Heels & Picks: Kailua’s waxing queen

Sep. 17, 2013 | 0 Comments

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BY ERIN SMITH / Special to the Star-Advertiser

In Hawai’i, we ladies pretty much live in our bikinis.

We spend our days under the glorious sun and in turquoise waves. We spend evenings on the beach with sunsets and skies that look as molten as lava, followed by lush tropical nights under the stars and the moon in the arms of our loved ones.

If this sounds too good to be true, it’s because it almost is.

These days, I have a serious schedule of rehearsals, writing, appearances, styling appointments, recording, auditions, shows and more writing, so admittedly I’m not at the beach as much as I’d like. But I live two blocks from the beach with my boyfriend “Trouble,” and he makes sure we always fit in beach time — even when my schedule gets crazy.

(This is because he loves the beach, and also because like any smart boyfriend, he wants to see his girlfriend in a bikini as much as possible.)

Thanks to our year-round bikini season, us Hawai’i girls also know the value of a great waxing salon.

Life's a beach in Hawaii, especially when you can spend your days (and nights) partying in a swimsuit like one of these from San Lorenzo Bikinis. (Star-Advertiser File)

Life’s a beach in Hawaii, especially when you can spend your days (and nights) partying in a swimsuit like one of these from San Lorenzo Bikinis. (Star-Advertiser File)

When I moved to Kailua from Kihei last year, I was in need of a new salon for my waxing needs. So I did what any member of my generation would do; I Googled it, and up popped Simply Summer Hawai‘i.

Her online reviews were great, and her clientele posted all the key, stellar points you want to see about your waxer — professional, affordable, easy to book appointments with, has never accidentally removed both of anyone’s eyebrows.

To book my first appointment with Summer McManus (yes, the salon is named after her) I sent her a text. This is the method of booking she prefers, which I find extremely handy. No voicemail messages back and forth; just one text and bam, done. We all have busy schedules and short attention spans, and that beach IS just down the street and calling our names, after all.

I rode my rusty purple beach cruiser over to her salon on Kainehe St. When I walked up the stairs to her second floor space, I instantly knew this was the salon for me.

Zebra print curtains? Check. Hot pink walls? Check. Chandeliers hanging from the ceiling and fuzzy black on black chandelier wallpaper on the accent walls? Check. This Summer girl is a little bit rock n roll, and I LIKE it.

Summer McManus' rock star workspace in Kailua. (Courtesy photo)

Summer McManus’ rock star workspace in Kailua. (Courtesy photo)

Born and raised in Kailua, Summer started her waxing boutique in 2006 and has been at her current location for more than two years. She has a big smile, a great knack for talking story, is relaxed, fun and has even mastered the art of Brazilian wax. The salon has gotten so busy she is now open on Sundays.

I’ve seen her all year for my waxing and she time and time again has done an amazing job. One of the really great things about Summer is that she is quick and her technique minimizes the pain. Waxing can be awkward, depending on your personality and comfort around people you don’t know, so when it comes to your waxer you need someone who makes you feel comfortable.

Summer has that perfect combination; a cool big sister vibe, with family-style background and values that are clear in the way she carries herself and talks about her life. Her extended family is important to her; you can even find her mother’s line of sundresses displayed and for sale in the Simply Summer Hawai’i salon. She’s quick with a story and easy to talk to.

Business is kept in the family at Simply Summer Hawaii. Summer McManus' mother provides the sundresses for sale in the salon. (Courtesy photo)

Business is kept in the family at Simply Summer Hawaii. Summer McManus’ mother provides the sundresses for sale in the salon. (Courtesy photo)

Summer filled me in on all the hilarious antics involved with being a waxer, from men calling to book Brazilians for their wives, to grandmothers coming in with their granddaughters to knock an item off their bucket list. An all-women’s salon, Simply Summer is meant to be comfortable and fun for ladies ages 16 and up (those 18 and under must be accompanied by an adult).

You Kailua girls are lucky to have Summer in the neighborhood. And for day-trippers looking for an excursion to the east side, a spa day at Simply Summer Hawai’i and some grinds at one Kailua’s fabulous restaurants like Cactus, The Grove or Kalapawai Café sounds like a perfect day off.

To book an appointment, text Summer at (808) 561-9282, or visit www.simplysummerhawaii.com.

NEXT WEEK’S BLOG will introduce Cusp, the new Neiman Marcus fashion line of rock ‘n’ roll wear. To help launch the collection, Neiman Marcus will host two events at Ala Moana Center. The first will take place on Sept. 26 and “Heels & Picks” readers are invited to attend; RSVP by Sept. 24th at (808) 948-7575 or RSVPAlaMoana@neimanmarcus.com for a unique ID number to gain access to this VIP event.

On Sept. 28, Neiman Marcus Ala Moana will host a free event. I’ve styled three mannequins with pieces from the Cusp line and need your help to choose the most popular outift. Voting starts Tuesday, Sept. 24, and those who stop by the Ala Moana store to vote will be eligible for a $250 Nieman Marcus gift certificate. We’ll pull a winner at 3 p.m. that day from all those who voted, followed by a solo performance by yours truly. See you there!
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Erin Smith is a singer and guitarist who performs as a solo artist and with Maui-based Na Hoku Hanohano Award-nominated band The Throwdowns. Born in Canada, she moved to Hawaii in 2004 and now resides in Kailua. Contact her via e-mail or follow her on Twitter.

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