Body & Fitness

Facelift: has she or hasn’t she?

Has she, or hasn’t she? Whatever one thinks of Louise Mensch, bestselling chick-lit author and glamorous Conservative MP, you have to admit her jawline is enviably taut for a woman of 40. Perhaps improbably so. Or is it?

UK Chick-lit author and politician Louise Mensch. Has she or hasn’t she?

Has she, or hasn’t she? Whatever one thinks of Louise Mensch, bestselling chick-lit author and glamorous UK Conservative MP, you have to admit her jawline is enviably taut for a woman of 40. Perhaps improbably so. Or is it?

Recently, when asked by a journalist whether she had undergone a facelift, her answer was tantalisingly oblique: “My God. Um … OK … I’ve always wondered what I would say the first time somebody asked me this question. And without denying it, I’m going to refuse to answer your question.”

And so a new cosmetic surgery idol was born, sporting a look so natural you couldn’t tell whether anything had been done at all.

Just five years ago, it seemed as if the facelift was finished. Scared  off by celebrities with wind-tunnel faces, women were flocking to have the new ‘liquid lifts’. These injections of facial fillers – usually hyaluronic acid, a gel-like substance that occurs naturally in the skin  and helps it retain moisture – plump cheeks and hoick up sagging jowls.

This treatment was combined with Botox, which interferes with nerve transmission, paralysing the muscles to lift drooping brows. Likewise, innovations in skin-tightening treatments were claimed to be able to achieve facelift-like effects even on turkey necks. These procedures were meant to offer a more natural look. Except many didn’t; leaving women with expressionless foreheads and ‘pillow’ faces.

No surprise then, that the facelift  is back – and the women choosing  to go under the knife are getting younger. News presenter Kay Burley (51), revealed that she had treated herself to a $19, 241 facelift for her 50th birthday. Actress Helen Mirren (65), who was rumoured to have had a face and necklift in 2009, said women should have one if it made them feel happy.

New figures released by the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons show that demand for  surgical facelifts performed by the organisation’s members rose by  4.7 per cent to 4,700 in 2011. Surgeons say this figure is just the tip of the iceberg and that women are having facelifts at a younger age than ever before.

Consultant plastic, reconstructive and cosmetic surgeon Charles Nduka agrees that celebrity examples of good facelifts are boosting demand. He believes that  the recession is actually increasing the number of women seeking surgery.

“People need a boost in such depressing times, and interest rates are so poor that those with savings are making the decision that money in the bank is earning nothing so they might as well splurge on themselves.”

Mini-facelifts, such as the one-stitch facelift, also attract younger women. Paul Levick, consultant plastic surgeon at The Hospital Group, performs this 30-minute procedure under local anaesthetic.

It involves a semi-circle of skin being removed at the hairline at the top of the ear, the skin and tissues over the cheeks are pulled up as the wound is stitched together. Scars are hidden in the hairline.

At less than $4,000, it’s also more affordable. Levick says: ‘It’s suitable for those who want to feel rejuvenated without having to undergo major surgery.’

Celebrity gallery – have they or haven’t they?

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