Baffled by Botox? Freaked out by filler? Step forward cosmetic beauty expert, Olivia Falcon, founder of The Editor’s List a smart matchmaking service that not only finds the right aesthetic treatments for you but the top doctor or practitioner to do it - plus a fast pass up the waitlist.
Olivia, a fresh-faced 45-year-old is on a mission to demystify the confusing world of aesthetics and with an in-person service that's the antithesis to a Google search. She's not on commission from clinics and is at pains to remain independent offering trusted impartial advice based on personal recommendation.
“We are bombarded daily with different beauty mantras and messages which make navigating the aesthetic world very confusing, it is really hard to know who to trust or what to believe,” says Olivia, who built up her contacts book during 13 years as a Beauty Director at Tatler. She edited the magazine's famous Cosmetic Surgery Guide and trawled the globe gowning up to watch surgeries guinea pigging countless non-invasive treatments herself.
"The internet is often saturated with sponsored content. It is all about a personal service that people can turn to for honest, impartial advice. I am here to cut through the snake oil, my only agenda is to make sure my clients are in the safest and most experienced hands.”
Her unrivaled little black book of contacts is a who’s who of the aesthetic industry, which she leverages for clients. They pay anything from £100 for her to answer a question over email or £350 for a one-hour Skype consultation which includes a follow-up plan of where to go and who to see. She will come to your house to edit your bathroom beauty shelf (out with that dusty, expired moisturiser and in with some slick modern serums) and even hold your hand on the doctor's couch. “I no longer wear rings and my hand gets a lot of squeezing,” she says. Many of her 200 clients have her on a retainer.
It is her 'look fresh-not-done' aesthetic that many find appealing. "Rather than just chasing that individual line or wrinkle I am a great believer in combination treatments that address all the signs of ageing," she says. Meaning? "Some filler placed deep on the bone to redrape saggy skin, radiofrequency or ultrasound therapies to tone the deepest muscles of the face, lasers to tidy up blotchy sunspots and maybe the lightest of sprinkles of Botox to relax those pesky expression lines that make one look tired."
But we want specifics. Which treatments does she really rate right now? Olivia reveals her top eight non-surgical treatments to get you looking fresh-faced and firm bodied for summer.
Best for: Sharpening a sagging jawline: Volux
VoLux is a new, thicker hyaluronic acid filler, specifically designed to sharpen up the contours of the lower face. Ideal for those who are experiencing jowling and who feel it is too early to consider having a lower face-lift or for people who have weak or receding chins. Volux is injected at strategic points across the jawline and/or in the chin area to sharpen features. The effects last longer than traditional fillers between 18 and 24 months
Downtime: Like any injectable, bruising and swelling is possible for about three to seven days.
Who to see: Dr Soha Kersh 02070780302; 23md.co.uk
Treatment time: 30 minutes.
Cost: £650 per syringe
Best for: Airbrushing partied-out skin - Intraceuticals Hybrid O2 facial
Putting a light bulb under grey skin, this Intraceuticals facial, a pre-Oscars glow-getting favourite of celebrities - combines the power of two machines. First Hydrafacial – the Dyson of facial cleaning devices. This wand-like handpiece ungunks pores with gentle dermabrasion combined and with lymphatic drainage for reducing eye bags and deflating general puffiness (ideal if you’ve been hitting the rosé rather too much).
Next, the therapist switches on the Intraceuticals oxygen machine, an airbrush-like device that layers super fine mists of hyaluronic acid, vitamins and antioxidants with a light pressure hyperbaric oxygen spray. Supremely cooling and calming, the layering technique really locks moisture into skin to give it a pinchable, juicy quality that usually involves weeks of early nights and drinking gallons of water, while the gentle pressure of the oxygen gives saggy areas a subtle lift; cheekbones look sharper, lips plumper and that grey-blue tinge around eyes, not quite so noticeable. Oh, and it's great at decongesting sinuses if you’re a hayfever sufferer too.
Downtime: None, you walk out with glowy skin that looks like it’s been Instagram filtered.
Who to see: Dr Sabrina Shah-Desai 02072835121/ 07952028397; perfecteyesltd.com
Treatment time: 60 minutes
Best for: de-fuzzing all skin types and hairy areas - Soprano Titanium Laser Hair Removal
A virtually painless way to de-fuzz for summer, Soprano Titanium is the next generation big gun laser that comprises of three different wavelengths delivered in one shot – hitting all the depths of the skin to heat up the bulb of the hair follicle and effectively shut it down. Working top to toe on all skin types and tones from bristly chins to bushy bikini lines, the laser has a cooling mechanism on the tip that numbs the surface of the skin so even delicate areas like armpits really don’t feel the heat. For seamless silky skin, a course of between six to eight sessions six weeks apart recommended although facial hair can require up to 10 treatments.
Who to see: Spirithoula Koukoufikis 020 7034 5999 phiclinic.com
Downtime: A slight flushing at the treated site is possible but rare. Be sure to layer up the SPF afterwards as the skin will be more sensitive to UV light.
Cost: from £65 a session for the chin.
Best For: vaginal rejuvenation - Emsella chair
You don’t have to strip off, gown up or subject yourself to embarrassing or painful poking that usually associated with below the belt treatments with Emsella. Targeting the pelvic floor muscles, this high tech chair, (which you sit on fully clothed) fires electromagnetic waves into the pelvic area causing 12,000 Kegel like contractions in just one half-hour session. Rather than being painful, some say it’s a pleasurable sensation – often described as orgasmic. Strengthening internal muscles hugely helps to improve urinary stress and urge incontinence (you can get back on the trampoline!) as giving your one’s sex life a boost. For optimal results, a course of two treatments per week for three weeks is recommended but women with contraceptive coils, pacemakers or metal implants are not suitable for treatment.
Who to see: Dr Rita Rakus, 020 74607324; drritarakus.com
Cost: £2,000 for a course of six treatments.
Best for: Lifting your butt - CoolTone
Toning and sculpting muscles in a way no gym workout ever could, CoolTone is a new body contouring device that delivers high-energy electromagnetic pulses (the kind that cannot be achieved by voluntary muscle action) to contract muscles on the abdomen, thighs and buttocks with pretty perky results, strengthening muscle tone and enhancing fat metabolism to give lift and better tone. One usually needs a series of six sessions spaced three days apart, followed up with maintenance treatments once a month as required. The only caveat is this treatment works best on a skinny-ish person looking for fine-tuning rather than heavier builds with significant pinchable fat.
Downtime: Each session takes about half an hour, and while it’s not painful it feels fairly intense – switching between intense tapping to muscle contraction and afterwards muscles feel slightly achy and you feel the burn like you’ve been tummy crunching with Kayla Itsines.
Who to see: Magda Szczukiewicz 020 3319 3637; cosmeticskinclinic.com
Cost: A single treatment is £400 or a course of six from £2000.
Best for: rosacea and thread veins - Vbeam Prima
Vbeam is a pulsed-dye laser that’s excellent at treating issues related to the body's network of blood vessels; broken capillaries, rosacea, port wine stains and spider veins. Launched earlier this year, this latest model of the laser is 50 per cent more powerful than the previous version, treating larger areas like cheeks at lighting speed (a whole face only takes 10-15 minutes).
Downtime: The good news is the wince factor is low as a built-in Integrated Dynamic Cooling Device sprays a cold (cryogen) mist across the skin, eliminating any discomfort beyond a warm, tingling sensation and there is minimal downtime - it may cause pink flushing afterwards that lasts a few hours. For best results one to three sessions may be needed about one month apart but stick with it, the results are for many are life-changing.
Who to see: Dr Firas Al-Niami 020 8191 8871: 152harleystreet.com
The cost: from £400 per treatment.
Best for: Putting some pep in your step - Fusion Therapy: Intravenous Laser Therapy and IV Drip
I'm a fan of IV drips and every time I've been on the brink of a bad cold or flu they have brought me back. This is the very latest in IV technology using light intravenously to boost immunity and support overall wellbeing. A low-level infrared laser of either red, (for increased energy), blue (for reducing cholesterol), green (boosting circulation) or yellow light (to enhance one’s mood) is applied, straight into your bloodstream to generate a photochemical response (a reaction in response to light) in damaged or dysfunctional cells. This is done while a bespoke infusion of vitamins such as magnesium, calcium, B complex and booster shots (zinc and selenium) are injected to help eliminate fatigue, improve physical performance, banish hangovers and shake off jet-lag.
Downtime: None – expect to leave with a spring in your step.
Who to see: Dr Shanika Gunafinghe at Bellecell.com
Cost: from £400 for a one-hour session.
Best for: Facial contouring and ironing out eye bags - Meso Sculpt C71
A new, injectable solution for smoothing out double chins, jowls and under-eye puffiness, Meso Sculpt C71 is a series of injections that dissolve the localised build-up of unwanted facial fat deposits that rob the face of its youthful contours - working particularly well on ironing out tricky eye bags. The injection itself can feel a little bit stingy (but if you have a low pain threshold the doctor can administer some local anaesthetic). The effects are permanent.
Downtime: Unlike traditional fat reduction injections, there is less risk of bruising with Meso Sculpt C71 and there have been no cases of bruising at the clinic so far.
Who to see: Dr Hala Mahfoud, 020 7371 8939; halahealthandbeauty.co.uk
The cost: £150 per syringe.
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