Cindy Barshop, a 46-year-old single mother of 15-month-old twin girls, is the founder of Completely Bare, a growing chain of waxing spas that specialize in stripping public and private parts of unwanted fuzz.
Before the show's April 7 premiere, Barshop dialed up StyleList for her first preseason interview.
Like a well-executed bikini wax, we tried to make it as painless as possible.
Introducing Cindy Barshop:
She's got friends in the right place: "I got interested in the idea of being on the show because I knew some of the ladies. I know Ramona (Singer) from the Hamptons and Jill (Zarin) was a client at Completely Bare. I like expanding my horizons and doing something new, so when they asked, I was like, 'Why not?'"
She's been burned: A bad bikini wax 15 years ago inspired Barshop to start her waxing empire. While she wouldn't discuss the intimate details, she tells us, "I got hurt and hurt badly because I went someplace where they really didn't know what they were doing. And with hot wax, that's not a good thing."
She "vajazzles": Barshop's spas have offered a post-wax application of jewels to the, ahem, lady region for several years. "At first, I was hesitant, but then I tried it. I had a Swarovski crystal done and I thought it was pretty. I think of it like stunning lingerie, a bit like wearing La Perla." Her spa also offers "vatooing," an airbrushed, temporary design for you know where.
She's shed her baby fat: "I weighed 200 pounds when I was expecting the twins. And I was on bed rest," she says. "I was amazed that my body went back down in size as quickly as I did, but you won't see me wearing a bikini anytime soon." (We can almost hear Kelly Bensimon breathing a sigh of competitive relief.) She works out with a trainer to help her get her shape back. "I was old when I had the twins, so it's been harder, but I think it did help I was in good shape before I got pregnant."
Tips of the trade: For squeamish sorts who've never been stripped of hair down there, Barshop says the key to getting a painless wax is seeking out true experts. "You shouldn't go to the nail salon where they do it in the back. You want well-trained practitioners. You should ask how many years they've been doing it and if they are skilled in removing your type of hair. If it's coarse, for example, they better know how to work with that," she says. "We work with multiple waxes for sensitive skin, different types of hair and offer five types of numbing cream."
She "strips" a mystery man: Barshop was coy when we asked if she did one of her signature waxes on the "RHNY" cast, but the show will feature a spa event. "We transformed some people. Some men and women."
Aha! Alex McCord's sidekick husband, Simon von Kempen, perhaps? "I didn't say that," she says with a laugh.
She's no June Cleavage: While the skintight, chest-baring cocktail frocks are practically a "Housewives" uniform, Barshop avoids them. "I tried to do some of that look, but it's not exactly me. You always go back to your comfort zone." For her, comfy means Alexander Wang T-shirts, a few pairs of Current Elliott jeans and her go-to Rick Owens boots.
She can't live without her Neutrogena body oil, a "really good brow pencil" and a Completely Bare facial.
No strings attached: Barshop was surprised when Bravo labeled her "unconventional" in her casting announcement. "I don't see myself that way, but I guess what they mean is that I'm a single mom by choice. I've had serious relationships, but I wasn't in one when I had my girls. I guess what's also unconventional about me is that I'm the breadwinner taking care of everyone in my life. I started my own business and I've grown it. I like to have fun. I do things on my terms."
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