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The Natural Face Lift That Lasts?

Monday, February 16th, 2009 The Natural Face Lift That Lasts?

The Telegraph (Jodie Jones- 13 2 09) reports on the natural facelift that will stand the test of time.

Eva Fraser will train Jones how to hold her face. Jodie says, Staring fixedly in the mirror, I concentrate very hard on trying to ”tie my smile on top of my head”. I look like a crazed chipmunk and my cheeks start to cramp. By my side Eva Fraser, inventor of the Facial Workout programme, is demonstrating the movements. Even in the most extreme positions, she simply looks like a slightly surprised version of her normal, elegant self.

Furthermore, in excess of an hour and a half Jones has had to grimace and pull other strange faces under the expert guidance of Fraser. The point is ultimately is to have the complexion of this very astute woman.

The tall slender Eva belies her years, notably as Jones points out, ’she also has the complexion of someone who has yet to qualify for a bus pass. I had seen her publicity photographs before our meeting, so I should have been prepared but, even so, there is something almost shocking about her lack of wrinkles.’

So much so, her youthful features quite often come under fire, thus Fraser is used to showing sceptics a letter from a cosmetic plastic surgeon of her acquaintance, declaring that he has examined her and (as of July 8 last year) found no trace of surgical intervention. It is all the result of her unique series of facial exercises, which she teaches in one-on-one sessions in her Kensington studio.

“There are 60 different muscles in our faces,” she says. “We use very few of these in day-to-day life and so, as we get older, they just wither away. It’s the same principle as exercises for the body – using resistance to build muscle strength.”

Biological facts are now relevant. There are over 60 muscles in our faces. Eva states that, “We use very few of these in day-to-day life and so, as we get older, they just wither away. It’s the same principle as exercises for the body – using resistance to build muscle strength.”

Arguably, it’s easy to grasp the idea of lifting weights to boost our biceps, getting to grips with your Orbicularis oculi, is rather more difficult (turns out it’s a big muscle which circles each eye).

For Jones her first session begins gently with a less-is-more approach to skincare. Fraser advocates washing twice a day, ditching your night cream and applying only the tiniest dot of simple moisturiser in the mornings.

Jodie, is still hyper ventilating at the thought of having to give up her beloved Clarins. She is placed before a mirror and watche Fraser resting her middle fingers on the outer corners of her mouth, she draws her lips slowly out to each side.

Easy, Jones thinks, until she tries it herself. “That is the point of these early exercises,” says Fraser. “It is all about finding out where the muscles are. Only once you can locate them can you strengthen them with exercises working against resistance from your fingers.”

resistance from your fingers.”

This is no quick-fix solution. It takes at least four months of daily practice to start seeing results. The good news is after that, you need only 5-10 minutes of exercises, three times a week.

The small, repetitive moves are Fraser’s interpretation of a regime taught to her by a former ballet dancer called Madame Hoffman who she met in Vienna in the Seventies. “Back then I was a 50-year-old dealer in antique tapestries, but I had heard about her facial exercises and just begged and begged until she taught me. I was the only one she ever trusted her techniques to,” says Fraser.

Fraser lectures around the world, has produced a series of facial exercise books and videos and still teaches six days a week.

She is gloriously out of step with the anti-ageing establishment. While many older women rely on HRT for their complexions, she stopped after three weeks because it made her feel awful. In a world that has turned “detoxing” into a form of holy grail, she enjoys wine with meals, the odd vodka and tonic, and drinks a couple of espressos a day. And let us not forget her heretical views on skincare products.

Looking Younger With Eva Fraser:

Wash your face in the morning, then rinse thoroughly with 20 splashes of warm water and dry thoroughly.

Apply a raisin-sized blob of simple face cream – Fraser uses an oil-free formula by Nivea.

Make-up, including foundation, is a good defence against the elements.

Avoid using night cream. “It makes your skin too soft and I think it actually causes wrinkles,’’ says Fraser. ‘‘It’s the reason why you wake up with those big creases down your face.”

If you wear makeup, thoroughly remove it with cleanser every evening – Fraser is not particular about products, but currently uses either Garnier or Dior.

Wash off traces of cleanser with a face wash and rinse thoroughly.

Dry skin well and buff with a soft towel till skin tingles.

Make your own products. “A little caster sugar in some moisturiser makes an excellent exfoliant. Every two to four weeks is sufficient,” says Fraser. “And I do rub my body with a handful of salt in the shower about once a week.”

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