Bobbi Brown, the celebrity make-up artist, explains why we need a cosmetic surgery backlash. And we list the Botox-ed and the no-toxed
There are two red-haired actresses whom I will not name but will leave for you to identify: one looks amazing for her age and the other has had far too much work done and looks like an alien. She canít have started out wanting to look like that, but once you have had a lot of work done, you canít turn back.
It is not just celebrities who have gone over the top messing around with their faces. Look around you. Iím so sad that visits to the plastic surgeon are becoming as commonplace as visits to the hair salon. These women do not look better afterwards. They just look ďdoneĒ.
To me, women who are doing these things, like Botox, are not looking better. Botox is a poison: when we are so careful about what we put into our bodies, why do we want someone to shoot poison into our faces?
I tried Botox once, a couple of years ago, between my eyebrows. I really didnít like it. I looked unnatural. Going down this route is a bit like weeding your garden. When do you stop? When have you finished? You think you have done it, but then you notice another weed emerging and you rush to pull it up. It is not a good look. As we age we should still want to look like ourselves.
A face without lines looks expressionless ó it lacks warmth and personality. I think there should be a movement away from using Botox and back towards real beauty. The use of Botox has gone too far and it is one of the reasons why I have decided to use real women instead of models in my next advertising campaign. There are bartenders, professional women and housewives, from their twenties to their fifties.
Yes, some of them have lines. Beauty and youth are not the same thing. Of course we all want to look better ó but that doesnít have to mean looking younger. Women simply do not need to mess around with their faces in order to look good. Once, a friend of 50 came to me saying she was depressed about her age and wanted surgery. I disagreed and showed her how to lift her face using make-up. She was amazed by the results and agreed that she did not need a facelift. This kind of treatment is available to anyone who can find their way to a make-up counter.
I was 35 then, and 50 seemed pretty old. Now that Iíve turned 50, it no longer does ó funny, that. My dad is almost 75 and he still does weights and plays tennis and he is vibrant and healthy. That is what we should be aiming for.
Of course it is very easy to feel bad about ourselves as we are bombarded with pictures of seemingly flawless girls who are barely 20 years old. But we cannot compare ourselves to these images. We will always lose.
Getting older is about creating a new aspiration for yourself: making the most of what you have, concentrating on what you are putting into your body and being at ease with yourself and full of confidence. It is not about getting nipped, tucked plumped and pulled ó which, usually, leaves you looking weird. I can almost always tell when someone has had something done.
Collagen in the lips never works. That over-plumped look is extremely unattractive. You might as well take an advertisement out in a national newspaper, saying: ďI have had my lips done.Ē
I do understand that when you go through your forties and fifties there are some things you really want to get rid of. But you should know where to draw the line. Improve your skin, yes, but donít try to change your face. Over the past four years I have had half a dozen treatments for facial hair and for brown spots caused by sun damage. The treatments have worked well. They provide minimal improvements ó but that is rather the point.
I havenít set out to recreate the Dove advert, in which a bunch of women stood there, naked. I wanted to take regular women and make them ó with the right make-up ó look like polished versions of themselves. For my new campaign, Pretty Powerful, which launches next week, we have women with lines, freckles and different skin tones. I started out with my friends, then people started bringing in pictures of their friends and it grew.
I set out to show that anyone can look great at any age>. Most of us just want to look fresher and less tired. When you are young you can have no sleep for a couple of days and still look fine. When you are in your forties, you can have eight hours a night and still not look that fresh.
You do not need surgery ó what you need is a good moisturiser and some concealer. If you are over 40 and you are not using them, you are missing a trick.
FIVE STEPS TO A MAKE-UP FACELIFT
1. Transform your face with the right moisturisers and properly applied concealer. Apply with a brush and blend by gently patting with your fingers.
2. Even out the skin tone ó whether thatís with a tinted moisturiser or full-blown foundation (in the correct colour. It must look like skin). You will already look several years younger.
3. Define. Start by using gel eyeliner on the upper lid (and maybe below as well, but make sure that the upper line is thicker), followed by mascara and eyebrow pencil on the brows. Sometimes you can define the lips too, but lips are rarely a womanís best feature as she ages.
4. Brighten your face with blush in a colour that will brighten without being too bright. Brightening lip gloss can also work well.
5. Lift the face by using a highlighter ó take a light-coloured shadow under the brow bone or by the inner corner of the eyelid.
THE BOTOX-ED . . .
ďItís Simon Cowellís fault. I had lunch with him and he started prodding my chin saying, ĎMate, youíve got to do something about thisí. I mean, I know Iíve always had a face like Freddy Krueger, but more and more people were commenting on my chin.Ē Gordon Ramsay, 43
ďYes, Iíve had Botox. I donít know a single actress who hasnít done it. Thatís a fact. Just get them to frown for you.Ē Amanda Holden, 39
ďTo me, Botox is no more unusual than toothpaste. It works, you do it once a year ó who cares?Ē Simon Cowell, 50
ďIíve had three things: Botox, Restylane and something called New-Fill. Thatís the best. I may become a bit of a junkie. It has undoubtedly made a difference. They may be expensive, but make your decision: new holiday or look younger for a year.Ē Christine Hamilton, 60
. . . AND THE NO-TOXED
ďNo way [to cosmetic surgery]. Not even Botox. You look at someone like Judi Dench and you just think sheís the most beautiful woman. Because if youíre a beautiful person then somehow all the lines fall into the right place.Ē Rosamund Pike, 31
ďI canít bear seeing [people who look] like photocopies. People say ĎYouíre so brave to play older womení, and I think oh God, should I ring the surgeon right now? Listen, itís my job, I use my face, itís there, it exists and itís going to get older. But you can still look fabulous." Kristin Scott Thomas, 49
ďIím not going to have Botox. When I was in America I was horrified: every second or third woman had altered her face to the point where you think Ďhow can you know what you originally looked like? I like the fact that I look like my parents. This is part of who I am.Ē Kirsty Wark, 54
ďI had Botox a while ago. I had it, itís fine ó I just choose not to do it now.Ē Dannii Minogue (reformed Botox user), 38