Not a Dry Run

8th March 2019

Lisa Botwright offers a round-up of 2019 beauty trends: how sustainability and wellness are some of the primary concerns of the discerning consumer; how the demand for non-invasive and non-surgical aesthetic treatments mean much more natural results and far less downtime, and how people are spending more than ever on the maintenance of their skin and brows.…

Witnessing an ocean of change:

The green wheels are turning, and more people are making a conscious choice to combine looking good with feeling good about the planet. Lush is leading the way in demonstrating imaginative solutions to reducing plastic waste and opened its first ‘naked’ UK store in Manchester this January, offering solid, packaging-free incarnations of everything from shampoo to makeup. With this store and their two first two naked stores that opened in Berlin and Milan last year, they estimate that they’re responsible for up to 616,880 hair washes that haven’t come from plastic bottles!

At the same time, consumers are coming back around to the benefits of the humble, packing-free bar of soap, with Waitrose reporting a 7.1 per cent rise in sales of those traditional bars once only associated with apricot bath suites and frilly loo covers.

Also on the rise is the trend for #waterlessbeauty – addressing global concerns about the huge amount of water that needlessly goes into our beauty products, wasting our most precious natural resource. Cosmetics giant L’Oréal has thankfully committed to reducing water (its most-used ingredient) by 60 per cent by 2020 and Unilever has agreed to halve the water the water it uses by 2020.

If you’re suspicious that ‘dry beauty’ might equal ‘parched or lacking’, think again. Some fabulous examples are Rodin’s luxury Facial Cleansing Powder that blends rice bran extract with sea algae and orange essential oils. Once a little water is added at home, the powder becomes creamy and leaves skin really soft (£32 www.net-a-porter.com). Then there’s the ever-tempting Charlotte Tilbury’s new and nourishing dry sheet mask, full of peptides, oils and butters and super nourishing. The advantage of using this is that since it isn’t a wet formula, it won’t harbour bacteria, and so can be re-used several times (£18 www.charlottetilbury.com).

Taking care of your body, inside and out:

A seventeenth century poet might once have claimed that ‘beauty is only skin deep’, but in 2019 we recognise that this is far from true. The demand for wellness-driven beauty is on the rise, and people understand that basic factors like hydration and a balanced diet are just as important as potent topical ingredients.

IV treatments, which are designed to deliver a concentrated boost of targeted vitamins and nutrients, are no longer the preserve of the rich and famous and are increasingly becoming just as mainstream – and just as affordable – as a good facial. Reviv is the largest global IV provider (with a local practice in nearby Northwood Hills) and offers a range of signature IVs for different concerns. Want radiant skin? Try a high dose of anti-oxidant glutathione and vitamin C; or if you want a boost in energy opt for an infusion of vitamin B12, antioxidants, nutrients, minerals and electrolytes.

Consumers are getting far more savvy about what they eat – while in 2018 we counted counted macronutrients (the key energy sources that our bodies need) rather than calories – now it’s all about mesonutrients. In Greek, macro means big while meso translates as ‘inside’. So this means learning more about the specific active compounds inside nutritious foods that make them so good for us. For example, we all know that turmeric has wonderful health benefits, but it’s the curcumin that delivers the potent anti-inflammatory kick. Supplements aiming to boost our mesonutrients will be all over the health news this year.

Framing your face:

“Lashes are life,” claims Bianca Willoughby of the Lash Lounge in Hemel Hempstead, a leading practitioner in the business of making the most of the ‘windows to our souls’. In 2019, we care a lot about our eyebrows and our eyelashes: eyes can be opened up beautifully with a natural and long-lasting set of eyelash extensions, and brows must be professionally tamed for maximum effect. “Once my customers are happy with their brows and lashes,” she tells me, “they’re ready to face the world: they feel they don’t have to ‘faff’ so much with their makeup.”

Eyelash extensions no longer cause harm to your original lashes (although it’s common sense to go to a reputable technician to have them applied or removed and, of course, never to pick at them) and are much more natural, lightweight and longer lasting – plus, temptingly, the price has more than halved over the last few years. If you already have half-decent lashes, opt for an LVL treatment (length, volume, lift). A therapist will apply a serum to lift and set the lashes into a semi-permanent curl, and then dye them, allowing you to temporarily ditch your mascara. The whole thing needs no upkeep and will last around 4-6 weeks.

The fact that brows can radically alter your look and flatter your face means that people are moving beyond the clever use of shaping and dying, into more permanent solutions. Microblading is a long-lasting way to achieve the kind of brows you want, without having to take the time to pencil them in every day. For those who are unhappy with their natural shape, who’ve over-plucked in the past or, or even those with a medical reason for sparse eyebrows, it’s ideal. It involves using a specialised manual hand tool to create fine, natural-looking strokes or pigment. Done well – and it’s so important to use an experienced practitioner you trust – it will create the illusion of real hairs.

Using technology to delay signs of ageing:

For those choosing to delay the signs of ageing, surgery – risky and possibly painful, with all the downtime it entails – is no longer the primary option. There’s now a huge amount of choice of non-invasive options within the field of aesthetics, refined over the last couple of decades to make them safer, less expensive and more natural-looking.

Botox and fillers will remain the most popular options in 2019. Kelly Critcher, a qualified nurse and co-founder of KC Aesthetics in Croxley Green, says that in her view, “botox, which started as a medical treatment after all, has become a much more acceptable way of treating wrinkles. Social media has made us even more aware of wanting to look and feel good, and botox can naturally enhance the way you look.”

Once viewed with suspicion, botox has now been used for so long that medical studies can vouch for its relative safety. “As a nurse, my first instinct is to want to make things better for my clients,” says Kelly.
Fillers and skin resurfacing treatments similarly carry little risk, proving they’re carried out by qualified practitioners. “The material used for fillers has progressed so much that if a client is unhappy with the way they look after the treatment, the filler can simply be dissolved,” Kelly explains. Chemical peels, which once required weeks of downtime as skin healed, are now pain-free and any redness is gone in a matter of hours. “The next day skin looks smooth and glowing,” according to Kelly.

For those wanting to target specific concerns, aesthetics in 2019 will be offering ever-more exciting solutions. Dr Sabika Karim, Cosmetic Physician and Medical Director of Revere Clinics (based in Northwood and London’s Harley Street) is particularly excited about a new laser light treatment – Pico Genesis FX – that has been shown to be very effective at combatting acne scarring, fine lines and sun damage. Dr Karim says: “This treatment penetrates the skin deep down, regenerating skin so that it’s smooth, not scarred.” According to Dr Karim, it has more noticeable results than laser resurfacing and micro needling.

With so much choice, good aesthetic practitioners will offer bespoke treatments using a combination of the latest technology to get the best results.

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