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Ingrown Tumult Among the Waxoholics

Not so blissed out.

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Having your trusted waxer suddenly disappear from your spa can be decidedly unblissful. That’s what happened when Stella Akilova, perhaps Bliss Spa’s most deft depilator (she’s waxed the likes of Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, and Chelsea Clinton), recently left to start Turquoise Spa. She’d hoped to pluck her clients, too. But Bliss wasn’t letting go of Akilova’s devotees so easily. “When Stella was in the process of leaving, Bliss gave me the runaround—I would book an appointment with her, and she wouldn’t be there when I arrived, and they’d try to switch me to someone else,” says Melissa Corbo, a five-year Akilova waxee. Bliss denies using wily tactics to rebook clients with other waxers. “We’re now telling customers that Stella isn’t working here anymore,” says a Bliss spokesperson. “But people didn’t come here just for Stella—they come here for our special technique and waxes.” Not so, says Jennifer Armstrong, who followed Akilova to Turquoise. “The relationship one has with a bikini waxer, well, it’s pretty intimate. This is waxing—you don’t mess around.”

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