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Here's what it's like to get a facial for your butt at an NYC spa

Here's what it's like to get a facial for your butt at an NYC spa
Photograph: Courtesy Smooth Synergy Cosmedical Spa

In our annual roundup of the best deals you can book for Spa Week, a certain treatment jumped out as uniquely intriguing. No, it wasn’t a new anti-aging acid peel or innovative deep tissue massage. It was an offer from Smooth Synergy Cosmedical Spa that, at first glance, appeared to be somewhat of an oxymoron: the Fanny Facial.

The Fanny Facial purports to be a facial-like spa treatment for, you guessed it, your derriere. Here's how it works: After receiving an exfoliating scrub, your butt and upper thighs have six sticky pads applied to them. Those pads are attached to a machine that then delivers small zaps of microcurrents that activate your muscles almost as if you were doing squats at a gym. Except, you know, without any of the actual effort.

If all goes according to plan, an hour later you’ll walk back out onto the street with a perkier backside and all the extra confidence that comes along with it.

But just how effective would a single treatment of this faceless facial actually be? In the name of Spa Week journalism, I decided to find out for myself and booked an appointment. Turns out, one of the first things I discovered upon arriving was that more than a single treatment is generally recommended for the ideal perky fanny.

“We generally recommend patients do six treatments to start, every other day, and then once a month for upkeep following that,” the spa’s founder, Nicole Contos, told me.

My expectations (and, most likely, my butt) were hopelessly lowered, but I decided to see it through. I was led to a peaceful, dimly lit room where I met Michele, the esthetician who would be carrying out my treatment. Michele, who had a seen-it-all air and no-nonsense vibe, assured me she had done Fanny Facials for both men and women; the only main difference was the hair. I was clearly in very capable and non-discriminating hands. 

Once Michele left the room, I quickly disrobed and contorted my body into something akin to a Rodin sculpture in order to take a photo of my butt before the procedure. After about 20 tries, I nailed it. When she eventually returned, I was lying face down on the table with my robe hiked up around my waist like I'd been getting Fanny Facials my entire life. Pour out that Smooth Synergy Mint Papaya Polish, and start exfoliating! Time to get this show on the road.

The cold, clammy pads were attached to my skin slowly and deliberately. I almost felt as if my butt cheeks were a very important letter someone was taking great care to seal. Then, it was time to turn on the juice! Michele stood next to the machine as I laid on the table, covered in electrodes like Butt Frankenstein. 

“Are you ready?” she asked. “Hit it,” I replied.

Immediately, the muscles in my butt started twitching every other second. I felt like I kept sitting on an electric fence, reconsidering it, and then trying it again just to be sure. Luckily, it wasn’t painful in the slightest. In fact, after about 10 minutes of staring at the wall, trying to decide what exact decision in my life I made that led me to this moment, I found it almost relaxing.

About 20 minutes in (the treatment usually lasts for 40 minutes) I decided that I should probably check Twitter and attempted to reach my phone on the bench behind me. Looking back, I saw the lower half of my body jiggling repeatedly, like a bowl of Jell-O carelessly left on top of a washing machine. Well, I thought. Looks like it’s working. 

Michele finally came back and took off the pads. (I swear to god, the woman did not rip a single hair. What a pro.) After applying a light moisturizer, she stepped back outside and left me to admire my literally recharged backside. Reader, let me tell you: There was a notable difference. It may not have lasted long, but I definitely left the spa with an extra perky pep in my step. 

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