Barely had we finished gazing at Madonna’s apparent overload of facial filler, than the world and his wife seem to be obsessing about its prevalence in us ‘civilians’.
A report from the U.S. headlined: ‘The Big Dissolve: They blew out their faces. Now they’re melting them down’ describes how — from around 2016 — armies of Americans strove to look like so many ‘sexy babies’, deploying hyaluronic acid and fat injections to create ‘heart-shaped faces, teeny-tiny noses, and full, puffy lips and cheeks’.
Only, seven years on, the prevailing aesthetic has shifted and the fashionable face has morphed from youthfully pillowy to skeletally ‘snatched’, as it is known.
As a result, legions of chipmunk-cheeked women are spending thousands to have their filler dissolved via injections of the enzyme hyaluronidase.
Meanwhile, the hot new procedure is buccal-fat removal, the face-sculpting vogue whereby fat pads deep in the cheeks are removed to give a more chiselled guise.
The fashionable face has morphed from youthfully pillowy to skeletally ‘snatched’, as it is known
However, given that the modish mug has gone from one extreme to another in less than a decade, why would any of us risk something so permanent?
Especially given that, as it is, one can easily look rather too skeletal in midlife, in terms of facial hollowing.
Instead, the answer will be a little light contouring.
Here I am very much not talking about the old-school, glam-bot, geometrical mask trowelled on by Kim Kardashian and her ilk.
Instead, think the subtle shaping achieved by midlife make-up artist Ali Andreea in her recent YouTube guide.
Even then then, bear in mind that Andreea is a professional, with a perfectionist zeal.
For the rest of us, sculpting may demand little more than a diagonal line under each cheekbone that one blends with one’s blusher, plus a bijou crescent of illumination — or highlighter — on top.
Selena Gomez’s Rare Beauty Positive Light Silky Touch Highlighter (£24, spacenk.com) makes a winning half-moon: four shades of a natural-looking sheen that double as an eye shadow.
But remember not to veer too low with your diagonals, or you will drag your features down.
Ali favours Westman Atelier’s creamy Face Trace Contour Stick (£35, westman-atelier.com), in three hues that include Ganache — a gorgeous espresso for black skins.
Her other great love is Fenty Beauty’s Match Stix Matte Skinstick (£23, boots.com).
Taken with Rihanna’s Match Stix Shimmer Skinstick, there are 20 shades to conceal, brighten, contour and highlight.
To go this nuanced, you’re going to need a bit of experience. If you’re new to face shaping, invest in Kiko’s Sculpting Touch Creamy Stick Contour (£10.99, kikocosmetics.com) to get your eye in and see whether the habit lasts.
Many favour these two matte neutrals over the genre’s costlier classics.
In my own case, I detest any tan addition to the face, which — given my skin’s blue undertones — means I use Byredo Colour Stick in Purple Stinger (£28, libertylondon.com), a sheer mauve.
I add blush, blend, then apply a reverse contour by blending in a diagonal of Chantecaille Real Skin+ Eye and Face Stick (£60, libertylondon.com) up underneath it all.
The result? Contours and curves that make you look elegant and attractive, rather than engorged or atrophied.
RACE YOU TO IT!
Bouncy Brightfacial (£60, spacenk. com) is supercharged with 10 per cent azelaic acid, plus 1 per cent salicylic acid to correct complexion issues from rosacea via acne and its scarring to age spots
Skincare devotees are obsessed with masks from Drunk Elephant. Bouncy Brightfacial (£60, spacenk. com) — its third — is supercharged with 10 per cent azelaic acid, plus 1 per cent salicylic acid to correct complexion issues from rosacea via acne and its scarring to age spots. Apply overnight and skin will look clearer and more radiant by morning.
MY ICON OF THE WEEK
Sofia Vergara, 50, is Hannah’s beauty icon this week. She is obsessed with ‘prevention’
The actress, 50, is obsessed with: ‘Prevention, prevention, prevention.’ She swears by La Roche-Posay Anthelios UVMUNE 400 Invisible Fluid SPF50 (£19, boots.com). Her self-tanner is Vita Liberata Tinted Mousse (£27, also Boots), plus Moroccanoil Shimmering Body Oil (£44.45, moroccanoil.com) to add glow.
Life’s best things are so often its simplest.
Mavala Tinted Lip Balm in Berry (£10, amazon.co.uk) is such a cinch that it doesn’t even require a mirror to apply.
Each bullet lasts an age, it’s cheap enough for you to have one in your bag and another in your pocket, and looks every bit as beautiful as balms five times the price. This super salve comes in berry, peach, candy and vanilla, depending on your colouring, all with an SPF15 and flush with nourishing shea butter, aloe vera, plus vitamins A and E.
Mavala Tinted Lip Balm in Berry (£10, amazon.co.uk) is such a cinch that it doesn’t even require a mirror to apply
TikTok-ers have been snapping up the berry hue to create the ‘cold girl’ winter make-up trend.
It’s just as glorious on February’s freezing midlife woman.
- Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Concentrated Hand Cream (£1.50 for 15ml, boots.com). A dab of this glycerin-rich classic soothes raw, sore hands in seconds.
Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Concentrated Hand Cream (£1.50 for 15ml, boots.com)
- L’Occitane Mini Shea Butter Hand Cream (£9 for 30ml, uk. loccitane.com). This softening salve imparts instant calm on the move.
L’Occitane Mini Shea Butter Hand Cream (£9 for 30ml, uk. loccitane.com)
- Chanel La Crème Main (£46 for 50ml, chanel.com). A fragrant luxury gel/lotion that melts silkily into hands in this chic pod, great for travel. This softening salve imparts instant calm on the move.
Chanel La Crème Main (£46 for 50ml, chanel.com)
Supergoop Hand Screen SPF 40 (£14, 30ml, revolve.com). Hands are exposed to sun-ageing second only to the face — this protects as it hydrates.
Supergoop Hand Screen SPF 40 (£14, 30ml, revolve.com)
Dr Hauschka Travel Hydrating Hand Cream (£3 for 10ml, sephora.co.uk). The best organic travel salve, wonderful on dermatitis and ‘alligator’ elbows.
Dr Hauschka Travel Hydrating Hand Cream (£3 for 10ml, sephora.co.uk)