Use the balm to massage facial muscles for one minute. Tension can spread from the jawline to the muscles beneath the cheekbones, so press your fingers up into the hollows of your cheekbones, firmly kneading with the fingertips.
Although some balms emulsify on contact with water, we prefer the old-school variations that are removed with a cloth. Aurelia Probiotic Skincare Miracle Cleanser comes with a muslin cloth that acts like a daily exfoliator for dead skin cells.
This product instantly propels us back to the ’50s when a famous advert declared: “She’s engaged! She’s lovely! She uses Pond’s!”. An insider’s go-to for extremely dry or sensitive skin, Avène Cold Cream has a light, gel-like texture that doesn’t feel cloying, and contains white beeswax to shield skin against irritants – particularly important as the natural protective barrier has broken down. It also ticks the ‘travel light’ box by being cleverly triple-duty: use as a
cleanser by massaging into skin and splashing off; as a daily moisturizer; or slather on for ten minutes for a hydrating mask.
While a light gel moisturizer suits summer, the colder months call for an ointment that protects and soothes. Originally created for Marilyn Monroe in 1956 by Dr Erno Laszlo (the original Hollywood dermatologist), Phormula 3-9 forms a hydrating barrier to shield skin from irritants. It also has repairing properties that are particularly effective on post-surgery scarring. HealGel Intensive is another old-school curative with cutting-edge dermatology: when applied two to three times a day, it helps reduce minor scarring from burns and enhances the healing process.
Before air-con, women doused their faces with cologne-soaked handkerchiefs. Facial mists have the same cooling qualities (but no drying alcohol content), and are as hard-working as they are
refreshing. Caudalie Beauty Elixir is a classic, containing powerful antioxidants that neutralize the free radicals that cause aging. Chantecaille Pure Rosewater mist harnesses the hydrating properties of rose essential oils. Today, makeup artists use them to revive dry and cakey makeup by misting the face, leaving for ten seconds, then absorbing excess moisture with a tissue.
Hollywood cameramen in the ’20s created a flattering soft focus by smearing the camera lens with Vaseline. Modern skincare can now have the same result – without the mess – by using molecules that bounce light off the skin to give a hazy effect. It is barely perceptible to the eye, but it is enough to soften fine lines and balance uneven tone. Le Métier de Beauté Peau Vierge Tinted Anti-Aging Complexe provides a hint of coverage with a luminescent quality that blurs imperfections.