The Muddy Makeover
I've been in search of my 'glow', diving into the world of aesthetics at Charlotte-Enhanced Beauty.
Have you ever felt you’re reaching that terrifying tipping point in life where, if you don’t keep up with technology, you’re in danger of becoming officially out of touch? It’s disconcerting, to hear people younger than you animatedly discussing Snapchat and the latest YouTuber’s, worrying that if you don’t keep your pinkie on the pulse, you’re doomed (or that’s how they make you feel, anyway).
I’ve been feeling a bit like that with the ever-evolving array of facial and skincare treatments being plastered across beauty pages these days, all designed to – ironically – keep you looking youthful. From microblading, to Dermaplaning, it all sounds pretty bewildering, but the results always look good, don’t they? So I recently declared it’s time I bit the bullet and strayed beyond my usual facial, especially since I’ve discovered a super-safe pair of hands to do the job at Plymouth’s Charlotte Enhanced Beauty.
Charlotte is an aesthetic practitioner offering lip enhancements, dermal fillers, chemical peels and doctor-led anti-wrinkle treatments. Let me just say this now – she’s awesome! Honestly, just the kind of woman you’d put in charge of administering treatments like these to your mug. She’s calm and confident (probably partly down to her background in the Royal Navy), puts you at ease, does a good job of explaining how things work and makes you feel good about yourself. Plus, she totally knows her profession and, reassuringly, is continually training and gaining recognition for practicing safely and responsibly. Charlotte’s been doing her thing for just over a year now and, without any press, has built up a steady stream of loyal followers; and now top beauty salons in the locality are wanting to associate with her, which I think speaks volumes.
I won’t beat around the bush – the aesthetics industry has weathered its fair share of horror stories over the years and it can be hard to find somebody you can trust. But this is an easy recommendation for me, especially if, like me, you’re considering kicking your skincare regime up a gear, but find it all a bit daunting.
You’ll find Charlotte on a quiet residential street, just a few minutes’ drive from the city centre. I like that her clinic is easily placed for discreetly popping in and out, and there’s plenty of free parking around, too. I also love her clinic, which is small and relaxed, within Charlotte’s home and actually doesn’t feel at all clinical.
If you’ve been feeling increasingly critical about crows feet, or tempted to give those lips a bit of a plump, then you only have to take a look at Charlotte’s social media pages, where you can browse oodles of before and after shots from happy patients. I, however, wanted to check out a couple of treatments that don’t have those obvious and striking before/after moments, but instead work deeper on improving your overall skin. Sorry everyone, no shots of me in a hair net – not the easiest photo to take while on the bed!
Up first, an Alumier MD Chemical Peel. Let’s face it, the word ‘chemical’ just isn’t sexy, is it? For some, it might even sound a tad scary, but it isn’t. A chemical peel is basically a form of clinical exfoliation that works on improving your skin tone and texture. An acid is applied to lower the skin’s PH, which makes superficial layers of dead skin peel off and forces the body to rejuvenate itself, like younger skin does (and that’s about as scientific as it gets, people!). It can be particularly useful if you have areas of pigmentation, acne or rosacea. I’d say it’s great if you’re approaching your forties, or beyond and just feel your face could do with some intensive TLC.
During the process, a mask is applied to prepare the face for the chemical peel and then you receive a tailored ‘peel’ in layers, or stages, depending on your skin and its needs. What does it feel like? Well, it’s quite a relaxing treatment to receive, but you do feel a little tingling, or very mild stinging when the peels are applied, particularly where it’s really working its magic (which is a good thing because you know something’s happening!). After the peel, a brightening serum is applied and then you’re given a post-treatment pack of Alumier products which you must religiously apply over the following week. While the treatment will give an instant boost to your skin, you’ll notice it continue to work over the coming days and can expect some peeling to your skin, which is all a part of the process. The Alumier products themselves are amazing and quite a treat to use; I’m a big fan of the Recovery Balm, which is a Godsend if your skin is partial to peeling afterwards.
The following month, I gave Dermaplaning a whirl. Again, I associate the word ‘plane’ with double CDT class on a Friday afternoon at school. But, trust me, Dermaplaning is much more fun. What is it? It’s a mechanical exfoliation of dead skin cells and vellus hair from the face using a scalpel, which isn’t as ‘eep!’ inducing as it sounds! I was mildly worried about the process, but actually, once Charlotte gets to work you kind of forget what’s happening. She carefully works around your whole face with a small blade, scraping away all those bumpy bits and, in the process removing that really fine layer of hair we all have. Two things to say here: firstly, this isn’t for people who worry about facial hair, it’s good for everybody – it’s just that you may not realise it until you’ve had the treatment and seen the results. And second, don’t go worrying that the hair is going to come back thicker with a vengeance – it won’t! The treatment lasts around 45 minutes and I received a brand new, lightweight Alumier Aqua Infusion mask afterwards, which felt a-maz-ing on my skin, even for days later!
THE MUDDY VERDICT
I’m really happy with the results of my Dermaplaning and actually enjoyed the experience, too, if a little bizarre. The before and after isn’t anything dramatic, but what it has done is given my whole face a smooth, soft glow that should last for a good 4-6 weeks. You may not think you have a particular cause to go under the scalpel, but you’ll be surprised at what happens. The very pleasing bonus is that my make-up now goes on a lot easier, without clinging to any imperfections and looks and feels as though I’ve already put on one of those glowy primers. Pah, who needs highlighters?!
As for my chemical peel, I’m really glad I had this one, too. Yes, it’s not as relaxing a treatment and you do need to consider the aftercare and upkeep to really see the benefits (plus be prepared for some flaking for a few days), but you can really feel the treatment going deep and I’m definitely tempted to revisit this one to continue the good work.
Dermaplaning: £50 per treatment (approx 40 mins – 1hr); Alumier MD Chemical Peels: from £75, including aftercare pack (duration of treatment varies).
Charlotte-Enhance Beauty, 4 College View, Plymouth, PL3 4JB. Tel: 07982 662979. For all contact details, visit her listing in our Little Black Book.