THINK your personal trainer doesn't notice the little bit of stubble sprouting on your leg? Think again. "I have a client that I've been training for nine years and I make fun of her, because even after she shaves, she still has little hairs over her kneecap or behind her knee, and I keep thinking of a Perdue chicken," says personal trainer Nick Montalbano, 38. "Every time, I check her legs and I say, 'Did you shave?' and she says, 'Yes,' and then I start clucking."
Sound harsh? Well that's because people in the beauty business aren't as forthcoming about what they really think of their clients. These people see New Yorkers in their sweatiest, hairiest, smelliest, palest state of being and are theoretically paid, not only to improve their clients, but keep their own mouths shut.
It doesn't mean they don't get skeeved out or have a snicker at your expense every now and then.
"You get so used to it, you're just like, 'Whatever,'" says a 20- something woman who does laser-hair removal in Manhattan. "If something grosses you out, you just put more baby powder on it. But I would never let a client know . . . it'd be horrifying for me to say: 'Um, excuse me, you have poop in your butt,'" she explains.
Some beauticians, on the other hand, do take action - especially when customers talk on the phone.
"When a client asks, 'Can you turn off the blow dryer until I'm fi nished with my call,'" complains an East Village hair stylist, "that's annoying because it's taking time away from our service."
He says he'll let one interruption slide, but anything more than that, and he insists on a phone call moratorium until he's fi nished doing his job.
Meanwhile, waxers on the Upper East Side say nothing makes them more nauseous than clients who don't clean their hands before leaving the treatment room.
"Women will take their hand and rub it up and down to make sure there's no leftover hair and that their Brazilian bikini wax is clean enough," says one waxer. "But after they've done this . . . they put on their clothes and go up to the front and sign credit cards with our pens."
Then there's the underwear debacle during a massage: to wear or not to wear. A masseuse in Midtown says to leave them on - especially the guys - because "sometimes then they ask to be rubbed in the front."
"I tell them, 'Go check the yellow pages for that,'" she says.
Sometimes, though, the worst offenses take place in the patrons' own homes.
Dante Fitzpatrick, 28, a professional spray tanner who works for Beach Bum Tanning, often visits high-profi le clients like Lady Gaga and Jennifer Aniston at their homes or hotel rooms, where he's all about making his pasty customers feel comfortable. But sometimes, he says, they get a little too relaxed. "I airbrushed a male celebrity who had condom wrappers all over the bathroom and used condoms in the waste basket. That's pretty absurd. You know someone is coming to your home and you have condom wrappers everywhere?!" asks Fitzpatrick, who normally sprays house-call clients in their bathtubs.
And then there was the uptown female executive he recently faux- tanned who had sex toys in the shower. "I literally had to grab whatever towel was there and wrap them up and put them someplace," he says. "I didn't say anything. She'd be so mortifi ed, she'd never call me again."
At least sex toys can be hidden. Foul body odor, on the other hand "It can be a really big issue," admits Fitzpatrick, not only because the spray tan doesn't stick as well to dirty skin, but also because it's physically revolting.
"I literally had to use a glycolic cleaner for 15 or 20 minutes to give someone a hose down because I couldn't stand the smell and I was going to be sick," he says of one putrid patron.
Gym rat Montalbano, also refuses to tolerate stinky trainees.
"I used to have a guy who came straight from work and would stink. I'd be like, 'Go to the locker room, put some deodorant on, spray anything - hairspray, whatever, and come back.'"
Montalbano demands that clients don't wear the same workout clothes two days in a row because the gear starts to reek of "urine and ammonia and bleach mixed together. You walk by and you choke on it," he says. "If you can't even take care of your own body smell- wise, I don't want to train you. I don't deserve that."
THINGS YOU SHOULDN'T SWEAT
* Farting during workouts "The leg press machine. . . that's the farting machine," laughs Montalbano, who says that a lot of his male clients let one rip during a workout. Not to worry, though. He thinks "it's funny."
* Being overweight "Sometimes heavier people make the job a little bit harder because of the positions," says a NYC waxer. "But big people don't gross me out. And they're typically the cleanest because they're so self-conscious."
* Hairy legs during a pedicure "We don't care about the hair," says a Midtown West pedicurist. "The clients say, 'I'm sorry, I don't have time. . .' but we don't care. It's the other women next to them who look!"
* Showing Up In Sweats "Come in whatever makes you comfortable. . .why should we care?" says Jonice Padilha, one of the famed J. Sisters at their namesake waxing and beauty mainstay.
Source: New York Post