Trendwatch: Make 2012 your most gorgeous year yet
Cellulite, stretch marks or imperfect teeth? Fear not – now you can do something about it. Deirdre Reynolds looks at the coming year’s latest beauty trends.
Say sayonara to cellulite
What is it? Endermologie with LPG's 'Cellu 6 Endermolab'
How does it work? Even Beyoncé and Rihanna aren't safe from dreaded orange-peel skin -- caused by a sluggish circulation, poor diet or hormone imbalance. Hot from France, the world's latest 'lipomassage' machine promises to leave girls cellulite-free for 2012.
"It's generations ahead of anything we've used to treat cellulite up to now," says Mary O'Donoghue of The Sanctuary Spa in Tralee of the fat-fighting gadget for face and body. "We've seen fantastic results in women of all ages. Basically, it works by 'stretching and sucking' the affected area to break down the waste that causes cottage-cheese skin."
Cost? €500 for 8 treatments
Tone down the tan
What is it? The 'It' tan
How does it work? Inspired by the '20s, this season's 'Art Deco' tan is more Coco Chanel than Coco Pops. "Think gorgeous, radiant skin with just a hint of bronze," advises beautician Marissa Carter of Carter Beauty in Blackrock.
"In the past, Irish girls wanted to walk out of the salon a different nationality -- now a more subtle spray tan is much more in demand. To get the look at home, exfoliation is key. Go for a lotion formula or add a little moisturiser to your own self-tan and always use an applicator mitt."
Cost? Full Body Spray Tan €15 or Xen-Tan Scent Secure Gold €32 and Luxury Tanning Mitt €5.08
Wake up with make-up
What is it? Semi-permanent make-up
How does it work? Mike Tyson may seem an unlikely beauty icon -- but cosmetic tattooing for the face is set to be all the rage for 2012 according to experts.
With celeb fans including Jessica-Jane Clement and Coleen Rooney, 'micropigmentation' allows girls to bin eyebrow pencil, eyeliner and lipliner for good.
"When semi-permanent make-up first came out a few years ago, it was done very badly, which put a lot of people off," says make-up artist Rhona Cullinan of The Powder Room Girls. "Nowadays, it's applied in hair strokes and is much more natural-looking.
"Semi-permanent make-up is especially brilliant for anyone who's going through chemotherapy," she adds.
Cost? €300 for consultation and treatment of one area and €180 for top-up four months later
Back away from the scalpel
What is it? The Liquid Facelift
How does it work? Nip/tuck is so last year -- with a combination of Botox and dermal fillers now being used to achieve the same age-defying results without the scars.
"If you're under 55, the chances are you can have a facelift without going under the knife," explains Dr Danielle Meagher of DermaFACE Clinic in Dublin. "Using liquid products such as Botox Lite and Juvederm Voluma, we can erase wrinkles and replace lost volume in the face in less than an hour.
"This can then be topped up as necessary over the years. However, if your skin has already sagged badly, surgery is still the only way to fix it."
Cost? From €1,200
What is it? Cryotherapy
How does it work? Forget hot-stone massage or the sauna, ice therapy is one of the hottest spa trends for 2012. Traditionally used by athletes to reduce pain, now women are brrr-aving the treatment to help reduce cellulite and tighten the skin too.
"Basically, you pass through three chambers chilled from between -10°C to around -110°C for up to three minutes," explains sports and physical therapist Marie Yorke of The Cryotherapy Clinic at Whites of Wexford. "I've been doing it for five years and have seen a huge difference in the skin around my eyes -- it's one way to wake up in the morning!"
Cost: €90 for 3 sessions
What is it? Invisalign "invisible" braces
How does it work? Metal mouth no more, as these wafer-thin clear plastic braces straighten wonky teeth in around nine months.
"Basically, it slots over your teeth like a retainer and can be taken out to eat," explains Dr Edmond O'Flaherty of Seapoint Dental Clinic in Blackrock. "Invisalign has become really popular among thirty-something professionals who don't want to wear train tracks -- however, it's not suitable for every patient."
With her new Hollywood smile, however, graphic designer Sinead Miller from Dublin reckons it was €4,000 well spent. "I've always been very conscious of my teeth," says Sinead (36), "but I didn't want to have a big metal mouth for two years. Then, while saving for my wedding, I decided to do something about it by getting 'invisible braces'. For the first few months it was a bit uncomfortable. But I got them off nine months later just in time for my wedding and was delighted with the results."
Cost? From €2,500
Show your tootsies some TLC
What is it? MediPedi
How does it work? Last year was all about the fish pedicure -- but with a 10-inch heel on its way to the high street, girls here are putting their best foot forward with a 'medical pedicure'. The alkaline foot treatment dissolves the damage done by stilettos such as hard skin and cracked heels.
"Nowadays, a lot of young women have painful hard skin on their feet due to wearing high heels," says Caroline McNamara of Polish Hand and Foot Spa in Dublin. "A MediPedi can get rid of this after one treatment without putting a blade near the foot like a chiropodist would."
Cost? €90 for 75 minutes
Embrace the grey
What is it? 'Greylights' -- white or grey highlights for hair
How does it work? Kate Moss, Kelly Osbourne and Lady Gaga are just some of the stars who've embraced the hair colour once reserved for grannies. "Just today, I dyed a client's hair grey and it looks really elegant," says hairdresser Sean Taaffe, who runs his own salon in Kerry.
"For someone who is thinking about letting the colour grow out of their hair, it's a very fashionable way to try out going grey."
Cost? Greylights from €50-€120 or L'Oréal Professional Serie Expert Silver €12.05
See the back of stretch marks
What is it? IPL Laser stretch mark removal
How does it work? Zaps away the unsightly red lines that typically appear during pregnancy or after weight gain or loss -- afflicting even stars like Kate Beckinsale and Scarlett Johansson.
"Celebs like Victoria Beckham make it look easy to squeeze into your skinny jeans after having a baby, but until a few years ago there was little that could be done about stretch marks," says Aisling Holly of The Hospital Group.
"The latest fraxel laser technology stimulates collagen growth to plump to the skin and 'fill in' stretch marks. But it's important to catch them early -- once they've gone silver they can't be treated.
"With my first child, I didn't get any stretch marks at all," adds Aisling (36) from Dublin. "After my second, however, I was covered in ugly red and purple lines. It completely destroyed my confidence to the point that I wouldn't even strip off in front of my husband.
"I decided to get the treatment -- and after two sessions they started to fade. Psychologically, it's made such a difference."
Cost? From €200 per treatment
What is it? 3D Make-up
How does it work? First your telly and now your face -- stick-on eyebrows, temporary lip tattoos and nail rings are just some of the three-dimensional trends to make the leap from catwalk to cosmetic counter this year.
"Inspired by celebrities like Jessie J and Kelly Rowland, girls here are getting more creative with their make-up," says make-up artist Keara Kelly. "Rock big, colourful lashes and patterned lips for spring 2012.
Practise makes perfect though -- so before you play around with the lash glue first!"
Cost: Violent Lips Temporary Lip Tattoos €9.99 available from Boots, Dundrum Town Centre or violentlips.com