I Got a Medical Facial on My Butt
There's a chapter in 1984 in which Winston is strapped in a chair in a torture chamber and made to experience his personal "worst thing in the world." For him, it's rats; for me, it's being naked and examined under bright lights (fine, and also snakes). I'm comfortable with my body, I accept my body, I just have completely irrational anxiety when someone else is focused on my nude body. For this reason, I avoid massages and spray tans and, you'd think, butt facials. Only when I heard about the latter, I couldn't resist: My desire for a perfect ass far outweighs my neuroses—I was already fantasizing about my very own oiled-up Paper magazine cover.
Credit: Gray Malin
The medical-grade butt facial (formally named Tip Top Tush, but I can't call it that and keep a straight face) was developed last year by Dr. Matthew Schulman, a New York plastic surgeon who specializes in Brazilian butt lifts, and Amanda Sanzone, the medical aesthetician who—thank god—performs it. The idea was to get the skin looking as smooth as possible pre-and-post-surgery, as well as pre-beach, using a targeted combination of laser cellulite reduction, IPL skin rejuvenation and a chemical peel. Each customized treatment costs between $350 and $450.
When I went in for my appointment before work—airy dress, check; extra pair of underwear in my bag, check—I sort of expected to feel awkward and ridiculous, but by acting like butt facials are a normal, matter-of-fact thing, the staff put me totally at ease within minutes. I undressed, put on a robe and stood in front of a mirror, where Amanda asked me to point out my areas of concern. Clearly, I'd like my 18-year-old ass back without having to kill myself at spin class each week, but being as this is non-surgical, I pointed out a few spots of discoloration that bother me and some little bumps along the sides. Amanda decided to skip the cellulite laser (which couldn't have hurt but I was flattered she didn't deem it a necessity) and do an IPL photo-facial to lighten dark spots and even skin texture followed by an exfoliating chemical peel.
The whole thing took about 45 minutes and during it, I Snapchatted, caught up on emails and read the news (er, Page Six); by the end, I was so comfortable having my bare butt out on the table that I wasn't even rushing to cover up. I checked myself out from behind as I was getting dressed and didn't notice a difference, but I blame office lighting for that. Once I got home that night, I was able to fully appreciate the facial. If you think (which I thought I did) you've experienced baby soft after using a body scrub and applying moisturizer, you have no idea—this was next-level smooth. And though Amanda warned me that dark spots will sometimes get darker before flaking off or fading away, that hasn't been the case; in fact, they're barely noticeable now. But perhaps the most important advancement of all is that I've come to realize clinical nakedness really isn't such a big deal. So not only did I conquer a fear, but I ended up with a better butt to boot...or, dare I say, a Tip Top Tush.