Research shows that, although Brazil is deep in recession, the beauty sector continues to grow, with spas and beauty salons opening regularly across the city. Brazil is the fourth largest global beauty market, with the nation’s Statistics Bureau finding that more money is spent on the beauty industry each year than is spent on food. Here are five beauty procedures high on São Paulo’s shopping lists
If the eyes are the windows to the soul then the eyebrows are the window frame. In São Paulo there are several shops geared towards taking care of eyebrows; from studios to salons to spas, it’s all about the eyebrows. Many beauticians will extend, straighten and even paint clients’ eyebrows. In São Paulo, the micropigmentation – “tattooing” – of the eyebrows costs around BRL$1,000 (USD$320) and lasts six to 12 months. Another painless service is the “mega-hair” of the eyebrows, where a special glue attaches false hairs to natural ones, giving volume to the brows. The mega-hair costs an average of BRL$200 (USD$65), and lasts up to one month.
According to the Brazilian Odontology Esthetics Society (SBOE), Brazilians are second in the world for investments made in teeth aesthetics. More people go to their dentists for “dental contact lenses” and porcelain caps than for regular dental check ups. Between 2014 and 2015 the demand for these procedures surged more than 300 per cent. During the same period more than 28,500 dental “contact lenses” – an incredibly lightweight veneer stuck onto the tooth – were applied per month in São Paulo alone.
Originally used as a contraceptive implant and an antidote for PMS, subcutaneous hormone chips are now being used by fitness aficionados and celebrities who believe that the implants reduce cellulite and build muscle. The chips cost between BRL$3,000–7,000 (USD$965–2,245) and last up to six months. Gynecologists report that in 2016 30 to 60 percent of clients requesting these implants for aesthetic reasons.
For those willing to take more risks, there are non-surgical procedures that have become very popular in Brazil and especially São Paulo. According to the International Aesthetics Plastic Surgery Society, more than seven million sessions of Botox were conducted in 2015, along with more than a million each of chemical peels and laser hair removal treatments, and over 775,000 microdermabrasions performed.
More than one million plastic surgeries were conducted in Brazil in 2015, and the country is said to have one of the highest number of plastic surgeons in the world, at nearly 6,000. São Paulo has become one of the main centers for invasive types of beauty procedures; foreigners flock to hospitals in the city to receive tummy tucks and buttock implants since they are much cheaper here than abroad. The number one type of plastic surgery for Paulistas, however, continues to be breast implants, with more than 358,000 in the city alone in 2015. Residents also request a considerable number of liposuction procedures, rhinoplasty (nose), and eyelid surgeries.