Valentine's Day beauty prep

Primp for your hot date on the cheap these TONY-approved services

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  • vdayprep1

    Hibba NYC

  • vdayprep2

    Boom Boom Brow Bar

  • vdayprep3

    Strip Ministry of Waxing

  • vdayprep4

    Rita Hazan Salon

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    Element Beauty Lounge

  • vdayprep6

    Element Beauty Lounge

  • vdayprep7

    The New York Shaving Company

vdayprep1

Hibba NYC


RECOMMENDED: Valentine's Day ideas for New Yorkers

Brazilian bikini wax at Hibba NYC
Getting your privates depilated can be nerve-racking, but this inviting, Indian-themed space feels soothing with its pretty watermelon-and-lime-colored walls, a mural of a tree, vibrant beaded pillows, and a mix of Frank Sinatra and Bollywood tunes playing in the background. Plus, owner Hibba Kapil, who has been threading and waxing since she was 13, will make you feel at ease by informing you up front that the whole ordeal will be over in seven minutes flat. Kapil and her three trained specialists use regular cream wax, sugar wax or blue-hued Azulene wax (an all-natural blend) to remove everything. No strand will be left behind when your waxer finishes the job by threading away any strays. The treatment is completed with a soothing rose-water cloth and some baby powder to keep the area clean and dry. Note: You'll need to start prepping at least two to three weeks in advance, growing the hair long enough to be removed; and Kapil recommends no sex, rubbing or sweating for at least 48 hours after the service to avoid irritation, so book your appointment at least two days before your date. $36 (normally $45). 448 West Broadway at Prince St, second floor (212-260-4321, hibbabeauty.com)—Lauren Levinson

Eyebrow wax at Boom Boom Brow Bar
This diminutive, 250-square-foot spot feels like a wild, girly party: Disco balls hang from the ceiling, thongs (unworn, we're assured) dangle from the chandelier, and '70s dance music thumps in the background. Yet despite the raucous vibe, the brow experts at Boom Boom approach waxing with the gravity and precision of a surgeon: After you fill out and sign a form that inquires about any allergies or prescriptions you may have, you'll be instructed to take a seat on one of the fuchsia patent-pleather stools out in the open (private rooms are used only for bikini waxes). Using a proprietary lavender-based wax—and adhering to a strict no-double-dipping policy—the technician will painlessly defuzz you, starting from above the arches (which dictates the natural shape your brows should take) and constantly brushing hairs in the direction they grow between rounds to create a fuller brow. A dab of polysporin ointment is so effective at keeping puffiness at bay, you could easily go straight to your date after the ten-minute service; the only thing he'd likely notice is how beautiful your peepers look. $18 (normally $20). 35 Seventh Ave between 12th and 13th Sts (212-229-2666, boomboombrowbar.com)—Cristina Velocci

Full-back wax at Strip Ministry of Waxing
Dudes, there's a reason why Sasquatch roams around by his lonesome: No one wants to rake their hands through a patch of fur in the heat of the moment. Though a lobotomy probably sounds more appealing than having your back hairs ripped at their roots, Strip Ministry of Waxing offers a surprisingly painless 40-minute option. At the first U.S. branch of this successful Singapore chain, the specialists work in a gender-neutral environment, whose nine comfortable, spalike rooms will make you forget that you're there for something a bit less relaxing than a massage. Starting from the shoulders and working down to just above your butt crack, a technician applies a soothing lavender-based wax that creates a smoother finish and reduces pain—so much so that all you'll feel is a gentle tug, rather than a four-alarm fire on your backside. To keep you feeling agony-free, the service is capped off with a slather of antibacterial cream. Depending on how hairy your back is, you might experience slight redness for 24 hours after the treatment. During that window, they recommend that you avoid any extreme physical activity, since your pores need that time to close up, so plan on depilating at least one day in advance. $75. 56 Spring St between Lafayette and Mulberry Sts (212-431-1121, strip-usa.com)—Adam Fulrath

Spa manicure and pedicure at Element Beauty Lounge
Nothing ruins a sexy come-hither gesture like chipped nails and frayed cuticles, so bring your digits to either location of this immaculately clean, white-washed spa to have all ten buffed and polished to perfection. Choose from a full spectrum of Essie and OPI polishes (plus a handful of reds from all-natural brand Zoya) before settling into one of eight comfy leather pedicure chairs with built-in massage systems. Though the mani-pedi is fairly straightforward, aside from the organic mango lotion and mango-lemon sugar scrub that's made in-house, what distinguishes Element's service from other nail salons are the subtle, nuisance-solving details of the experience. Flatscreen TVs showing music videos from the likes of Duffy and She & Him help you pass the time (and avoid those long, awkward silences between you and your technician); cushy, striped pillows sit on every chair at the manicure stations to help cradle your back; soy sauce dishes are provided for stashing rings while fingers get treated to a knuckle-cracking massage; and magazines (everything from InStyle to Nail Max, a Japanese trade title) are handily propped up on a ledge for easy perusing at the dryers. $38. 48 Third Ave at 10th St (212-387-0045) * 73 Fifth Ave between Prospect and St. Marks Pls, Park Slope, Brooklyn (718-398-2969) * elementbeauty.com—CV

Traditional shave at the New York Shaving Company
At this artisanal barbershop, a wood-and-brick oasis of classic male style, expert barbers clean you up nicely as you recline in a leather chair, with songs from the '40s swinging gently in the background. Don't expect idle chitchat from the barbers: They're focused on your stubble and giving you a mighty close shave (plus, do you really want to distract a guy who has a blade on your throat?). House-brand lather is swiftly applied with an old-fashioned brush and followed by two precise passes with a steel razor (one with and one against the grain of your beard). Balms, oils and a splash of rose water help everything go smoothly. $30. 202B Elizabeth St between Prince and Spring Sts (212-334-9495, theshaveofnewyork.com)—Adam Feldman


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