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During the ‘80s and ‘90s, breast augmentation was all the rage, in part thanks to the Pamela Andersons and Anna Nicole Smiths of the world. The surgical focus has since shifted downwards: according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, butt augmentation was the fastest-growing plastic surgery in 2013, with more than 11,000 procedures, up 58 percent from 2012. With celebrities like Nicki Minaj and Kim Kardashian in the spotlight, it’s no wonder that more people want a nicely crafted backside.
As someone who doesn't currently have the resources to modify my body (really, who has $10k and two weeks of vacation to throw around?), I was interested in non-invasive options, and excited when I heard about the Fanny Facial from Smooth Synergy. It sounded like an easy way to dip a toe into the world of body sculpting without committing to surgery. I have a pretty sizable and sort-of-perky rear-end — 44 inches around my hips — and I was curious to see if this would perk it up further.
It's less about skincare and more about sculpting. The procedure begins with an exfoliating scrub, but leaves out the massage, peels, and extractions that come with traditional facials. It employs microcurrent therapy, delivering a series of positive and negative currents which reportedly lift and tone the derriere. Tiny electric shocks penetrate deep into the muscles, causing them to contract — similar to the effect you would get if you went to the gym to do squats. It's a short procedure and takes about an hour from disrobing to the last electric current.
Smooth Synergy is a full-service cosmedical spa that specializes in a wide range of beauty treatments. Its menu of services includes everything from vampire facials to ultrasound treatment for microdermabrasion to various body sculpting options.
The microcurrent machine stimulates your muscles with a low-level electric current described as similar to the signals your brain sends to your body for muscle movement. According to Smooth Synergy, it also promotes cell metabolism and circulation.
The medspa is calm and beautifully decorated, lots of dark woods and chrome. I remove my clothes and slip on the spa-branded robe, leaving my underwear on. Customers are advised to wear a thong (which I happen to be wearing), but the spa will provide you with one if you didn't plan properly ahead of time. I lay belly-down on the massage table while the technician lifts my robe and rubs my rear with a scrub that contains papaya extract, utilized for its brightening properties. After a minute or two, she wipes the scrub off with a moist cloth.
The technician then begins opening individually-wrapped self-adhesive pads about the size of my hand and sticks about eight on the top and underside of my butt as well as the top of my thighs. She then attaches positive and negative wires from the microcurrent machine to each pad. She warns that the sensation will be unfamiliar, but after the first 15 minutes, your body adjusts to it. At this point, I get a bit nervous. I just voluntarily agreed to endure potentially horrific pain for an hour to achieve a lifted ass. It's hard to describe how it feels. The closest sensation would be someone grabbing my flesh really hard and squeezing. After a while, it mellows to dull vibrations. You're hooked to this machine for 45 minutes, so be sure to bring reading material.
There's not much to do in terms of aftercare. I was told that the electric currents release toxins, so it's important to stay hydrated and eat small meals for the remainder of the day. There is no downtime, and many people come in on their lunch break.
There wasn't a significantly huge difference. The changes were so slight that no one other than myself noticed. The technician informed me that young women come in as many as two or three times a week for "maintenance." It requires upkeep; the effect only lasts a few days. The more you go, the longer it reportedly lasts. However, my butt did feel higher and tighter as I slipped back into the skinny jeans I had purposefully worn that day. They definitely fit better than normal.
The procedure will set you back a couple hundred dollars, depending on where you live. Smooth Synergy charges $220, however other spas use different techniques, such as lasers, and these can cost upward of $500. It would be a very expensive habit, but I loved the confidence boost it gave me. It's a much safer and quicker fix than going under the knife.