x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 29 July 2017

The beauty spy: On face muscle toners

You won't see her, but she's there, in the salons, spas and shops, and she's happy to share her secrets on face muscle toners.

Tina Chang / The National
Tina Chang / The National

Oh don't you just love the power of Facebook? One minute I'm happily clicking through the pages of party pictures, reminiscing on the previous night's festivities. The next I come to an abrupt halt. I can almost hear the scratch of a record to signal the rewind in my brain. I'm confronted with a full page of "tagged" images that look like they've been taken with a wide-angled lens. I mean, I could take on a Sumo wrestler with ease. It wasn't so much the body; what was really shocking was the girth of my face. I didn't have a double chin; oh no, I had a quadruple one. I looked like Gwyneth Paltrow in Shallow Hal. OK, I admit, I could benefit from losing a few pounds, but my forehead-cheeks-to-chin ratio has now become way more important than my BMI count.

With rather fantastic timing, that very Sunday, a great little gadget landed on my desk. The Slendertone Face that looks like those new hi-tech earphones that teenagers own is a clever little headset. When attached to cheeks, rather than lobes, it "tones the muscles, and lifts the face". Not my words, but the PR spiel on the box. I would pretty much agree. It does take a little getting used to. I tried to put it on super duper fast, but as I wasn't accustomed to it, it gave me involuntary eye twitches that Jim Carrey would be proud of. However, after I grappled with the set and read the instructions (which does tend to help), the gadget and I began a lovely new friendship.

It took about four weeks to kick in, but my cheekbones do look a little more chiselled and defined, and my jaw line has definitely lifted from the "electrotherapy"sessions.

I also decided to boost the effectiveness of my anti-ageing cream by applying it with something called a Yuroll. Apparently, Scarlett Johansson is big a fan, too. It's a jade-green rollerball that helps to de-puff and get rid of water retention. The make-up artist Ruby Hammer once said that she uses this to apply foundation, and she has the best set of cheekbones on the planet.

If you really can't be bothered to do it yourself, then pay someone else. Tips & Toes offer a LPG Facial M6 (call the JBR branch on 04 4293477). It's not the normal cleanse, tone and moisturiser: it has been dubbed the "non-surgical" facelift. You're hooked up to a hi-tech machine that has a Hoover-like attachment to refine the dermis. After my third session, co-workers started asking if I'd lost weight or had been away - and for your information, I haven't managed either. So, I guess you would have to call that a result.


Three of the best

So Hooked on Carmella by Benefit, Dh190 The bottle resembles a 1940s shaker can but the scent is thoroughly modern, with a lively ensemble of lemon, grapefruit and rhubarb.

Brilliant Wish by Chopard, Dh240 A heady, floriental encased in a diamond-shaped flacon. So sparkling and elegant, which is just like the Chopard wares in their store.

Hypnotic Poison Eau Sensuelle by Christian Dior, Dh275 A perfume blast from the past, but, updated thanks to the vanilla gourmand element, which can only be described as yummy.


M loves Philosophy Amazing Grace Shampoo, Bath and Shower Gel

We're thrilled to hear that Philosophy products have finally made their way to the UAE. No longer are we having to fill our suitcases with bottles of Amazing Grace while on holiday. Now a small trip to Sephora will satisfy our Philosophy fix. The all-in-one shampoo, bath and shower gel is one of the few that doesn't strip your skin and hair of all moisture, and leaves you with a light musky floral scent. Those with sensitive skin needn't worry as the gel contains milk proteins that won't irritate your skin.

Dh156, Sephora, Dubai Mall, 04 339 9828; Festival City, 04 232 6023