When Oscar winners, models and Hollywood’s finest need to look fresh, glowy and youthful, they give facialist and skincare supremo Nichola Joss a call. With a degree in biology and physiology and a holistic approach to beauty, Nichola goes the extra mile to make clients such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Hilary Swank look and feel their best. I spoke to her to find out how she became the skincare Fairy Godmother of Tinseltown...
When and why did you decide to become a beauty therapist? Did you have a role model or any stellar advice?
My role models were definitely my mother and grandmother, throughout my childhood I always remember them highlighting the importance of skincare and I used to always try their creams. I think my degree in biology gave me an immediate interest in skin in terms of it being the largest organ. I also studied for three years as a beauty therapist which made me realise I loved massaging and seeing the effects on people.
When did you realise that treating skin was an area that you excelled in? Why does skincare appeal to you so much?
I discovered early that I was really good at massaging and treating skin and loved seeing the effects. I was lucky enough to start out as a manicurist and often worked on fashion shows, which is where I started using my facial and massage skills on models, who as a result then became my regular clients.
You’re most famous for your lymphatic drainage technique - what are the benefits and how did you devise such an effective method?
I think it was devised through years of being lucky enough to practice and try out my techniques on clients. Also having the experience of 20 years listening to the needs of my clients and realising that they all want that plump, youthful look, which is gained through lifting and improving the muscles in the skin.
Tell us more about the “inner facial”…
The treatment begins with a lymphatic face massage which reduces puffiness around the eye area and helps to get rid of toxins that build up in the skin. This is followed by the inner face massage which concentrates on the muscles in and around the cheeks and along the gums. The inner massage helps to tone and lift the skin and define the cheekbones. This technique makes the skin glow by increasing blood flow to the face and easing tension that builds up along the jawline, chin and cheekbone area.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Seeing the benefits of my skincare methods on clients, the variety of what each day brings, and working all over the world whether it be at fashion shows or on tanning shoots. I love working so closely with Sanctuary Spa to create new skincare heroes.
Are there any aspects of your job that you find tough?
What words of wisdom would you give to aspiring beauty therapists and skincare specialists?
It is all about the knowledge and experience you gain along the way, you have to be willing to learn something new all of the time and grow your skills. The more you learn the more you will excel.
Your client list reads like a who’s who of Hollywood - who do you think has great skin and who would you love to treat that you haven’t yet (men included!)?
Cate Blanchett is a client and has amazing skin so that is always a pleasure. I would love to work with the Queen!
How do you approach your own beauty and skincare regime? What are your essential products?
I always take my makeup off each night without fail! My DIY facial is an everyday skin must for me as well. I use the Sanctuary Spa Therapist Secret Facial Oil , £17.50, and if you do this every day you will reap the benefits!
What would be your failsafe skin tip?
If nothing else use Sanctuary Spa Therapist Secret Facial Oil and a good facial massage technique. The facial oil will not only cleanse but will also nourish the skin.
Any skin gripes?
Never pick or squeeze spots!
How do you make time for yourself? What’s your favourite way to chill out?
Lock the bathroom door and make my own spa at home.
Who are your top people in health, fitness and beauty?
Finally, what skincare developments are you excited about? Do you have any future projects in the pipeline?
Watch this space!