How the stars get their glow: celebrity facialist Nichola Joss reveals all


Reese Witherspoon recently admitted to wrestling with Sofia Vergara to prepare for the flashbulbs on Oscars night. “It actually is really good for your skin [to] get your muscles going," she said. Other stars go down the traditional route, spending hours with a prep squad of most-wanted facialists, spray tanners and skin finishers before stepping out for Hollywood’s biggest event of the year. “I normally spend a good four to five hours prepping a client for awards season,” says Nichola Joss, celebrity facialist, skincare expert and global skincare ambassador for Sanctuary Spa .With a clientele of supermodels and starlets on her books such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Amy Adams and Hilary Swank, it’s worth taking notes. Here’s how to get that elusive award-winning glow.

1. The Lifting Facial

Personal trainers aren’t the only thing on speed-dial in the run-up to Oscars night. Facial workouts get instant results. Think higher cheekbones and defined jawlines.

“This is all about bespoke movements in massage to totally de-stress the muscles and ease tension for a youthful look,” Joss says.

She uses unique techniques that incorporate massage inside the cheeks and gums, dubbed the ‘inner facial’. “The massaging of muscle tissue inside the mouth increases blood flow to the face and tones and lifts.”

DIY GLOW: REN Instant Firming Beauty Shot, £36

Also try Dr Lancer Lift Serum Intense, £230

2. The Skin Pick-Me-Up

It might be about vintage champagne on Oscars night but, in the lead-up, skin requires a cocktail of ingredients before the makeover.

“I mix a bespoke blend of vitamins, essential oils, peptides and antioxidants to give immediate rejuvenation,” says Joss.

For one skin cocktail she might include vitamin C powder, rose oil, neroli oil and matrixyl peptide, and, in another blend, rice oil, jojoba oil and glycolic acid, depending on the star’s skin needs.

For a red carpet-ready complexion, Joss uses Sanctuary’s Wonder Oil Serum just before make-up application to boost skin texture.

DIY GLOW: Dr Sebagh Pure Vitamin C Powder Cream, £79.

Also try Murad Intensive-C Radiance Peel, £49.50

3. The Sculpting Tan

The instant way to look honed, minus the personal trainer? A contouring tan can create muscle definition and slimmer limbs in seconds.

“Before tanning, I massage the body to tone and firm muscles and also remove puffiness and fluid retention,” Joss reveals. “I then ask clients to have a warm shower followed by a five minute blast with cold water.”

One tan isn’t enough - it’s a layered approach for awards night: “I apply an all-over spray tan, allow that to dry, then use a mitt and self tan mousse to apply extra shadow and colour to sculpt and contour the body where it’s needed.”

DIY GLOW: James Read Bronzing Spray Clear, £24.50.

Also try St Tropez Self Tan Express Advanced Bronzing Mousse, £33

4. The Décolletage Booster

Backs are so 2014. Jennifer Aniston’s recent dalliance with plunging necklines has put cleavages on the A-list map.

The skin on the décolletage is extremely delicate yet doesn’t get much attention when it comes to daily skincare routines. A dangerously low neckline requires a high-powered regime.

Joss says: “I always prep the décolletage with a gentle exfoliating massage and then massage in a body oil to give dewiness and bounce to the skin.”

Specialised brightening and firming solutions pep up skin slackening and smooth thinning and creasing that might detract from the dress.

DIY GLOW: Radical Skincare Firming Neck Gel, £80.

Also try Shiseido Brightening Serum for Neck and Décolletage, £60

5. The Skin Finessing

The accessory that the A-listers often leave behind in their limo? Their skin finisher (yes, it’s a job).

It’s the final touch that’s completed minutes before their heels hit the red carpet, carefully avoiding loaned couture hems.

“This takes the form of dusting radiance powders and blending contouring creams into key areas on show, such as décolletage, shoulders, breastbone and shinbones,” Joss says. “It lifts and finishes the skin so it’s HD-camera ready.”

DIY GLOW: Eve Lom Sheer Radiance Translucent Powder, £42.

Also try Laura Mercier Radiance Baked Body Powder, £42.50

By Lisa Haynes