Who hasn't done something a little bit out there in the name of beauty?
Demi Moore has said she detoxifies her blood with the help of leeches. Gwyneth Paltrow has reportedly tried Chinese cupping. And Eva Longoria may be using a placenta-based cream to keep her skin looking gorgeous.
Bizarre beauty treatments are nothing new, but the very bizarreness of some of the latest beauty treatments is. And they're not just for celebrities. For instance, you too can try something peculiar to make you prettier. How about applying some bull semen for your hair or perhaps nightingale droppings for your face?
Shizuka Bernstein owns the Shizuka Day Spa in Manhattan and has been offering something called the "Geisha Facial" for about five months.
"I remember my Japanese mother in Japan telling me about nightingale droppings when I was in middle school … and I forgot about it for years and years. And then I remembered and I did some research and the ingredients really work," said Bernstein.
The nightingale droppings contain enzymes and the amino-acid guanine, which is supposed to exfoliate your skin and give it a pearl-like luster.
"Kabuki actors and geishas couldn't remove their thick, white makeup easily and so they tried everything and one of the things they came up with was nightingale droppings," said Bernstein.
The squeamish needn't worry though. The droppings come in a sterilized powder form.
Perhaps feces facials aren't your thing. Or maybe you're looking for a treatment that will add some body to your hair.
Hari's salon in London has just the thing -- a bull semen hair treatment. To be more specific, it's Aberdeen Angus bull semen. The idea came when Katharine and Hari Salem, who own and run Hari's Salon, sat down to dinner with some friends. The Salems were looking for an organic, protein-rich hair treatment and the friends just happened to breed pedigree bulls. Voila! The idea was born.
Katharine Salem said their customers were a little leery about the process at first but it's "odorless" and that allayed some fears. The sperm is "applied as a mask to wet hair, along with a root plant called Katera," said Salem. The gel is applied to freshly washed hair, massaged in and left for 30 minutes. The Salems swear the treatment works and is a "best seller" for the salon.
"The results speak for themselves, the hair is soft but not lank," said Salem.
Of course, it's generally celebrities who start the buzz about beauty trends.
Moore recently caused a stir on David Letterman's show when she announced she had undergone a detoxifying blood treatment in Austria involving leeches.
Paltrow has been photographed with circular bruises on her back that seem to have been caused by the ancient art of cupping.
"In America we raise eyebrows and say 'what?' But some of these treatments have been around for thousands of years," said Melisse Gelula, editor in chief of Luxury SpaFinder Interactive
Cupping has been practiced by the Chinese for thousands of years to treat aches and pains and ease stress. The treatment involves placing heated cups over the skin that causes a suction and stimulates the flow of blood -- apparently jump-starting the circulatory system.
As for leeches, in the 19th century the wormlike creatures were all the rage for blood-letting. A leech can suck up about a bit less than a teaspoon of blood in about 10 minutes. In rare instances, doctors still use leeches today in some specialized surgeries.