The beauty in­dus­try em­braces Brazil ahead of Rio Olympic Games

The se­crets of the butt lift, blowout and con­tour­ing

The Hamilton Spectator - - STYLE -


NEW YORK — Whether it’s sunkissed skin or man­u­fac­tured body tweaks, there’s a cer­tain some­thing to beauty in Brazil that has global ap­peal.

In hair, skin care, cos­metic surgery and body con­tour­ing, the ca­chet that will soon be on­stage when the Olympics be­gin in Au­gust is as var­ied as Brazil­ians them­selves — among them su­per­mod­els Gisele Bund­chen, Alessan­dra Am­bro­sio and Adri­ana Lima.

A taste of Brazil in beauty:

The butt lift

Higher or larger is not ex­clu­sive to Brazil and never was, but a cer­tain type of en­hance­ment pro­ce­dure is known as the Brazil­ian butt lift, forever­more. What, ex­actly, is it? Ba­si­cally, it’s a fat-trans­fer method that in­volves tak­ing fat out of the back, hips, belly — wher­ever it won’t be missed — and strate­gi­cally plac­ing it in the but­tocks based on a “map” de­cided on ahead of time, whether lift or size en­hance­ment or both are de­sired, said Dr. Mitchell Chasin, a cos­metic sur­geon and laser spe­cial­ist in New Jer­sey.

It’s not about a car­toon­ish look for most, he said, and many peo­ple are ter­ri­ble can­di­dates due to agere­lated skin lax­ity and other fac­tors. Sur­pris­ingly, peo­ple who are in great shape, eat­ing health­fully and ex­er­cis­ing reg­u­larly just might look down and re­al­ize their butts are gone, es­pe­cially when they reach their late 30s or 40s, he said.

Chasin does the lifts un­der lo­cal anes­the­sia, which al­lows pa­tients to stand so he can con­sider mid­pro­ce­dure cor­rec­tions not eas­ily done when a re­cip­i­ent is ly­ing down. He urges pa­tients not to sit di­rectly on their but­tocks for at least a week af­ter. That’s key and lots of peo­ple ig­nore the ad­vice, ru­in­ing the ef­fect.

The cost, in Chasin’s prac­tice, of a Brazil­ian butt lift ranges from $7,000 to $10,000.

The blowout

The Brazil­ian blowout is not a blow-dry. It’s a ker­atin treat­ment and not nec­es­sar­ily aimed at pin­straight locks.

The term gen­er­ally refers to frizz con­trol, calm­ing loose curls and re­pair­ing dam­aged hair through chem­i­cal or or­ganic treat­ments.

“Beach waves are still in de­mand, but you will not wake up with hair that looks cam­era ready,” said An­thony French, a Brazil­ian blowout ex­pert and stylist at Andy Lecompte Sa­lon in Los An­ge­les.

So what does ker­atin do? It at­taches pro­tein to hair that seals down the cu­ti­cle, pro­duc­ing more man­age­able hair. Much has been made of smooth­ing prod­ucts that con­tain formalde­hyde. The is­sue of fumes sick­en­ing sa­lon work­ers prompted a warn­ing in 2011 from the U.S. Oc­cu­pa­tional Safety and Health Ad­min­is­tra­tion.

Lots of things will pre­ma­turely break down the treat­ment, es­pe­cially dur­ing the sum­mer. Ocean salt­wa­ter and chlo­ri­nated pool wa­ter are among them. Be­fore div­ing in, he said, wet hair with fresh wa­ter and ap­ply a con­di­tioner as a bar­rier. Sweat­ing can also be a fac­tor.

Hair colour

Celebrity hair stylist Ted Gib­son has worked on many a fa­mous Brazil­ian head. He’s trav­elled to Rio a lot and thinks one of the things that makes Brazil­ian women known for bring­ing the sexy are long, tou­sled manes and ex­otic, melt­ing-pot looks. But when clients in the U.S. ask for the Brazil­ian “look” in colour, they’re usu­ally talk­ing about golden brown hair, he said.

In terms of achiev­ing that look, French said what many clients usu­ally de­scribe is called bal­ayage. It’s a tech­nique for high­light­ing hair that in­volves paint­ing on dye to cre­ate grad­u­ated, nat­u­ral-look­ing colour. It dif­fers from om­bré, which is a heav­ier dis­con­nec­tion be­tween dark and light. No foils are used in bal­ayage. “The idea is that it’s ef­fort­less, it’s very sexy, it’s not con­trived at all, it’s youth­ful,” Gib­son said. “It can work on dif­fer­ent eth­nic­i­ties.” Waxing and body con­tour­ing When it comes to body hair, silky smooth is the Brazil­ian way. Much is made of pu­bic waxing. At­tach­ing the word “Brazil” to treat­ments is a pop­u­lar mar­ket­ing tool.

Re­mov­ing hair “down south, ev­ery­where, started in Brazil. It’s be­come very pop­u­lar,” said Olga Kat­snel­son, man­ager of the Dyanna Spa in Man­hat­tan.

The day spa also does a Brazil­ian man­i­cure, a ker­atin-filled glove warmed up a bit with the fingertips cut off. The ker­atin soft­ens the hand while the nails are done.

Hair is only half the story here. There’s cel­lulite to con­tend with, and non-in­va­sive body shap­ing.

In Austin, Texas, an ac­tual Brazil­ian, Ed­neia Hath­away, op­er­ates Brazil­ian Body Con­tours. In ad­di­tion to Brazil­ian-style “turbinada” mas­sage, which uses rollers to tone and re­shape, she of­fers treat­ments that in­clude us­ing mi­crocur­rent, some­thing called “ul­tra­sound cav­i­ta­tion” that prom­ises to con­vert fat cells into liq­uid dis­posed of nat­u­rally by the body, and a vac­uum ther­apy sys­tem that uses suc­tion and power-driven rollers to ma­nip­u­late and mas­sage tis­sue in prob­lem ar­eas.

“Pretty much ev­ery wo­man knows about th­ese things all over Brazil,” said Hath­away, orig­i­nally from Sao Paulo. “We’re al­ways at the beach. We don’t want to do surgery all the time so all of this helps main­tain for cel­lulite and skin tight­en­ing. The Brazil­ian wo­man, we’re not as shy. We wear a lot of sexy clothes.” Sun dam­age cor­rec­tion Chasin, with of­fices in the Livingston and Bridge­wa­ter ar­eas of New Jer­sey, said skin dam­age from sun ex­po­sure is hardly unique to Brazil. It’s just that some in Brazil are, shall we say, per­fec­tion­ists and not shy about seek­ing out treat­ments for all sorts of things, in­clud­ing sun dam­age, fine lines, wrin­kles, loose skin and age-re­lated brown spots.

Skin type, ge­og­ra­phy and ge­net­ics con­trib­ute to how such dam­age plays out and when, in ad­di­tion to ill ef­fects from smok­ing, which can has­ten signs of sun ex­po­sure.

The best pro­tec­tion is not to dam­age the skin to be­gin with. A com­mon mis­take is not ap­ply­ing enough sunscreen and not reap­ply­ing fre­quently, say ev­ery four to five hours you’re in the sun. And Chasin means a heavy ap­pli­ca­tion of an ac­tual sun­block with UVA and UVB pro­tec­tion, not a mois­tur­izer or makeup that in­cludes some sunscreen. Even then, sun ex­po­sure is tricky and often ap­pears years af­ter the dam­age was done.

Another mis­con­cep­tion is think­ing that tan­ning, as op­posed to burn­ing, can’t cause sun dam­age. It cer­tainly can, he said.

“No sun­block is in­fal­li­ble. What is in the works and be­ing stud­ied are oral sun­blocks. Even­tu­ally we’ll have that. That will prob­a­bly be the first true block. Ev­ery­thing else falls short.”


Thou­sands of peo­ple pack Ipanema beach in Rio de Janeiro.


Brazil­ian model Gisele Bund­chen walks down the run­way dur­ing the Vic­to­ria’s Secret Fash­ion show in New York in 2005. There’s a cer­tain some­thing to beauty in Brazil that has global ap­peal.

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