Great Day Spas 2013: Our 6 Favorite Spas for Waxing—and More

Hundreds of spas and corner salons now do eyebrow and bikini waxes. The following make the experience less hairy.

Blu Water Day Spa & Salon

5234 Nicholson La., North Bethesda; 301-984-6245.

Blu Water's always-cheery owner, Julie Nguyen—who describes herself as obsessed with eyebrows—delivers one of the best reshapings we've had in the area ($40 for initial design, $30 for maintenance appointments). Instead of simply cutting from the top, she thinned our tester's unruly brows from within, then carefully sculpted a subtle, natural arch. Beyond a great wax, her full-service day spa offers massage, facials, mani-pedis, lash treatments, and a just-opened hair salon.

Of note: Nguyen is big on giving back—her nonprofit Arches of Love provides financial support and prosthetic eyebrow "wigs" to those suffering from burns and other skin disorders.

Aveda Georgetown

1325 Wisconsin Ave., NW; 202-965-1325.

After ten years in the business, the nothing-fazes-me demeanor of Aveda Georgetown's chief waxer, Karina Gutierrez, will put anyone at ease. Perhaps that's why upward of 30 percent of her clients are men (back and chest waxes are $50 to $80). Her technique is thorough and time-efficient. For ladies, Brazilians ($60 to $75) are the number-one request.

Of note: Aveda's actual "spa" space is tiny—a basement hallway with nothing more than a bench for a waiting area.

Online booking? No.

Bluemercury

Multiple area locations.

Besides selling makeup by such brands as Nars and Laura Mercier, Bluemercury offers waxing, facials, and, in some locations, massage. There are seven shops in the area; we visited the Clarendon branch.

Within 15 minutes, our reviewer emerged with perfectly shaped eyebrows. The $25 price is triple what this reviewer normally pays at her corner nail salon, but afterward her eyes weren't red and puffy and she didn't suffer pesky breakouts—often the case after brow waxing at the corner salon. At Bluemercury, she was given a few beauty-product samples on the way out along with tips for treating hyperpigmentation.

Of note: Aesthetician Jessica Mapes is recommended for Brazilian waxing and facials. We also loved our brow wax with Shae Jackson, who works in Georgetown and Bethesda.

Online booking? No.

Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa

8075 Leesburg Pike, Suite 110, Vienna; 703-448-8388.

If a true "spa" experience is important to you even with hair removal, this outpost of the Red Door, with its sumptuous lounge area and multiple treatment rooms—is a good bet. Industry vet Marcela Lopez employs quick, precise movements to deliver a tidy bikini line ($42) and, at the end of a session, uses a light misting spray to remove any residual stickiness.

Of note: The special Red Door-sanctioned hard wax is a little less painful than traditional strips.

Online booking? Yes.

Fusion Day Spa

1705 L St., NW; 202-223-8182.

This salon offers everything from haircuts to mani-pedis and massages, but the reason to go is hair removal. The small treatment rooms are sparely decorated, and appointments can often run behind schedule, but clients love the Brazilians ($51), brow waxes ($16), and more.

The staff is friendly but professional as well as thorough about shaping brows and plucking stubborn ingrown hairs. Fusion offers more reasonable rates than many similar downtown DC spots.

Of note: Treatments get booked up after office hours, so it can be easiest to get a rush appointment during the day.

Online booking? No.

Nectar Skin Bar

1633 Wisconsin Ave., NW; 202-333-4332.

Amid tony shops in upper Georgetown, Nectar's purple rowhouse attracts many of DC's well-heeled for everything from facials and airbrush tans to mani-pedis. Spa treatments take place upstairs in one of three small but plush rooms.

Lead aesthetician Melissa Nist gives a near-painless Brazilian bikini wax ($60), using hard wax (no strips) and quick, efficient pulls. She's also recommended for facials—everything from red-carpet-style plumping to pore-cleansing peels.

Of note: The front of the spa features products by such lines as Comfort Zone, Paul & Joe Beaute, and Prtty Peaushun—which are tough to find elsewhere in DC. Valet parking is $5 next door with a salon receipt.

Online booking? Yes.

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