hair removal

Smoothie + BOX Naturals

Box Naturals Japan

We wanted to know more about Yoshie, the dynamic powerhouse behind Smoothie Waxing Salon in Osaka, Japan. Smoothie is our newest retailer and officially the farthest BOX Naturals have ever been from home (hello, San Diego). We couldn't be more pleased to be part of Smoothie's offering, or to meet Yoshie. For the scoop on waxing trends in Japan AND insider tips on where to shop and get the best cocktail, read on!

Tell us a little about yourself!

I'm from Osaka originally, when I was 15, I moved to England to go to a boarding school, then on to university where I studied physics. After I finished university, I came back to Japan and worked in several different companies.

After spending 6 years in Japan, I decided to change my career completely and help with my family business which we have been operating for 65 years - spa, restaurants, capsule hotels. Before joining my family business, I went back to London to study beauty therapy because our main part of the business is spa. I spent anther 4 years in England then came back to Japan to join my family company.

Now, I work as a managing director of New Japan (http://newjapan.co.jp/) with my brother. I started a waxing salon SMOOTHIE in 2010, set up my own company and became a sole distributor of French depilatory brand "Perron Rigot" in 2013. My next plan is to open a salon in Tokyo and look for different products to sell/distribute in Japan.

How did you get into Waxing?

I went to a beauty college in London in 2004 and took a CIDESCO International qualification. It was then that I learned about waxing. Other beauty treatments were all familiar to me but waxing was something that I had never heard of in Japan. I worked in a spa and a beauty salon in London after getting qualified, got some hands on experience during that time. I returned to Japan in 2008, realised that there weren't many salons that offered waxing service.

I opened a waxing salon in Osaka, Japan in 2010, originally targeting western people living in Osaka but within a year, waxing has started getting popular so now I have both Japanese and Western clients coming in.

What are your customers like? Are they mostly Japanese or other nationalities?

60% - Japanese, 40% - Foreigners, mostly western people who live and work in Osaka. Occasionally I get random tourists coming in. 50% of my customers are male.

 How popular is hair removal in Japan?

Hair removal including Laser, IPL, Electrolysis and waxing is very popular. IPL treatments are very reasonable now a days so most people treat their unwanted hair by IPL or Laser. Waxing has become popular few years ago, with the influence of "Sex And The City" and some celebrities talking about "Brazilian waxing". Most clients come to my salon to do Brazilian waxing - completely bare style is most popular for both men and women. There aren't many salons that allow male customers, usually waxing salons are only for women.

 What is your favorite place to eat in Osaka?

I have few different places for food. For Sushi, Kitarozushi. For Teppanyaki, Gekko Kamen. For Roast dinner - my favourite! - Viento. For cocktails - Cafe Absinthe.

 What about shopping?

For clothes/shoes, I go to department stores such as Takashimaya and Hankyu. But to avoid crowd, I tend to go online for shopping - Net-a-porter, Matchesfashion.

 

Waxing Girl + BOX Naturals

Drumroll, please............ BOX Naturals have landed in Hartland, Wisconsin! You can find us in the lovely Waxing Girl. Get to know more about this waxing boutique, straight from the founder, herself. We "sat down" (meaning we had an email conversation) with Pamela Reinemann to find out everything you need to know.

Q: How did you come up with the (distinctive and adorable!) concept of Waxing Girl? 

A: Thanks! The look and concept of Waxing Girl was a very easy concept for me. I absolutely love everything vintage and having met my husband, a huge world war II buff,  the concept of using a pin up girl  was easy to put together.  Their look for me is so simple and demure and beautiful and I think represents how beautiful we all want to feel.

Q: So… you wax men. We gotta know - who handles the pain better? We're thinking it's the gender that doesn't have to deal with childbirth. Are we right?

A: Tough question, on both men and women there are spots while waxing that are more sensitive. I can honestly say we are similar.

Q: Now that it's winter, what do you say to women who let waxing fall by the wayside? Any words of motivation to keep on waxing on?

A: Oh yes, In my eyes there is no time to let lady bits go unattended, think of it this way, you wouldn’t want someone to walk into your house when it’s unkept, you never know when company is coming so upkeep is so much easier than the panic of being caught off guard. For all women I think it’s like wearing a pretty pair of underwear, it just makes you feel pretty.

And the simple fact that when you maintain your wax the pain is nearly eliminated and the hair much diminished, because regular waxing slows and weakens the hair growth process making it much easier to pull out. My motivation: no matter whom you are, your shape or size, man or woman, smooth skin is sexy.

Q: What's the difference between soft and hard waxes? We noticed that you offer both.

AI offer a variety of waxes to be able to work with all skin types and hair types: Hard wax I use for smaller areas where the skin might be sensitive, such as face and in some instances inner bikini. Soft wax or strip wax is great for a quicker service and for areas where you need flexibility. I use soft wax on large body parts and for some Brazilian waxing as for me it allows me to move quickly with more detail.  It is important to have a variety of waxes to be able to work with different skin and hair types. I always choose the right wax based on the client’s needs.

Q: What's the number one reason why we shouldn't wax ourselves at home?

A: Gosh, I can think of A LOT but my number one reason? Ripped skin, bruises and the uncertainty that some wax kits carry waxes that may not be appropriate for all areas of your body.

Q: You are clearly an awesome entrepreneur. Tell us a little about yourself!

A: Thanks, I think I am just someone that is willing to try (even if I fail) to make a better life for myself & family. I would consider myself an introvert and as such, I am constantly thinking of things to do and improve about myself and my business.  I have always been creative, so I started as a cosmetologist doing hair, but quickly found that for me it was too much talking, so I moved to esthetics because it allowed me to focus more on one person and one thing, in one room. I honed that into just waxing when I realized I was the girl teaching all the staff how to wax, and clients were requesting me for just waxing.

At heart I am a bit of a free spirit, but I feel like a wear a conservative exterior.

Q: A lot of women are nervous about their first visit to get a wax. What advice do you have for them, and how should they prepare for their visit? 

A: I can completely relate to the feeling of being a first time waxing client. My best advice, visit the place you want to get waxed and a try and meet the esthetician to make sure you two are a personality match and that her skills are impeccable. I know that is harder than it sounds, but for me I think it makes a huge difference. She sees as much of you as your doctor does and If you connect with her you will relax more, be more honest about your needs, and trust her more.  I am a huge supporter of small business or single esthetic studios and I would recommend that if you are on the hunt for a new esthetician seek them out first. Why? Because these women probably have already worked for larger establishment and fine-tuned their skills and will treat you like gold because they KNOW you are what keeps them in business.

Q: What should they look for in a waxer? 

A: In my opinion the best waxers  are confident in their skills, have had multiple years of WAXING experience, are impeccable in their cleanliness and professionalism. If you are able to meet or talk with your potential esthetician, ask them how long they have been waxing? (you want to look for a year or more) ON average how many Brazilian waxes do they do a DAY? (you are looking for someone who does on a minimum 3-5 a day) What kind of wax do they use ( you want someone who responds by saying they have a variety of waxes and will choose the right one for you) ( avoid the esthetician who only uses One kind of wax, this can be a sign they are not familiar with what is out there or are uncertain that some waxes are not correct for certain skin types)

Q: What's the most popular style for summer, vs. winter? 

A: I love this question, there are popular styles and for summer I do see a lot of full Brazilians, and in winter it does change and often times people go to a modified Brazilian by leaving some hair on the top, or go to a regular bikini wax.

Q: What's the most interesting style request you've ever gotten?

A: Initials of their partner. Sometimes I can do this sometimes I can’t depends on how thick the hair is? I have also had clients request dying their pubic hair certain colors, for example red white and blue for July 4th.

Q: What are your thoughts on vajazzling, vajacials and similar services?

A: I think they vajazzling is cute and If the client wants one I’m all for what makes them smile. I can see the benefit of a Vajacials and of course I am in total support of what makes a woman feel beautiful.

Q: How often do you recommend a wax? And what about upkeep in between? (Is shaving in between waxes off limits?)

A:  I recommend waxing every 4 weeks and avoid shaving in between. Shaving only stimulates the hair growth and grows the hair back stronger and more deeply rooted, which makes your next wax FEEL like your first wax all over again. Upkeep in between?, embrace the slight fur in between waxes as par for the course and relax about it.

Q: If there was one thing you wish you customers could know, or would do before an appointment, what would it be?

A: The few  things I wish clients would know is that the for me, the longer the hair prior to waxing the better the waxing service. If you think your hair is too long ( 70’s bush) so what , come on in, if it’s too long I’ll trim it and we can go from there, still the longer the better… on all areas of the body.

I also wish that clients that are waxing for an event (and not regular waxers) would know to come in at least 3 time PRIOR to your event so that the service just before your occasion is perfect. If your first time wax is days prior to your special event, you run the risk of being overly sensitive on that occasion, and because you are being waxed while most likely stressed out, nervous or scared, you could run into a bikini break out…which happens occasionally on first time waxes. Probably NOT the vision you had in mind for your special day.

Q: What's the motto of your salon?

A: Be humble, deliver incredible service, and listen well.

Pour Some Sugar On Me

It's Springtime.  Which means that summer is just around the corner. Bikinis, flip flops, and…hair removal (insert Psycho scream here).  

If you've let yourself go since LAST summer (don’t look at me! Ok, fine.  Look at me), the first time does NOT have to be painful.    I had the chance to speak to Kristin Fennema,  owner of SugarCoated Skincare (and an Alexandria certified educator on Sugaring) about the sweet virtues of sugaring.  Read this quick, but informative interview! xo, Box Intimates

 Lemon, Sugar, and Water?  (+ vodka + cocktail umbrella?) Get ready for summer.

Lemon, Sugar, and Water?  (+ vodka + cocktail umbrella?) Get ready for summer.

What is sugaring? Sugaring is a natural, gentle, sanitary and non wax alternative to Waxing. It is based on an Ancient Egypt technique.

What are the benefits of sugaring?  Sugaring is better than waxing and other hair removal techniques, because it does not traumatize the skin.  As a skin care professional, it is my duty to care for your skin, not to hurt it and do it damage!  The Sugar paste consists of Sugar, Lemon and Water - no wax and no resin.  It removes dead skin cells, not live ones.  It is also 100% sanitary (no double dipping), removes short hairs (you don't have to wait as long in between appointments), is water soluble and easy to clean-up.  Lastly, it removes hair in the direction of growth, not against it which means less pain!

Can sugaring be used for all areas of the body? Yes, all areas from brows to Brazilians to toes!...with the exception of the inner ear and inner nose (Ouch!)

Any suggestions on what we should do with our hair during the “in between” appointment stage? Well, because Sugaring can remove short hairs, the "in between" stage is reduced.  On average, appointments are every 3-4 weeks. If one MUST shave, the good news is that 5 days of growth is typically long enough for Sugaring hair removal.

If sugar does not adhere to the skin, is it as effective as getting the roots of the hairs out?  Absolutely, that's the beauty of Sugaring!  It seeps in below the mouth of the hair follicle and grabs the hair from a deeper level than just the surface of the skin. This allows for less breakage of the hair and therefore less in-growns.

Any other tips to keep our bodies looking beautiful? Especially with summer around the corner? Aside from a regular Sugaring program, I recommend exfoliating gloves several times a week and moisturizing with a Shea Butter based lotion.  For an extra boost, bathing in Dead Sea Salts are wonderful for detox as well as for skin softening and moisturizing.

Who knew?! SugarCoated Skincare is based in beachy Encinitas, CA.   Don't live near San Diego?  Don't despair - ask us for our favorite sugaring recs in your city!