Helene Sandberg

The Editor’s List: Bespoke beauty advice

In the autumn of last year, I fainted in the bathroom whilst struck down with a stomach bug.  I woke up to find myself lying on the floor and bleeding from a large cut on my head (which I presume was from hitting my head on the sink).  I’ve been left with a large mark and indentation on my forehead that bothers me every time I do my teeth.  And I started to wonder, was there something I could do about it?  But I didn’t know where to start.

So I called up Olivia Falcon from The Editor’s List.

I knew Olivia from when we worked together at Vogue.  She then went on to become Tatler’s Beauty Director and now has over 15 years of experience in the beauty industry.  After having children, she decided to set up a consultation business because she recognised that the beauty industry was a difficult one to navigate.  She offers four services – a quick one question consultation, a Skype question time, a bathroom edit and then a full on bathroom edit and meet in person session. Olivia is honest, knowledgeable and can guide you to the right person or process (sometimes she even goes with clients to appointments and literally holds their hands whilst they are having procedures done).  She can tell you anything from the right dermatologist to see to the right corrective nose surgeon (most of her clients are concerned about their eyes – bags and dark circles, large pores and necks.)

What I particularly liked about Olivia’s advice was that it felt extremely personal and she knows the industry well.  Having gowned up to observe procedures, attend countless cosmetic conferences around the world and having tried out many of the treatments herself, she knows exactly who is the best at which service.  She is completely impartial so she only makes recommendations that she fully believes in and very often she can fast track you to a sooner appointment for a surgeon, doctor or dermatologist that she knows personally.

So did I get something done?  No but I know who to see if or when I’m ready and I bought some excellent products from Olivia’s online shop as per her recommendations.

Here below, I asked Olivia some more questions:

1) What is the treatment that you are most personally excited about at the moment?
I am very excited about a new filler launched this month from Allergan (the makers of Botox) called VoLux – it is a slightly thicker filler that has been designed especially to sharpen up wobbly jawlines (which is one of the first places that sag in the ageing process). It lasts 18-24 months so considerably longer than other fillers which usually last 9-12 months and it delivers a really crisp contour.

Photograph by Amit Lennon

2) Obviously people should be careful about all treatments but do you think there is one area or treatment which you have to be particularly careful about?
I think doing fillers around the eyes to treat tear troughs is a very specialized procedure.  There are lymph drainage channels and an intricate network of veins in this area and if a less experienced or skilled practitioner gets it wrong, patients can get ‘speed bump’ style lumps under the eyes and worst case scenario there are a few cases in the world where people have been blinded by badly place filler. Also liquid nose jobs with filler should be undertaken with extreme caution as again badly placed filler can lead to all sorts of complications including tissue necrosis.

3) Can anybody buy products from you or do they have to be a client?   And is there one product you would recommend above all?
Yes anyone can buy products from me – I have an online store on my website editorslist.co.uk with a carefully curated selection of the products that I think really work.  As a beauty editor I get about 50 new products across my desk every week so the ones that make it onto my website are the standouts. I’ve had great feedback on my editor’s list regime – which includes a cleanser with glycolic acid (so you don’t need a separate exfoliator), Vitamin C serum for the morning and a brilliant SPF that sits seamlessly under make up and for night I have a small selection of creams that contain next generation retinols that give you all the anti-ageing benefits of a retinoid but without any kind of peeling, redness or irritation. I think everyone over the age of 35 should have some kind of retinol going on in their beauty routine, it’s the miracle molecule as it works on all signs of ageing – I love Medik8 r-Retinoate. It can be used both day and night and is gentle enough even for the most sensitive of skin.

4) Which regular (non-invasive) treatment do you recommend? 
It’s so difficult to say just one as everyone’s skin needs are different but I think a universally good treatment that everyone over the age of 30 could benefit from is the Intraceuticals Oxygen Facial.  Working on the idea that dehydration is the first sign of ageing, this machine uses hyperbaric oxygen (they use this to sterilize the air in burns units in hospitals) to push layers of hyaluronic acid into the skin to plump skin, smooth fine lines and give one an incredible, head turning glow.  Hollywood actresses such as Michelle Williams and Amanda Seyfreid love it and often have it before they walk the red carpet.  This treatment is also very anti-inflammatory.  I sometimes suffer from hayfever and sinus congestion and have noticed it really helps with this too.  The treatment is available at Dr Preema’s clinic in the West end and costs £150.

5) What are the treatments that you are excited about in the future?
There is a new neurotoxin called Bonti which is set to launch in the next couple of years that kicks in super fast (within 24 hours) to soften expression lines far quicker than traditional Botox which can take up to a week to work and Bonti only lasts for 2-4 weeks rather than 3 months of traditional Botox – meaning that people who are nervous to try Botox now have to make less of a commitment.
I am also excited about the arrival this month of the latest V-Beam Prima laser – V-beam is a brand of pulsed-dye laser (PDL) and is often referred to as a vascular laser because it is excellent at treating issues related to the body’s network of blood vessels, such as broken capillaries, rosacea, port wine stains and spider veins. It works best on fair skins and the Prima is the very latest model so it is 50% more powerful than the older version and it treats larger areas like the cheeks far quicker.  It’s a godsend for anyone with redness issues, it really works.


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— Francesca
15th May 2019