If pulling your facial skin upward makes you look significantly younger, it might be a sign: “Place two fingers on each side of your face and lift the skin up. If you see a noticeable improvement, then you could benefit from some type of lift,” says Short Hills, NJ facial plastic surgeon Alexander Ovchinsky, MD. While the effects of aging can be a real downer, these trending makeup, skin-care and cosmetic fixes can help our faces defy gravity.
Last year, our appearance quickly became our hottest commodity thanks to today’s digital renaissance. In this virtually-driven world, there’s an increased interest in the ways we can look better on the other side of the screen. The good news is, you don’t have to go the full Monty to rejuvenate and restore your face, as makeup techniques and skin firming treatments prove, you can do more with less.
According to the pros, these tried-and-true methods give the face an instantly lifted look.
Longer eyebrows can visually pull the face down, says founder and CEO of Anastasia Beverly Hills Anastasia Soare. “Eyebrows should end where the corner of the nostril connects with the outer corner of the eye,” she explains. “If you’re trying to offset fine lines or drooping eyes, make your eyebrow a little shorter by 1-2mm.” Next, Soare says to create a bigger lift at the arch, filling out more above than below. “Then, lower the inner portion of the eyebrow, which will work to create a greater arch and greater lift.”
Contouring was once synonymous with facial slimming, but applying it higher brings the focus to the upper third of the face says celebrity makeup artist D’Andre Michael. “The idea is to lift, so begin between the outer edge of your eye and your ear, slightly above the hollow of your cheekbones and always blend up,” he explains. The same goes for blush. “Apply it right above the contour. Start at the apple of the cheeks, towards the cheekbone and blend, blend, blend upwards.”
Celebrity makeup artist Sandy Linter relies on strategic liner placement to anti-age the eye area. “Start lining at the ends and tweak your eyeliner upward,” she advises. “Don’t stop at the end of your eye but keep the line moving up and continue to tweak higher using a pointed Q-tip or an angled brush.” For even more of a lifting effect, Michael says to highlight along the brow bone and use concealer at the corner of the eyes: “This will widen them and keep the focus up top.”
To tighten skin, energy-based tighteners that are either ultrasound or radio-frequency based will heat up the tissue, causing it to contract. “These work by delivering various modes of energy into the soft tissues to stimulate collagen production, which in turn provides a firming effect,” says Dr. Ovchinsky. “Ultherapy, ThermiTight and RF Microneedling such as Morpheus8 can help improve skin laxity.” Skin tighteners can help the appropriate patient, but efficacy and longevity can be unpredictable.“ Women over 40 are interested in preventing sagging in the brow and lower face,” says New York facial plastic surgeon Lee Ann M. Klausner, MD. “Sofwave is a newer generation of ultrasound that is faster, more efficient, can be customized and allows patients to immediately return to their normal activities.”
The “Liquid Facelift”
Not to be confused with an actual facelift, this nonsurgical treatment uses a combination of injectables—like wrinkle relaxing neurotoxins Botox Cosmetic, Xeomin, Dysport and Jeuveau, and various volumizing treatments like Restylane, Juvéderm and RHA fillers—to reduce minor sagging and restore lost volume. While not appropriate for everyone, especially patients with significant laxity, it can address a variety of facial concerns in one sitting. “It not only softens lines and diminishes nasolabial folds, it also corrects sunken-in under-eyes, smooths the forehead, lifts the brow, adds volume to the cheeks and reduces the look of jowling,” says Wayne, NJ facial plastic surgeon Jeffrey B. Wise, MD. “It’s quick and serves as a preview of what it could look like if you went the more invasive route down the road.”
Thread lifts are another nonsurgical option for tightening sagging in certain areas of the face, but results are subtle, temporary and repeated maintenance is needed. “Thread lifts use special barbed sutures to reposition mildly sagging skin and soft tissues in order to improve facial contour,” Dr. Ovchinsky explains.
The Lower Lift
Minimal skin-tightening treatments are OK says Chicago plastic surgeon Michael Byun, MD, but repeated nonsurgical procedures that heat the tissue may cause concern over time instead of improvement. “It’s like taking a gift box that has been bent and heating up the cellophane wrapping paper without restoring the shape of the box itself,” describes the surgeon. “Yes, the cellophane will shrink and contract, but it will not maintain the appropriate form.”
To get the ‘appropriate form,’ as Dr. Byun says, a lower facelift that lifts the lower two thirds of the face may be a good option for tightening, jowl correction and neck and jawline improvement. “However, a more extensive surgery, like a deep plane facelift, will not only tighten the face and neck but also revolumize the midface as it repositions the droopy malar soft tissues and malar fat pad higher up,” adds Dr. Ovchinsky.
Dr. Byun says, when his patients are ready to “repair their system,” he performs a “mid-face muscle lift” in which he uses an endoscope to reposition muscles back to their original site. “Essentially, I’m making their face appear smaller, like how it was when they were younger.”
“As we age, we lose facial fat, bone density, and our ligaments and tissues loosen,” says Glen Burnie, MD plastic surgeon Adam Summers, MD. “A typical facelift repairs the ligaments by relocating the tissues while the skin is brought along for the ride. I developed a technique that reduces how skin is pulled during surgery by repairing the ligaments with permanent sutures that hold up the tissues so there’s never any tension on the skin.”
“There is no one universal facelift that can produce a good result in every patient. The procedure needs to be individualized to get the best result,” says La Jolla, CA plastic surgeon Robert Singer, MD. “All facelifts that address the deeper tissue can improve the midface.
These at-home face heroes will help give you a smoother look.
With a hero ingredient that is proven to work faster than retinol, Lira Clinical PRO Retinal-Plus Treatment ($142) encourages skin hydration, radiance and renewal.
Wake up to taut skin with Luzern Laboratories Crème Nuit ($325), an overnight treatment that includes retinol, peptides, bakuchiol, and a multi-fermentation complex of enzymes, hyaluronic acid, probiotics and vitamins.
DMK Limited Eye Web ($188) is Michael’s favorite way to give the eyes a rested appearance: “It instantly tightens skin, eliminates puffiness and smooths lines.”
Press 4-6 drops into the skin or use a facial tool to deliver Allies of Skin CE15 Bakuchiol Firming Oil’s ($145) skin smoothing benefits thanks to vitamin C, vitamin E, bakuchiol and CoQ10.
Linter says makeup artists’ secret red-carpet trick is face and neck tape. The only one she recommends is Mark Traynor The Face Lift Kit ($20), which includes a face string, two neck strings and the brand’s Invisitape, which has been helping pull together starlets since 1969.
Target the brows, under eyes, cheeks forehead and jawline in just five minutes with FaceGym’s Pure Lift Face ($520) device which delivers patented electrical impulses to visibly lift and tone.
Clinically-tested to reduce marks of aging like fine lines, hyperpigmentation and crepey skin, Aforé BeautyCR Emulsion ($300) combines CBD, retinol and a blend of peptides.