When I got back in the saddle after my divorce, I noticed a curious statement on about half the profiles of any given online dating service: “I love London, but equally love escaping the hustle and bustle for a relaxing weekend in the country.” Not me. I spend 95% of my time happily cocooned within Zones 1 and 2, believing absolutely in Peter Ackroyd’s pronouncement that “London is so large and so wild that it contains no less than everything.” Soho, especially, is the balm of my soul and since I no longer spend a sizeable portion of my time and income drinking there, I have resolved of late to concentrate all my grooming services within its streets. If I clock up enough hours here, I reason, I will simply be absorbed into the pavement of Brewer Street, and we shall never be parted again.
The only problem with this, as far as I can see, is the matter of cash. Central London beauty services are indisputably more expensive than their local counterparts, and it adds up quickly if you happen to need a haircut, waxing, and nails done all in the same month. It’s not unheard of to pay £50 or more for a bit of below-the-belt grooming in some branded salons, because who wants to put their ladyparts on the line just to save a few quid? At least, not unless a tube of Canesten is your idea of a “holiday kitbag essential”.
But lo, West End Workers! I bring you glad tidings in the glittering form of Golden Touch Waxing, which is now operating out of the Bodhi Clinic in Ingestre Place (just off Broadwick Street). It’s owned by Hannah Salisbury, a cheery New Zealander who is just striking out on her own after years working as a trainer for other waxing emporiums. She doesn’t do facials, massages or pedicures. It’s all waxing, all the time for Hannah, and she’s bloody good at it too. I’m not going to get too graphic about what I had done because this isn’t Vice and I promised Madame Editor I wouldn’t. Let’s just say it involved a large country in South America and it was, by Hannah’s own definition, an “intimate wax”. That means everything off, from belly button to coccyx. Moving swiftly on then, here’s what you need to know:
- Nobody in the hair removal business seems to bother with the pretence of modesty any longer. It’s all “knickers on the chair” and not a paper thong in sight.
- But thankfully, they do all provide wet wipes for you to “freshen up” before the treatment, which incredibly kind when it’s late July and you’ve just spent half an hour hurtling between underground locations in a sweltering metal box deemed unfit for livestock (known locally as “the Tube”).
- You get special wedge pillows pushed under your hips on each side to prevent lower back strain when you’re asked to open your knees. I’ve said it before, but small concessions to a client’s comfort during a treatment is what impresses me more than any technique. This is one of those small but utterly luxurious gestures.
- If the phrase “open your knees” already has your cheeks burning, fear not. Hannah puts you completely at ease during the treatment. We chatted about restaurants, the correct and incorrect way of holding your friend’s newborn baby and her plans for World Waxing Domination. It felt more like having a coffee with a friend than completely exposing myself to a person I’d met only ten minutes earlier.
- Hannah uses hot wax, which adheres to the hair as opposed to the skin. It doesn’t require the use of strips to remove the product, and it is about 98% less painful than traditional waxing. Which is to say that I barely noticed anything was happening at all.
- When the treatment is finished, it all goes a bit ‘Our Bodies, Our Selves’. You get a hand mirror, and Hannah steps out of the room while you inspect her handiwork. If you spot a stray that her eagle eye has missed, you can call her back in to deal with it. This was appreciated, but unnecessary in my case. I could not spy a hair out of place, so to speak.
- A full Hollywood or Brazilian costs £35. In my experience, this is a bargain for Central London.
I never thought I’d be able to say I’d had a pleasant bikini wax, but so I did. If waxing is your bag, I can wholeheartedly recommend The Golden Touch. And, to make it even better, Hannah is offering our readers £5 off any service over £30, or a free eyebrow or upper lip wax. All you have to do is quote Get Lippie when you book.
The Golden Touch (www.thegoldentouch.co.uk) is in the Bodhi Clinic at 14 Ingestre Place, W1F 0JQ. To book, call 020 7734 4184.
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