Enough with "normal" beauty routines such as placenta and kitty
litter - New Yorkers can now add nightingale No. 2 to their beauty
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.
It's time to
start thinking about Mother's
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Personalized Soap for
Have you tried our soap
with messages? These are made with dissolvable paper so that the saying
disappears at the end of the soap's life. You can choose from four different
sayings to express your love.
We've been experimenting
with a soap with fruit and vegetable powders; look for that new product in the
coming months. We also have a couple of new sale items that you should
see. And next month you'll be able to read about our gardener's soap with three
I realized today that I have never, ever raised the price of my loaf soap. Yep, you heard me right. Since 1999 the price has been $6.95 per slice. 1999! That is 9 years, people! What else have you bought for the last 9 years where the price has not changed?