Brazilian Wax

The Wax Bar Newcastle

With only a few more days until Christmas, party season is well and truly upon us.  If you’ve let your party prep fall by the wayside then fear not as I’m about to tip you off with a brand new beauty offering you’ll want to add to your little black book.

What we’ve lacked in Newcastle for some time now, and you’ll know this because of my endless rants about it, is a dedicated wax bar.  Somewhere that specialises in the art of hot waxing, from eyebrows to intimate waxing and everything in between, it’s something we’ve been in need of for a long time.

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Brand new salon The Wax Bar aims to address that.  On upmarket St George’s Terrace in Jesmond and with free parking right outside the door, the salon is perfectly situated for fly-by appointments.  With salons in Edinburgh, Fife and now Newcastle, The Wax Bar is an established brand that’s rapidly expanding largely because of their expertise and quick appointment turnover.  Founder & Head Therapist Nicole Peterson is a graduate from the Mary Reid International School of Beauty; an institution with a reputation for being the best of the best in the beauty industry, and those high standards are reflected in The Wax Bar.

From its signature charcoal and white colour schemes complemented by fuschia pink branding, The Wax Bar prides itself on being sleek and minimalist, much like its signature Hollywood wax. 🙌🏼

I arrived for my appointment and was greeted by two smiling faces and a salon that smelled like fresh grapefruit.  The place is gorgeous, pretty damn near perfect in fact.  Smart, slick and very clean, there’s a nail bar in the main reception area too.  I was introduced to my Therapist Gemma and taken through what to expect from my Hollywood wax (£38) in a well equipped room in keeping with the theme of the salon.

The Wax Bar favours hot waxing and uses Lycon wax throughout, if you’re not already familiar, here comes the science:  Lycon is the market leader in hot waxing.  Used with an oil prep,  Lycon wax shrink wraps around the hair to remove only the hair and not the skin, reducing the pain caused by waxing to almost nothing.  Because of this, the area can be re-waxed to remove stubborn hairs, something you can’t achieve with strip wax.

Aside from the gorgeous, simplistic colours scheme and genius branding, one of the best things about The Wax Bar is the speed at which they can turnover an appointment.  With over ten years experience in the beauty industry and a flair for waxing, these girls have got mad skills and it shows.  With no rushing, but also no waiting around, it’s the perfect appointment –  done and dusted in a cool 20 minutes including changing time – perfect for days when you need to be in and out with minimal fuss and with online booking the process is streamlined from start to finish.

Obviously you all know by now that I’m a bit of a waxing connoisseur and after living in London, I’ve come to know where to find the best Wax Therapists in the UK.  The Wax Bar definitely makes the cut.  With a mission statement similar to Strip in London, although the salon also offers additional sought after beauty treatments such as LVL Lashes, HD Brows and nail services, the focus is firmly on the waxing with a full, diverse treatment menu dedicated to the sticky stuff.

img_3034Uncomfortable about intimate waxing?  Don’t be.  There’s just no need, yes there are places out there that may make you feel uncomfortable, The Wax Bar isn’t one of them.  These girls eat, sleep and breathe wax, it’s their lifeblood and their job is to make you feel at ease, which they excel at.  It’s a virtually pain free process, (yes, you read that right) and there’s a wickedy  loyalty scheme to boot.

If you’re an intimate waxing virgin and are mildly intrigued, then man up and book an appointment, it’ll change your life.  If you’re not brave enough to opt for the Hollywood wax then The Wax Bar offers a full suite of waxing treatments including eyebrows (£10), underarms (£15) and legs (£30).  If you’re quick you still have time to grab one of their Festive Offers including a Half Leg Wax & Hollywood Wax for £40 instead of £56 and I’d stake my kid on the fact that you’ll be back for more….

Pixie xo

The Best Wax in Newcastle…..

You know by now that I’m a bit of a connoisseur when it comes to waxing, particularly that of the intimate variety (Sorry if you’re reading this Dad but this is real important stuff), so when an opportunity crops up to try out a new place then provided it’s using hot wax rather than strip wax, I’m absolutely in.

I’ve favoured the “Hollywood” (that’s everything off folks) since the 90’s (talk about jumping on a beauty trend right?!) and living in London I shared my amazing Brazilian waxer with Victoria Beckham, Sienna Miller and countless other celebrities, indeed Otylia Roberts was, and still is known as one of the best hot waxers in the world.  When I relocated back to the North East this left me with a bit of an issue, largely existing as a six weekly trip to London for my fix.

Fast forward to right now and the North East is all over the Brazilian / Hollywood waxing “trend” with dedicated waxing salons opening up and existing beauty salons adding the service to their treatment menu’s.  When Newcastle Hair & Beauty Clinic invited me to  road test their Lycon Hollywood wax, they didn’t have to ask twice……

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I arrived at the clinic and was introduced to Alex, my therapist for the afternoon.  After being shown to a super cute and kitsch floral treatment room, Alex gave me instructions usually reserved for the OBGYN clinic: Undress my lower half and cover up with the towel provided.

Now for anyone new to this type of procedure, this is totally standard; you have to understand that to get a perfectly clean finish, you have to be sans underwear, it’s just that simple.  Alex is an absolute pro – she understands that clients often book this particular appointment with trepidation and she instantly makes you feel at ease.  There’s no awkwardness, it’s not uncomfortable at all, she tells me that she’s done it for so long now it’s the same as doing an eyebrow shape or a leg wax, it’s all about precision and providing the best service possible.  So far so good.

Lets pause for an interlude; the wax Alex is using today is Lycon wax.  If it’s not on your radar or already part of your beauty regimen then familiarise yourself with it because you’re going to like this one – It’s very different to traditional strip wax, where the wax is applied to the skin and a cotton strip is used to remove it, removing the very top layer of skin cells with it.  When it comes to intimate waxing, strip waxing can be tricky, the same area shouldn’t be covered twice meaning that if the hair isn’t removed in one go, you’ve got a problem….

Enter Lycon Precision Waxing.  Using only the finest resins, natural ingredients and aromatherapy oils, Lycon delivers superior performance, removing stubborn hair as short as 1mm.  The area being waxed is treated first and then the hot wax is applied directly to the hair, the wax then shrink wraps around the hair meaning that only the hair is removed and not the skin.  Once set, the wax is pulled away from the skin without the need for fabric strips, it means that large areas can be done quickly and because Lycon Hot Waxes can be re-applied to the same area many times there’s no skin trauma or irritation and I can honestly say that it’s relatively pain free.

So, back to Newcastle Hair & Beauty Clinic, as Alex gets to work, she chats the whole time about anything and everything, from tattoos to dungarees from Topshop, we could be in the line for the checkout at Tesco it’s so relaxed and within a mere twenty minutes I’m done.  On a whim I decide to have my legs and underarms waxed whilst I’m there and before long I’m smooth all over and feeling inspired to book a holiday.  There’s no stickiness or residue that’s often associated with waxing treatments and no redness so I’m good to go.

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If you’re a regular hot waxer, a current strip waxer or a wax virgin just looking to take the plunge then I’d highly recommend Newcastle Hair & Beauty Clinic for several reasons:  1. It’s an uber professional service, there’s no awkwardness, these girls have seen it all before and just want to make you comfortable and give you the treatment you booked in for.  2. Situated above Superdrug on Northumberland Street, it’s a central location in Newcastle city centre meaning that you can be in and out in between hitting the shops and sipping an Americano, no biggie.  3. This is the clincher: This is without doubt, the best hot wax in Newcastle, if not the North East – trust me, I’ve done the research and even had the bruises to prove it. :-/

So, if you want a piece of the action, get yourself booked in with Alex but don’t go telling everyone, it’ll be our little secret, right?

Pixie x

To book an appointment at Newcastle Hair & Beauty Clinic call 0191 2320411

Le Petit Spa, Malmaison Newcastle

When I was invited to spend the day at the Malmaison Hotel Spa, I jumped at the chance, after all, what girl wouldn’t want to spend a day being pampered, preened and beautified, right?!  My mission?  To allow myself to be waxed, exfoliated, prodded and polished all in the name of research and to let you lovely readers know whether it was worth it, and whether it’s worth your time.

Let’s first start with the fact that I wasn’t even aware that the Newcastle Malmaison Hotel even had a spa until around three weeks ago and it’s been there as long as the hotel has stood on the glorious Newcastle Quayside.  I know right?! Mind. blown.  I was given a date and time for my visit and asked to select some treatments from an extensive menu comprising mainly ESPA treatments.  On the day of my visit I packed up my hugest Tom Ford handbag and off I set.

The Malmaison is easy to find and it has designated parking (a dream in Newcastle city centre).  It stands on the Newcastle Quayside right next to the Millennium Bridge and behind The Pitcher & Piano bar, it’s a great spot, the views are fantastic and there’s a constant flow of people passing.

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Tucked away in the basement of the hotel is the spa, the hotel upstairs is a world away from the tranquil, hidden sanctuary below.  An elevator ride transports me to a calm, quiet and low-lit environment, away from the hustle and bustle of the city, and as the doors open, I’m greeted with smiles from behind a reception desk.  (The first thing I notice is how much higher up I am than the reception desk and I instantly wonder if I’m standing in the wrong place – I’m not)  We go through the standard discussion about allergies etc. and what to expect from today and then I’m given a brief tour before being given a robe (my attire for the day) and shown to the changing area by Laura, my Therapist for the day.

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One of the glaringly obvious things about the Malmaison Spa is that it doesn’t have the usual trappings that you would come to expect.  There’s no steam room, no jacuzzi, no whirlpool, plunge pool or indeed any pool of any kind, and that’s because this is purely a treatment spa.  yes, it’s a given that some people will consider this a negative, but in reality, it allows the therapists to concentrate on providing the best treatments available, and in a city like Newcastle, it’s more about getting beautified and getting out on the Town.

All of my personal belonging are locked away in a generously sized locker (good job really, as i decided to bring the biggest handbag in the history of handbags), and I’m shown through to the central Relaxation Area.  This area is the hub of the spa, it’s where everything starts and ends.  The room is dimly lit with music playing at a low-level, there are soft, squishy, leather massage chairs operated by remote control and there are a variety of teas available on a stand in the corner.  I spot a magazine rack filled with fashion mags and photography books and I settle down in a massage chair with Elle magazine.  After some intense Level Three pummeling from The Chair, I’m whisked into a treatment room by Laura.  The rooms here are gorgeous and don’t have the clinical feeling of some day spa’s, everything has low-lighting and is very calming, there are individual flowers on each treatment bed and the same music is played throughout all areas of the spa.

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First up is a Lycon Brazilian Wax, definitely an ice-breaker and  yep, it’s exactly as it sounds.  For anyone who goes through the pain of intimate waxing every six or seven weeks, if you haven’t yet discovered Lycon (or Brazilian Hot Wax), get it on your radar now as it’s almost pain-free and it takes half the time of strip wax.  In a nutshell, the therapist pre-cleanses the area with oil and the hot wax clings to the hair rather than the skin.  There are no cloth strips used in this process, the wax simply sets hard and is then pulled away.  Trust me when i say that the Malmaison Spa is a great example of this service.  The North East has been slow to jump on the hot wax trend, I know this because for the last fifteen years or so I’ve travelled to London for the privilege and although there are a few places offering it throughout Newcastle and the suburbs, they aren’t a patch on Laura.  So if f you’re curious, or even if you’re a regular waxer, give the Malmaison a try, you might just be pleasantly surprised.

Next on the agenda is a muscle warming ESPA Body Wrap.  I’m taken to a different treatment area where we choose products by conducting a “Smell Test”.  This involves smelling various oils and positions and basing my choices on preference of smell.  Once I’ve selected my preferred aromas, Laura tells me that this will give a muscle warming wrap – perfect as I’m nursing a shoulder injury.  I’m exfoliated head to toe and covered in a green smoothie like substance before being wrapped in a big tin foil-esque blanket.  Once I’m wrapped, I’m treated to an aromatherapy head massage whist the green stuff gets to work.  I can feel a sort of deep heat sensation and the whole experience, strange as it is, is super relaxing.  As soon as I’m cooked, i’m unwrapped and whilst covered up i’m taken to a private shower behind a screen in the corner of the room and instructed on how best to wash the mixture off, i’m then moved onto a fresh bed and we move on to the full body hydrating massage section of the wrap experience, including a bespoke deep tissue massage to aid recovery of my injured shoulder.

Now let’s be clear, I’m a massage freak.  I have at least one a week and I’m pretty fussy too; I tell Laura that “I like to feel like I’ve been beaten with sticks” and she laughs and agrees.  After all, what’s the point if you can’t feel it, right?!  For a petite girl, Laura is strong and she’s right in there, all-elbows and heels of hands, she tells me that my back is full of knots and she’s not surprised I’m always in pain.  She goes on to explain that each knot is a build up of lactic acid that should be released through pressure.  The thing I really loved about this particular Deep Tissue Massage is that Laura is particularly attentive and has a knack for picking out those exact hyper-sensitive spots, moving my arm into various positions to slide my shoulder-blade, she’s almost relentless in her mission to iron me out, and regularly asks is the pressure is ok.  I can tell she’s frustrated when there are knots that she can’t flatten.

On to the facial and I’ve opted for an Active Peel Facial; it claims to be a powerful and effective natural peel which smoothes, softens and evens out skin tone.  A Clarisonic brush cleanse is followed by an intense enzyme peel containing botanical extracts and pumpkin enzymes which exfoliate and remove dead skin cells.  I’m no stranger to a glycolic peel and I love the familiar tingling sensation when it eventually begins.  Once the peel is removed, skin is massaged with rose quartz crystal rollers which cool and calm the skin and send me into a relaxing trance.

To finish with, I’m handed over to Bronia who sits me down for a Jessica Geleration Polish.  Generation delivers a high shine, chip free finish for up to two weeks in a variety of colours.  For a small charge you can add nail art or a French polish but I’m a creature of habit and I opt for a Rouge Noir type colour.  As most of us already know, gel polish is cured under a lamp and so there’s no drying time – perfect if you need to be out in a hurry and don’t want to sit around waiting for polish to dry, also perfect if, like me, you opt for rich, dark colours.  It’s worth noting that help polish should be soaked off when it’s ready to be removed, this way you protect the nail underneath and minimise any damage, the Malmaison offers a soak off service for £15.  Bronia is hilarious, she has me cackling like a hyena throughout my polish, kind of like a friend you haven’t seen in a long time.

As my day of treatments draws to a close, I’m taken back to the relaxation room where I’m told I can stay as long as I want, or if I’d prefer, I can use the sauna and drencher bucket shower, there’s no hurry to get rid of me, the vibe here is chilled and relaxed and clients are encouraged to stay and do the same.

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One of the great things about the spa at the Malmaison is that there’s no judgement.  In an environment where you’re in and out of a robe and very little else for treatments, these girls have seen it all before and they aren’t bothered.  I’m sure we’ve all been to that one place where we’ve felt a little uncomfortable but this is not it.  Here, it’s just day-to-day business and the girls are completely unaffected.  If you’re the nervous or body conscious type, have no fear, the staff here are friendly and professional and within about ten minutes you’ll have forgotten all about the worries you might have had when you arrived.

Le Petit Spa at Malmaison Newcastle is a hidden sanctuary in a busy city, and one that I’ll be returning to.  It’s on the Quayside, has its own designated parking and offers every treatment you could possibly want and more.  Yes it could do with a lick of paint but that doesn’t affect the treatments.  In terms of aesthetics, the spa may have to up its game in the ever-changing sky scape of Newcastle but given the multi-million pound overhaul the hotel has just had, that might not be out of the question.  For now though, know that if you’re ever in the city and just fancy a little peace and quiet, or some space to relax, it’s right there, underneath your favourite Quayside hotel.  Would I recommend it? Yes, absolutely.  It may just change the way you see beauty treatments.  It’s a one stop shop and you get a relaxation room thrown into the mix, how many regular beauty salons can boast that?  So, go, try it out, and let me know how you get on.

Pixie x

The treatments I had on the day were:

Lycon Hollywood Wax £34

ESPA Body Wrap £60

30 Minute Deep Tissue Massage £42

Active Peel Facial £75

Jessica Geleration Nails £30

For more information on the services offered and to book at Le Petit Spa, go to: https://www.malmaison.com/locations/newcastle/spa/

or download the Spa brochure here for a list of treatments and prices: https://www.malmaison.com/media/153229/xxxxx_mal_spa_brochure.pdf

Huge thanks to Therapists Laura and Bronia for looking after me all day long!