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Strip Soho

Visited Jun 2012

Well-located in the West End near Oxford Circus and Piccadilly Circus tube stations, and easy to find as the turquoise building stood out from its neighbours. The receptionist was friendly, even when declining to purchase the products that the therapist had pushed onto me (literally, when she left the treatment room for me to change after the wax, she said "I'll leave your products on the counter for you", even though I hadn't asked nor expressed interest in anything she'd recommended. It reminded me of when Phones4U tried to trick me into getting phone insurance.) No one was particularly chatty and other customers were constantly distracting the receptionist when she were serving me, which was a little annoying as I had to wait unnecessarily. As for information provided, I had to ask quite a few questions, though I was informed that they were opening a place in the big Topshop without having to ask, though it wasn't mentioned when this would be, nor was I given any post-wax care tips. I arrived early, so I was seen to on time and offered a glass of water, however there was no indication whether I should change before receiving my water, so my therapist seemed a little curt when she returned with the water and I'd been waiting for it to avoid being walked in on, even when I apologised and explained my confusion! I was in the chocolate room which, and I assume the photos on Wahanda are of a different branch, was very small and not so tastefully decorated. It was sort of cute, with a brown towel under paper on the bed, walls and gold-framed photos with the exact same picture of an unwrapped block of chocolate with gold foil, but it wasn't what I was expecting from a place which charges £52 for a wax and has such a nice website, and it didn't look like much thought had been put into its design. I much prefered the decor of Ministry of Waxing's Mayfair branch which, although was not how I'd decorate my house at all, looked actually classier and like they'd put some effort into its conception. And I thought that salon smelled nicer, as did its wax! The wax here was very good, chocolate-hazelnut Lycon, goes on thickly and dries to resemble a shiny flexible plastic! It was very similar to the chocolate wax in MoW in consistency, though I think the therapist in MoW was possibly more skilled as it didn't hurt there whereas in Strip I felt it noticeably more. Regardless, it was still much less uncomfortable than cheap places that use regular strip wax, and here, as in MoW, they don't double dip. They provided a big pack of baby wipes and a bottle of alcohol hand gel to sanitise, and prepped the area to be waxed with oil instead of powder. Chocolate wax was just automatically used, maybe because I hadn't checked any of the boxes on their health screening form, however there was lavender wax in the room for sensitive skin. The chocolate wax literally looked like roughly broken thick chunks of chocolate sinking in a pool of melted chocolate. The TV was the second best thing about this place after the Lycon, as it was wonderfully distracting, despite the movie being Step Up 2 (more painful than a Brazilian wax). The therapist asked about four times whether the wax was ok and I was comfortable, which I found a bit unnecessary, not just because she was competent enough to keep the wax from overheating, but after the first two times, you'd get the general idea to speak up if the wax was burning you, right? She happily tweezed out strays which didn't hurt after the skin had been relaxed by the hot wax, and overall did a very thorough job, the best I've had, and in just 20 minutes. The weird thing is, there was nowhere to leave my stuff, except for on an armchair in the corner. Why was there a chair in there? For spectators? I used a Wahanda gift voucher to pay, which they accepted with no issues, and paid the difference by card. The underwear in the shop is nice, with affordable brands such as Elle Macpherson included, as well as a sales section and a curtain to dress behind, but the range of sizes and types isn't that good, the shop being very small, so I would recommend going to the John Lewis/Selfridges lingerie sections or Coco de Mer on Monmouth St instead if you're really looking for nice lingerie. As for me, if I'm going to spend that kind of money on a wax again, I'd choose to go to Ministry of Waxing instead for the better ambiance and treatment. (It's less pretentious and more quirky than Strip, I find!)

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