One of the West Coast’s best-kept beauty secrets, the body “contourier” Megan Simon uses endermologie, sunless airbrush tanning, electrical currents, pet products and plain old good advice to make her celebrity clientele look slim, trim and cellulite-free.
Trade secrets Besides attacking clients’ cellulite with her endermologie machine, Simon makes their bodies look lithe by spraying an extra layer of sunless tan on thighs, sides of the waist and backs of the arms. An extra application around the jawline helps mask a double chin. Another useful illusion: Scott Barnes’s Body Bling in Original applied all over, with the Platinum shade on the fronts of the legs to streamline. She swipes Nars Illuminator in Copacabana on the bridge of the nose and across the forehead to create the look of a perfect nose. For sunless touch-ups, she recommends SunFx White Out. Find her at beautifulyoumc.com.
Product Placement Simon uses her sister Melanie’s Circ-Cell Dew pH Perfector for crepe-y skin on arms, tummy and above the knees, and Deep KinetiCell’s Repair Crackling Body Mousse to reduce the appearance of cellulite. Pure Style Girlfriends Pick-Me-Up Breast Lift-Up Tape provides “the OMG factor” for backless dresses. She gives dry skin the one-two punch with drugstore scrub gloves and Brazil Nut Body Butterfrom the Body Shop. “Victoria Beckham uses it, too.‘’
Food and supplements “Krill is the next big thing” Simon says. “It’s full of antioxidants and omegas.” She likes Nordic Light Krill & Fish Oil capsules. The aesthetician eats kelp and shirataki noodles by the bucketful because “they’re a virtually calorie- and carb-free substitute for pasta.” Life Extension’s Optimized Resveratrol capsules “rev up your metabolism and slow the aging process.” According to the body guru, low-cal FRS (short for free radical scavenger) Healthy Energy Citrus Pomegranate drink is full of vitamins and “gives you that extra kick when you’re fatigued.”
Personal Best Many of Simon’s celeb clients visit We Care Spa in Desert Hot Springs, Calif., before shoots and red-carpet events. “The eight-day renewal package will have you detoxed and 10 pounds lighter.” Her pick for best treatment (besides her own) is Lift CVS Corps at Biologique Recherche’s spa in Paris. “A French girl scrubbed, massaged, moisturized and pinched my entire body for an hour, and lifted my breasts! I don’t know how she did it, but it’s true!” She calls the Santa Barbara-based Nina Lafuente “the best of the best of waxers. Nina’s Brazilians are done in 15 minutes flat.” If all else fails, Simon says, Christian Louboutin’s Very Prive platform in nude elongates the leg, making you look taller and slimmer.
When you need to lift and tone the skin, look no further than Melanie Simon's Circ-Cell products (from $35) and nano-current facials (from $165) as well as her sister Megan's endermologie (from $85) and body electric from ($90) attacks on unwanted cellulite at Beautiful You, 805-403-6056, beautifulyoumc.com.
There are many beautiful things about a woman's body, but cellulite isn't considered one of them. Although it is normal and natural for the female body to manifest the wee dimples of fatty deposits, women--and even teenagers--take drastic measures in the hopes of obliterating.
But invasive plastic surgery such as liposuction can be dangerous and doesn't actually remove cellulite anyway. Enter endermologie. Long popular in Europe but still relatively unknown in the U.S., this technique--which received FDA approval in 1998--repairs the offending cells via a machine that massages the top layers of the skin where cellulite congregates.
In Santa Barbara, the only endermologie center, owned by Megan Simon , has been smoothing skin to a devoted following for the past six years. Simon and her sister Melanie learned of the treatment when helping their mother find alternatives to liposuction. During their research, they discovered endermologie.
The endermologie machine was conceived in 1985 by Frenchman Louis-Paul Guitay after he experienced an injury that forced him to endure cervical spine rehabilitation. During the extensive rehab sessions, Guitay began designing a machine that could aid his therapist in the arduous, lengthy process of of massaging the damaged tissues. The result was the Cellu M6. Though the treatment was initially designed to heal scars, burns, and damaged muscular tissue, a pleasant side-effect was the reduction of cellulite, as well as inch loss.
Simon invited me to participate in a series of endermologie treatments so I could experience the procedure first-hand. But I had some questions: What causes cellulite and how exactly does this machine eradicate it?
"Women have an extra layer of fatty tissue called the subcutaneous fat layer; it harbors fat to bear children," said Simon. "This layer is configured differently than the rest of our body's fat layer. It consists of fat cells and a complex design of connective tissues that are structured like netting. As women age, lose circulation in certain areas (sitting down a lot) and build up toxins (due to diet), the connective tissues around the fat cells in the subcutaneous layer lose elasticity and become stiff. when fat cells size fluctuates due to weight gain, the surrounding connective tissue will tear instead of flexing and stretching. The tear of the tissue is viewed as an injury by your body; therefore, the body sends water to the injury. This is the dimpled appearance we see on our legs and buttocks--water being drawn from the surface of the skin to the broken connective tissue.
"Lipomassage works simply by lifting the subcutaneous fat layer and vigorously massaging it," Simon continued, "gradually restoring connective tissue elasticity and eradicating the body's necessity to send water and create dimples."
Sounded good to me. The mechanism looks a bit like something you'd see at the dentist's office--gangly armed creature with motorized rollers that the therapist runs over the affected areas. With light suction, the rollers lift and massage your skin in a way impossible to achieve with human hands. The process is gentle, and, since you must wear a special unitard-type suit to allow the rollers to roll and not pinch, it's much more modest than a typical massage. It is, however, as relaxing--and effective.
About midway through the several-week treatment, I definitely noticed the telltale smoothing on my legs, in particular. I also noticed a reshaping of my thighs (i.e., thinning) had occurred even though I hadn't lost any weight.
Simon also offers spray tanning ($45) that does wonders for "disguising cellulite." she is a pro, making the "tans" both realistic and subtle. Now, with my reshaped body and smooth and glowing skin, I'm ready for summer.
Some Santa Barbarans swear by Beautiful You in Montecito as their secret to sleek, their veritable fountain of youth. The spa's Endermologie treatment (from $95) aims to pulverize cellulite. Its Arasys Inch-Loss technique (from $120) targets insurgent belly fat. Its signature Nano Current Lifting Facial (from $225) uses electrical microcurrents to zap away the years. Oprah's latest haunt, the spa also offers eyelash extensions, waxing and tanning services, and other forms of female artillery. Beautiful You 1270 Coast Village Cir., Ste 2,Montecito, 805-403-6056, beautifulyoumc.com
The Promise of a More “Beautiful You”
While some women want to keep their beauty secrets a secret, like a treasured family recipe, I want to share with my readers the addition and new home of Beautiful You,” a body and face treatment center that merges 21st century anti-ageing technology with beauty.
Originally located near downtown Santa Barbara for six years and known as The Endermologie Center, sisters Melanie and Megan Simon recently took over a non-descript suite of offices on Coast Village Circle right off the drag of Coast Village Road. They transformed the space into a 1200-sq-ft stunning treatment haven that offers both privacy and discretion decorated with crystal chandeliers, brown velvet furniture, and lacquered walls.
I first met the Simon sisters at the fundraiser for the Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation at Saks Fifth Avenue this spring. They were on hand with other specialists in the beauty industry demonstrating their non-invasive nano-current face-lifting machine manufactured by two Nobel-prize winning scientists at London University. Using this device, a nano-current, the smallest of energy currents, is used to lift and sculpt the face and neck in a non-traumatic and non-inflammatory way by operating at the cellular level. Because the line was too long that night for me to try it out, Melanie and Megan offered me to tour their new center and give me “the Works,” which the Simon sisters recommend for a complete body and face makeover. I was game.
Upon arrival I was greeted by Megan (a former UCSB grad originally headed to work in the banking industry before discovering the business of beauty esthetics) and licensed cosmetologist Crystal Lomeli.
The first step on my beauty oddessey was a 75-minute “lifting” facial. This signature treatment targets deep wrinkles, sagging skin, hyper pigmentation, acne, and post-procedure scarring……In conjunction with the nano-machine, the French product line Biologique Recherché is used to cleanse and prep the face with a series of custom blend exotic serums and masks before the treatment.
Mid-way through, Crystal showed me the results with a hand mirror, the change was quite dramatic. The half of my face she worked on was noticeably lifted and looked toned. While impressive, she acknowledged, “This is not a permanent solution, but an additional maintenance step with the help of science to slow things down.” I was told the third day is one sees the best results.
THE ARASYS INCH-LOSS SYSTEM
The next treatment I received was the Arasys inch-loss system, a micro-current body toning treatment created by the co-inventor of the pace-maker Gary Pollock. The Arasys sends micro-current to stimulate nerves and encourage muscle groups to contract, tone, and tighten. Megan Simon claims “clients see an instant inch-loss due to fat burn and toxin flushing, even after a single session.” She adds, “It’s the perfect treatment for someone trying to squeeze into those old jeans quickly.”
According to Megan, this is the number-one cellulite treatment worldwide. It is the only treatment with FDA clearance for the reduction of cellulite, reduction of circumferential measurement, and the improvement of circulation and lymphatic drainage. Megan says her clients “see results in areas of their body that are resistant to diet and exercise.”
When Megan finished the treatment, akin to vacuuming my body or suctioning, I did feel very stimulated and good. Afterwards I was offered a spray tan by SunFx which only uses sugar beets, mineral oil, and water and lasts a week. No smelly chemicals.
Heading back to my car I understood why they called it “the works”; I looked better and felt terrific but I was exhausted. Beauty send maintenance are hard work!
The Simon sisters are originally from Frazier Park, California, a small town of 4,000 people where dirt roads still abound. Currently Melanie travels to service their celebrity clientele and lives part time in Jackson Hole, Wyoming with her husband, Kyle Clancy, a professional snowboarder, and their two-year old daughter Harper; Megan manages the Montecito location. Plans for additional “Beautiful You” locations are under development in Las Vegas and Jackson Hole.
For more information or for appointments and prices, call 805-403-6056. Beautiful You at 1270 Coast Village Circle, Suite #2 (www.beautifulyoumc.com) is open Monday to Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sundays by appointment.
BRONZED BABE: For a quick 10 minute face and body bronzing spray ($45)-equivalent to seven tanning bed sessions- call Megan Simon at The Endermologie Center. The non-toxic SunFx solution she uses is touted by her customers as “liquid gold” and contains no alcohols, oils, or perfumes. You skin will thank you for ditching the rays, and you’ll lounge poolside looking like you’ve just returned from the French Riviera.The Endermologie Center1270 Coast Village Cir., Ste 2Montecito, 805-403-6056, endermologiecentersb.com
SHAPE SHIFTER….Buff up and lose inches with the latest high-tech body-toning technique: the ARASYS system ($120/30 minutes treatment) at The Endermologie Center, 16 West Mission St., Ste N, Santa Barbara, 805-403-6056, endermologiecentersb.com. It works on trouble spots- waistline, hips and buttocks- to produce a more slender, slimmer you.
SMOOTH OPERATOR: Conquer CelluliteAside from basic weight loss, cellulite is the most common body issue women battle. To combat this stubborn problem, Melanie and Megan Simon, 20 something sisters and co-founders of Santa Barbara’s The Endermologie Center offer an effective treatment consisting of machine-administered deep tissue massage.
THE SIMON SISTERS’ FIVE TIPS:
1. Endermologie, of course
2. Water flushes out toxins that hold fat cells in the wrong places. To determine the amount you should drink daily, divide your body weight by two. (For example, someone who weighs 130 pounds should drink 65 ounces per day).
3. Limit your salt intake. Salt is linked to hypertension, which only aggravates cellulite. The best way to reduce salt intake is to whole foods; processed and restaurant foods contain the most sodium.
4. Exercise. Both toxicity and lack of circulation are culprits of cellulite. A good cardio workout helps increase circulation and expels toxins though perspiration.
5. A Sunless tan (we all know that too much sun is bad for you) helps hide the appearance of dimpled skin.
"LIFT" - by Gina Tolleson
I am not a fan of "the nip and tuck" scene. "Gain with no pain and then maintain" is my anti- aging motto. Needles, Bovine solutions, cutting, stretching and pulling are soooooo last season. I have always hoped in my lifetime that some magic wand would be invented to erase those fine lines and lift that sagging jaw. I have fantasies of walking through a contraption similar to an airport security screening machine and with one beam of light and a beep you step out the other end looking like 21 again.
While I don't have the phone # in my A List rolodex yet, I do have a fairy skin care godmother.
Leave it to the French and the Swiss to lead the wave of cutting edge regenerative skin care, and its no surprise that Santa Barbarans are hot on their trail. Melanie Simon offers top of the line micro-current lifting facials to her eager clientele. Simon, a beautiful, young expectant mother, with nary a wrinkle in sight, uses two non-invasive electric micro-current machines to lift, decrease water retention, and stimulate collagen reproduction.
"This machine was invented by two Nobel Prize -winning physicists for cell regeneration," says Simon, as she massages a long, cold wand up and around my face. (Generally, a 90 min. session consists of rhythmic movements with the apparatus at certain lymphatic pressure points on the face, neck and upper body- no zaps, pinches, or electrical tweaks- just an occasional pulsating wave of light).
Touted in the UK as the "knife-less facelift" this treatment is actually proven to be regenerative, not just a quick fix. (However, I had immediate results with fine lines around my mouth and visible lifting around my eyes, cheekbones and jawline). The technology is designed to register how much energy is in a cell, replicate that and bring the cell back into homeostasis, thus allowing the cell to regenerate itself. If applied in a series of 12 visits, with up to 2 or 3 times per week, there will be significant change in the tone and texture of the skin.
Simon exclusively uses Biologique, a premiere skin care line from France, in conjunction with her micro-current treatments. Sharon Stone (a-ha! That's how she looks so good lately!) Uma Thurman and Sofia Coppola are all devoted fans of this youth-bearing routine.
"Lift" your holiday spirit and be the belle of the ball (and look five to 10 years younger) at your next soiree with this amazing new treatment.