GLUM MUMMAS - When your face folds in half


As a child my parents nicknames me "Frownie Brownie"; looking back I can see why. In a line up of gappy, goofy and gawky 8 year olds there I was; brown regulation bobble hat pulled firmly down to my eyebrows displaying a set brow and already the makings of a definite furrow.

It is no surprise therefore that I have been a lover of all things that cause frown avoidance since my early 20's and a secret Botox user in my 30's. Don't get me wrong, I am certainly not a fan of the frozen face look. I go to my dentist to get my Botox administered - as bizarre as that sounds - as dentists are used to working with intricate facial muscles and therefore I know I will get just the right amount put in to allow movement but to minimise line appearance.
 It isn't the first thing you think about upon finding out you are pregnant, but come the 2nd Trimester, when I wasn't focusing on finding the nearest toilet to hug or eyeing up flat surfaces in which to take a Nana Nap, it was time to look after my face! My moment of reality was at a standard dental check up when my dry humoured dentist remarked that my face had folded in half (he's a family friend, I give as good as I get!) and although it pains me to admit it, he was telling the truth.

The obvious statement to make is that vanity vs precious cargo is a no brainer - cargo wins hands down so no Botox until this little one has finished with my body in various ways - but after a month of being stared back at from the mirror by an angry version of myself (complete with a whole face worth of foundation collected in grooves above the eyebrows) I decided enough was enough. I set about trying various options of non Botox treatments, all at various prices and all with varying success (and like Botox itself none have an instant permanent effect) so here are a round up of my top 3 favourites to suit your budget;

£ - Frownies
Frownies are facial patches that claim to reverse the signs of ageing naturally. They are square perforated patches (so you can tear them into triangles for smaller facial areas) that you stick on your face and leave overnight. The instructions give no set time for how long you should use them for, but simply state "until you achieve desired results". The patches are quite rigid once they have dried onto your face so I found that its best to only choose one area (I really struggled getting to sleep on the nights I tried more) so I went for the obvious frown lines and ignored the laughter lines around my eyes. They are strange to apply (my husband looked totally bemused the first few times I wore them) and once they have dried it feels like having the gummy line of an envelope plastered across your forehead but they amazingly do have an effect. First thing in the morning, instead of waiting ten minutes for my face to resemble a pudgy Plasticine look (which subsequently subsides and allows my actual face to show through!) I would look fresh, with a much smoother forehead which allows for a great start to the day. The downside however is that during the day with the inevitable laughing, concentrating and squinting through the windscreen that takes place the lines would be back in evidence and by the evening I would look back to square one. Having said that however the patches are very reasonably priced at £18.50 for 8 weeks worth of patches and therefore could be used in synergy with a cream, or applied for a few hours before a big night out to rectify said lines.

££ Fabulift
Fabulift is an advanced formula eye lifting serum which is designed to give an instant fix whilst giving the skin longer term benefits. It contains ingredients (that I cant pronounce so will attempt to spell) Argireline and Syn-ake which are both designed to target and soften lines. As this is defined as an eye cream I used it all around my eyes - including those plough lines above my brows!
Once applied to the skin one must remain expressionless until the cream dries - no mean feat for an elastic chops like me! As it dries there is a similar feeling of drying egg white (most of you are probably thinking whenever have I had egg on my face, to which all I can say is why ever have you not had an egg fight at the cocktail bar at Soho House in Istanbul with your bestie?!). The trouble with such a feeling is that it is a bit like a skin on a coffee, or a peeling scab, the desire to poke it, or in this case split it by frowning, is overwhelming and it takes a good few applications to overcome that totally childish feeling! The knack to Fabulift being effective is to apply the right amount; not enough and you wont see the benefit, too much and you get a powdery, peeling effect on your skin that looks like you dribbled round your eyes in your sleep! Not attractive! Perseverance pays off however and once you've mastered the correct amount to apply there is a noticeable lift and lines are visibly reduced. Fabulift was shortlisted for 2016 Best New Anti-Ageing product for the Pure Beauty Awards so they are definitely doing something right!

£££ V-Tox
This is a true example of you get what you pay for. Created by skincare guru to the stars Linda Meredith V-Tox was the hands down winner. A botanical combination of ingredients, including algae extract make up this cream which surrounds the skin with peptides and prevents the muscles from contracting. I started using V-Tox in my third trimester and as the seasons changed which has actually allowed my skin to maintain a healthy glow rather than the usual ravaged, dry look I take on in the Autumn. Unlike the other treatments it feels nice and luxurious to use. The cream tingles slightly when applied and the consistency is quite thick (so I do wonder if in the summer it would appear greasy or be too rich?) but it actually felt like I was treating my face rather than torturing it. At £59 for a 35g pot of serum it isn't cheap (but neither is Botox) but the effect was amazing. I am usually very cynical about such treatments but the results speak for themselves and it will last you a couple of months. This is definitely going to be my treatment of choice until I can get to those trusty injectables again - in fact I may even treat myself to a little salon trip as if the home skincare range is this good then the facials must be amazing!

In conclusion they all had benefits and realistically taking action is always going to have more benefit than ignoring signs of ageing so realistically you have to decide on your budget and willingness to persevere.

Frownies retail at £18.50 a box (4-8 weeks supply)
Fabulift Fabulous eyes 2 ml ampoule (30 days application) £9.99
V-tox Linda Meredith 35g serum £59 (plus P+P)

For those non pregnant peeps Botox can be administered by dentists;

Reg O Neill (Billericay, Essex) £300 (3 areas)
Or in London visit £199-£329 (1-3 areas)

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