This year deviated from last year’s unofficial theme that was “Kardashian Klusterbomb,” in that there was a distinct lack of that family’s signature aesthetic. Gone were the hair extension booths and the spray tans and the booty creams. Don’t get me wrong, there wasn’t a return to emphasizing natural beauty, there were stands with lash extensions, teeth whitening and gel nails. But it didn’t scream out with a “Kapital K.” In the place of fake hair, there was a braiding bar, a place where stylists for hire were braiding the hair of lucky ladies with luscious locks. The Kardashian Beauty booth was replaced by makeup junkie favorite, NYX cosmetics, a label that is just starting to hit Finland.
What was also missing from last year was the number of actual vendors. Spaces got larger in an effort to create booths with more of an immersive experience for the attendees. And if attendees is what you wanted to attract, a spinning wheel of prizes was the way to go. Make Up Forever had a line of dozens and dozens of savvy shoppers thirsting for something free, while some vendors didn’t get the memo and their booths were subsequent ghost towns.
At first glance, I thought that the I Love Me Fair was preying upon the modern woman’s insecurities with quick fixes at a price; booths for weight loss, surgical procedures and then a hit of chocolate to take the edge off. However, I am starting to think that perhaps it is a safe environment to explore things like permanent cosmetic work as there was staff from the Plastic Surgery Center at the fair, that were more informative than going for the hard sell. From the softly lit booth with the white tufted leather oversized chair, I asked Hanna Ritola of the Plastic Surgery Center some of my burning questions.
EB: What is the age range of clients that come into the center?
HR: There isn’t really an average age of “help me!”, it ranges from 18 to 95. We had a 95-year-old woman who came in and wanted help.
EB: What was it that she wanted done?
HR: She wanted us to help her with her wrinkles, we used a laser to get rid of them.
EB: What do the 18-year-olds want?
HR: The 18-year-olds are on Instagram so much. They want lip injections.
EB: To look like Kylie Jenner?
EB: Speaking of Kardashians, Khloe has been hucking Kybella, a product that is supposed to melt away a double chin immediately. Do you have that?
HR: Our doctors will not use that, they think that product does not give them enough control and the result could look lumpy.
EB: Yikes. What would your most popular procedure be at present?
HR: That would be tattoo removal.
EB: What is the style of tattoos that are being zapped off?
HR: 90’s tattoos. Chinese symbols, boyfriend’s names, and wedding rings. Oh and tattoos that are too big for the person.
EB: How long does it take to remove a tattoo?
HR: It takes over a year. They need 4 to 7 sessions that are spaced 6 to 12 weeks apart.
EB: Liposuction must be popular.
HR: Yes. People mostly have their middle sections done.
EB: As for botox, what area is done the most?
HR: Sibelius lines. (Laughs) In Finland, we call the [two vertical] lines between the eyebrows the “Sibeliuses”.
EB: (Laughs) In Canada, we call them “elevens”.
Hanna also mentioned that women around 30 start popping in and mention dabbling in botox, as around that age, the face starts to change. Frankly, the best part of the I Love Me Fair was being able to touch and shake the tabletop of breast implants (sans humans) at the Plastic Surgery Center’s booth. Breast implants are so mysterious, we know of them, we see them, but it was amazing to sit and feel their heft. They are heavier than one might think!
The I Love Me Fair is on until this Sunday at Messukeskus. One note to put in your pocket at you meander from booth to booth humming and hawing over all of the wares; if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Buy with discernment.