Alice Moore is the make-up artist for the Mission: Impossible films – whether that means that she makes the youthful face of a certain Mr Cruise look even better is something that she can neither confirm nor deny. But that doesn’t really matter because the main mission in her life is her own range of natural face oils, Kyushi (named after the Japanese word for pause).
Alice is also a facialist and very green-focused. So when she read research saying it took just 21 minutes for ‘the properties of essential oils to reach every cell of the body’, it was all she needed to decide to make her own range. I’m a big fan – the Jasmine, Lavender & Cedarwood and Orange & Neroli both smell delicious, but my favourite is The Power of Ten (all from £21, kyushi.co.uk). It has an earthy smell that makes you feel as though you must be doing good to yourself. And it’s full of plant-based oils including hemp, which is anti-inflammatory, argan for moisturisation and cucumber to encourage firmness. You can use it morning and night.
I’m a fan of face oils – one of my biggest skin concerns is dehydration and because oils have a fine molecular structure they can penetrate deeply. I find them super moisturising so, with the onset of colder weather, I’ve returned to them.
Dr Michael Prager, one of London’s top cosmetic names, has recently launched his own skincare line – including a day oil. ‘You need an antioxidant your skin can absorb,’ he says. ‘It’s important to maintain cell integrity [its membrane in perfect condition], which natural oils are good at doing. You can use one – such as raspberry, argan, olive, coconut – in sun protection and it works well.’ His Urban Protect Day Oil (£225, net-a-porter.com) is lightweight, great under make-up and contains vitamin C, argan oil and gold flakes.
My other favourite isn’t quite so expensive – A’kin Weightless Rosehip Oil (£28, lookfantastic.com) absorbs well but I find I have to give it a minute or two. Rosehip is good for moisture and boosts skin texture (though it’s recommended for cellulite, I have noticed no difference in that department).
No account of face oils should exclude Clarins’ classic Blue Orchid Treatment Oil (£34, johnlewis.com). The distillation process has been updated, but the 100 per cent plant oil has remained unchanged since 1965. It’s recommended for night, but I also find that it adds a radiance to skin when I use it as a prep under make-up before an evening out.
Then there’s Honest, founded by Hollywood actress Jessica Alba. The Beauty Facial Oil (£32, boots.com), with avocado and apricot kernel oil, is a great complexion-booster and smells good thanks to white rose and ylang-ylang. As for application, use it instead of or after your moisturiser.
Gentler does it
A piece I recently wrote on products to use during cancer treatment was so well-received that I thought it worth continuing the conversation, especially as I get asked a lot about massage.
Contrary to the belief of many, research has not found that massage causes cancer cells to spread, says Macmillan Cancer Support (macmillan.org.uk). However a therapist must be specially trained for the task and will avoid areas such as lymph nodes and tumour sites.
Macmillan says massage is on offer in cancer centres, hospices, community health services and some GP surgeries. It also advises contacting the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council to find a therapist (cnhc.org.uk). However, often people want to visit more indulgent spas but tell me that it is hard to find ones that can accommodate their health needs.
One of my favourite places, Ushvani Spa in London’s Chelsea – which always delivers outstanding treatments – has introduced specialised massages with therapists who have been extensively trained to administer them. Its 60-minute Oncology Massage costs £150 (ushvani.com) and requires a letter from your doctor. I have also been told Calcot & Spa (calcot.co) – a luxury hotel in the Cotwolds – is brilliant at facilitating treatments for those undergoing cancer therapy. Prices start from £50, but contact them directly first to book and discuss your needs (01666 891232, firstname.lastname@example.org).
Let me know if you have any other recommendations at email@example.com or contact us on Instagram @youmagazine.
Shine time for hair
It’s the time of year when everyone starts talking about shimmer (there’ll be plenty more of that in weeks to come). But sometimes all you want is a little bit of added gloss.
That’s just what Color Wow Extra Mist-ical Shine Spray (£25, colorwowhair.com) does. I know it says ‘shine’ but don’t expect a glittery kind of finish – this isn’t fairy-godmother hair. It gives a light sheen and understated gloss that gently shifts hair into evening gear.
Beauty assistant: Alice Robertson