As the 2016 Olympic games in Rio come to a close this weekend, let's pause to reflect on 1) how amazing and inspiring Simone Biles is and 2) the influence Brazil has had on beauty. The realm of beauty — its inspirations, trends and innovations — has been significantly impacted by Brazilian culture. Beauty is big there. "In Brazil, we grow up going to salons with our mothers and start with certain beauty routines, such waxes, as early as 13-14 years old," says Fernanda Lacerda, co-owner of Maria Bonita, a Brazilian salon in New York City. "We also start to ask to get our nails painted [from a young age] while they get their manicures. So, the whole beauty routine comes very naturally. Going to the salon to get your weekly maintenance is not considered getting pampered; it's just considered part of our schedule."
Here, a look at the most noteworthy beauty trends Brazil has given us.
The Brazilian Wax
"The biggest trend that has come out from Brazil is still the Brazilian bikini wax," says Lacerda. "It's been a trend for the past 20 years, and even after the laser boom, it’s still going strong." As Lacera mentioned, waxing starts young in Brazil. And it makes sense; have you seen a Brazilian bikini?
The Brazilian Manicure
What makes a Brazilian manicure different from other manicures is that it starts out as a big ol' mess. After trimming the cuticles, the manicurist paints polish all the way to the very edges of the nail, often extending over the cuticle. Then, after finishing with top coat, the manicurist removes the excess polish around the cuticle area with nail polish remover. The thinking is that by extending the nail polish all the way to the very edges of the nail, rather than leaving a tiny gap, the manicure will last longer as nails grow out.
Adriana Lima, Alessandra Ambrosio, Izabel Goulart... oh, right, and Gisele. Brazil has produced icons of the modeling industry. We don't even want to think where Victoria's Secret would be without them.
The Brazilian Blowout
Brazilian blowouts, a.k.a. keratin smoothing treatments, a.k.a. those things everyone with frizzy hair swears by, have been A Thing in the U.S. for years now, despite controversy surrounding questionable levels of formaldehyde. (Note: Keratin treatments also have origins in Japan.)
The Brazilian Butt Lift
Sure, Kim Kardashian has played her own role in the bigger-is-better butt trend, but so has Brazil. Brazilian Butt Lifts — a procedure that uses a person's own fat to enhance and shape their butt via injections — have become popular stateside over the past few years. On RealSelf.com, a website that serves as a forum for cosmetic surgery patients, users have given the procedure a 93-percent "worth it" rating, meaning, most of the time, people are pretty pleased with their results. The average price for this type of surgery is $6,550, in case you were wondering.
Velaterapia Candle Burning
Brazilians prize their long, luscious, flowing locks, and they hate split ends. So they go to fairly extreme lengths to get rid of them. Velaterapia candle burning involves twisting hair so that the split ends stick out, and then taking a candle — with an actual flame!!!! — and literally burning them out of existence. Some of the aforementioned Brazilian supermodels reportedly swear by it, and over the past few years, some salons in the United States have gotten on board.
Yes, this is a category unto itself. Though American hairstylist Harry Josh should get his due for maintaining and enhancing it, Gisele's homegrown, Brazil-given head of hair is the true star here. Wind machines dream of it and hair extension sales are no doubt driven by it. Gisele is our forever #hairgoals inspiration.