"It looks like I've been in a freak accident"
A woman is planning legal action against a central Auckland beauty salon whose treatment she says burned her, leaving her face "butchered" and her looking "like a burns victim".
Golnaz Bassam Tabar is one of several unhappy customers to leave a recent scathing review on iCandy's Facebook page, with others complaining of burns and bleeding fingers.
Tabar paid $25 for a face wax on Friday afternoon at the Ponsonby Rd salon.
Hours later, she claims tiny spots appeared under her right eye but at first the Auckland publicist wasn't too concerned.
That changed when she saw her face in the bathroom mirror while on night shift.
"I thought 'woah that's not what it's supposed to look like'," she told the Herald.
"It's butchered, its so bad I'm horrified. It looks like I've been in a freak accident."
Four areas of Tabar's face now sport large brown welts and she says they've continued to get worse over the past day.
"There's no way you should look like this when you go to professionals," she said.
"I think I'm going to take legal action against them."
A manager at iCandy did not offer Tabar a refund when she asked for one on Friday, but did give her some aloe gel from a jar in the salon to take home with her while assuring her they used good products which were ok for use on Tabar's sensitive skin.
"At first I wasn't so angry but now I'm furious. I'm looking at it ... it's a butcher job," Tabar said.
"It's so sore. It's completely raw. I can't be out in the sun. It's just red, I look like a burns victim."
A spokeswoman for the salon showed the Herald an online bank transaction, saying she had deposited a refund into Tabar's bank account.
"Just let me run my business and look after my children," she said.
"Go on Google, accidents happen everywhere."
The woman, who did not give her name, said she waxed up to 15 clients a day and "they are all good".
She said she had no further comment.
Store management posted on Facebook this afternoon that they had offered Tabar a refund. Tabar had agreed the offer and said she would take down her posts about her treatment once the money had been paid.
The company also stated they would stop offering the facial wax service.
Tabar would be visiting a doctor next week and was upset at having to pay for medical appointments and after care following what was supposed to be a cheap procedure.
"I didn't think a place in Ponsonby would do such a bad job," she said.
"The only reason I thought I could go somewhere so cheap was because of the location."
iCandy's Facebook page is riddled with negative reviews and another woman, who asked the Herald to only refer to her by her first name, said she'd been burned during a face wax as well.
Helen got the procedure done six weeks ago and says she had to cover her face for a week after to hide the burn on her cheekbone.
"It was awful, absolutely awful," she said.
"It was just underneath my eye and it blistered, it was there for over a week. I couldn't go to work the next day because it looked disgusting."
Helen managed to get a refund but only after threatening to lay a complaint against the company.
She claimed the owner had not apologised and was difficult to deal with, a sentiment echoed by customer Taina Kearns, whose sisters fingers were left bleeding after a manicure last November.
Kearns said the pair demanded a refund and wouldn't leave the shop until they were given one, causing iCandy's owner to threaten to call the police.
Auckland Council was not immediately able to check whether they had received complaints about the company but said they would be investigating the premises on Monday "to see if the salon is in breach of the health and hygiene bylaw".
A council spokeswoman said concerns about burns and other injuries should be referred to WorkSafe NZ.
WorkSafe NZ said they were unable to check whether any complaints had been made outside of normal business hours.
President of the New Zealand Beauty Therapist's Association, Kim Ryan said she would have expected that someone who suffered burns as serious as Tabar's would have felt it the minute the wax was applied to her face.
Ryan said there are no Government regulations controlling the beauty industry in New Zealand making incidents as such "more common than they should be".
"Especially by people who aren't qualified beauty therapists. Ninety per cent of waxing problems are caused by people who aren't beauty therapists," said Ryan who alluded to the likes of hairdressers or nail salons that offer the service.
The association handles complaints made about its voluntarily registered members as well as unregistered companies.
"We will contact them and suggest they get further training or offer to train them. If our members don't take notice we can expel them from the association," Ryan said.
According to Ryan, many companies do not go through a consultation process with their clients before treatments like a wax and therefore fail to discern vital information about their skin and any skin medication that could affect the procedure.
- NZ Herald