All over the world French women are revered for their striking beauty and slim waistlines despite all the rich food and champagne. What is their secret for looking so young and flawless and how is that they can get away with so much? Hey, I am in my forties and ain’t getting any younger, so I set off to steal some French beauty secrets from professional beautician and make up artist Gloria Salinas – Walch at emmanuel f Eco Hair Salon & Spa in Hong Kong.
1. Face Slimming, Eye Bags & Dark Circles
One of the best French beauty rituals can slim and de-age your face quickly. Gloria recommends a daily facial massage to drain the lymph nodes of the face to look younger and feel great. Lymphatic drainage is a procedure to remove the lymph which causes water retention and swelling. A few simple and gentle movements with your fingers and hands for a few minutes, and this French skin care routine can get the lymph flowing and free yourself eye bags, dark circles, headaches and even sinus congestion.
With your palms open starting in the middle of face in between your eyes, gently add pressure and move your hands down toward the lower ears and jawline. Gradually move your palms from your ears down your neck towards your collarbone. Repeat these movements for 3 – 5 minutes. Watch the Facebook Live Stream at the bottom of this article for a visual representation or check out these simple diagrams.
Keep in mind that the movements are downward to drain the lymph of toxins, not upward movement that you would use for lifting.
Facial lymphatic drainage is an effective and non-invasive alternative to botox and face lifts that slim your face, remove bloating and give a natural lift for free without the risks of surgery and negative side effects.
The quickest way to resolve eye bags and dark circles is to do a gentle acupressure of the under eye area. Also known as shiatsu, pressing gently on the meridian points of the eye area increases circulation and energy flow saying buh-bye to puffiness!
Research has been done showing increased absorption and retention of products after massaging the skin. Although more studies need to be conducted, it is a positive sign. So make sure to do a quick acupressure or massage before you slap on your skincare products.
2. Pinch Your Wrinkles Away
Gloria is a firm believer of the pinching method she calls “Pincement Jacquet”. This technique started in the 1930s by Doctor Jacquet in France to heal scars and war wounds has since moved on to the beauty world.
The facial pinching method is claimed to reduce puffiness, bags and smooth out wrinkles. It works by stimulating skin tissue and creating heat to repair and regenerate. Gloria also says that the facial pinching method also activates the cells in the skin to absorb products more efficiently into the skin.
She recommends spending five to ten minutes rapidly pinching with your thumb and middle or index finger along the frown lines around the mouth and in between the eyes, crows feet, forehead and anywhere else you find wrinkles. You can start with gentle pinches and gradually work up to using stronger pressure. If the best you can do is to pinch your face for one minute before you apply your skincare, you are still better off so your serums and moisturizers can penetrate even deeper into the skin.
NOTE: With both the facial massage and pinching technique always be sure to start with a freshly washed face and clean hands.
3. Eat Your Way to Wrinkle Free Skin
Another beauty secret to look younger that our French beauty expert revealed to us about wrinkles has to do with nutrition. Hydration is the key to combating wrinkles by drinking more water. Our bodies are like grapes and raisins. The less water we have, the more we wrinkle. Add lemon or mint to your water to make it more appealing to drink and reap plenty of other health benefits along the way.
Eating well is also an important key to healthy clear skin. Eating more fruit and vegetables, less processed food, avoiding sugar and generally eating clean will vastly improve the appearance of your skin and slow down wrinkle production.
4. Toning Up The Body
Gloria’s next secret to beautiful French bodies is massage and cold showers for a more toned appearance of your legs and abdomen. Start by taking your normal shower with warm water to open up the pores in the skin. While the skin is still moist, firmly massage your favourite oil, such as cocoa butter oil or coconut oil, in circular motions up and down your thighs and abdomen. The oils will penetrate deeper in to the skin and moisturize at the same time. Follow up with a quick cold shower to rinse the oil, dead skin cells and any impurities off your body. The cold water will firm the skin as well as improve your circulation , so that you step out of that shower with an even harder bod.
5. Stop Doing This!
I asked Gloria what the biggest mistake men and women do to ourselves that is ruining our chances for optimal skin. Her response, “Too much exfoliation!”. Most of her clients proudly report they are exfoliating 2 to 3 times per week (I’m one of them!) and that is just too much for most skin types to handle. Exfoliation is a necessary part to your skincare routine, however once a week is plenty enough.
Gloria says, “The skin will react opposite to what you do. Over-exfoliating will produce more sebum (oil), block pores and then in response, produce acne.” So, save yourself a step and use that time to pinch your face instead for smoother more radiant skin.
As always, if you are suffering from any long-term or significant problems with your skin, make sure to seek the advice of a trained medical professional.
Emmanuel f is a fully certified organic based hair salon and spa located in the heart of Hong Kong offering state of the art yet plant based techniques and products for hair, makeup, skincare, signature facials, mind blowing massages, slimming treatments and waxing all in the most luxurious conditions with state of the art techniques. Only organic products are used in the salon including organic pine seed wax from France and Phyt’s – a brand that exists for over 50 years in France with the purest levels of ingredients. Follow on Instagram and Facebook. Special offer until March 2017! Follow emmanuelfhk on Instagram then book your next appointment mentioning “Zora The Explorer” for a 10% discount.
Gloria Salinas-Walch is a French makeup artist based in Hong Kong with over 10 years experience in beauty and makeup. She studied at Paris Thalgo International School and « Atelier International de Maquillage » in Paris. Her work is featured in some of France’s largest television shows (Including Miss France), model agencies, print and catwalks.