More and more people are resorting to cosmetic surgery as a ‘quick fix’ to any problems they find with themselves, which can be a risky and expensive business.
We’re not going to preach to you about the health problems with liposuction or a collagen implant, but instead help you to explore cheaper (and less painful!) alternatives to cosmetic surgery.
- Face exercise
- Rosemary Conley
- Carole Maggio
- Body wraps
- Instant facelift
- Make up and moisturisers
- Control wear
Eva Fraser, who invented the facial work out, puts the inevitable signs of aging down to the sagging and relaxing of the facial muscles that keep the skin in place. As the muscles get older and longer, your cheeks become flatter and your jowls larger. It sounds bad, but all is not lost! Rather than going under the knife, you can save your neckline (and bank balance) by doing regular facial exercises instead. Like any type of muscle, those in the face will benefit from regular exercise.
Pick up some tips from Eva’s website www.evafraser.com, where you can find a few exercises to get you going.
You can order her Facial Workout book for £8.99 from her website, but don’t forget to check her book selection on Amazon where many of her bestselling books can be had for under a fiver.
Although she doesn’t endorse any anti-aging moisturising creams which claim to reduce wrinkles or firm the skin, she does recommend Frownies Forehead & Eyes face patches that help to smooth out wrinkles and lines. You can buy 5 months supply from Eva’s website for £19 or, if you want to save a bit more head to FeelUnique where you can pick them up for £16.35 with P&P included.
Also available are the Frownies Under Eye Patches to reduce puffiness and dark circles (available from FeelUnique for £29.35, and the Frownies Corners of Eyes and Mouth Patches to alleviate crows feet and lines around your mouth for £16.35.
Rosemary Conley, renowned diet and fitness expert, recommends this Facial Flex Ultra. Don’t let the appearance put you off – it’s actually a device designed to stretch and flex the muscles around your mouth, which in turn helps to reduce sagging jaw lines and double chins by toning the muscles. It needs to be used for only two minutes every day and you should be able to see the results within four to six weeks. You can get it from her website for £46.99.
For more facial exercises check out Carole Maggio’s Facercise website which she claims gives you a ‘natural facelift’. Her online classes are pricey at $250 (£139) but if you head to Amazon you can find a whole range of her books in the used section for under a fiver, and you can order a copy of The Ultimate Facercise for just over £8 with free delivery.
She also offers ways to cut down on your cellulite with No Lipo Lipo, a knuckle massage and loofah treatment to firm and tone your legs as well as improving your circulation. You can either order the full pack (DVD, sisal loofah mitt with strap, and nourishing E oil) for £56.07 or just the DVD for £24.90.
One of the things we’ve found on our search are body wraps. They come in different forms: some merely exfoliate the skin while others, like the Universal Contour Wrap, activates temporary inch loss from different areas of the body (or so it says on the website). The treatment involves being coated in a warm mineral-clay solution and then wrapped in elasticated bandages, you then wait for an hour or so while you sweat out all the toxins in your body.
The treatments are fairly expensive at £60 each, especially as you’re advised to have a course of 3, but many of the salons including The New Image and Universal Contour Wrap have a 6 inch guarantee on salon treatments, so if you follow all their instructions and still don’t lose the inches they’ll refund your money. Or you could try it yourself at home which is slightly cheaper at £49.95, but you’re not guaranteed your money back if it doesn’t work. Similar wraps are the Shape Changers Detox Wrap which works in the same way and costs slightly less at £39.95. Always remember there is no miracle solution to make you lose weight! The contour wraps may help to redefine your shape, but they are not a route to losing weight or reducing body fat.
Instead of having a tummy tuck or heading straight for liposuction why not start exercising? Even a year’s subscription to join a gym (around £600 – £700) would be a fraction of the price of a tummy tuck which can range anywhere between £2,000 and £6,000. If you want to see if the gym’s for you then why not take advantage of the free day pass at Esporta Gym. By exercising you can lose weight and at the same time tone your muscles.
Of course, you don’t need a gym to do this – running for 20 minutes on a treadmill isn’t any different from running for 20 minutes around your local park, but if you want to swim, sauna and steam after your workout then it may be a slightly more attractive option.
If what you want to do is to lose weight, talk to someone at the gym about the exercises you ought to be doing to burn fat and combine your regular exercise regime with a healthy diet.
Eating healthily doesn’t have to expensive, and although following fad diets may give you more instant results, if you lose weight too quickly you’re actually more likely to put it all back on (and more) as soon as you stop dieting. Stick to smaller, balanced portions instead.
If you’re after something right now, why not get your eyebrows shaped? Having perfectly pruned eyebrows can take years off your face, as precisely defining the arches of your brows helps define the rest of your face. You can choose between waxing, threading and plucking. With prices in London from as low as £8, you can take years off for the price of a cinema ticket!
One of the most common reasons for bad skin is the constant exposure to sunlight without protection. We all know that Britain is cold (and chasing the sun when you go on holiday is understandable) but unless you’re blessed with natural olive or brown skin, over-exposure to the sun can seriously damage your skin – and put years on your appearance.
To avoid this and benefit your health, use a moisturising cream combined with an SPF of at least 15 everyday. Just remember that a miracle cream to make you instantly look 10 years younger simply doesn’t exist, and paying over the odds isn’t going to make it any more effective.
However we suggest you have a look on the Boots website to find some moisturising lotions like the Botanics Pore-Perfecting SPF 15 Lotion for only £4.59 or the Neutrogena Daily SPF 25 Moisturiser for £7.65. You can also combine foundation with a little sun protection like this Maybelline New York Anti-Age Foundation SPF 18 for £9.99. These are not substitutes for sun lotion so if you’re planning on spending a lot of time in the sun make sure you’ve got a bottle of the real stuff with you.
If you’re still set on being bronze then make sure that you avoid sun beds, as many give out more harmful UV rays than the midday Mediterranean sun. We suggest you take a look at the Garnier Ambre Solaire Bronzer 50ml for £9.55, or if you want to build up a more gradual looking glow then try Garnier’s Summerbody Moisturiser 250ml for £5.10 both from FeelUnique.
Dressing to suit your body shape makes a huge amount of difference to the way you look and following fashion’s latest craze isn’t always such a good idea. It is a good idea to find out what shapes suit your body and which colours suit your skin tone, so why not take advantage of a free personal shopper service at Debenhams, House of Fraser, Topshop or Selfridges.
Also, a huge 80% of women are wearing the wrong size bra which, as well as looking bad, can also lead to back pain and poor posture, so while you’re in Debenhams check out their free bra fitting service to make sure you’re wearing the right size.
If you’re after a streamlined look in a tight outfit then take a look at the range of control underwear that’s available from Ultimate, Body Solutions and Spanx all of which offer a variety of underwear, tights and body panels to help smooth out your shape.
If you’ve been considering a boob job, instead of going straight under the knife at the cost of at least £3,000, you could try out this push-up bra to give you that extra lift at the much cheaper price of £12 from M&S, or if you’re considering a breast reduction then have a look at this underwired minimiser bra – 2 for £16 from M&S – to support and de-emphasise a larger chest, available in sizes DD- G.
Sometimes, the way somebody looks is influenced by how confident they are and the way they hold and present themselves. There are a few things you can do to help improve your posture and, subsequently the way other people see you.
The Alexander Technique is a program that teaches people how to improve their posture and movement, as well as being an effective treatment to back and neck pain, good posture also lengthens the body and makes a person look taller and more elegant. Lessons should be taken in a block of 20 – 40 as results are not instantaneous, and prices range between about £25 – £70 a session. If you’d rather just teach yourself at home then have a look at The Introduction To The Alexander Technique, available from Amazon for under a tenner.
Emma Baxter Wright’s book, 1001 Little Ways To Look Younger has a few more tips and techniques on how to keep your skin looking fresh and how to lift your mood. You can get it from Amazon for only £5.99, or check in the new and used section where you can find copies for under a pound!
Still want to go under the knife…?
If after reading all this you’re still set on getting surgery then don’t cut corners and go for the cheapest option you can find. One of the best ways to find a qualified, ethical surgeon is to go through your GP who will be able to recommend you to a registered plastic surgeon and advise the surgeon on any medical problems you might have. Or, if you’d rather search for one yourself then you can have a look at the BAAPS website or the General Medical Council website.
Remember, cosmetic surgery is expensive, and if someone is offering liposuction for a price that sounds too good to be true then it probably is.