Review: Fat busting at Marlow Face + Body
Fancy freezing off some fat? I know just the place! I've tried out the new CoolTech DEFINE technology at super-chic Marlow Face + Body - the only place to offer it in the UK. Here's the Muddy verdict.
Ooh, it’s discreet! As you might well want it to be if you’re taking advantage of Marlow Face + Body’s raft of medi-led procedures, from the usual injectables (euphemistically described as ‘wrinkle relaxing’) and lunch-hour non-invasive ‘facelifts’ to the latest laser acne treatments. With its own car park away from, but close to, the high street, the entrance to these super-stylish doctor led medical aesthetic clinic is a simple door. Marlow Face + Body launched in 2014 and over time has gained a real reputation in the town amongst the monied beauty seekers for its cutting-edge treatments and slick service.
Like Elle Deco just landed and sprinkled interiors fairy dust everywhere. Urbane but comfy, like your best friend’s cooler, tidier house, with its slouchy sofas, and good taste everywhere from the Moschino cushions in the consultation rooms and the modern art on the walls, to the huge statement fireplace. It hits the right note between luxe and relaxed. I’m struggling to think of a more stylish alternative anywhere in Bucks.
Owner Elizabeth Bester is the main therapist for non-medical contouring treatments, and is a real force of nature, a real Canadian charmer who is her own best advert – all glowed-up skin, toned arms and teeny weeny hips, and the kind of warm energy I’m not sure I even had pre-kids. Annoyingly you can’t even dislike her, she’s too disarming and friendly – but when it gets to the nitty gritty of treatment time, she’s reassuringly professional. Her background is 17 years in fitness, nutrition and personal training so it’s safe to say she has more than a faddy interest in the body beautiful.
As with the rest of the beauty industry it’s been a torrid few months for Face + Body but my sense is that the kind of treatments on offer here and the level of investment may give it the edge over the competition – the doctors on staff, for example, are both hospital consultants, and the tech is bang up to the minute – Marlow Face + Body is still the only clinic in the UK to offer CoolTech define, the treatment I tried pre lockdown (!) and have had to wait until now to publish.
CoolTech is designed to reach the fat reserves that exercise, diet or age can’t reach – the areas that won’t firm up no matter how hard you work at it. And they do it by, well, freezing it basically. The fat pocket is suctioned into a the CoolTech handpiece and then radically cooled to destroy the fat cells. Then over the next 6-12 weeks the cells metabolise as normal and are naturally removed from the body.
The big calling card for CoolTech is two-fold – the results, claiming a 60% reduction versus competitors’ 25% reduction; and also the time it takes, as it can be a single treatment of 70 minutes versus many repeat visits. Think of it like a chilly non-invasive liposuction.
Let me say from the off that this is definitely not a comfortable or ‘I may fall asleep’ relaxing treatment – Elizabeth had a good exploratory squeeze of my thighs to work out where exactly to attach the fat suckers for maximum effect (hey, just make it everywhere) , and then of course it’s initially bloody freezing. But after five minutes everything went numb, and I busied myself by sending emails on my phone, listening to music and zoning out while the machine went to work. Had I wanted to, there were also movies to watch. Taking 70 minutes out of my day for enforced stillness was almost a pleasant experience. (I did say almost).
Once my time was up and the machine beeped and my suckers were removed, there was a strange five minutes where Elizabeth enthusiastically massaged my flesh back to life – it was kind of an outer body experience as my thighs were frozen cold and pink like chicken fillets. Job done and life coming back to the limbs, I slipped on my jeans, said my thanks, and off I went. It was all remarkably easy really.
And the results? Well it definitely worked. In the interests of a robust test I continued eating and pigging out as usual, but after 8 weeks I could see less ripples on my silhouette (no you can’t see any images, I’m way too vain). There was a lot of me to suction but I imagine someone slimmer, with more stubborn areas, might benefit even more.
Worth mentioning that CoolTech isn’t confined to the usual trouble areas of thighs and stomach – it can also do chins (mmm, tempting), knees, bra-line and for men, pecs.
Pricy, no two ways about it. A single treatment costs £600 (they’ll do your chin at the same time for an extra £400 if that clinches it), and depending on your physiology, the area to zap and the results required you might need several. But if you’ve spent the last 10 years spending £500 each January on gym membership you haven’t used or are considering the excruciating costs and dangers of liposuction you could argue this is a smart, cost-effective, and discreet way to get results.