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This year, make a resolution to visit one of these Indian-run beauty salons for a cheaper, more effective alternative to eyebrow waxing.

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It's getting dangerously close to New Year's Eve -- too late to book hair, nail, and eyebrow appointments at the high-end salons you're addicted to. But there's hope: The following hole-in-the-wall Indian salons are a steal for manicures, blowouts, or facials -- and they're eyebrow aces. Using a traditional "threading" technique, beauticians spin sticky thread really fast to zip off hair from the roots. It's cheaper than waxing and far more precise.

To find the most authentically traditional treatments, purists head to tiny salons in Flushing, Queens. Rita's gets raves for its neighborly atmosphere and very precise work -- all at Third World prices ($4 for eyebrows, $22 for a manicure and pedicure, $35 for a 45-minute herbal facial).

Closer to home, Salon Nouvelle threads for $7 and does a full leg-and-bikini wax for $40. And don't be fooled by the Jean Pierre hairdresser's sign outside Bombay Salon -- inside, eyebrow threaders work their wonders; walk-ins are welcome, and threading is only $5. While you're here, you might even pop upstairs for a $35 45-minute facial or swing over to the Jean Pierre side of the space for a blowout (prices start at $29).

For a zippy lunch-hour pit stop, try Fifth Avenue Nails and Hair: $7 buys threading or a manicure -- and the beauticians are so speedy you'll even have time to grab a bite on the way back to work.

Bombay Salon and Jean Pierre Salon, 977 Sixth Ave., at 36th St. (212-695-1111); Rita's, 4309 Main St., Flushing, Queens (718-445-7074); Salon Nouvelle, 1118 First Ave., near 62nd St. (212-813-0736); Fifth Avenue Nails and Hair, 585 Fifth Ave., near 48th St. (212-355-1117).
AJA MANGUM

Picks of the Week
The Metropolitan Museum of Art Store's sale means up to half off loads and loads of jewelry, scarves, ties, sculpture, stationery, and books inspired by the museum's exhibitions. Four stores; for locations and hours, call 800-468-7386; A.E., M.C., V.; 12/26-1/31.

Small Change is clearing fall and winter kids' clothes from designers like Jean Bourget, IKKS, and Cacharel (most things here are imported from France and Italy). Prices are from $25 for an infant's jumpsuit to $225 for a kid's ski parka. 964 Lexington Ave., near 70th St. (212-772-6455); A.E., M.C., V.; Mon.-Fri. 10-5:45, Sat. till 4:45; 12/26-1/13.

La Maison Moderne's taking 50 to 75 percent off many of its funky, Art Deco-inspired home stuff -- animal-print throws, glass-beaded bowls, and loads of candlesticks and picture frames. Sale prices range from $7.50 for an Eiffel Tower gift box to $150 for a glass vase. 144 W. 19th St. (212-691-9603); A.E., M.C., V.; Mon.-Fri. 10-8, Sat. till 6, Sun. noon-6; 12/27-1/15.

MoMA Design Store and MoMA Online Store (www.momastore.org) are taking 30 to 50 percent off some very stylish fashion and home accessories, tableware, cards, and prints. Glass ornaments are 70 percent off ($5). Sale prices are from $6.95 for a Belgian layered candle to $80 for a wood pedestal bowl to $250 for an Omas pen. 44 W. 53rd St. (212-767-1050); A.E., M.C., V.; Sun.-Thurs. 10-6:30, Fri. till 8; through 1/24.


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