I’m Going Bare… Completely

My hair started falling out… and I couldn’t be happier about it!

That is, my hair down there. Three months ago I decided it was officially time to put an end to my monthly Brazilian waxing torture chamber – and all those red, unattractive ingrowns – by lasering away my pubes. Forever.

cb’s sign at our Spa Week Media Party last night. #sotrue

Completely Bare is my Laser Hair Removal spa of choice. Not just because owner Cindy Barshop adorned me with a feathered nether-region, but because a couple years ago I tried it out there and livestreamed it for you, had a positive experience, and have been pondering going through with the full service ever since. I’ve never been disappointed by a cb wax, their staff is extremely knowledgeable with over 14 years of experience, and they use the best technology out there… so it was time to bite the bullet.

Laser glasses: ON.

Tonight marks my third appointment (out of a minimum of six, spaced 4-6 weeks apart), and I am thrilled with how smooth I already am. Cindy promises that ingrowns will be gone by the third treatment, but they’re already gone for me after two! I was actually very surprised at how fast and obvious the hair fall-out was after the very first appointment. If I could show you pictures here I would, but since Spa Week Daily is not in that 30% porn portion of the internet, you’re just going to have to believe me.

Just two weeks after my first laser session, I noticed my hair looked different. More scarce. Wanting to escape. And when I touched a hair, it slipped right out. There was no root. This is precisely how laser hair removal works: the laser kills the root so that the hair can no longer grow. The mons pubis hair seems to be the easiest to zap away (it’s nearly gone already), but the bikini zone, labia and rest of my territory are still in the works.

I’ll update you again in a few months once I’m all done and I’ve had a chance to see the full results! But for now… I’m lovin’ it.

FAQs/everything else you need to know about laser hair removal:

How do you prepare for laser hair removal?

Before your first ever treatment: You should always go for a consultation before committing to it. You want to make sure your skin doesn’t react badly and that your hair does indeed fall out.

Before your individual treatments: Don’t tan (you shouldn’t be tanning anyway!), although Completely Bare’s newer machines are still okay on slightly tanned skin. Also, shave the entire region just before your treatment. If you don’t shave, they have a little dry razor that does the job, but it’s not the most comfortable situation to have someone else shaving your pubes. (For some reason, this seemed more invasive than waxing or laser!)

Does it hurt?

As I described in the Wellness Gone Wild video, “It feels like there’s a rubber band snapping… and snapping…” but it wasn’t very painful. The laser head that Completely Bare uses also spurts out Cryogen (remember cryotherapy?), a cold gas that feels like a refreshing mist, which counters the heat shock of each pulse. The technicians at cb continually ask: “Rate your pain on a scale of 0-5, 0 being no pain, 5 being very painful.” If you get up to a 3 or 4 (around the labia and more sensitive parts, for me), they’ll turn down the wattage. It is less painful than a full wax, that’s for sure, and is very different from (and much less painful than) electrolysis. If fear of pain is your reason for holding back, fear no more. You can also take a couple of Advils beforehand (or a shot of vodka… your call).

Are there any options for blondes?

According to Completely Bare, as long as your hair has SOME color, and most blond hair has color, it should work. If it’s too blond, it might not. Completely Bare offers (and encourages) the aforementioned free consultation to try a test patch and see if your hair is right to yield results.

I’m concerned with it possibly leaving dark marks on my skin. I have super sensitive skin and wonder if it will work on my skin type.

Tan skin is definitely more susceptible to bruising.  If your skin has been exposed to sunlight in the past few weeks, you’re risking dark spots. If you haven’t tanned and you’re still concerned because your skin is sensitive for other reasons, try that test patch and see how your skin reacts. According to cb, a little redness just after the treatment means it was effective, so that’s a good thing. Be careful of exposure to sunlight though; do not go into the sun for ONE WEEK after each treatment.

Is it permanent?

According to cb, you will need to come back for touch-ups from time to time. This is why Completely Bare’s package comes with a year’s worth of treatments rather than the usual six sessions. I feel confident knowing that I can still go back after six times. Although according to cb, even after the whole process is complete, you still may have only removed 70% of hair. It will vary from person to person.

Completely Bare prices:

– One session ranges from $220 (basic bikini) – $425 (completely bare bikini).
– A package of 6, which includes complimentary touch-ups for 1 year ranges from $1,210 (basic bikini) to $2,340 (completely bare bikini).
– They also do pretty much any body park that hair grows, from lower arms ($1,515 for full package), chin, cheeks and sideburns ($1,100 for full package)  and offer all treatments for men too.

Completely Bare is participating in Spa Week next week!

Check out their 4 Completely Bare Spa Week locations: Bond St, Fifth Ave, Madison Ave and Scarsdale, NY.

$50 treatments: Laser hair removal for Basic Bikini, Chin, or Lower Stomach Line

When you go, check out their spray tan room’s graffiti wall, signed by yours truly. ;)

Disclosure: Treatment has been comped for editorial consideration.

Cindy Barshop and PETA: Now Friends!

There’s been quite the uproar ever since Completely Bare launched its new luxury merkins, including the Foxy Bikini, a pubic wig made of real fox fur. Well, just as quickly as our video investigation went viral, animal rights activists lashed out in protest. The result? Cindy Barshop, owner of Completley Bare Spa and former Real Housewife of New York, has confirmed that she will now be making her merkins of faux fur… and that she and PETA are actually now friends!

In case you missed it…

I spoke with Cindy today, and despite the seemingly negative situation, she looks as this as a very positive thing to have happened.  “This opened my eyes and made me more aware of a cause that people feel strongly about,” Cindy said. “I respect people’s opinions and I really admire how PETA supported their cause. There’s no reason to use real fur, I’ll use faux fur.”

Cindy is also taking this one step further: “I don’t think anything negative came from it! In fact, I’m currently speaking with the people over at PETA and we’re looking to put together a Completely Bare campaign to support animal rights.”

Well done, Cindy – we can’t wait to see the next big bikini trend! We just hope you don’t become too friendly with the animals to the point where they are requesting bikini waxes and faux fur merkins.

The Foxy Bikini and The Carnivale have also both been slightly reduced in price, now $175 for either, including the wax.

THE VIDEO: Fur & Feather Bikini Glam by completely bare

From Swarovski crystals to spray paint and now to feathers and real fox fur, there is one woman not-so-secretly behind the beauty craze of decorating one’s bikini region like a birthday party.

 

Cindy Barshop, the owner of completely bare high tech spa, famous for both a season on the Real Housewives of New York and her fearless reputation for adorning the hair-free nether regions of women nationwide, has released the latest trend: The Foxy Bikini (real colored fox fur) and The Carnivale Bikini (an array of festive colored feathers). Merkin Madness! More on that here.

In the exclusive video above, Spa Week investigates.

Michelle gets the Carnivale Bikini

So there you have it – Vajazzling‘s out and pubic wigs are in!

Not totally sold? I’m not here to sell you on it – just to tell you what it was like. Yes, there’s a party in my pants, and yes, you are invited. As you’ll see in the video, Cindy Barshop performed The Carnivale on me, and it was a highly customized experience. I asked for a peacock, and a peacock I got. One by one, using a special completely bare glue, she placed the feathers on my freshly waxed bikini zone in a shape to slim my appearance. It was way more flattering than I thought it would be. All these years of diet and exercise, and all I ever needed was a feather merkin!

Does it hurt? Not at all. When my Carnivale was on, I actually couldn’t feel a thing. Unless I touched it, obviously. It wasn’t uncomfortable at all until 3 days later when they started to itch and come loose. At that point, I just peeled them off, painlessly. (Now they are pinned to my office cork board.) The Foxy Bikini and The Carnivale are meant to last 3-5 days (daily showering included) as a kitschy and unique way to spice things up – either for your sex life or your personal confidence. They may not be the most practical or necessary thing in the universe, but it certainly has that sexy shock value that appeals to us (bored?) lovers of innovative beauty.

Including the wax, it’s $225 for the Foxy Bikini and $195 for The Carnivale.

*A SPA WEEK EXCLUSIVE OFFER*

Curious to try? Get a year worth of unlimited laser hair removal at completely bare, and receive a FREE Foxy Bikini or Carnivale with EVERY session! Unlimited Bikini Laser Hair Removal: $1000. Unlimited Brazilian Laser Hair Removal: $2000. Mention SPA WEEK when you call to book. Available in New York only. Call for an appointment or consultation: 1.855.366.6060.

Spa Week Daily’s Top 11 Moments of 2011

Whoah, 2011, where have you gone!? It’s been quite the exciting year here at Spa Week. Our gift cards just launched in over 17,000 retail stores, the company is expanding quickly, our Facebookers and Tweethearts have doubled (and are better than ever – we love you!), and Spa Week Daily has taken on a real life of its own.

Kick back and let’s reminisce: After analyzing all the blog stats from 2011 along with social media impressions, we’ve compiled the most popular blog posts, memories, and moments of this incredible year. THANK YOU times a million to every single one of you who reads Spa Week Daily. You know – on those days it seem like we’re blogging into oblivion (fellow bloggers, you know what I’m talking about), it’s YOU, our wonderful readers, who keep us going. Thanks for the memories, the likes, the tweets, the comments, the suggestions and the LOVIN’ – we can’t wait to do it all over again in 2012!

11. YOU DITCHED SODA

Joy Bauer challenged Spa Week Daily readers to quit drinking soda for two weeks, and look how much healthier you are now! Yes, one of the major blog features we launched in 2011 were our Health Challenges hosted by industry experts – little lifestyle changes to try out for two weeks to make you feel your best. Out of all seven thus far, ditching soda remains #1 in terms of traffic and participation. Click through our growing Panel of Experts to your right, my left, to see each expert’s priceless life tips along with their challenge. Stay tuned for more fun in 2012!

10. FEATHERS IN YOUR HAIR

Did you fly away with the hottest hippie hair trend of 2011? Pheasant Feathers, those long, skinny pops of color that began infiltrating everyone’s hair last winter and spring, were featured right here on Spa Week Daily before they hit the bigtime. Stacey Gersten, who was later featured in the New York Times for her red-hot feather business out of her studio apartment, gave you the Pheasant Feathers How-To right here first. This beauty phenom was certainly not one for the birds!

9. THE NO POO MOVEMENT

Speaking of hippie hair trends… women from all walks of life joined together for the No Poo Movement in 2011, ditching their trusty, but often too harsh, shampoos in the name of healthier, smoother and more lustrous locks. The theory is: that annoying “grease” that builds up is actually good for your tresses, and if you can hold off from cleaning it for a bit, it’ll do you good. Some managed for two whole months, while others, like Michelle, experimented for just a week. See how she fared for 7 days with the help of hair tools, products and accessories, and YES it was totally worth it!

8. SPA WEEK JOINS FORCES WITH THE BIGGEST NAMES IN WELLNESS

First came our Get Fit For Summer sweeps with America’s toughest trainer, Jillian Michaels, then Today Show nutritionist Joy Bauer co-hosted our Fast Track to Health giveaway. Then we gave away spiritual leader Deepak Chopra‘s brand new Leela video game along with an Xbox + Kinect. Now, we’ve partnered with nutrition expert and author Keri Glassman to give away a grandiose nutrition package and a lavish trip to… WAIT, you didn’t see it yet!? It’s time to change that.

7. THE HOT MOM SPA SQUAD GOT HOTTER

Although born in 2010, 2011 was really the year our Hot Mom Spa Squad caught fire. In an effort to encourage moms everywhere to trade in Pampers for pampering, our squad is filled with mommy blogging influencers, blogging about spa and spreading the wellness word.  We’ve got nearly 100 (VERY HOT) moms involved so far, and our squad is expanding all the time. We also hosted our first ever big Hot Mom Spa Night NYC. There were much-deserved massages, mini-facials and perfect eyebrow waxes for all, and check out the video… your kid did WHAT!?

6. AND YOU THOUGHT VAJAZZLING WAS DEAD…

“Vajazzle.” “Vajazzling pics.” “Vajazzling during sex.” “Vagazzle” spelled wrong, although it does admittedly make more sense that way. Although in 2011 we’ve hardly let out a peep about that infamous break-out beauty trend of yesteryear (landing #1 on our 2010 roundup), we still get a significant number of curious folks Googling their way to Spa Week Daily to get the lowdown on putting sparkly crystals on their lady parts. If our organic blog traffic is any indicator, vajazzling is not dead, my friends! (Even though vajazzling trendsetter Cindy Barshop’s reality TV career is.) On a more 2011-y note, the boys have hopped on the bandwagon too. Our Pejazzling photo shoot is where it’s at.

5. TWEETING YOUR LITTLE HEARTS OUT

In July we launched our first ever “Tweet-a-thon,” a fun, fast-paced product-a-day giveaway called #WinDailyWinItAll, where the grand prize winner literally won it ALL. The theme was “summer fun,” so graphic yoga mats, sunglasses and popchips all made the hot list. To close out the year, we twisted the tweet-a-thon and wrapped it in tinsel for the holidays – have you checked out #12DaysOfWellness yet? It’s gotten thousands of twitterbirds singing, come join in the fun!

4. A 9/11 NOD TO FREEDOM

This year we held hands and held our heads high as the ten-year anniversary of the saddest day in recent American history came and went. We were thrilled to be able to feature an exclusive look behind the rebuilding of Ground Zero, from the point of view of one of the construction workers on the job. Check out Stephanie’s exclusive interview and close-up photos from One World Trade Center, proudly one of our post trafficked posts of the year.

3. HERE COMES THE BRIDE, THERE SHE GOES VIRAL

Whether you’re getting married soon or not, our Wedding Wednesday column has proven to be fun for all. We’ve posted a handful of wedding diddies this year that got quite the resounding I DO. Take a walk back down the aisle with the top wedding posts of 2011: The most epic wedding video ever (Dirty Bit!), that phat throwback 90s wedding music video invitation (saved $1000, yeah don’t be jealous!), 12 adventurous cake concepts, and how to be super creative about announcing your engagement on Facebook.

2. EATING FOR BEAUTY

Amazing, healthy skin is something we all strive for, and understandably one of the main reasons many of you visit Spa Week Daily in the first place. Well, one of THE most popular blog posts of 2011 was Michelle’s triumphant skincare diet experiment: Dr. Perricone’s 3-day “Eat for Beauty” Skincare Diet. In 3 days this strict diet made her skin glow like no other, and made us all believe that salmon, eggs, greens, olive oil and a handful of other specific natural foods could trump any serum or scrub in your beauty cabinet. In fact, Dr. Perricone made this diet his Spa Week Daily Health Challenge. If you haven’t yet, try it for your next big event!

1. ALL YOU REALLY WANT TO KNOW: WHEN IS SPA WEEK!?

In the ranks of our most trafficked posts, it makes us smile that the Official Announcement of the Spa Week 2011 Dates came out in the top of the top! Those $50 spa treatments are the core of our company, indeed. Between social sharers and Googlers, it’s a fact: Everybody wants to know when Spa Week is. So, what are the Spring and Fall dates for 2012, you ask? You’ll just have to wait for the official blog post to come in the New Year! Blog traffic aside, we can’t wait to spread word about Spa Week’s flagship event; to pamper North America once again in $50 relaxation, beauty, health and wellness.

Here’s to another great year – see you in 2012!

Spray-Vacay at completely bare: Get Completely Bronzed for Spa Week

I can remember the best tan of my life very clearly. It was Spring Break in Acapulco, Sophomore year of college. Every day from the moment I peeled myself out of that cheap hotel bed until the sun went down, I werked it on the beach, dousing myself in Amazing Maui Babe, flipping every half hour, and turning my chair like clockwork to exalt the sun as it moved across the sky. Making my sunsoaked days even sunnier (besides those strongggg Miami Vices) were the hands of my personal Acapulco beach massage therapist. Yes, that’s right, on the first day laying out, an Acapulco native came by offering an hour-long massage for $30 (I know, better than Spa Week!)… and you better believe I said YES.

And then, every single day of vacation, as if I was prepping for a future job at Spa Week or something, I took advantage of her hour-long, oil-soaked services, illuminating my tan even more. Until I looked like this (tattoo is fake, tan is real):

Well, those days are over. I no longer have the patience – nor the ignorance – to want to lay in the sun for 8 hours a day all week. I am now an advocate of faking it and not getting skin cancer. Which leads me to the SECOND best tan of my life: completely bare spa‘s new Completely Bronzed Spray Tan, one of their $50 Spa Week treatments this Fall.

Completely Bronzed is an odorless spray tan that, as you can see in the video, is applied by a technician rather than just a misting machine. Unlike most other spray tans, it dries within four hours, so you can shower faster than the time it would take you to get to Acapulco. It also has a bronzer, so until you DO take that shower, you will be extra brown.

BEFORE the shower...

Or… in my case the first time I tried it… orange! —>

BUT, thankfully the orange only lasted until I showered, and then I turned to a beautiful state of bronze. The second time I got Completely Bronzed, I asked them go a little lighter on the face, and there was NO such orange at all. However, it wouldn’t have even been so bad if I was, because I only looked like an oompa loompa that one night.

In fact, I loved the tan SO much the first time, that I went back to cb a second time before a friend’s wedding in Cape Cod!

Now I know you have two main questions: 1, how good is the GOOD part of the tan, and 2, what is the DURATION like?

To answer your first question – it was extremely even. A very rich, natural-looking color, and it did precisely what it’s meant to do: make you look great in person, and even more notably, in photos. It was THIS good (yellow dress was from the second time with the lighter face, others are from the first tan):

megan platts, michelle joni lapidos, lauren rich

(Yes, that’s me in the middle blending in with those mahogany walls.)

And now… THE DURATION:

  • The first FOUR days (starting from when you shower) are amazing. That is broken down as such: The first two you look like you are still on vacation, the second two you look like you just got back from vacation. If you wash your face like a good spa girl (or boy), your face will get lighter faster than the rest.
  • Over the next 1 or 2 days, you will start to “chip.” It’s the sunless equivalent to peeling. It’s not that cute when you notice it, but you still maintain some sexy color throughout your body.
  • After that, it’s all downhill. You want to make sure you do NOT have a bikini party anytime between 6-12 days after your tan. You’ll be spotty and uneven.

To make the spotty, chipping period less unfortunate looking, you’ll want to exfoliate your body each day as soon as you decide your tan is ready to POOF be-gone. This time it took a solid 14 days to fully fade away. Last time, I got a body scrub at Le Merigot Santa Monica to finish off the last of it so it was a little bit quicker. (Side note: sweet excuse for a scrub!)

Completely bare, helmed by ex-NY housewife Cindy Barshop, is rapidly expanding and has Spa Week locations in California, Georgia, Texas and New York. In addition to Completely Bronzed, they are also offering laser hair removal for basic bikini or a brazilian wax for $50. Check out spaweek.com for completely bare locations near you.

And if you want to tell your friends you were in St. Tropez last week, your secret is safe with me!

Disclosure: Treatments were comped in exchange for video coverage and editorial consideration.