Monday, June 15, 2009

Beauty is Pain

I have yet to get over how cheap things are here, especially when it comes to beauty services.

For example:

Haircut/Shampoo/Blow-dry - P150 ~ $3.00
Manicure - P90 ~ $1.85
Pedicure - P100 ~ $2.00
Eyebrow Wax - P180 ~ $3.50

Getting all of those services for around $10.00. Amazing.
Getting material for my blog.... priceless.


Pretty cheap huh? And this is one of the nice salons in the mall. Not the place across the street from our neighborhood which offers men's haircuts for P40; less than $1.00. Lee swears he is going to go there someday, just to see what an $.84 haircut looks like. But it probably doesn't look any different than the $1.20 haircut he gets right now.

Last week, I decided to take advantage of some of these cheap services. First... an eyebrow wax. I hadn't had that done since our wedding, and I was starting to look a bit like a Sesame Street character.

Second, a bikini wax. (Lee suggested that this was borderline when it comes to too much information for the blog, but "frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn.")

When I got to the salon I started reading over the list of waxing services...

-Underarm
-Legs
-Half Legs
-Lower & Upper Lip
-Eyebrows

So... no bikini wax?

I asked.

Me - Do you do bikini waxes here?
Girl - (She raises her eyebrows) Yes mam.
Me - (Hmm... eyebrow raise huh? Not sure that's a good sign.) Well, how much are they??

She reaches behind the counter and pulls out a huge book to find the price. I find this to be strange. Shouldn't you advertise all the services you provide? Hmmm.

She tells me it will be P480, a price I'm pretty sure she made up off the top of her head, and says my room will be ready in a minute.

The operative word here being, "room." Apparently, they use this word loosely. From across the salon I see what I assume to be the waxing area... And the only thing that separates the waxing "room" from the rest of the people getting their nails and hair done... is a white sheet, hanging from the ceiling.... Oh hellllll no...

Privacy is obviously not a priority....

And what if I scream?

I head to the back to meet the wax lady, I'll call her Rose. Apparently, I had come on a very special day... a day when grandma was unable to watch Rose's 2-year-old daughter...

Well, I was in for a treat!

I didn't have to worry about my screams disturbing the other salon patrons.

Between the flamboyant male stylists singing Celine Dion and Mariah Carey tracks at the top of their lungs, and the shrill squeals of the terrible 2-year-old; no sound I could make would compare to the racket they created. There were moments when I thought my ears might start bleeding.

The beastly baby would run around the salon screaming, before returning and ripping open my precious partition. She didn't mind that I was exposed from the waist down. Her mother was of course mortified, and she tried to keep the,"little $%^& "contained as best she could, while trying to maintain a level of professionalism. Even if it was a very low level.

My major concern had little to do with my goods being flashed to the salon customers and more to do with the fact that she was currently working on my eyebrows and I would have preferred to have her complete and total attention. Having an entire eyebrow removed was not on my list of things to do that day. Thankfully, both of them remained intact.

As the appointment progressed I began to ask Rose some questions... This usually takes my mind off the pain which means I'm less likely to scream, and call her mean names.

Me- How long have you been doing waxes, Rose?
Rose- 2 years
Me- Do you mostly do waxes? Or do you do nails too?
Rose- I do both. But mostly nails.
Me- Do filipinos not do a lot of waxing?
Rose- No. (She laughs.)
Me- Why not?
Rose- I don't know. Mostly eyebrows.
Me- Mostly eyebrows? So, no bikini waxes?
Rose- Oh... noo.. hehe.
Me- Yeah, I noticed it wasn't on the service list.
Rose- Yes. How did you know we do it?
Me- I asked.
Rose- Yes. Filipino people not much bikini wax, mostly foreigners.

Hmmm... I guess Filipino women are too modest for bikini waxes? I'm not sure. But this does explain the eyebrow raise....
I guess I'll just be the scandalous American woman that gets bikini waxes... aren't you glad I'm giving all of us such a great reputation?