Immortalized in that timeless bossa nova tune, the girls from Ipanema – Rio’s toniest beach district – are indeed tall and tan and lovely. But don’t be fooled: the cariocas (as the city’s natives are known) that you see lounging on the hot sand work very hard for their bronzed and buff bodies. This is the world’s capital of plastic surgery, where discussing breast implants is as natural as sharing photos of a recent cruise. Pretty young things worship the almighty elyptical machine and tend to hair and nails at least once a week. Latin America’s largest TV conglomerate – Rede Globo – has headquarters here, and its stars are often spotted jogging on the beachfront. Here are some of the locals’ favorite grooming addresses:
Womens’ salon – Crystal Care
Hot young actresses like brunette beauty Malu Mader come here not just for their blow-dries and highlights, but to even out their tans in the jet-bronze booth or get manis in the well-tended greenhouse while sipping expressos.
Rua Barão de Jaguaripe, 289, Ipanema, tel. (21) 3813-0560.
Fragrance – Água de Banho
Natura is Brazil’s most glam cosmetics brand in spite of – or perhaps because – of the fact its products are not sold in stores. Clients can either shop at their one and only store, in Paris, or call a rep and schedule a house call. As its name implies, Natura sources most of its ingredients from the exuberant flora of Brazil. Its latest hit fragrance is Água de Banho (Bath Water), a light and refreshing blend suited to the heat of the tropics.
Dermatology clinic – Juvenesse
Dermatologists Andréa Serra and Paulina Kede go far beyond mere consultations at their new clinic Juvenesse. Bold name clients like foxy TV anchor Fátima Bernardes choose from a long list of treatments, ranging from post-op lymphatic drainage and botox injections to chemical peels and the high-tech melanesse, meant to erase those dreaded sun spots.
Av. das Américas, 4200, Bloco 8, Barra da Tijuca, tel: (21) 3385-4496
Plastic surgery clinic – Vitée
Surgeon-to-the-soap-stars Dr. Ricardo Cavalcanti owns this clinic, specialized in nips and tucks. There the newest craze for those afraid to go under the knife is the so-called carboxitherapy, whereby carbon dioxide is injected under the skin to dissolve cellulite.
Avenida Fernando Mattos, 225, Barra da Tijuca, tel. (21) 2492-1107
Gym – A! Body Tech
No other gym in town boasts a higher quotient of drop-dead gorgeous young things flaunting tight abs. Two of the owners, sometimes spotted working the weights, are Ronaldo – Brazil’s greatest soccer player and tabloid fixture – and sexy actor Rodrigo Santoro, who played Nicole Kidman’s lover in a Chanel No. 5 ad and had his first U.S. movie role in Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle.
Rua Visconde de Pirajá, 365b, Ipanema, tel.(21) 2523-3898