As the mother of boys, I just couldn't resist posting this article!
Enough with "normal" beauty routines such as placenta and kitty litter - New Yorkers can now add nightingale No. 2 to their beauty regimens.
For just $216, Shizuka Bernstein will slather your face in feces for a full 50 minutes - what she calls the "Geisha Facial" - at her Midtown spa, Shizuka New York.
The ancient Japanese cleanser - geishas and kabuki dancers have been using the bird poop to wash off their heavy white makeup since the 18th century - contains guanine, which supposedly removes pollutants and blackheads, and helps even out skin tone.
"My English is not perfect, it's my second language. And they [her customers] know I could be making mistake with what I was saying. And they would ask me if I was sure, if I was really talking about bird poop," says the Japanese native, describing what her customers thought when she first introduced the fecal facial.
The exotic excrement comes in a powder form, directly from Japan, and is sterilized with UV light to kill bacteria. And while there is an odor - Bernstein says it smells like "hay" or "like outside" - it's not the kind you would expect.
"The Japanese women are obsessed to have white skin. Always. Porcelain-white skin," she says.
"All Japanese mothers tell their daughters to become white. I would have vitamin C tablet every day, and she told me not to go out in the sun. She told me about nightingale droppings too, but I didn't use it. Then, many, many years later, I thought about what my mom said."
As always, mom's right. While the treatment is technically full of crap, customers swear the claims are not.
"I figure if poop was good for the soil, it's good for your face," says Marilyn Phillips, a 58-yearold Upper West Sider who had a Geisha Facial late last week. "And it doesn't smell at all. I'd say hair coloring smells way worse."
Like Phillips, 32-year-old massage therapist Andrea Nieto went in for the facial last week.
"You wouldn't even know it was nightingale droppings. And after, my skin was softer than it had been in a really long time. And it looked clearer to me, too," she says, admitting her friends did laugh at her when she announced what she was paying to have smeared on her face.
"But you gotta wonder how they figured to use these things. Who put 2 and 2 together like that?"
BEYOND THE CALL OF BEAUTY
Ever since ancient Egyptians mixed unguents of bile of steer, ostrich eggs and resin, people have slathered on everything from the odd to the oogy. Plenty of other unusual ingredients - in addition to avian excrement - are thought to have beautifying properties.
Snake venom: From face creams to lip products, beauty companies swear the stuff reduces wrinkles and has a plumping effect.
Kitty litter: The grainy texture works as an exfoliator. Yeah, yeah - just put the idea away for when the recession really hits.
Placenta: Dogs eat it. Hospitals save it. And some women use it to soften their hair and skin.
24K gold: The shiny precious metal might help increase circulation and tighten skin.