Woman with smudged make up

Body positivism or mass consumerism?

Did you read ‘Extreme Beauty: How far will you go?’of course you did.

If you remember a time when a bit of blush and mascara would do, then you are probably as old as I am. Times have changed dear, make-up is now an extreme sport and more is definitely more when it comes to both product and application. Concealer, banana powder, full coverage foundation, highlighter, eyeshadow, eyebrow powder, mascara, fake lashes, lip liner, liquid lipstick…and that’s just the beginner’s kit.

But it’s not just make-up.

The standard has been raised considerably when it comes to ‘looking good’ in general. I blame the Kardashians (to be fair, I blame them for most things). Their commitment to looking fabulous has earned them millions of dollars, but now the general public are demanding more too (looking flawless to go to Asda is an actual thing). It feels like we are living through the golden age of body positivism – but loving yourself is resulting in some serious consumption. Why are there so many posts using the hashtag #bodypositivism then followed by #ad? Are you trying to empower me or sell to me? Don’t troll me, i’m just asking.

Unsurprisingly, retailers and beauty service providers are in on this trend and not only are products being revolutionised to meet demand, services are  too. It has never been easier to access just about anything. So what’s out there for the dedicated aesthete who just won’t be content with a dab of gloss and a copy of the Next catalogue?

Here is what a quick Google turned up:

Facials, but not as you have ever known them…

Face Gym, woman having a treatment

Ever thought of taking your face to the Gym? No, me neither. How about getting a real gold facial? My point is, anything is possible.

The UMO 24-carat gold facial is available for those who want more than just a scrub and moisturize. The facial includes 24-carat gold leaves which are gently massaged into your skin until fully absorbed. The skin gets a blast of LED light and ‘healthy negative ions’ produced by a special UMO facial spa. It is said to leave the skin looking flawless – at £350, it better. If the gold (and the price) is a step too far, you might want to try a session at the gym…for your face:

Face Gym provide a non-invasive treatment where trainers perform a range of lifting and sculpting workouts designed to train the 40+ muscles in your face – no, they don’t attach weights to your eyebrows, but results are amplified with high performance skincare products and non-invasive technology. If these treatments are just too outlandish for you, you could get yourself down to Aesthetics of London and choose from a facial with caviar and sheep placenta, ginseng, pearl or plum blossom – nothing unusual there then.

When is a massage not a massage?

When you are being beaten with leaves in a hot room full of other people:

No.1 Banya, man receiving treatment

Parenie is a popular massage technique from Russia. The treatment includes being repeatedly slapped on the back with Oak leaves – the leaves contain a natural astringent, which will open your pores, remove toxins, and exfoliate dead skin. For those who want to give it a try, it is available from Banya No.1 in Clerkenwell. A 3-hour Russian Banya experience will cost from £30. Did I mention you need to get semi naked in a room full of onlookers? Yeah, there’s that.

Rings on your fingers, bells on your toes…diamonds on your finger nails?

Wait, you thought a simple shellac was enough? Rookie mistake. Anyone who is anyone knows that diamonds are a must if you want to slay the nail game. Ok, i’m lying. But if you really want that sparkle you can get it in LA. A recent Buzzfeed video will give you the low down on this one:

*This feature is part of the Extreme Living campaign on the StyleAble website.

 




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