Chantal Sharpstone was always going to have her work cut out with me and my dehydrated skin. I have an underactive thyroid which makes my skin feel like hide, plus I’d been sick for a week. Maybe someone could only make me look better.
I had met Chantal years ago when our kids were small, without realising she was a make-up artist. We were ‘just’ mums. Years on, these mums now have kids at school and are embarking on wonderful careers – Whitney Bromberg Hawkings has launched Flowerbx, Lizzie King has a whole food empire called lizzieloveshealthy, Tamara Rothstein has developed her own athleisure brand, Laain and now Chantal has launched Lux skin clinic.
The bad news is LUX is in NW11, so unless you live on the northern end of the Northern Line you probably won’t have a clue where it is. I hadn’t. But of course I was going to go and give her a try. I will always support sisters doing it for themselves.
That’s the only bad news. The rest is all good. More than.
Chantal has always been pretty (this is relevant). I have often remarked on her skin. With age, she has developed hyper pigmentation and is very relaxed about the way she looks, which is refreshing. Instead of wanting to ‘fix’ me (with injectibles or whatever) she’s encouraging, realistic and kind. She wouldn’t do micro needling on me, because of sensitivity – but she does this a lot and is about to adopt the finest 0.3mm needle which is the least invasive yet. Under the lamp/magnifier she found pigmentation that hadn’t surfaced yet ‘but probably would, in years to come’. Right, thanks for that. But I didn’t feel depressed about it. She told me it was fine, nothing to fret about – plus I already have some pigmentation that’s visible. One day a school mum asked me if I had been punched in the face…because I had a mark on my cheek…I said no, that’s just my skin. RUDE.
As it turns out, hyper pigmentation is linked to oestrogen so the hormonal link is strong (peri-menopause, the contraceptive pill) and of course sunlight is the aggravator. She just said to keep using sunscreen. She gave me a sample of a day-cream by Heliocare with an SPF50 that has no chalkiness whatsoever and a light coverage (they do a mineral version too). I like ‘natural’ sunscreens but they make me look ghostly, so I figure better to use a less-natural product than nothing at all. This one looks and feels great.
Apparently a peel would also help me (Chantal did one on herself and the brown, pigmented skin literally rubbed off on her hands) and I was told that peels are not stripping and lethal but simply lift off the gnarly layer that becomes slow to shed, as we age.
I had a treatment of LED light therapy which is very healing (I’ll do anything if someone tells me it’s healing. Healing what? Who cares). It basically penetrates the skin to fight acne-causing bacteria while plumping skin and reducing wrinkles. It’s also mood enhancing.
I can’t actually tell you what else she did except that it felt quite wonderful and that for probably the first time since I hit my forties I feel completely happy without a scrap of make-up.
Who knew NW11 would hold such treasures?
I’ve subsequently seen on their website that they do something called ‘v-shape jowls and submental’ which takes 45 minutes and costs £120. I’ve no idea what it is but I want it.
I’m going back. Book me in. Self-care is the new me.
Thank you to LUX skin clinic for the facial. Prices from £80 for a 60-minute bespoke facial. £120 with LED light therapy.
LUX, 21 The Market Place, Falloden Way, NW11 6JY. Nearest tube Golders Green or East Finchley. 15-min walk from the tube. Barely any parking restrictions. I’ll be driving next time.
Tel: 020 8701 6336. www.luxskincare.co.uk instagram @luxskinclinic