In my late 30s my face was quite seriously in decline,. It had been on the way down for years. People would comment on how tired I look. It's not great when this happens, but, I couldn't imagine that my face had the capacity to repay any extra effort.
When there's a family wedding looming I start looking for a miracle cream online, but I get a bit sidetracked and started looking at facial exercise instead.
From what I read there are 2 possible sources of the disconcerting change in my appearance.
Either, my face is drooping because the skin is now too big for it and needs to be shrunk with special creams or cut to size.
Or, the face is drooping because the facial muscles are flabby and training then will tone it up.
Both these options are mistaken, but even so it's fortunate that I choose the firm-it-up option, as this works far better than the big skin approach, and I learn some valuable things from it... where my facial muscles are, where they insert and terminate, how they feel. I also learn, and Deborah Crowley is the bold pioneer who pointed this out to me, that pulling, stretching and manipulating the skin makes it stronger, thicker and more elastic, a priceless piece of information that puts the value of facial products into perspective. I haven't bought an expensive moisturiser for many years now.
I arrive at my own programme almost by instinct. I begin by training everything, but certain muscle groups are making a disproportionate good difference to the face's shape and firmness, and I'm noticing also a warm, almost magical glow when I exercise them. I'm excited because as my face feels as weightless as a child's, and excited also because I think I'm on to something like a formula for lifting the face with exercise.
Looking youthful, looking pretty, looking happy, everything appealing in a face is latent in the specific muscles that can light up your face. They are literally holding the face up. They will stretch as the weight of the skin tells on them over the years. Tightening them directly and effectively pulls the face up like a face-lift, and they always look good.
There's no reason on earth why everyone isn't doing this. It's risk-free, feels good, looks good, is good.
Along the way I discover more interesting stuff... Why we use Botox instead of fillers for wrinkles, why Frenchwomen are irresistible to Englishmen, why a middle-aged woman is invisible to a.teenager.
My skin is waking up and stretching itself like a cat after a long period lying inert and unloved. I have just an inkling of how it feels to have a glorious, ageless face like Tina Turner. I stand in any light like I did as a youngster, I'm never conscious of my face as such, and I have no fear of ageing because my face is growing to represent me. Like so many women I've been trying to preserve my 20-year old face, fainter and fainter echoes of it are achieved by freezing and stuffing what's left of it. But now my older face looks more and more like me every day. And even though for much of my life I've been a bit lost and confused, nevertheless my face has miraculously acquired a little authority and wisdom.
So we are lifting the muscles that create the joyful face of a bride, an athlete with a new personal best, a proud mother at a graduation ceremony. I never thought I'd look this good again. I'm not perfect, but wow I'm special.
In this context the tiny benefits offered by moisturisers, serums and eye cream, are too negligible to bother with, and I dispense with them altogether. I only use baby bath, sunblock and spray-on fake tan.
This older face has power. My face viewed a certain way in the mirror invites comparison with all the younger, prettier faces in media images. My face out in the real world is unconfined, it projects and engages, it is always gathering sophistication and subtlety of expression.
I wrote my book Ageless if you Dare in 2008 and I guess it has spoken to a lot of people because I'm giving lessons all the time. Women want to discover their own aura and their own spell. People are recognising that the media/advertising images of women are banal, repetitive, interchangeable. The unprecedented face is much cooler and infinitely more fascinating. And everyone has the potential to bring theirs out into the light.
The face is completely misunderstood by most people. It's a tight mass of muscle and skin, not a loose group of separate muscles. The face ages because this entire mass of flesh shifts downward in one piece. Ageless if you Dare pulls it back up, and out, as a surgical facelift does.
Many, many issues that women have with their faces stem from this one, eastly reversed development. The older face hangs in a pattern that could hardly be more obvious.
Every issue from thin cheeks to loose jowls has the same cause, and Ageless if you Dare addresses it directly.
What, say, the jaw really needs is for sagging flesh to be lifted clear, revealing the clean line underneath, marionette and nose-mouth folds are erased when the flesh sits high on the bone. Tightening the muscles that hold the face up fills out your cheeks and reverses everything you love least about your older face.
The skin follows automatically and immediately.
Dealing with the skin (and not with the underlying framework) isn't helpfull because the sag isn't in the skin.
In essence, your bedsprings are getting worn out, and you're putting fabric conditioner on the mattress.
Ageless if you Dare doesn't cause permanent wrinkles or damage the skin. The reverse is true.
The eye area is smoothed out, flattened and firmed All issues are rooted in the condition of one muscle. Again, the work is quick and simple.
Massage and Skin. There's a massive benefit to treating the skin like the living thing it is. It brings it to life.
The face is constantly fading and in decline because we don't stimulate it and leave it to deteriorate.
Work on the skin itself, getting your hands to it, encouraging it to thicken and repair itself.