Natural born fillers

Contouring’s a buzzword in make-up – now it’s set to transform your skincare too

We’re seeing the next generation of skincare arriving, and it’s all about contouring – creams and skin workouts to give a new definition. The parameters of exercise, and the trend for ‘“fit not thin”, working to get a strong, healthy body, is extending to our faces. We need to apply the same rigour as we do to our bodies, say the skin experts at Clinique, where the new focus is what lies beneath – beneath the chin, that is, and the unwelcome thickening that happens with age. It’s an irony that, as we lose volume in the upper part of our faces, we gain it around the lower half – the jawline loses definition and those dreaded “double chins” build up. It’s partly due to gravity – muscles and fatty deposits atrophy and sink as we get older. But our skin’s arch-enemy, the sun, plays a part, too. “Sun exposure and stress affect the deeper tissues, causing changes in muscles which mean the profile of our face changes,” explains Clinique’s head of Research and Development, Dr Tom Mammone, whose team has been looking into the 3D changes beneath the skin. “It’s also due to Infrared Radiation (IR) from the sun. IR is the culprit in a lot of structural change in the face. Fifty per cent of the sun’s light output is IR and these rays can penetrate very deeply – even to the muscle and bone – causing a lot of these changes affecting the volume of the face.” 
Clinique’s team has been talking to plastic surgeons about ways to tone, lift and firm the jawline, but naturally. “To make a difference, you need to not only tighten skin, but also the bone structure below,” says Mammone.  This is where “facial fitness” comes in. Clinique has developed a new head for their Sonic Cleansing Brush, the Massaging Treatment Applicator (€25), which is a workout tool for the facial muscles – the equivalent of PowerPlate. “The fact is, massage is good for the face,” says Mammone. “It enhances blood flow, the penetration of actives and accelerates the benefits of products.” Use it to apply the Lift & Contour Mask (€48) all along jawline and neck: it aims to tone, contour and sculpt as well as increase the skin barrier. Clinique’s new Sculptwear Lift & Contour Serum (€58) is powered by soy extract, a natural lipid that’s found in the body and set to be the new beauty superpower: “It’s one of the strongest growth factors we know,” says Mammone. It’s also a strong healing agent and helps to tighten and contract skin, while coffee seed and clary sage help diminish accumulation around the jawline.
The serum and mask work as a super-powered cellulite cream for the face, in effect, but with added “matrix enhancers” to build up ever-diminishing collagen and elastin supplies, plus tightening polymers. First impressions are that it certainly firms the neck and jaw area, as well as making skin look a whole lot more radiant and smooth. It also makes you pay attention to a generally forgotten area. At Brown Thomas from July 31; nationwide from May 2016.

This story appears in the July/August issue of The Gloss. Find more features like this in our next issue, out Saturday September 5

A flawless face

Beauty editor Sarah Halliwell has a rare audience with the legendary Laura Mercier

I still have my first great lipstick: a tiny stub the colour of crushed raspberries in a dark brown bullet. I bought this Laura Mercier for my wedding in 1999, because it gave a beautiful natural flush of colour, unlike the brown and heavy matte lipsticks we all wore in the 1990s. What strikes me is that even now, in my forties, I’d head for the Mercier counter for a natural look. The French make-up artist started her brand 20 years ago, and her Tinted Moisturiser and Secret Camouflage have endured throughout the rise and fall of countless others. When I met her in Dublin a few weeks ago for a rare interview, it was clear her vision has remained consistent. “I am glad that I didn’t hop on every wagon during these 20 years,” she reflects. “Our brand is based on teaching and guidance – that was the philosophy from day one – and I always said that it was trend-less.”
Dressed in black Yohji Yamamoto with chunky silver jewellery, Mercier is beautiful, with glowing skin and minimal make-up. In an industry that’s obsessed with always being new, she steers her own course. “I don’t want to create something gimmicky just for the sake of being new,” she says. “What I care about is having the perfect product that performs the best. I’m known to be demanding in terms of performance – a product may have a lovely texture, or melt beautifully into the skin, but my question is always, does it work?” As technologies become available, she incorporates them, making what is good even better.
Mercier started her brand in 1996 with skincare. Her own routine is “very simple: my priority is removing make-up and cleaning the skin. You need a good cleansing process whatever your skin type. But too many women aggress their skin; I’ve learnt that when you aggress your skin, it will respond in a defensive way. I change around my skincare – it is different every day, depending on whether I’m in New York, or Paris, or here – and it’s also different to five years ago. Keep it simple but update it constantly, and use skincare that’s adapted for your skin.”

Mercier’s Modern Classics

1. Foundation Primer Radiance “Women love to wear this by itself,” says Benjamin Ruiz, Mercier’s right-hand man.
Try wearing it instead of foundation for a week: you may never go back. €41.
2. Secret Camouflage Developed in the 1990s to perfect models’ skin on shoots, this concealer has never been bettered. €38.
3. Kajal D’Orient Eye Liner This new carbon black long-wear kajal is luxurious and easy to apply. €27.
4. Tinted Moisturiser SPF20 Before BB and CC creams, there was this. It softens, moisturises, protects and perfects. €48.

This story appears in the June issue of The Gloss. Find more features like this in our next issue, out Thursday July 2

Bright Sparks

Think bright and brilliant for summer and beyond...

Rimmel London’s Colourfest collection by Rita Ora is the definition of cheap and cheerful – yet the colour lasts. Lift any outfit with fingers and toes in canary yellow, orange or berry. €4.49.

If matte is too much, go balmy: bareminerals Pop of Passion Lip Oil-Balm and Blush Balms in peach and rose shades are super-pretty; from €19. Lipstick Queen Frog Prince is the best bit of lip magic we’ve seen for ages: the startling green turns rosebud pink as it adjusts to your own natural lip colour. Flying out of SpaceNK. €24.

It’s full colour ahead, as seen on Chanel’s Cruise catwalk last month: lips in Rouge Allure Velvet L’Éclatante and Le Crayon Levres Fuschia stole the show.

This story appears in the June issue of The Gloss. Find more features like this in our next issue, out Thursday July 2