Say hello to endermologie, a pain-free way of sculpting your silhouette. Hailing from France – the land of les petites Parisiennes who adore baguettes and Bordeaux wines as much as they do slimming massages – it’s a non-surgical way to tone the skin and reduce cellulite.
As a beauty treatment it’s pretty blissful. I was lying in a dimly lit room in Chez Moi De Beaute, getting pummelled by a high-tech machine. The hum of the Cellu M6 Alliance (whose human equivalent must be Muhammad Ali), coupled with the rhythmic jab-roll-jab on my body, felt oddly relaxing – even though I’m no masochist!
Slimming massages then vs now
Endermologie – which is French for “through the dermis” – has not always been this comfortable. I remember my first session more than a decade ago; it was similar to a manual lymphatic drainage massage, and I felt like I was being repeatedly squeezed and pinched on the thighs by a cruel stepmother (in my case, however, the stepmother was a big, clunking machine). While these special massages were a Parisian’s secret weapon for a long and lithe physique, it must also be why they were so grumpy all the time. Well, the machine has improved by leaps and bounds since endermologie was first developed by Louis-Paul Guitay in the 1980s. The proverb “no pain, no gain” is now as outdated as the striped-shirtand-beret combo on the Champs-Élysées (unless you’re an aspiring mime artist!).
The tenth and latest generation of this endermologie machine (yes, there were nine different versions before this!), the Cellu M6 Alliance is cutting-edge not just because it does so much – like reduce cellulite, remove toxins and excess fluids, while boosting circulation and tightening skin – but because it does all of this without the need for any chemicals and injectables. Yes, seriously.
Nico, my effervescent and highly experienced therapist at Chez Moi De Beaute, first handed me a stockinged bodysuit – it’s supposed to protect the skin from the massage mechanism. I shimmied into it, careful not to tear the outfit and end up looking like a female version of the Hulk.
After pointing out my love handles (thank you, Nico!), she turned on the machine and set it on a “mummy makeover” mode. This is a more gentle, therapeutic form of massage to tone, trim and detox; there’s also a more vigorous “slimming” mode if that’s what you prefer. I felt sceptical at first, wondering how effective a makeover without the ol’ nip and tuck would be.
Lying face down, I felt the roller massages rhythmically working their way along my back, kneading muscles and breaking down the little fat I have (ahem!). It only took a few minutes for my body to start tingling, as the contraption worked its magic. Then, Nico started to work her way down south and the machine soon changed its tune – soon it was going at hyperspeed, bashing wildly at my bum. (I still felt like dozing off, though!)
Next, it was time to work on my money maker. Nico slathered some cream on my face to prime it for treatment. She then used a different (and much smaller) applicator, and glided it across my skin – first the cheeks, then my forehead, the chin and around the eyes. Apparently, they call these micro-pulses endermopuncture, and it can activate facial meridian points to smooth wrinkles, reduce double chin and boost radiance. There was no pain, only pleasure. Ooh la la, what’s Botox again?
I love the endermologie philosophy, which is taking a stand against “excessively aggressive, unnatural techniques with unpredictable results and potential complications.”
The endermologie way may be slower to show results compared to other invasive beauty treatments (you need about six sessions for a proper mummy makeover!), but it’s natural, healthy and sustainable. There is no heat, no cold, no scalpel, no pain, no injections, no side effects, no fibrosis, no cell death and no chemical products.
Chez Moi de Beaute has been delivering endermologie services for more than 10 years. Nico, who’s been working there for a whopping 21 years, is just one of the handful of experienced therapists well-versed in the best treatment protocols for different clients – including slimming, pre/postnatal toning, pre/post-liposuction recovery, drainage, anti-ageing and general wellness programs. Since it’s able to adapt according to each individual skin and body shape, this Cellu M6 Alliance is able to address a plethora of concerns.
Meanwhile, this endermologie convert is dreaming of her next session. I’ve been taught to associate beauty with pain for far too long, and I’m glad Nico has changed my mind.
The mummy makeover is priced at $1,800 for six 90-minute sessions of face and body endermologie treatments. These treatments will vary daily. Quote “expatliving organicmum” to get a discount ($1,680).
This article first appeared in the November 2021 edition of Expat Living. You can purchase the latest issue or subscribe, so you never miss a copy!