"Dr. Diane Wong, founder of Glow Medi Spa in Toronto's tony Yorkville says: Women are willing to spend a lot of money on their faces because it's worth it to look our best. Our faces, our skin, can tell a story in a few seconds. A first impression is important, so we want to make it a good one."
AT WHAT PRICE BEAUTY? How much would you pay for younger looking skin? Beth Thompson asks is the sticker shock worth it?
By Beth Thompson
IF WRINKLES TAKE DECADES TO DEVELOP, why do they seem to appear overnight?
This is what I’m contemplating as I examine my mug in the morning mirror, fixated on a crevice that has carved a path under my left eye.
Clearly, my beauty routine needs an about face: the time has come to leave behind the drugstore brands of my youth and move onto the power players in the prestige market.
Spending considerable coin on a pot of cream starts to make more sense after 40. Attitudes, like skin, loosen around mid-life, meaning anything can be rationalized. Drop some dough on a few beautiful bags or drop some dough on a few not-so-beautiful bags. Same difference, right?
Well, therein lies the question. We’re drawn to luxury goods because we know what we’re getting when we open our wallet to Gucci or Prada. But what’s the lure of high-end skin care and, more importantly, does it live up to its price tag?
I’m making it my mission to find out, starting with eye products, typically a woman’s first foray into prestige products, given that this is the area to show early signs of aging.
Dr. Diane Wong, founder of Glow Medi Spa in Toronto’s tony Yorkville, agrees: “Women are willing to spend a lot of money on their faces because it’s worth it to look our best. Our faces, our skin, can tell a story in a few seconds. A first impression is important, so we want to make it a good one.”
Wong offers a number of luxe options at her clinic, including Neotensil, the so-called shapewear for eyes that launched last September in Canada. Marketed by Living Proof, of which the perennially youthful 46-year-old Jennifer Aniston is a partner, the product is getting a lot of buzz on both sides of the border for its fast-acting results.
Touted as revolutionary in the skincare game, the polymer based cream claims to reshape the appearance of skin for up to 16 hours by compressing under-eye bags.
Revolutionary, it turns out, is not too strong a word for Neotensil, developed in labs at Harvard and MIT. Basically, it erases five years with five minutes’ effort. Here’s how it works: after cleansing the under-eye area, you apply the reshaping cream base that acts as a primer, then you brush on the activating layer. Combined, the two create a cross-linked invisible film that constrict and lift the skin as it dries. The hardest part of the process is the 15 minutes you need to wait, expressionless, while the product sets. The film will continue to tighten for up to three hours, but you’re good to go after the initial wait.
Each $500 kit comes with about 50 applications, though you’ll likely waste the first few getting the hang of how to apply it properly. That said, it’s not a steep learning curve. “If you can put on mascara, you can do this,” says Catherine Lu, Glow’s medical esthetician.
After the procedure, I met a few beauty writers for drinks, wondering if they’d “see” the product and call me out, but the only comments I got were positive: “Wow, you look really relaxed tonight.”
Says Wong, that’s a common reaction. “People say you look brighter, more refreshed, but they can’t quite put their finger on it.”
To that I say, bring on the shapewear – Grandma’s girdle this ain’t.
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