It's 2019 and the stigma surrounding cosmetic procedures has been left, thankfully, well in the past. The question is no longer (a whispered), "Have you had something done?" but rather, "Where do you go?!" The answer which will soon be on every trendsetter's lips is Ever/Body.
The self-described "haven for high-performance beauty services" recently made its debut in Soho and though I don't tend to use the word lightly, it is indeed a haven of sorts, and certainly not what you're used to when it comes to getting Botox or a body-contouring treatment. The zen, sunny storefront is as discreet as it gets, and the interiors - pale tones and contemporary color-blocking, modern furniture and chic minimalism - remind me of The Wing (in fact, there is a membership element, but we'll get to that later). You'll find that nowhere does Ever/Body refer to itself as a Med Spa, which makes sense considering its distinct lack of in-your-face befores-and-afters or miracle-promising advertisements. However, it's not as clinical as an actual doctor's office, although having medically-trained staff on-site is one of its big draws. The vibe encapsulates the best of both worlds: you feel like you're treating yourself, but you know you're in the hands of professionals.
There is, of course, an explanation for that. Like most tech-minded companies, Ever/Body has set out to disrupt its industry, and improve customer experience on all fronts. Launched by a trio of female executives, Ever/Body has combined startup-minded innovation with the well-established industry of health and beauty to offer a highly-personalized, curated, and, well, approachable approach to self-care. Even total newbies can figure out exactly what they're looking for thanks to a simple online quiz. And for cosmetic procedure vets, Ever/Body serves as a relaxing escape that fits seamlessly into your routine, like getting a haircut or a manicure (though booking an appointment here is probably easier).
As for its offerings, Ever/Body has a menu fit for, quite literally, everybody. Botox and fillers, futuristic facials (microcurrent, Intense Pulsed Light, lasers galore), and my new favorite (and the focus of the next part of this article), Emsculpt.
That headline up there isn't mere clickbait - Science says that just 30 minutes of this "High Intensity Focused Electro Magnetic Energy" really is like doing 20,000 crunches. All while chilling under a blanket on a cushioned med chair. The aim? To tone up, strengthen those fabled abdominal muscles, and burn away the stubborn fat that still covers them up no matter how many SoulCycle, Pilates, and HIIT classes you do (sorry, now I'm projecting). I decided to try it because it's noninvasive and, unlike other body-contouring options, including CoolSculpting, there's no swelling or downtime. In fact, I went straight to star in an impromptu photo shoot right after I was done. Obviously I'm not trying to say I turned into a supermodel after one session, but I am trying to say that Kim Kardashian has done this... so I'm on my way (half kidding).
Here's how it went down at Ever/Body. I met my nurse practicioner (a big deal and a rare thing to have by my side at a treatment like this; all too often it's some rando who took a training course, so major points there) and she led me into one of those clean, modern rooms that feel like a cross between a high-end spa and derm's office. We took some before photos of my target area (stomach) and I changed into a pair of gym shorts they provided before getting the Emsculpt machine strapped on. It seems like one of those paddles ER doctors rub together before jump-starting your heart, but bigger and probably less volatile.
My ab-making angel, Christina, went through everything with me until I was totally comfortable with her flipping the switch. She told me she'd be gradually increasing the intensity and to let her know if it ever felt like too much. I have a pretty high pain tolerance as it turns out and was up to 100% by the end of the sesh.
The big question, of course, is how does it feel? Well it doesn't hurt, exactly. The electromagnetic energy zooms straight through to the deepest layer of muscles, prompting them to contract. Imagine a baby perhaps kicking from the outside, or a strong child punching you in the stomach (and the tensing up you'd do as you saw it coming). Maybe I'd even describe it as an internal vibration. At first it made me giggle; as the intensity got stronger, I did have to exhale with the contractions, but never did I think "Ow!" It also wasn't always the same sensation. Christina explained that it was on a cycle loop, and the different contraction patterns did different things; the rapidfire taps were, for example, breaking up lactic acid, which is produced by muscles during an intense workout.
I felt great when I was done and though I was warned that I might be slightly sore the next day (about half as sore as I would be after a serious sweat session), I actually never was. After one session, of course, I didn't magically have a six-pack (four within a two-week period is recommended for best results), but when I worked out two days later, I did feel like my abs were stronger. Core-targeted workouts from planks to mountain climbers to reverse crunches felt easier than ever, so I was pleased to have laid the groundwork for this upcoming washboard. (I mean, 20,000 crunches in 30 minutes had to have done something.)
So, should you try it? According to my nurse practicioner, the perfect Emsculpt candidate is already pretty fit - having too much fat in the area you're targeting will hinder results. She said she recommends incorporating it as an "ab day" workout. After the initial 4-treatment succession, one every three to six months can help maintain results (she did emphasize you'd still have to watch your diet and keep exercising). It's definitely the easiest way to work those hard-to-target lower abs.
Obviously, it is pricey. One session will typically run you $1000, but here's where the membership perks come in. For $39 a month, Ever/Body members get 15% off of all treatments (so an Emsculpt would be $850), along with special upgrades and annual complimentary services, such as a Clear + Brilliant Laser Facial (a $495 value) or one free area of Botox injections. Factor in the chic and convenient environment, knowledgeable and professional staff, and all-around brag-factor, and I'd say it's a steal for anyone who regularly goes in for upkeep. But, even if you don't, Ever/Body is worth stopping into, if only to see firsthand the future of cosmetic destinations.