Women of all ages want to put their best face forward daily, whether at work or at play. As we age, it seems to take a little more time and effort, and though they say beauty is only skin deep, we want that skin to shine with a healthy, youthful glow. Though preventative measures to protect skin from showing signs of aging should be taken early in life (like using sunscreen and moisturizers), it’s never too late to start. There are tons of anti-aging products on the market, as well as facial treatments that can minimize wrinkles, enhance suppleness, and even out skin tone. Certain makeups can blur blemishes and wrinkles if used properly, and a change in diet and other habits can ensure radiant skin for years to come.
Stephanie Brick is a certified professional makeup artist, skincare therapist, aesthetician, and cosmetologist who works with clients at Gould’s on the Square. Women come to her for full-body waxing, makeup application, and facial treatments. Of those facial treatments, Brick says glycolic peels are among the most popular. “Glycolic peels — derived from sugar cane — are much more gentle than physician’s strength,” she says. “It will target the surface of the skin to eat away dead skin cells, help with fine lines and wrinkles, and reveal a more dewy, supple skin appearance without making your skin dry and flaky like physician’s strength can.” Adding this to your preventative and correcting skin-treatment plan can make a beautiful difference.
As for brightening and tightening, Brick says adding a skincare product rich in vitamin C, along with your daily sunscreen, will send you on your way to brighter, tighter skin and a more even skin tone. Of course, our skin’s health not only benefits from what we apply topically, but also what we put inside our bodies. Not smoking, getting plenty of sleep, eating a well-balanced diet, exercising, and even just adding fresh lemon slices to your water can promote healthy, glowing skin. Brick has added a few fresh juice blends to her beautifying repertoire and wanted to share one with us. She juices four large organic carrots, a one-inch cube of ginger (less if you prefer), two apples, and half a lemon.
“Adding this simple juice to your diet can make a world of difference for your skin’s appearance,” Brick says. “Also, never forget your SPF and a good eye cream. Those are two of the most important products, not only for anti-aging but also for prevention.”
When it comes to makeup, one of the biggest issues Brick’s clients want help with is under-eye concealer. “With the right concealer and coverage, a person’s eyes can immediately look brighter, more revived, and rejuvenated. It’s a simple step that can completely change the way you look,” she says. “Brightening around the eye area, highlighting on the cheekbones — under the highest point of your brow — and buffing a bronzer on your face can give the appearance of healthier, brighter skin.” Another of her makeup tricks: wear a foundation with a dewy or radiant finish, and it will help to blur the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
In addition to working at Gould’s on the Square, Brick also does hair and makeup through her personal business — girlmakesface — and for the Memphis Bombshells, a company through which she and her business partner, Amanda Hill, offer vintage, pin-up style makeovers and photo sessions. She not only does hair and makeup for photo shoots, but also teaches basic makeup tricks to women with little to no makeup experience, offering free tutorials both on the Memphis Bombshells website and on her YouTube channel.
“While giving lessons and doing makeovers,” Brick says, “I love to talk to my clients to get a feel for not only what they’re wanting to achieve in our sessions, but also their concerns about their appearance. I encounter so many beautiful women who can’t see the beauty they possess due to day-to-day stresses — whether that’s being weighed down at work, adjusting to aging, genetics, or mommy responsibilities. The best part for me is the reveal portion of my makeovers. I’ve had utter shock, tears of joy, laughs, and many hugs. Seeing the beauty that can be achieved through simple makeup tricks has made my clients walk with more confidence. That’s what I love the most about my transformations with hair and makeup.”
Kate Gassaway, RN, MSN, APRN, BC, nurse practitioner, and owner of Solutions Medical Center, also helps transform womens’ appearances and demeanors by offering anti-aging and skin-care treatments. Gassaway says many women who come to Solutions are concerned with correcting wrinkles, and that it’s important to understand the different types of wrinkles and their causes, so that they can be properly treated.
“Dynamic wrinkles form where muscles move the face the most and tend to go very deep,” Gassaway says. “They are similar to ditches in a landscape, and their appearance is obvious even when you aren’t using your facial muscles.” You can ﬁnd them between your eyes — the furrows that give you an angry look — and around your mouth. “Static wrinkles are superﬁcial wrinkles that appear most obviously when your face is moving,” adds Gassaway. “They can give your age away even if the rest of your face is smooth. A great way to battle these types of wrinkles is to do facial resurfacing or Retin-A cream.”
Facial rejuvenation typically focuses on prevention and reduction of wrinkles. Wrinkles are perhaps the most obvious and easily measurable aspect of facial aging, but there are other factors that can contribute to an aged look. “Sometimes wrinkles and ﬁne lines are the only sign of facial aging a person would have,” Gassaway says. “This is typical of relatively young people who have spent too much time in the sun without proper UV protection. But more often, wrinkles are just the tip of the iceberg. In fact, reducing or even eliminating wrinkles may sometimes do relatively little to help take years off one’s face. A number of other age-related changes can contribute to facial aging to varying degree, such as skin laxity and sag; muscle laxity, sag, and atrophy; loss and redistribution of facial fat; facial bone growth; and nose drooping.”
Solutions Medical Center offers a variety of treatments to correct unwanted skin changes. Some of the most popular treatments are neurotoxin injections, dermal ﬁllers, LimeLight treatments, and Clear + Brilliant laser treatments. “The neurotoxins that we use (Botox Cosmetic and Xeomin) are both FDA-approved injectables used to diminish undesirable lines to give a more smooth and youthful appearance,” Gassaway says. “The injection selectively relaxes facial muscles so they do not contract.”
“Our dermal ﬁller injections (Radiesse, Belotero, Juvederm, Voluma) are another approach used to help reduce some of the skin changes associated with aging and to correct lines around the mouth,” she says. “These are injected to reduce or eliminate wrinkles or scar impressions and to enhance lips and tissue volume.”
Gassaway says LimeLight treatments are one of the most effective ways to treat the brown and/or red pigmented areas on your skin. The procedure offers the advantage of improving skin tone and surface imperfections associated with aging and photodamage. “LimeLight treatments are ideal for any part of your face, neck, and décolleté with skin redness, telangiectasia (tiny veins), or brown spots,” she says. “Light (low contrast) brown spots, which were previously difﬁcult to resolve, respond very well to treatment. We have found it to be superior to other IPL (intense pulse light) treatments, but as with many treatments, the skill of the technician and settings set for the session will greatly affect results.”
Clear + Brilliant laser treatments are a unique, new approach to laser skin enhancement and expand skin care to not only address unwanted signs of aging, but also to help prevent them. “Using the same fractional laser technology developed by the makers of Fraxel, Clear + Brilliant laser treatments can help erase the early signs of photodamage, sun damage, ﬁne lines and wrinkles, uneven skin tone, rough skin texture, and large pores,” Gassaway says. “Our Clear + Brilliant laser treatments give us the ability to bridge the gap between ablative and non-ablative laser treatments, as well as provide another option that offers lasting results at signiﬁcantly less cost.”
When it comes to skincare, most of us fall into one of two camps. “There are those of us who never change our routine, using the same harsh face wash and lightweight moisturizer from our high school days. Then there’s the other group who embraces treatments like Botox and acid peels before there’s even a wrinkle in sight,” Gassaway says. “Neither situation is ideal. But with a few simple updates, it’s easy to ﬁnd the happy medium.”
The vast selection of skincare products on the market can be overwhelming. “Our experienced staff has selected some of the top proven medical-grade skincare lines (Obagi, Jan Marini, Image) to help you achieve youthful and healthy looking skin,” says Gassaway. “But the best thing you can do to prevent aging is to wear sunscreen. Women who shield their skin from the sun with a daily sunscreen look younger, have fewer wrinkles, and have smoother, evenly toned complexions. That’s because the sun’s ultraviolet rays are the number-one culprit for damaging collagen — the support structure of the skin. Use a daily moisturizer with SPF 30 — one that contains potent sunscreen ingredients such as avobenzone, zinc oxide, or titanium dioxide.”
Now that you’ve heard from the mouths of experts a few of their favorite tips, tricks, and treatments that can keep your skin looking youthful and radiant, don’t be afraid to get out there and put your best face forward!