Will it be socks or botox this year?

Vouchers for facelifts and tummy tucks are proving popular this Christmas as women buy for their partners
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Indy Lifestyle Online

He has the car, the wardrobe and the watch. So what on earth is a wife to buy the husband who has everything this Christmas? The answer: facelift vouchers.

Nose-jobs, liposuction and tummy tucks are being ordered up at record rates by women desperate to give their men a fresh look for 2006. And clinics across the UK are luring them with a range of festive special offers and gift vouchers.

Big discounts and free consultations are being offered as more men than ever appear comfortable with the idea of having a facial peel or their ears pinned back.

"A huge influx" of patients is expected in early January as a result of people being given treatment as a Christmas present, according to a spokesman for the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons.

Over the past 12 months the number of men having plastic surgery has rocketed by two-thirds, according to the surgeons. "There has been a big jump in men attending - for everything from a manicure to a chemical peel to surgery," said the spokesman.

The male cosmetic boom is largely being fuelled by wives who have already had work done. It seems women with well-sculpted jawlines and perfect noses are no longer content to have their partners looking wrinkly.

Laura Cross has already bought clinical treatments as gifts for her husband, a sergeant in the Royal Air Force. The 35-year-old mother of two opted for a £200 botox procedure in a Harley Street clinic, as she had been worried about the creases in his brow. Husband and wife are both delighted with the results. She said: "It's fantastic. Men are much more open to improving their looks now and it makes a great present."

While such anti-wrinkle injections are popular, many are opting for much more dramatic work. Liposuction accounts for half of all procedures. The operation, in which fat is broken up and vacuumed from the body in a large syringe, can last for an hour and costs £2,800 for one area of the body. Nose jobs - or rhinoplasty - are the next most popular, with prices starting at £3,800 including an overnight stay. Chin augmentation, in the form of an implant, can cost upwards of £3,500. The most requested chin types are those sported by Brad Pitt and Michael Douglas.

However, many medical experts are concerned about the idea of surgery as a gift. One said: "There's a danger that surgery is becoming more and more like a thing that you give or you buy, like a handbag or a tie."

Botox: 'He loved it and wants to have more'

Laura Cross, a 35-year-old hairdresser, lives on the RAF base in Carterton, Oxfordshire, with husband Sergeant Loz Cross, above, and their two children. Mrs Cross bought him a botox treatment from the Transform clinic in Harley Street for £200.

"I've had Botox before, and he saw the results and was really keen to get it done. He was getting those big furrows above the nose that men get. He travels a lot and so he comes back with those white tan lines. They've all disappeared, and he just looks really good. It was a very simple 10-15 minute procedure... I've told everybody: 'Guess what? He's had some botox.' We're both up-front people and with us what you see is what you get. I don't think his workmates took the mickey. If they were honest I'm sure they would love to have it done themselves. My husband loved it and has asked me to book him another appointment."

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