So, you go to the launch of a new facial oil, and you come away having found out that you win the prize for worst jaw in the room. How did THAT happen?
L’Oreal Paris’ Age Perfect Extraordinary Oil, €22.99, has been in Boots for a good while now and I’ve been giving it the curious side-eye, cos I do love me a facial oil. Now that it’s in national distribution we can all be curious, and an oil that’s under €25 is definitely something I can get down with, considering I’ve trekked a furrow to the Clarins counter for four bottles of Santal oil since Christmas.
This contains your usual blend of essential and omega oils to do things like skin-smoothing, anti-ageing and provide antioxidant benefits. It certainly smells delish; floral and clean, plus there’s that essential fine-feeling, non-greasy result. You get 30ml in a pipette-style bottle and if you’re already an oils devotee, it’s all a bit so normal, so usual. We know all about these products, uhuh.
But I’m guessing that L’Oreal Paris is not aiming this at the likes of anyone who’s been using oils for years. This is for that customer who may have been coming around to the idea of oil via the hair oil revolution, and thinks that maybe, possibly, now it’s time for some skin action. I’ve started using the oil, and will report back on whether it’ll do the job for dry skin.
To complement it, there’s a gel-like, oil-enriched cream, €20.99, and that’s where the trouble started. In town for the event was facial and tan specialist Michaella Bolder, who works with ‘sleb clients like Kelly Brook, and who is an enthusiastic devotee of facial massage, which she was doing on the model above, using the cream.
Now, I’ve had a lot of facial massage in my time: the flicky, fiddly Hungarian type; the soothe your senses Japanese variety. Michaella’s method is a little more … intense. She really advocates a firm hand as part of a holistic approach to treating your body as a system. Jaw stress can manifest in headaches, plus neck and shoulder problems, for example, and can – she says – be the thing to look at first.
So, in order to show us the correct parts of our faces to massage and the points to work, she had a go of all of our faces.
At an event filled with magazine and beauty editors, yep, you can probably expect to see the results of a few clenched jaws and stress-faces. But I’m not quite sure Michaella expected what she got – almost all of us had some issue with lockjaw, from mild to severe, as well as tension in our jaws and faces.
Sitting at the back of the room, I was watching all this going on and practicing opening and closing my mouth, thinking, “no way will I have lockjaw.” When Michaella got to me, she put her hands on the sides of my face, asked me to open and close my mouth a few times before declaring that I had the worst jaw in the room.
In one way, I’m kinda proud of this (I win at stress! Oh…) and in another I’m all like, “wah, get rid of it quick.” Using some of her own techniques, Michaella very firmly massaged the sides of my jaw – Christ, it hurt – and my back and shoulders – it hurt, more – and told me I needed to keep it up to try to dispel the tension in the muscles.
So while I definitely got more than I bargained for when I arrived to check out the product, I’m totally glad I did. I already massage my sinus pressure points regularly to relieve tension there, and now I’m gonna try to do my cheeks and jaw as well.
Once I work up the courage and push through the pain barrier, that is.