The Real Housewives of New York City

Real Housewives of New York's Cindy Barshop: 5 Things to Know

04/08/2011 at 03:20 PM EDT



New season, new Housewife, new drama.

Cindy Barshop, 46, has joined the cast of The Real Housewives of New York, which kicked off season 4 on Thursday. Will she be able to hold her own against her new costars – Ramona Singer, Alex McCord, Jill Zarin, Kelly Bensimon Sonja Morgan and Countess LuAnn de Lesseps? Only time will tell, but here are five facts about the Big Apple's newest Housewife.

1. A certain cast member intimidated her
Barshop has likened joining the cast to being on a "battlefield." She admitted to being nervous about meeting Zarin, but told PEOPLE, "Jill was actually the sweetest girl. She really welcomed me. And also Kelly – I heard she's not nice but she was."





2. She's used to hairy situations
Barshop is the owner of Completely Bare, a popular chain of hair-removal spas. She was working in telecommunications for IBM when she uncovered Epilight, a machine that uses light to permanently remove hair, and decided to open her first spa in New York City in 1998. Barshop now has nine stores across the country.

3. She's a (proud) single mom by choice
Barshop has 15-month-old twin girls, Jesse and Zoe, whom she chose to have on her own. "I've had serious relationships, but I wasn't in one when I had my girls," Barshop told Stylelist.com. "I guess what's also unconventional about me is that I'm the breadwinner, taking care of everyone in my life."

4. She has friends in high places
Bethenny Frankel's replacement didn't come out of nowhere. "I got interested in the idea of being on the show because I knew some of the ladies," she has said. "I know Ramona Singer from the Hamptons and Jill Zarin was a client at Completely Bare."

5. You can thank her – or blame her – for "vajeweling"
Barshop is credited with inventing the "vajewel" treatment, which is applying crystal designs to a woman's private parts for decoration. Her spa also offers "vatoos," a temporary airbrushed design for down there.

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