Pretty: Eve Lom
About five years ago I read an article in the Guardian's Weekender magazine that forever changed the way I cared for my face. Ok, five years isn't forever but the point is I'm committed! It was an interview with Eve Lom and my introduction to the Czech-born, London-based facialist whose views on skin care were radical. Radical in that they were nothing I'd heard before and made perfect sense. Cleansing the skin effectively is the key so just put those creams out of your mind. In the beauty industry, that is in indeed far out thinking! It seems every week there is a new 'scientific breakthrough' and funny enough, these 'miracle' products we have shoved in our desperate, fine-lined faces by the cosmetic companies through ads and magazine beauty features (I never read those, they are so obviously paid in one way or another) never endure. Not only do they fail to deliver on their ambitious promises, but these corporations rely on selling 'scientific innovation' to keep people buying new products. Usually at exhorbitant prices that make your credit card cry. And sometimes they even smell funny.
Eve Lom doesn't really like the idea of moisturising all that much. Wha? Her ethos is 'less is more' and she says we should only use it if we have to, only where we need it. Her approach to good skin is firmly rooted in her belief that deep cleansed, exfoliated skin is the one essential. She does offer moisturisers but a very limited line compared to others who seem to have a potion to cover every conceivable variable. But really she doesn't think you actually need them.
I've been using her cleanser for five years and I still swear by it. Vogue called it 'possibly the best cleanser in the world' and it's easy to see why. My skin had never felt cleaner - and I simply haven't had a visibly dry spot since I started using it. It's a blend of Egyptian chamomile, hops, clove and eucalyptus oil that you rub into dry skin. A muslin cloth comes with the cleanser and you run it under hot water then press three times on your face, then you gently rub your skin with it. Use it at night and don't bother with a separate eye makeup remover, it will do it all. (Don't do what I did and use it to annihilate a zit - I rubbed the skin right off my face and had no idea because it didn't hurt, then had to deal with a friction burn for about two weeks - DUH!)
Lom has come under fire from some who think daily exfoliation is too much. In that interview she addressed this by explaining that if you do a chemical or acid peel - which many women do from time to time to get more youthful looking skin - you are removing layers all at once, whereas with her daily routine you are doing this very gradually. Much less brutal, isn't it? And much cheaper in the longrun.
Eve Lom cleanser is £80 for 200ml. That might seem steep but a 200ml jar - it comes in smaller sizes but that's the most economical - lasts me well over a year. So if you can fork out for a year's supply at once it will only cost around £6 a month and you never need to use a separate exfoliator. Ever! Eve does recommend you buy an extra muslin cloth pack for every 100ml as the cloths need to replaced after a few washes if you want them to do their best job.
Don't believe me? Look at Eve - she's 62 years old and radiant!
Next week our resident makeup expert Corinne O'Brien returns to answer your beauty and makeup questions. If you would like to submit yours to be answered in a future column just use the Contact link in the menu in the banner!