Few things irk me as much as an ineffectual facial. Facials shouldn't involve the plonking on of a mask followed by soothing spa talk and a little lacklustre massage, they should involve the expertise of the facialist and brand (we've listed our best facials in London here), and leave your skin glowing - and they should certainly comprise more than a few face masks you could easily apply at home for far better value for money.
I'm therefore a huge advocate of the facial workout trend, and welcome the slight redness that comes as a result of having had some proper pummelling action on my face. It's had a few iterations: first, with Face Gym, where the results of a thirty minute session left me hugely impressed, and my face looking significantly more sculpted; next with facial yoga, which you can learn online or at a class with the pioneer of the technique, Eva Fraser, and is easy peasy to practise at home, only involving the incorporating of a few massage techniques into your cleansing routine.
But now things have gone a step further. Enter Facial Pilates at Decleor, £75 for 75 mins, which involves a warm up, work out, and stretching, targeting each of the 52 muscles in the face. The idea is that by focussing on the underlying muscle mass, and not just on the skin sitting on top of it, results are manifold, with skin looking more luminous, enhanced blood flow equalling more production of collagen and fewer areas of congestion, a reduction of puffiness as fluid is drained, and greater tone.
I popped into the new Westbourne Grove store to try it last week and would highly recommend it if, like me, you furrow your forehead and clench your jaw; during the 75 minutes of massage, tension in my muscles was released and my skin sat smoothly once more. Handily, before I left, my facialist showed me the key moves in front of a mirror that doubles up as a camera. Once home, my very own facial tutorial - see above - popped into my inbox, demystifying the process and - hopefully - keeping my jawline tighter for a little longer. Here's hoping.