The Light Stuff
WHETHER IT'S THE LATEST IN LED FACIALS, VITAMIN-INFUSED RADIANCE BOOSTERS OR ILLUMINATING PRIMERS, IT'S TIME TO SWITCH ON THE LIGHT | By Karena Callen
I’ve always been resistant to facials that aren’t ‘hands-on’ - basically anything involving a machine - with one exception. Therapist Vaishaly Patel introduced me to the skin-enhancing wonders of micro-dermabrasion, which she teams with deep-cleansing extraction, a blast of high frequency, followed by the most indulgent facial massage, bespoke to each client, using Vaishaly’s own blend of organic essential oils. I’m reluctant to use terms like ’10 years younger’ and ‘glowing’ when it comes to my own skin, but whenever I’ve been ‘Vaishaly’d’ the compliments come thick and fast. If I could choose just one luxury for the rest of my life, hand on heart, the Vaishaly Signature Facial would be it.
That said, on a day-to-day basis, I’m a devotee of low-maintenance beauty. I have zero minutes most days of the week to spend in a salon - the main reason that I was double-quick to try out the latest in speedy facials, albeit with no hands in sight. Light therapy, which includes LED, IPL (intense pulse light) and lasers, is fast becoming the go-to for anyone who is time-deprived but desperate for fresher-looking skin. It’s an effective way to diminish uneven skin tone, and to ‘calm’ acne. The Light Salon’s LED Facial is a gentle form of light therapy (by comparison to lasers) which uses a narrow spectrum of long wave light to stimulate your skin’s collagen production. There is no redness, no down-time and it takes just 15 minutes - which even I can spare once in a while. The first stage involves skin being treated with yellow light, while the rest of the session is bespoke to each client, depending on your skin’s needs. After just one session, I can report brighter, less-exhausted looking skin. Definitely worth it.
I’m a huge fan of Scandinavian skincare. There is something about the no-fuss, no-frills approach that I love. I’ve also discovered that the Scandinavians also know a thing or two about skin brightening, probably as a result of being faced with sub-zero temperatures, short summers and long, dark winters. One of my favourite Finnish discoveries is Lumene, a brand that is focused on native ingredients and in particular Arctic super-berries, rich in antioxidants, renowned for their illuminating effect on skin.
When my skin is lacking in luminosity (confession: too many late nights and not enough fresh air), one of my favourite rescues is Lumene Valo (Light) Overnight Bright Sleeping Cream. It’s power-packed with skin-quenching Arctic Spring Water, Cloudberry Seed Extract, and brightening Vitamin C. Best of all, it works while you sleep - and even if you don’t get the desired 8 hours, you’ll wake up with skin that looks rested.
The truest route to radiance is via regular skin maintenance, but for a daily glow, illuminating primers, subtle highlighters (no strobing here, please), sheen and moisture-boosting foundations and tinted moisturisers all of which work their magic instantly. ‘I would also advise following a ‘less is more’ mantra when it comes to make-up and to avoid overloading skin with too many products applied in too many layers,’ say make-up artist, Frances Prescott. Her primer of choice when it comes to delivering fresh, dewy skin in-a-flash? Nars Radiance Primer SPF 35 gives skin a shot of warmth, a hint of pearlescence, with the added benefits of built-in sun protection and Evodia Rutecarpa, a Chinese berry extract renowned for its circulation-boosting properties. If you like a bit more coverage, make-up artist Lica Fensome is a fan of Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue. ‘It does everything you need from a tinted moisturiser in one formulation,’ she says. That includes evening out skin tone, smoothing the skin’s surface so that it’s more light reflective, while moisturising and protecting from the sun. ‘It also delivers a believable sheen without looking like you’re wearing make-up.’ What’s not to love?
Research by Emma Costelloe
Hair By Sam Hoad