At a certain age, V-shape lines are something we all start to see in the mirror. You
know, the ‘number 11’ (or glabella) lines between our eyebrows, the crow’s feet,
the nasolabial lines that run from the edges of the nose to the mouth, and the
marionette lines from the corners of the mouth down to the jawline. What can
be done about them? Here are options ranging from minimal to high maintenance.
UP YOUR MAKE-UP GAME
While there are limits to how much can be done, a few tricks will get you far. ‘We only see our imperfections in the mirror,’ says make-up artist Caroline Barnes, ‘but others see our face as a whole, which is why I’m such a believer in the art of distraction.’
In other words, decide what you want people to focus on, say your lips or eyes, then go for it with bold lippy or eyeshadow.
Another good call is Revolution Pro Blur Stick + Primer (£11.99, revolutionbeauty.com). ‘This makes lines around the eyes and pores less noticeable, which in turn will make you look younger,’ she says. To soft-focus lines around the mouth, Caroline loves Trinny London Miracle Blur (£26, trinnylondon.com), and also uses it underneath lipstick to stop it drying out.
For more youthifying tricks, check out Caroline on Instagram (@carolinebarnesmakeup). Or, for a super-easy hack, make-up maestro Mary Greenwell says: ‘After I’ve applied my serums and creams at night, I put Vaseline around my eyes to seal it all in, and I’ve noticed I wake up with fewer wrinkles around my eyes.’
GET HONED & TONED
‘Workouts strengthen and tone the body, and it’s the same with your face,’ says Inge Theron, founder of facialists FaceGym. But how do we put our faces through their paces? ‘With massage,’ she says. ‘As well as boosting circulation and the lymphatic system and helping detoxification – the key to healthy skin – massage releases muscle tension, while firming and toning, too.’ The result? ‘A lifted, radiant complexion.’
Leading facialist Alexandra Soveral agrees: ‘Daily massage is the best way for the skin to regain its strength and tone. To detoxify the skin and “feed” it with oxygenated, nutrient-rich blood your muscles need to be given a good workout– think deep, fast strokes that bring heat.’ Her other key rules include dry-brushing skin first and, when massaging, using an omega-rich oil. For how-to videos, go to facegym.com or Instagram @alexandrasoveral.
HIT THE TOOLKIT
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- Inspired by the Chinese massage technique of gua sha, Hayo’u Jade Precision (£39, hayoumethod.com) is great for reducing marionette lines. To use it, hold the tool at a 15- to 45-degree angle and stroke each side of your mouth eight times (its website has instructional videos). Chinese medicine practitioner Katie Brindle, says, ‘Everyone will see both instant and cumulative results after using it.’
- For a more face-firming option, try FaceGym Pro (£515, facegym.com). Using electrical muscle stimulation technology, it lifts the facial muscles to visibly smooth, sculpt and plump the skin in as little as ten minutes.
- Alternatively, to increase the power of your skincare by up to four times, try Reduit Boost (£179, reduit.com), a smart device you move across your face after applying your products to supercharge their ingredients. It is ideal for using with, for example, hyaluronic acid, to boost its plumping effect.
- Lastly, the new Solawave Skincare Wand (£124, solawave.co) is big news. Its combination of red-light therapy, microcurrent, massage and warmth will help reduce the appearance of lines and generally lift the face if used daily for four weeks. The clinicals look impressive.
TIME FOR A TWEAKMENT?
These might seem a big step up from make-up tricks but, says Dr Nyla Raja, who has her own cosmetic clinics in London and Cheshire, ‘You don’t have to tackle your entire face. Addressing just the top area may be all you need for a transformational refresh.’
She suggests ‘lifting skin around the eyes and cheeks using ULTRAcel Q+ [high-intensity ultrasound] for instant and impressive results’. It isn’t painful, she says, more prickly, and ‘it’s brilliant at creating micro traumas in the skin to supercharge collagen production. Its plumping effect improves even more over time.’
For deep glabella lines, London-based cosmetic doctor Sarah Tonks says that while fillers can be used, because the blood vessels in this part of the face are small, if you block them there’s a high risk of necrosis. She suggests that Botox will make a difference to these lines as ‘it stops you moving the muscle causing them’. It can also help with crow’s feet.
For nasolabial and marionette folds, she says they’re ‘best treated indirectly by adding volume to the mid or lateral face to reinflate the soft tissue and replace– visually at least – bone that’s lost through ageing’. She adds that for nasolabial lines, Botox is again a good call, as it can ‘help lift your downturned mouth’s corners, making it look a little happier’.
BEAUTY ASSISTANT: ALICE ROBERTSON. ILLUSTRATION: GABRIELLE FOTCH, LEMONADE ILLUSTRATION AGENCY