Imogen Edwards-Jones discovers that when it comes to beauty, sometimes it's the little things that count
When it comes to beauty treatments I am always of the firm belief that more is more. If I am ever given the option of a little bit of this cream, or a tiny bit of that lotion, I am prone to stick my big fat fist in the pot, slather it all over, oh, and then read the instructions afterwards. Which goes someway to explaining how and why I once confused Immac (now Veet) hair removing cream with Deep Heat and gave myself a bikini wax I shall never forget.
Anyway, in the interests of Gloss, and in order to allay the signs of decrepitude, smoking, eating, drinking, smoking, chatting, laughing, smoking, passing out like a snoring starfish, smoking, never taking my make-up off and smoking; I have tested some pretty hardcore beauty processes. Robust, I think, could be a good way of describing them. But what’s a girl to do when she wants to look like Gwyneth without ever actually having to be her?
Who could forget the munching crunching face-centipede that was a Micro Firm Facial ? Where a cluster of little needles chomped away at my cheeks for half an hour, leaving me with a face like a smacked butt? For a whole day and a night. Or indeed the equally ouchy Dermapen which had to travel three times (THREE!) across my face for it work, only to leave me with a face like a smacked butt. For a whole three days and nights.
MORE GLOSS: Can a face cream actually make the skin better?
(Actually, in defence of these two procedures they both worked extremely well and gave me a face like a bonnie newborn for at least six weeks afterwards.)
Having well and truly embraced the old adage that beauty hurts, and it hurts like hell, and only with grit, sweat and a smacked arse can you atone for any of your terrible, terrible dermatological sins, you can imagine my reaction when I was asked to test a Skinceuticals Micropeel at EFMedispa just off Kensington High Street.
MORE GLOSS: Sarah Vine on why she's fussy about facials
When you are battling crone-face, what is the point of micro- anything? What you want, and need, is hours of agony, blood, chemicals, sheets of peeling skin and a whole weekend locked away in a darkened room, only being allowed to drink through a straw. Otherwise you’re not going to touch the sides.
Or not. Clare couldn’t have been more pleasant as I flopped back onto the terry bed sporting my terry hair band.
“On the scale of one to ten just how painful is it going to be?” I grimaced as I gripped the side of the bed.
“Um?” She paused. “Two?”
“Well,” she added quickly. Clearly she’d been hasty with the two. A four maybe? Please God not a six. “Most people don’t really notice it. They go to sleep.”
“Sleep?” I opened one incredulous eye. “Really?”
“It can be a bit itchy.”
I am afraid that was about all I heard. I lay there snoozing, while she rubbed, cleansed, preened and plumped my face for the next hour. There was a bit of itching, like an annoying tickle from a blade of grass, and then 60 minutes later I was out and walking back to my car. My face wasn’t red or raw; it wasn’t glaring back at me in the mirror like some virulent baboon’s backside. It was more like soft, inner-lit peach.
At last! I have learnt, at the tender age of 105, that less is not necessarily less. It can also be more! And although the Micropeel effect won’t last as long as any of the other treatments, it was a perfect pick-me-up after this long cold miserable winter and entirely pain-free.