waxing services for men, even Junita was doing it (guys used to come to her salon to wax their back), but never Brazilian waxing for men. And that's because I have never heard of a man being brave enough to take a Brazilian waxing. Only when I think about it, it hurts me, let alone them, the guys. No secret why -- the skin in their intimate area is so much more sensitive, that it's nearly impossible to think that there is any guy out there willing to do a Brazilian waxing. Yet Allure Body Bar from Danforth does that for men, the Manzilian, which only means one thing -- if there is a spa in this city doing that, then there are men in this city willing to go for it, as impossible as it may sound.

Back to my Allure invitation, I was really excited when they offered to try on and review their waxing services, and I gladly said yes to a Brazilian, that is a Quickzilian, their signature beauty treatment. I made an appointment with them, and before going there, I read a few Allure online reviews from occasional and constant customers, and basically all of them were saying that they have been happy with their Allure experience(s), Brazilian or otherwise, and that they would go there again.

I had a 2 PM appointment with Allure on a Monday afternoon a couple of weeks ago, but I arrived there a little bit earlier. I was glad that they could see to my session right away and they didn't make me wait until 2 PM, just because I had the appointment scheduled for 2 PM, which saved me a little bit of time. Great! Autumn introduced herself as the waxer esthetician who would do my Brazilian, and she took me to the waxing room to let me get ready for my session. Autumn -- the name was already familiar to me, as I had read those reviews online, before going to Allure, and customers were saying good things about her. The room was clean and spacious, and honestly, this was the most spacious waxing room that I have ever been in. This was another good thing that I had read from the reviews about Allure, that the whole place is clean and spotless, and the waxing rooms are spacious, and it was true, now I could see it for myself.

When I was ready for my session, Autumn came in. Another thing that I wanted to see for myself -- do they really do it in 15 minutes or less? I put my phone beside me when I lied down on the waxing table, and when Autumn started waxing me, I discreetly looked at my phone -- 13.51. When she was done, I looked again -- 14.07. 16 minutes. Not bad -- just one minute more than they say it takes, but it still was great, and I was perfectly ok with that, and it still was the fastest Brazilian waxing that I have ever had in these 10 years since I have been doing it. My usual Brazilian has always been an average of 35 minutes, regardless of the salon where I did it. And, aside from the time matter of 15-16 minutes or less, it was a good and efficient waxing. It wasn't without pain, but then which Brazilian is? My bad was that I forgot to take an Advil pill a couple of hours before my Allure appointment, which would have helped. This is something that Junita taught me -- she used to tell me to take an Advil before my Brazilian appointment, and the pain will be more bearable. I won't forget that when I do my next Brazilian though.

While Autumn was waxing me, I asked her about the Manzilian. I simply was curious -- how are the guys doing it? Autumn admitted that they are being big babies about it, but the secret is to talk them through it. Just ask them about their jobs, and you will see -- they love-love-love gabbing about their jobs, you keep their mind off the pain, and before they know it, they are done. Truth be told, Autumn did exactly the same to me -- she talked me through it, and before I knew it, I was done.

All in all, it was a good experience and I would go there again. It's like I got my Junita back, and I am happy. See, I was right, finding the perfect waxer in Toronto is like finding the perfect partner or the perfect apartment in New York -- it may take years. I was lucky enough to find Junita in just a few months, back in the days, but it did indeed take me years to find Allure the second time around, after Junita left (they have been around on Danforth Avenue for about three years now). And not only Autumn, but also the other estheticians from Allure have got very good reviews, like Alaa, Luba or Christina. I haven't met them, but everybody says good things about them in online reviews, and happy customers call them "very skilled estheticians". You can see it for yourself, if you google "Allure Body Bar reviews". The place is called "a gem in the city", which is something, isn't it?

Have a look at the Allure website to learn more about their services, they are definitely worth trying. Also, check out their Waxing 101 page, with very good tips for before and after your Brazilian waxing, how to get ready for a Brazilian, how to cope with the pain, etc. And don't forget to take an Advil (or even two, if you're more sensitive) when you get your next Brazilian, a couple of hours before your appointment. Wax away!

And this is how the place looks like.
Photo credit: Victoria West


  1. Replies
    1. Multumesc Lily!
      Bine ai venit pe blog daca esti prima oara aici, si te mai astept cu drag. :)
      Ma bcuru ca ti-a placut articolul.

  2. Look beautiful blog, These are awesome product articles, I fall in love now. Regards, Ocudance and Entertainment

    1. Hi John, welcome to my blog if this is your first time here, and thank you for stopping by.
      Pleas come again. :)
      Have a great day!

  3. I invite YOU to join my new blogger collaboration :) tell us what spring means to you and I'll share your link on my blog.
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    1. Hi Suvarna, thank you for your visit and for leaving a comment, good to see you again.
      I'll check it out, thanks for letting me know.
      Enjoy your day!

  4. Eu ma fac singura... chiar am discutat astazi cu o prietena care se epilase undeva in UK si povestea ca nu se compara cu tipa care o face in Romania, care e mult mai atenta la detalii :))

    1. Faci cu ceara singura? Eu sunt tare neindemanatica la capitolul epilat cu ceara. Am incercat o singura data pe picioare, nu mi-a reusit (ca nu stiam sa fac bine, evident), si de atunci n-am mai incercat singura niciodata, am mers tot timpul la salon. Pentru mine epilatul cu ceara intra la categoria "don't try it at home". :)

  5. Replies
    1. Buna Stela, mersi pentru vizita. :)
      Salonul e foarte fain intr-adevar.

  6. chiar interesant!
    si eu tot singura imi fac, nu am rabdare pana trebuie sa merg la salon!

    1. Buna Coco, ma bucur sa te vad si multumesc pentru comentariu.
      Esti norocoasa ca poti sa faci asta singura; cand vine vorba de epilat cu ceara, in totalitate ma bazez pe salon.

  7. Great post! Thank you for sharing <3

    1. Hi My Stylish Corner, thank you for stopping by and for your visit.
      I'm glad you liked the story. :)
      Enjoy your day!

  8. Very interesting topic, I like your writing style, Victoria. Wishing you a lovely day, girl.

    1. Thank you so much Lenya for your kind words, I really appreciate it.
      This kind of feedback means a lot to me. :)
      Wishing you a lovely day as well, and please come again!
      Xoxo, Victoria


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