Savvy Girl's Guide to Beauty Etiquette

Should you trim before a bikini wax? Tip the hair washer and stylist? Here's the inside scoop on maneuvering beauty's most awkward moments.

By Courtney Dunlop

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Tipping Points
  • Minimize tipping-induced stress and calculate it ahead of time. The standard is 15 to 20 percent for massage therapists, mani-pedi techs, aestheticians, stylists, and colorists, $5 to $10 for the assistant who does your blowdry, a few bucks for the shampoo person (if it's someone separate), and $1 to $2 for the coat check. "And yes, it's OK not to tip the salon or spa owner," explains Rodney Cutler, owner of Cutler salons in New York City and Miami.
  • An exception to the tipping standard applies when you're getting a quickie $10 mani. "The average tip for a manicure should be $5, even at your fast, local nail spot," explains Patricia Yankee of Dashing Diva. "For a pedicure, $5 to $10 is standard."
  • For extra-pricey treatments, Manhattan salon owner John Barrett points out that "as the bill increases over $200, there can be a general decrease in tipping, down to 10 to 15 percent."
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