The beauty biz is smitten with the alphabet – hello, BB, CC DD and, yes, EE creams. Now the latest trend from Asia is brought to you by the letter “V.” Korean women (and many other Asian cultures) equate a V-shaped face – think wider at the temples, tapered to a sharper jawline – as the most coveted silhouette. And to achieve it, their daily ritual includes a slimming facial massage, using pressure points to work the product in to the skin, and target tissue and muscles for a lifted effect. “Facial sculpting massage is not ‘exercise’ for the face per se,” says Isabelle Bellis, a French-born, New York-based facialist and epidemiologist (there’s a six-month wait list for one of her skin sculpting sessions). “Facial sculpting focuses on working the muscles to increase blood flow and oxygenation by improving circulation.”
Now the trend is catching on in North America with a slew of sculpting serums, oils and creams flooding the beauty counter this season like the Clarins Shaping Facial Lift Total V Contouring Serum and YSL The Forever Youth Liberator Y-Shape Concentrate. “If massage is done correctly, you will see a noticeable improvement in the contour of the jawline, plumping of the cheeks, lifting of the brows, reduction of fine lines and smoothing of the overall appearance of the skin,” says Ellis Holevas, Canadian national trainer with Biologique Recherche.
First things first, you’ll need an oil or sculpting cream – without it, fingers will drag on the skin and create friction.
Sculpting massage how-to: We asked Nichola Joss, U.K.-based skincare therapist who regularly caters to stars like Lily Collins and Kate Winslet.
Step 1: Using the palms, move your hands outwards in smooth sweeping movements, working from the centre of the face outwards.
Step 2: Massage the oil or cream onto your skin for one minute using your fingertips and starting from the centre of the face, working outwards and upwards in small circular motions.
Step 3: To firm and tone the jawline, bend your index and middle fingers on both hands and place your chin between your knuckles. Glide along your jawline to under your ears in a firm, sweeping motion. Repeat six times.
Step 4: To improve facial contours place the pads of your thumbs under your cheekbones with your palms facing outwards and gently push up. Work from the centre of the face outwards. Repeat six times.
Step 5: To improve fine lines and wrinkles across the brow area place your fingertips on the centre of your brow and with firm pressure sweep upwards and outwards, moving towards the hairline and finishing at the temples. Repeat six times.
Step 6: Improve the firmness of the skin on the neck by gently using your palms to sweep the oil up the neck area. Then sweep your palms across your chest from left shoulder to right shoulder, sweeping across the décolletage with the palm of the hand. Repeat both sides 3 times. Finally, sweep residual oil onto the back of your hands to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles on hands.