What inspired WaxFund? Plus... Updates!

Hello everyone! I have been working away at launching WaxFund for the past few months. I had our official "soft launch" about a month ago and have been able to raise a good amount of funds and obtain several applications. Our first round of WaxFund clients have been randomly selected and have started to receive services.  Thanks to all who made it possible!

As a new business owner, taking on WaxFund has been a challenge while I am still learning how to run my own salon at the same time. But this is something I wanted to start because of its truth to who I am as an esthetician and why I do what I do. It has been a journey finding out just how important hair removal can be for some as well as simply providing a non-judgemental, accepting, and knowledgeable salon space. I'd like to share a little bit of how I came to this place.

Before I started Babe Wax, I was working out of a bigger chain salon. I marketed my services to my community which was mostly made of folks who may not usually frequent such a nice salon. This included queer and trans folks. My first few trans clients who displayed such euphoria receiving their first waxes was such a bright light for me. I have no one but these first few clients to thank for educating me on the effects of hair removal and how important it was to provide a respectful space. I'm beyond stoked I have been able to bring together my personal ethics around gender, bodies, and identities and meld them with a skill like waxing.

When I opened Babe Wax, I received inquiries about reduced priced services, sliding scale, etc. I would have to decline because I did not have any extra resources to give as I was still working hard to get the business's basic needs met. I was lamenting this to a client one day and she said, "Why don't you get other folks to help fund waxes for low-income trans people?" And so the process of WaxFund began!

I will continue to collect funds and randomly select applicants monthly. Based on how much we accrue will determine how many applicants can receive services. I'm very thankful for the excitement and support for WaxFund thus far. I am working on creative ways to get the word out even further.  I'm also brainstorming better and more efficient ways to collect funds. Here's what is in motion now:

  • I have created a WaxFund menu on our booking website, so you can book a wax for yourself while funding someone else's. Check it out.
  • I'm in the process of making info cards to pass out into the community to help raise funds as well as obtain more applicants. These should be available soon!
  • A couple of our retailers at the salon have donated some of their pieces to be sold for WaxFund. Crystal Vision Gems has a couple necklaces left as well as Atwood Made shelves. Take a look at the items listed on our Instagram or check it out next time you're at the salon. Getting some locally made queer art while supporting trans folks is a win-win!
  • Patrick Buckmaster set out a crowd-funding jar at one of their events (which raised over $100 in one night). Any interest in setting out jars at future events, please contact babewax@gmail.com.
  • As a performer,  I am giving all my tips to WaxFund for at least the rest of the year. Any other performers or events interested in this please contact babewax@gmail.com.
Crystal necklaces donated by Crystal Vision Gems available at the salon. One hundred percent of the proceeds goes to WaxFund. <3

Crystal necklaces donated by Crystal Vision Gems available at the salon. One hundred percent of the proceeds goes to WaxFund. <3

Continuing to do community-based crowd-funding seems like such an important aspect to this. Showing support as a community speaks volumes and can really emphasize the sentiment behind the services received. A future fund-raising event with DJs, performers, and raffel prizes is in store sometime next year so keep your eyes peeled for that!

I would love to see WaxFund grow to serve all who apply and to build a coalition with other beauty industry folks. I also plan on doing more outreach for more applicants as funds begin to build and I'm able to serve more folks.s

Someone reminded me the other day that decreasing dysphoria and aiding in self-love for trans folks can literally be life saving. This fuels my fire to do more! Please contact me anytime if you feel you have resources or interest in continuing to support WaxFund.

xoxo Mads

Introducing: WaxFund!

Hey all! I'm really excited to talk about a new campaign from Babe Wax called WaxFund. WaxFund will help pay for waxing services for low-income trans women and trans feminine people in the Portland area. It will be a pay-it-forward model where clients can add on funds to their visit or folks can donate online. All proceeds will go to paying for waxing services for a trans woman and/or trans feminine person who may not be able to afford these services themselves. 

As a person who identifies as non-binary, I am in solidarity with trans people. I find it disheartening and disgusting that the country is attacking the trans community by ridiculous gender-policing bills that are humiliating and demoralizing. Unfortunately, this is just one way that trans people are targeted in this world.

With all this national controversy and hate, something I want to do is to give to trans people. Direct giving to marginalized communities who are systematically disenfranchinsed is an underestimated revolutionary tool. The opportunity to fund waxing services can directly effect a trans person's well being.

Body hair removal can be an important part of a person's gender presentation and/or transition. To feel more at-home in feminine gender presentations, many trans women and trans feminine people desire to remove body hair. Sasha Eve, a long term client of mine, says "Being able to have control over my aesthetic has been a huge part of my transition. Waxing has allowed me to feel more secure over my image, and eliminate a lot of dysphoria... Babe Wax has been a glorious part of my transition for almost a year."

Babe Wax is honored to be a part of people's transition. We strive to be gender-affirming at every turn with our clients and our business. As I have been contacted on several occasions about receiving payment-free services, I thought it's time I create this possibility. 

I am currently in the developing stage of this campaign. I hope to have something setup very soon so the donations can accrue and people can begin the applicant process to receive the services.

If you wish to be notified immediately about this opportunity, please email babewax@gmail.com, subject line: WaxFund.

<3 Mads 

 

 

Five Favorite Matte Lipsticks RIGHT NOW

Anyone who come sees me at the salon knows I loooooove lipstick! It's such an easy way to look done up. Some days I don't have time or the deisre to put on a full face of makeup, but to have a pop of lip makes you look like you tried. HA! Also... you look good! Matte lipsticks have been super trendy for the last few years and I LOVE IT! Department store brands began carrying mattes, so I can afford to have several. And trust... I have several. 

I'm always on the hunt for a weird color that excites me. So I'm going to share my top five matte lipsticks right now in my life. I'm more likely to rock them on a daily basis and I'm sure you've caught me in one or two of these colors. 

TIP: Mattes can be kind of dry and accuntuate any flakey skin, so make sure your lips are exfoliated. You can get special lip exfoliatants that I'm sure are divine... but I just use an old worn out tooth brush and vasoline! Scrub in circular motions for about ten seconds and your lips are prepped for the matte. Also, lip liners are your friend. I carry a nude one, a deep purple, and a light pink that typically matches or pairs well with most of the colors I wear.

In no particular order... here they are...

1.) "Trap" ultra matte from Colour Pop $6

This brand is SO AWESOME for lipstick lovers! All their lippie sticks come with matching lip liners! Everything is CHEAP and they usually have great deals. This particular color is so bland, it's a statement. I'm not a fan of "nudes" usually, but the matte makes it so weird, I love it! I like to line it with a matching liner. It goes on glossy and dries so dry it's almost chalky. I also love pairing it with a neon eye to balance the beige. 

2.) "Sway" liquid suede by NYX $7

I love this lavender color. Instead of a stick lipstick, it comes with an applicator, making it easier to apply in detail. I like to wear it with thick voluminous strip lashes and liquid eyeliner. The consistency is truly suede-like and smooth. NYX is another affordable brand that does lipsticks right and carries lots of funky colors you can't always find at department stores. They even have more than one line of matte lipsticks! 

3.) "Matte Royal" by Mac $17

I saw this gorgeous babe on Facebook rocking this lipstick and HAD to know where they got it. The stick looks pure royal blue, but when you apply it, it has so many purple tones. It goes on nice and smooth and I like to wear it lightly and also layer it dark for a bold look. I want to wear it every day! I like to wear either no eye makeup or a very muted eye with no mascara. It probably has my favorite texture. Matte, but still moisturizing. It's not the cheapest, but worth the splurge!

4.) "Shocking Pink" matte by NYX $6

I absolutely love pinks and this one is definitely a go-to of mine. It goes on sooo deliciously thick and smooth. It also has some purple tones which is another reason why I love it. I like to wear it with a classic blue lid or turn it up with a bold a green. This color is so fun it's hard not to keep playing with bright shades on the rest of your face.

5.) "Relentessly Red" by Mac $17

This matte has been a classic of mine for years now. It's red, but the brightness is so turned up, it can appear pink. The consistency is very dry, which I love the look of, but for this one you definitely want to exfoliate previous to application. I like to wear with liquid liner cat eye and glittery white lids. It is long lasting for sure and haven't found anything comparable in a cheaper line. It also can feel more "work appropriate" because it is a red. 

Hope you all enjoyed my take on my top five matte lipsticks as of right now. I just ordered a couple more last night, so it's a constant process to find the lipsticks I want to rock. Tell me some of your favorites in the comments! Let me know what you thought of the lipstick post as well. I'd love to share some of my makeup tips and shortcuts. I am a queen on a budget and can't alway afford the best of the best, but I make it work. 

Never forget... YOU ARE A BABE!

<3 Mads

Upcoming events supported by Babe Wax

Babe Wax is sponsoring and supporting some events in Portland coming up shortly. Thought I'd just share the what, where, and when!

Third International Day for Sex Workers' Rights, Thursday, March 3rd 7pm @ Dante's.
We have a gift certificate in the raffle and proud to support sex workers' rights. There will be fabulous performances, live music, a kissing booth, and a spankig booth! 
This event is put on by Portland Sex Worker Outreach Coalition, a group that "promotes the basic human rights and personal safety for all individuals working in the sex industry". They have regular meetings and other awesome events throughout the year, so check them out! 

Naked Shopping Spree at Red Light Clothing Exchange, Sunday March 6th 4pm.
We have a gift certificate in the prize loot AND offering a 10% off any body wax service for just signing up! We wanted to give those who may participate in the event a chance to freshen up and feel good about the possibility of running around totally nude in a clothing store. You need to go to the store to register for a chance to participate, then make sure you grab our coupon.  But hurry because Tuesday March 1st is the last day to enter!

Pink Hanky Presents, Saturday March 26th 8pm @ DISJECTA.
We have a gift certificate in the raffle!! This is a queer performance night. Performances include burlesque, modern dance, spoken word, drag, and more! Pink Hanky is a queer-femme production team and this is their second event. Last one sold out so fast they already had to change venues!

Big Dick's House of Big Boobs: Portland, Saturday April 9th 9pm. Location: TBA
Babe Wax is offering 10% off any body wax to those who expect to perform.
This is a DIY strip club that tours the US and is the second time in the last year it has visited Portland. What's so great about BDHOBB is that it is a self-proclaimed judgement-free zone (just like Babe Wax)!! It encourages all bodies to sign up to dance and creates a freeing sexy atmosphere for all. I love this event because too often nudity and public dispalys of sexuality is only acceptable for certain body types. This is a chance for all to be celebrated and sexualized with consent. Sign-ups to dance are day of the event. There are strict rules about no pictures, no touching, and no jerks. The location isn't announced until later on to protect the integrity of the event. Please email babewax@gmail.com if you want more info.

Pieces from the events' fliers.

Pieces from the events' fliers.

I am stoked about all these events. If you want Babe Wax to support your event, please contact us! We are committed to our community nad love being involved in any way we can. 

<3 Mads


"Having a body is hard!": Self-love in the form of body-positivity

Having a body is hard! So many factors in this world contribute to many of us experiencing hatred of the body we inhabit. We end up spending our lives wishing we had another body entirely, trying to *change our own body to fit an unobtainable ideal of attractiveness, or continuously reaffirming the love of our own body in attemps to become at peace with ourselves. Body-positivity is about the latter. Just as every body is unique, so is our path to body-positivity. 

For me, it has mostly been about my size. Most of my life has been devoted to trying to be thin. I struggled with eating disorders and constant dieting (beginning at 8 years old). I would grab my fat and wish it wasn't a part of me. I hated the body I was in and was comletely disconnected from it. It has taken almost a decade to undo the damage I did to myself. With help from feminism, body/fat-positive communities, and personal healing... I have come to love my fatness. I still have my days... trust. But I now recognize self-sabatoging behaviors and have emergency tools for self-love. 

When body-positivity is mentioned, it is usually equated with accepting one's body size. For me, that's a large part of it. BUT... For others to love their bodies, it may be related to how they are differently-abled, are a person of color, experience gender dysphoria, etc. As a non-binary person, I do experience gender dysphoria on occasion. But for many of these identities (and for those who constantly experience gender dysphoria), I cannot speak specifically about. There are many paths to self-love. I'd love to hear your story! Please comment below, link your blog, or email babewax@gmail.com to start a conversation. 

Art by Micah Bazant

As a body-positive business, Babe Wax is committed to being a space for self-love and healing. There are no judgements passed over anyone's body. There's no need to apologize for having a body. Everyone is fully accepted for who they are and all bodies are celebrated. 

I hope for more places, people, and businesses to be fiercely body-positive. And Portland, OR is such a hub for it! If you haven't noticed already, we have some fabulous resources. Fat Fancy is an incredible store for plus-size vintage/modern clothing, Health Club is a new body-positive barbell gym, Fat Yoga opened its doors a few years ago, and nutritionists/trainers like Lacy Davis are doing great work! Check out this post for more online resources.

Keep doing you and figure out what it would take for you to continuously be at peace with your body. Just writing this has inspired me to think of new ways to invest some self-love into my day! Oooo that's a future blog post! ;)

<3 Mads

Twitter. Facebook. Instagram.

*For those experiencing gender dysphoria, body-positivity can mean change!

"The gender binary is soooo over." - Why I chose to have an all-gender waxing salon.

Did you know I'm a gender studies major? That's right, I got my gender studies degree at the University of Oklahoma in 2011. I thought I'd go onto graduate school and become a professor, but turns out I absolutely HATE homework! BUT I absolutely love discussions about gender. It is in every part of everything and everyone. You can choose to ignore it, but once you put on the "gender lense", it's hard to take off. Our clothes are gnedered, our sexuality is gendered, and our gender is assigned to us at birth. We simply cannot escape it.

It seems so simple, right? If your body looks one way you're a boy, another way you're a girl. HOLD IT! It's actually way more complicated. Did you know when scientists tried to define what is male and what is female... the results were inconclusive??? Did you know one in 2000 people are diagnosed with an intersex condition? The actual ratio is unknown due to many conditions, involving hormones and chromosones, not being visible with the naked eye. Many people live their whole lives undiagnosed.

These are amazing science facts! It gets me to thinking... if there is no definition of what is male and what is female... and being intersex is potentially fairly common... why the binary in the first place? Of course there would be people who feel a variance of their gender. Of course somene would feel differntly than the sex they were assigned at birth. One doesn't necessarily have to be intersex, but it definitely is related to way we have more than two genders.

More and more people are finding terms for their gender and communitites are growing. We've seen this happen in the U.S. rapidly in the last thirty years. Specifically Portland, OR has a strong trans and gender-variant community. I, myself, identify as non-binary and use they/them pronouns. More and more of us move here every day.

In a service industry where "male" and "female" menus are the norm, it was important to me to remain "all gender." I had seen other salons seriously fumble when treating trans and gender variant guests. In order to receive any services they had to out themselves and/or be misgendered.

With science and sociology backing up the fact that trans and gender-variant people exist, it's irrelevant to have a business model made up of only two genders. It has become outdated. I hope more and more salons and industries choose all gender services so that all can feel welcomed. When we center marganinalized communitties, we all benefit. 

I hope to have more posts on this subject including the effect of colonialism on the gender binary.

If you ever want to talk more with me about gender, hit me up! Bring it up next time you get a wax. I'm always down.

<3 Mads

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Welcome to HOUSE OF BABE

I’m Mads, the owner and operator of Babe Wax in Portland, OR. This blog is a project of HOUSE OF BABE.

mads.jpg

I wanted to start this blog to communicate more with my clients, the community at large, and the network of like-minded businesses. I wanted to share more about my waxing salon, but also personal reflections on the beauty industry, body-positivity, fashion, small business, interviews, gender, product reviews, beauty tips, etc.

I have written a few things about these topics on various blogs and zines, including my interview on the blog Fat Girls to the Front and the artilce "Being a Disruptive Fattie in the Beauty Industry" in Plumplandia second issue zine.

HOUSE OF BABE is now a place where I can keep all my writing together and a hub of intersectionality. It is the start of something fabulous and my hope is to watch it grow into an ethical empire of beauty and self-care where Everyone is a Babe. 

<3 Mads