Tuesday afternoon and I am holding hands with a very well-known actress. She is squeezing my fingers so hard the tips are turning blue.
We are in the clinic of one of London’s top cosmetic doctors, a professional I trust with my own face, and who is deftly injecting a long-lasting moisturising liquid called Profhilo into the A-lister’s lower face and neck.
Holding clients’ hands, both physically and metaphorically, is an important part of my new job.
As a beauty editor for ten years at society bible Tatler, I’ve trialled pretty much every non-invasive cosmetic procedure on the market, from Botox to fat-freezing. In the name of research, I’ve visited countless clinics from Monaco to Seoul and felt faint watching surgeons perform cosmetic operations from nose jobs to eyelid lifts.
Women would constantly ask me what I recommended to fix crow’s feet or who to see for a ‘mummy makeover’ — a breast lift and tummy tuck.
Olivia Falcon (pictured) who is the founder of The Editor’s List, revealed a selection of beauty treatments she has recommended for her A-list clients
So, a year ago, I decided to turn my little black book into a business, The Editor’s List (editorslist.co.uk), a ‘cosmetic concierge’ service that matches women to the best, most experienced cosmetic doctors, dermatologists and surgeons.
And what an eye-opener it’s been. I now have more than 200 clients, many of whom pay me a monthly retainer to book appointments and chaperone them.
They range from billionaires’ wives, top models, movie stars, women at the tops of their careers, fretting brides-to-be, mums who don’t want to look mumsy and super-glam grans. I’ll send them across continents to get the best treatment if need be (and budget allows), and I give them honest, impartial advice.
My actress, who has just turned 50, has booked my services for a full-body overhaul. She wants teeth whitening, a breast uplift and a ‘liquid facelift’, which will restore her defined cheekbones and jawline with fillers.
She wants her sparse eyebrows made fuller with microblading — a brow-defining semi-permanent tattoo. I’ve arranged for her to have her soles — battered from years of walking red carpets in heels — plumped up with fat from her tummy.
My clients have the same problems as many of us — rosacea, large pores, dark under-eye circles and cellulite — and I can help fix those, too.
But I also open the door to some highly specialised tweaks that people who live their lives under intense scrutiny demand.
You may not know these ‘tweaks’ exist, but they can make a remarkable difference to the way someone looks. Let me reveal the newest and most in-demand services that the world’s most glamorous women are booking.
Olivia (pictured) who was a beauty editor at Tatler for ten years, advises those who are weary about bikini season to try ‘The Button Up Treatment’ by Dr Nyla Raja
WRINKLE-FREE BELLY BUTTON
Many celebrity clients go into meltdown at the thought of bikini season scrutiny. If you’ve had any kind of skin expansion and shrinkage through weight loss or pregnancy, or if you are older with sun-damaged skin, you may be affected.
The solution: The Button Up Treatment. Dr Nyla Raja, queen of cosmetic procedures in the North, uses a two-pronged approach to smooth crinkled tummies.
She tightens the skin tissue with three weekly sessions of NuEra radio-frequency. It feels like a hot stone massage and works to stimulate collagen and elastin and can help reduce the appearance of cellulite.
Next she plumps out the fine lines around the navel with Profhilo, an injectable hyaluronic acid, which stimulates collagen receptors in the skin, boosting the dwindling collagen supplies responsible for the crinkling effect. Profhilo also enhances elastin production.
The hyaluronic acid deeply hydrates too, for smoother, more youthful-looking skin texture.
Who to see: Dr Nyla Raja at MediSpa Cheshire (01625 324061, doctornyla.com).
Cost: From £1,500.
REGAINING YOUR YOUTHFUL SMILE
Many women get hung up on forehead wrinkles and saggy jowls, but the ageing face has subtle nuances. Over time, the skin between the nose and upper lip elongates because of the loss of elasticity and gravity.
The result is that the upper lip becomes flat and covers the top teeth, to the extent that it’s common only to see an older woman’s bottom teeth when they smile. The philtrum, the triangular peak of skin between mouth and nose, flattens out, too. This ruins the perfect ratios of the lower face we have at 18.
Dr Marwa Ali (pictured) offers Body-shaping injectables at Harrods Wellness Clinic to those in search of a beach-ball bottom
And studies have found that little-to-no tooth show makes a face appear unfriendly.
The solution: The lip lift is a surgical procedure championed by German surgeon Greg Bran, an expert at recreating the face’s youthful ratios. The 45-minute procedure is done under local anaesthetic.
He makes a tiny incision under the nose where natural shadow falls so the scar is hidden. He then removes a strip of skin and gently pulls the deeper tissues underneath upwards, which makes the top lip look fuller. Bruising isn’t usually an issue, but swelling can last a week.
The results, however, are striking — thin lips look fuller without that awful duck face effect of overdone lip fillers. One client was so delighted that she wept with happiness after seeing the big reveal.
Who to see: Mr Greg Bran at GB Aesthetics London (020 3371 1446, gbaesthetics.com).
Cost: From £3,000.
LOSING BEASTLY BINGO WINGS
Slack, flappy skin on the backs of the arms makes plenty of women self-conscious. Lots of my clients won’t wear anything sleeveless.
Fat-freezing techniques such as Coolsculpting can help if fat is the problem, but up to now, the only real solution for saggy skin was bulking up muscles with weeks of weights in the gym.
Women get hung up on wrinkles in their forehead and saggy jowls, but it’s your lips which give the game away
The solution: In September, I will be booking in clients to try the new arm attachments of the Emsculpt, a muscle-stimulating machine which uses high-intensity focused electromagnetic waves to increase muscle tone by up to 16 per cent.
It might not sound like much, but clinical trials and testimonials are compelling. As a side-effect it burns fat, too. The machine already has applicators that work on the tummy and bottom.
Dr Rita Rakus in London will be the first in the UK to have the new arm paddles, which are strapped around the triceps to contract the muscles a staggering 20,000 times per half-hour session for better arm definition and tone.
For best results you need four 30-minute sessions two to three days apart with monthly top-ups.
Who to see: Dr Rita Rakus, London (020 7460 7324, drritarakus.com).
Cost: From £600 per treatment.
Sculptra body contouring at Harrods Wellness Clinic starts from £2,000. The results of the injections can last for around a year
BEACH-BALL BOTTOM WITH NO HIP DIPS
These indents under the hip and above the thigh are a source of strife. Clients tell me they make their legs look bigger, especially in a tight dress or skinny trousers. Others long for an indent-free rounded peach of a bottom. Hip dips can be down to bone structure, over-zealous working out or loss of tissue volume as a result of ageing. Many women have them, myself included.
The solution: Body-shaping injectables. The demand for a beach-ball bottom, championed by the Kardashians, only really started to infiltrate London clinics in the past couple of years.
Dr Marwa Ali, at The Harrods Wellness Clinic, is leading the way with advanced body-shaping injectables. She injects each dip with Sculptra, injectable filler made from poly-L-lactic acid, a synthetic gel that’s used in dissolvable stitches.
After two months you can have a top-up if needed. These injections last around a year and stimulate collagen production to restore lost volume on the upper part of the buttocks caused by ageing.
Who to see: Dr Marwa Ali at Harrods Wellness Clinic (020 7225 5678, harrods.com).
Cost: Sculptra body contouring from £2,000.
A MAKEOVER FOR THE MENOPAUSE
Everyone from Saudi princesses to Chelsea mums are interested in vaginal rejuvenation treatments. Grateful clients tell me that of all the things they’ve tried, this has boosted their confidence, and their lives, the most.
The solution: The ‘O Shot’. Helping improve stress urinary incontinence and menopausal dryness and with a promise of better orgasms too, this intimate injection is made of blood taken from your arm and distilled into a solution of plasma rich platelets (PRP).
Dr Shirin Lakhani in Kent offers the ‘O Shot’to women in search of vaginal rejuvenation. The £1,200 treatment improves menopausal dryness and orgasms
This is rich in growth factors that stimulate stem cells in the tissue to generate new tissue in the two injection sites in and around the vagina where it plumps up skin helping to amplify orgasm.
Before you wince, the doctor thoroughly numbs the area. My go-to doctor, Shirin Lakhani, tells me it works for about 80 per cent of her patients depending on blood quality. People who smoke or regularly take aspirin or ibuprofen, which thin the blood, tend not to get such good results.
Who to see: Dr Shirin Lakhani in Kent (01322 381 205, elite-aesthetics.co.uk).
THE PERMANENT ‘PUSH-UP BRA’
When it comes to breast lifting, surgical procedures are still the gold standard. However, many of my clients are against any kind of surgery so I am constantly looking for helpful alternatives.
The solution: Thread breast lift. For my clients with relatively small breasts (up to a C cup) the PDO Thread Breast Lift is an ideal surgery-free perk up.
It’s not suitable if you’ve had implants as there’s a risk of rupture, and for larger breasts, surgery is still the best option.
About 40 to 50 threads made of polydioxanone, a material used for surgical stitches, are inserted under the skin in a web-like pattern. They act like a push-up bra to lift slack skin and the breast itself by as much as five centimetres.
Although local anaesthetic is used, clients feel a sharp, jarring sensation, particularly around the nipple. The threads also stimulate collagen under the skin, which means that the results improve with time. It also helps skin elasticity and smooths fine lines over the decolletage.
Olivia (pictured) recommends the ‘No-Stitch Facelift’, to those who want a refresh without undergoing surgery with a general anaesthetic
The treatment only takes 90 minutes, and although breasts will feel very tender, bruised and heavy (the doctor advises wearing a support bra for about two weeks), results are good.
Who to see: Dr Victoria Manning and Dr Charlotte Woodward at River Aesthetics clinics in Hampshire and London (01590 608480, riveraesthetics.com).
Cost: from £2,850.
IS IT TIME FOR A FACELIFT UPGRADE?
Like all cosmetic procedures, facelifts have a shelf life. Depending on your age, skin quality and lifestyle, they can last anywhere from seven to ten years.
I have a group of seventy-something clients, who have had facelifts in their 50s and now want a less radical refresh, as well as younger clients who don’t want surgery with a general anaesthetic, and ladies who just like wearing their hair back and don’t want visual scars behind their ears.
The solution: The No-Stitch Facelift. This is essentially a keyhole facelift; five 2mm incisions are made on the sides of the cheeks, the jaw and under the chin.
My clients say the sex-life rejuvenating ‘O Shot’ is the one treatment that has boosted their confidence the most
The surgeon inserts a super-fine cannula in each incision and numbs the face with a mix of local anaesthetic and saline solution to protect the veins and arteries from being disturbed or broken.
He then inserts a probe that fires out radiofrequency energy, which tightens the skin by about 30 to 40 per cent to lift the face.
For a deeper lift, the deep muscular tissue can be pulled with dissolvable internal stitches at the same time. The procedure takes around two hours, usually with a local anaesthetic. People do ache afterwards and one can expect up to ten days of swelling, but this is managed with over-the-counter painkillers. The effects last for three to five years.
Who to see: Dr Munir Somji, Essex and London (020 8418 0362, drmedispa.com).
Cost: From £5,000.
FIXING THOSE HOBBIT FEET
Cosmetic procedures on the feet are becoming much more popular as women become more aware that there are new ways to get rid of bunions and fix hammer toes.
The solution: Foot augmentation. Addressing two common concerns: scrawny, ridged tops of the feet and painful heels, this procedure involves extracting fat from your hips, stomach or bottom and injecting it into the top of the foot to plump up and correct bony ridges, which appear as we age, or in the heels to give more padding.
You’ll have to wear a clunky orthopaedic shoe for a week to ensure things settle. These natural fillers plump the foot and contain stem cells that nourish the collagen for more youthful-looking skin.
Who to see: Mr Haroon Mann in London (orthomann.com, 0844 812 6051).
Cost: From £3,000.
Olivia (pictured) recommends fat grafting to achieve youthful hair, the treatment which starts from £5,000 involves 800 injections in rapid succession
FATTEN UP THAT FINE AND FLYAWAY HAIR
Women tend to lose their hair with age, most notably from the temples and crown. I have clients who had almost given up hope on recovering their youthful swishy locks and were spending a fortune on hair extensions and in some cases couture wigs — until I re-educated them.
The solution: Fat grafting for the hair. Cosmetic surgeon Dr Guillaume Lemierre is using fat injections to thicken up sparse hairlines. Your own fat, harvested from your bottom or thighs, is filtered into a liquid and injected into the scalp to reactivate the growth cycle of healthy and dormant hair follicles.
The doctor numbs the scalp before using about 40 syringes of treated fat to deliver 800 injections in rapid succession.
The results on 30 people (mostly women) have been promising. After a few months, the weak, wispy hair appears to thicken up and look more glossy with new growth coming through three months later.
Who to see: Dr Guillaume Lemierre in London (020 7486 5134, epilium.co.uk).
Cost: From £5,000.
SAYING GOODBYE TO YOUR GRUMPY CHIN
As we get older, the area under the lips hollows out. You can find yourself with jowling, a ‘cobbling’ or ‘orange peel’ effect on the chin, and a downward grumpy-looking pull on the mouth. Thankfully, we’ve come a long way since chin implants that had significant downtime — my clients want results fast.
The solution: VoLux filler. Dr Suha Kersh is one of the most skilled filler injectors I know, and nine out of ten times I show up with a client wanting filler for the mid-face, their chin gets treated, too.
Kersh is one of the first doctors to use VoLux, a thicker injectable filler especially designed to contour the chin and jawline.
She places it into the ‘marionette’ area between the corner of the mouth and chin and fills little duvet-like pockets to stabilise the muscles in the area so that they no longer pull the corner of mouth down, and stop the chin crunching upwards.
It can push forward a naturally weak chin, re-establishing the facial balance, elongating the look of the neck and in some cases making the nose look smaller, too.
VoLux lasts eight to 12 months.
Who to see: Dr Suha Kersh at 23MD in London (020 7078 0302, 23md.co.uk).