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Age-Defying Beauty Tricks

As many a celebrity demonstrates, looking younger doesn't always require a cosmetic dalliance with the dermatologist. Sometimes simply shaking up your hair do or rethinking your make-up bag can knock years off. Liz Dwyer seeks the experts advice on cheating time with cosmetics and a little insider know how.


BASE CAMP As the late great make-up artist, Kevin Aucion, once said, "Foundation isn't plaster. In fact if you try to apply foundation, concealer and powder over laughter lines in the hope of camouflaging them the opposite happens and you actually draw attention to them."  So rule number one for mimic the healthy glow of youth, don’t pile on a heavy-duty foundation. Instead MAC creative director Terry Barber, suggests layering up on hydrating skincare and complexion perfecting products to achieve a more youthful finish."  Terry's technique, "is to start by exfoliating the face and massaging moisturiser to encourage micro circulation and to cushion up skin. Then I apply a light reflecting primer to brighten up dull skin and smooth out uneven tone and imperfections.  If needed, I pat a cosmetic wrinkle filler into fines lines, stipple a creamy concealer over problem areas and finish with an thin veil of light-reflecting foundation, concentrating the formula mainly on the cheeks, forehead and chin, not in the nooks and crannies."

Whilst powder can help to hold make-up in place and combat shine, it’s also guilty of settling into fine lines and wrinkles, imparting a dusty, dry and ultimately ageing finish onto the skin. Swap it for a primer, which will help foundation stay in place for longer or try make-up artist Trish Mc Eyeoy's solution, ”I find that just pressing the puff( without any powder) itself on to foundation is enough to absorb excess oil and it's all you need to blot the shine." If you must use powder, choose one which has been very finely milled and look out for formulas with light reflecting particles such as finely milled pearls or minerals as they bounce the light and add sheen to skin.

Complexions are not naturally one shade of of beige or tan and if foundation has been used, blusher according to make-up mogul Bobbi Brown is a must. “It can knock ten years off a woman in ten seconds flat,” says Bobbi.  80’s inspired tiger stripes and unnatural looking colours, will, however add only serve to add a decade, so use cream formulas to keep the finish soft and choose natural blush hues (the shade you go when your naturally flushed). "Blend the natural tone across cheeks, fading it out up towards the temple area," says Bobbi," then my party trick is to add a tiny pop of a strong, much brighter shade of the natural blush I've just used just onto the fleshiest part of the apple of cheek to really make skin come alive”. After applying blush dust a shimmering powder or cream high on the cheekbone to add relief and definition.

Whilst pale may be interesting, it can also be quite draining as skin looses it's colour and radiance over the years.  For the majority, a touch of fake tan or a tinted gel will help to enhance the skin's natural colour and get it glowing. A touch being the operative word. Go overboard with tan and lines become highlighted, tone becomes blotchy and the texture appears leathery - think Donatella Versace on a bad day. Self-tanning formulas pre-mixed with moisturizers impart just a hint of a tint, and used twice a week should keep pastiness at bay.

Anti-Age Your Eyes

A celebrity eye-surgery specialist reveals all. 

The  eyes may be the window to the soul but the delicate skin around it also serves as an annoyingly accurate record keeper of the passing years. Dr Wendy Lee, a leading specialist in oculoplastic surgery and one of the USA’s most in-demand doctors for  aesthetic work on the eye area, lifts the lid on what’s effective and what’s a waste of time when it comes to checking crows feet, banishing bags and stopping the sag. By Liz Dwyer

Why is they eye area so vulnerable to ageing?
The muscles surrounding the eye sockets are circular, think of an elastic band that’s constantly contracting for every movement from blinking to raising a brow, even while we sleep the orbital muscle keeps moving. So as a muscle group it gets a lot of action. The factor in that the skin around the eye is ten times thinner than normal without any sebaceous glands to produce oil and you realize why that area is just hardwired for accelerated ageing. Unfortunately it’s in all our DNA.

Are eye creams really necessary or just a clever marketing ploy?
Previously I would have said no as the market is flooded with products that make little or no difference. However eye creams do tend to be more gentle and less irritating than heavy moisturizer so from a hydration point of view they are positive but won’t do a lot to reduce dark circles or lines and also as most contain no SPF they’re not great at protection either. The only product I stand by is Elizabeth Arden’s Prevage.

Why do we get puffy bags and can they be treated?
It depends, if the bags fluctuate in size and appear sporadically it’s a sign of fluid retention which can be minimised with simple tricks like rubbing ice in tissue on the offending area and sleeping on two pillows to elevates the head. Also any of the new selection of eye massage tools, will help to loosen up the fluid and stimulate drainage too.

And if the bags are a permanent fixture?
Well then it’s fat, if your think of the eye socket like an ice cream cone and the eyeball like a scoop of ice cream, well the excess ice cream that squeezes out around the edges - that’s how an eye bag is formed. We all have fat around the eyes but for some it seeps out more and it’s held in place by a thin layer of skin that causes the bulge to form and unfortunately no cream or laser can shift it, surgery is the only answer.

Please put the record straight on what causes of dark circles?
Basically dark circles are just a shadow - a trick of light. And the deeper the eye socket, the deeper the shadow. When we get older and stressed the cheeks drop and the space between the socket and cheekbones becomes more hollow and the shadows appear greater. But also as we age the skin around the eye can thin out even further and becomes almost transparent showing up all the blue veins and dead blood product underneath - hence the bruised appearance.

So can anything minimise their appearance?
Creams that help to address the thinness of skin are your best bet - again Prevage is great for thickening the tissue, or you could try a cream with Vitamin K in it, as it absorb dead blood product. Fraxle or Pearl laser treatments are also great around the eye area because they encourages collagen growth and plumps up the skin no end. Another favourite with my US clients is injecting filler very conservatively into the space between the cheekbone and the tear duct, as this fills in the hollow and therefore minimises the shadows. Concealer is also the ultimate weapon. MAC Studio Fix Concealer is my best friend.  

What about droopy eyelids - any miracle cures?
Not out of a bottle I’m afraid but non-invasive treatments can definitely help. You could use Botox to laterally lift the eyelid and laser will also help tighten and lift the lid. Again filler could be used under the brow to lift the entire eye area. Otherwise we’re onto surgery and eyelid lifts are in fact the most common proceduers carried out on eyes.

Finally eyelash stimulating treatments, are they all a bit of a swizz?
Most just hydrate the lashes but anything that nourishes the lash line will help growth - be it Vasaline or indeed on of these fancy mascaras. For real results, the product must contain prostaglandin analog,  which has been clinically proven to keep lashes in the growth phase for longer - I've used Revitalash before which contains this substance and found it really did the trick.

Trending Treatments

Non-invasive cosmetic treatments have come along way from the frozen faces emblematic of the noughties, and are now achieving what once, only surgery could. With popularity at an all time high, Liz Dwyer looks at the new game changers in the industry and finds out what patients are really requesting in Irelands leading clinics.

At a recent celebrity style bash in Dublin, the room was peppered with six-foot posters of the winners and attendees from the past decade. They were rather cringey and highlighted not just our noughties love-in with all things diamante, but also just how bad the Botox was back then. Paralysed faces glared back at their now older owners, whom for the most part, currently look significantly better. Their faces now seem less frozen, contours less contorted and their skin tone more radiant than it was a decade ago. The majority looked prettier, perkier and much less doneto the untrained eye.

This emerging trend is not just the preserve of celebrities however, but of every woman who is looking more beautiful, rather than necessarily younger, at the hands of and adept cosmetic doctor. So it begs the question – what are they, or aren’t they having done?

Dr Jane Mulrooney, a prominent Irish cosmetic dermatologist believes that, “non-invasive treatments were seen and administered in the 90’s and early noughties purely as anti-ageing too. Freezing wrinkles and chasing lines was de rigure and Botox fever took foothold.  Women and indeed some doctors, became so obsessed with using anti-wrinkle injections to erase the smallest of facial lines, they removed all movement, which caused underlying muscle atrophy and gave the skin a stretched, plastic appearance. These women didn’t look better but rather like weird waxwork versions of their former selves.”

The frozen face was soon surpassed in the late noughties by what was coined pillow face offset with trout pouts, where once again over zealous use of fillers in the quest for plumper lips and cheeks made some women and indeed many celebrities look more like cosmetic rarities, than catwalk models. Who could forget Leslie Ash’s dalliance with lip filler and Madonna’s brief stint with chipmunk cheeks?

“As a result of all this misuse of injectable treatments, there is now a big movement towards softer beautification, not harsh age reversal,” says Dr Mulrooney. “Improving skin tone, texture and luminosity is the number one priority of most of our clients now, and thereafter it’s all about correcting symmetry. Many clients now request that some wrinkles and lines are left and facial movement is not overly compromised, so they look more natural. But they haven't given up totally on Botox. Quite the opposite, but now all about using it in different places and for different applications.”

Mr Kambiz Golchin, Consultant Plastic Surgeon, echoes this zeitgeist with respect to facelifts, “patients now are consumed by getting the most radiant and plump skin possible and want contours to look taut but not unnaturally lifted or pulled. They want to look good for their age, not 20 years younger. With a combination of non invasive treatments and lasers, we can now achieve results similar to what once required permanent surgery, with lots of downtime, it’s amazing the developments that have been made in this area.”

These developments are also reflective of many global studies conducted by beauty companies such as Johnson & Johnson which aimed to identify how we decide on levels of attractiveness and what criteria we use to guesstimate a stranger’s age. The findings showed that lines, wrinkles and sagginess were not significant determining factors but rather, facial symmetry the most important influencer on attractiveness ratings and evenness of skin tone the biggest variable on deducing age.

So in this new age, where symmetry and skin tone reign supreme, we interview the doctors, surgeons and medical staff behind Irelands’ leading clinics to see what non-invasive treatments are most in demand. And what we’ll all be signing up for once those prize bonds make good:  

PRP Injections
Kim Kardashian, among other Hollywood starlets, has accounted her plumped and peachy skin to the vampy prowess of PRP. She even posted a startling picture of her face covered in blood on Twitter post treatment, which unsurprisingly generated much hype for the procedure. Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Injections is a method that works by taking a sample of the patient's own blood, which is then processed using a hospital centrifuge to separate and extract the platelets.

The platelets are then re-injected into the face via dozens of microinjections in a concentration level much higher than normal blood ratios. When the platelets are activated in the body, these highly specialised sponge-like molecules release healing proteins called growth factors. These growth factors have a range of responsibilities, a predominant feature of which is their ability to accelerate tissue repair and improve wound healing.  The process is reportedly rather uncomfortable and downtime can be anywhere up to a week until the skin heals form all the tiny needle insertions. However once healing is completed, the complexion takes on a significantly more plump, unified and fresher appearance, which continues to improve over time. The main selling point is that is uses no foreign or manmade substance, just the body's own cells. In addition, PRP treatment is on the approved list of medical treatments for sports injury and has also been successful in treating pain from arthritis. A singular PRP treatment costs approximately €1200 at Beacon Face and Dermatology. Suite 36, Beacon Court, Sandyford, Dublin, 01 213 6220; www.beaconfaceand dermatology.ie

Fusion Face Lifting
Unlike traditional surgical facelifts, which largely just address sagging skin, many plastic surgeons and cosmetic doctors are now pioneering combinations of non-invasive treatments to address the four main causative factors in facial aging, namely volume imbalance, muscle degeneration, ptosis (drooping of soft tissues), and photo aging of the skin.  These multi-pronged procedures aim to achieve a more rounded anti-ageing result than the wind tunnel facelifts of old. While they don’t pose as many risks of a surgical procedure, they can however have similar price tags and downtime periods and do not have the permanent effect. Two such treatments gaining momentum in Ireland are the Angle lift and the Soft Procedure. The Angel lift is a combination of PRP injections (as above), followed by Fractional CO2 Laser Treatment, which works to rejuvenate both the underlying skin structures and the skin’s surface. The laser treatment utilises a very narrow laser micro beam to remove columns of tissue deep from the layers of the skin. The body then heals the channel, which stimulates new collagen growth immediately to improve the appearance of wrinkles, scars and fine lines. Again this is not for the squeamish, nor those with a low pain threshold and recovery can take up to two weeks. Effectively however, it replaces damaged old skin with new, fresh younger skin and with proper sun protection, the result can last for many years. The Soft Procedure is a four-step treatment, with procedures spaced out over a couple of weeks, which includes  as session of Fractional CO2 laser treatment and PRP to resurface; fat elimination from jowls (if necessary) using non-invasive small ultrasound-emitting probes; muscle rebalancing with injections to lift features and improve facial proportions and volume replacement injections to redefine contours and further enhance symmetry. Angel lift prices start at € 4,400 at Beacon Face Dermatology and the Soft Procedure starts from €xx, at Venus Medical, Heritage House, Dundrum Office Park Dundrum, Dublin 14, 01-2962747; www.veneusmedical.ie

Porexia (Poreless Perfection)
Cosmetic doctors say clients’ requests to minimize pore size have escalated to such an extent that within the industry the
Fixation has earned the moniker porexia. Open pores are notoriously difficult to treat permanently and traditionally multiple CO2 Fractional treatments are best for this but a cheaper and arguable less painful alternative with no downtime is micro Botox. It works by using a dilute of Botox and multiple injections with a minute needle, used across the problem area which normally nose, cheek and chin area and this works extremely well giving a more refined skin surface and reducing pores size. It’s also effective at minimizing the appearance of potholed skin form mild acne scarring. From €350, Micro Botox is available at The Dr Mulrooney Clinic, 58 Northumberland Road, Dublin 4, 01 4410188; www.drmulrooney.com

Active FX
Active FX definitely topped the polls as one of the most highly requested laser treatments in Ireland’s leading clinics. Unlike first generation fractional lasers, which rely on heat in order to stimulate new collagen and ultimately resurface the skin, Active FX works not just on the surface but also in the deeper layers by jabbing tiny microscopic wounds into the skin’s layers, via laser heat, to trigger the skin’s healing process and collagen and elastin productions, so skin rebuilds from within. Not only can it achieve in one lunchtime session what traditionally took five or six treatments spread out over months, but it is also less painful for the patient, as highlighted by Dr. Robert Weiss who performed a split face study at Johns Hopkins, Baltimore using the Active FX on one side and the traditional Fraxel on the other.  Nine out of ten patients preferred both the comfort of the procedure and the results of the Active FX. While downtime for this advanced resurfacing treatment is much less than it predecessors, it can still take up to a week before skin is healed and inflammation dies down. Active FX seems to be particularly proficient at removing pigmented sun damage and even pre cancerous lesions, and it also has a speedy skin tightening effect and helps decreasing pore size.  One treatment from €1500, at Suite 22, Blackrock Clinic, Rock Road, Blackrock, Co Dublin, 01 2883516; www.suite22.ie

Creative Botox
Lip augmentation using thick fillers seems to be falling out of favour according to cosmetic doctors, perhaps because it’s such a tell tale of having work done, and so very hard to get just right.  But also apparently a shift in celebrity icons is also responsible. “Patients were asking for Angelina lips for a long time but nowadays they are more realistic with their expectations says Dr Mark Hamilton. “Were more likely to get request for Alexa Chung’s lip line now. This defined cupids bow can be achieved with a small amount of Botox injected precisely above the lip. It helps smooth out marionette lines, while lifting and define the lip border giving the appearance of perkier lips without actually filling them.” Likewise Botox is now been used very successfully around the neck in small amounts to smooth out horizontal lines. It’s also been used to help reduce a sagging heavy jawline. “By injecting the masseter (jaw) muscle with Botox, it instantly slims the face restores a more feminine facial shape, which is more heart like and hence more attractive.” Botox treatments by Dr Hamilton, from €xx at Therapie Clinics nationwide, 1890650750; www.theraphieclinic.com.

Facing the Future
There are two major game changers on the horizon for non-invasive treatments.

Botox Cream
Currently Revance, which is like a topical Botox, in in stage two of FDA trials. It’s been tested in clinics in California (where else?) and thus far, results are very positive. It simply involves a doctor applying the topical cream onto the treatment site, then waiting a half an hour before it’s removed. It goes directly through the skin cells into he muscle and has the same muscle paralysis effect without the needles. 

Solid Filler
Delivering liquid hyaluronic filler with a needle has always made application tricky and results hit and miss, as the filler can migrate or bulge and subside in the treatment site, giving a buckled appearance to the skin. Solid hyaluronic acid looks set to get FDA approval for late 2013 and it will come in microscopic fine strands that can be treated and placed into wrinkles for more specific application and more even results which won’t budge or be displaced.

http://invaconsult.com.ua/ http://invaconsult.com.ua/

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