Belfast Telegraph

Face New Year armed with Apprentice winner Leah Totton's top beauty secrets

By Una Brankin

Celebrity beauty specialist Dr Leah Totton shares her secrets of looking good so you can get an A-list glow for 2017 like Kate and Gwyneth.

Elizabeth Taylor learned a good beauty tip in her middle-age, when looking radiant on the red carpet wasn't as effortless as it was in her starlet days.

After applying her make-up she would then soak in a warm bath for 20 minutes. The heat and stream had the effect of setting her make-up and giving her a natural glow, ready for the camera.

I tried it and it works, although if you've fair skin like me, don't make the water too hot or soak for too long, or you'll be going out with a head like a sweaty plum.

Kate Moss takes the opposite approach, dunking her face in a bowl of ice, to tighten her pores and brighten her skin. A couple of runs around the block or garden in the cold will have a similar result.

Before a photo-shoot, actress Eva Mendes hangs upside down on an inversion table - the latest fad in Hollywood - to get the blood rushing to her head, boosting her complexion.

To have a longer-lasting radiant complexion for the festive party season, of course you need the usual - lots of water, a healthy diet, plenty of sleep, a bit of exercise and fresh air. A good exfoliator and face mask, such as GlamGlow, £39, along with a light self-tan for the face, such as Guinot, £19.50, or Vita Liberata, £29, rosy blusher and subtle bronzer should also leave you glowing.

But if your skin's dehydrated and dull from weeks of central heating, overindulgence and a layer of dead skin cells, there are some excellent treatments out there to help get you looking fresh and dewy for the New Year.

Dr Leah Totton always has a radiant glow and the good news is that her new range of skin products is coming to selected beauty clinics in the New Year.

The Londonderry-born winner of the 2013 series of The Apprentice has a regular stream of clients from Northern Ireland flying over to her award-winning London clinics, and if you're over there for some New Year shopping, and have the extra cash, it would be well worth having her signature non-surgical lifting treatment, Silhouette Soft, and her bespoke skin peels.

A chemical peel simply removes a layer of damaged skin from the face to reveal a newer, healthier layer.

The chemical solution applied causes the outer layers to peel away. When the skin begins to heal, increased cell growth produces new, healthier skin layers that give the face a more youthful appearance.

Leah says: "At the clinic we work closely with the brands Dermaquest, NeoStrata and Obagi to provide our clients with the best possible options within the industry to tackle skin concerns.

To achieve the best results it's imperative to use the correct skin care products at home pre, during and post treatment to clear away debris and reduce the downtime post peel.

"Home care regimes vary depending on your skin type and concern, but you will always need an SPF 50.

"The amount of treatments needed varies on the type of peel and the concern - on average four to six peels are needed at four week intervals."

Dr Leah is also highly regarded for her subtle thread lift treatment, Silhouette Soft. A safe and effective alternative to surgical face lifts and neck lifts, the threads used in this treatment are made of PLA (polylactic acid), a bio-degrable polymer that is also used for sutures, orthopaedic pins, and bone fracture treatments. Thread cones are inserted into the face to lift sagging skin, creating a firmer, younger look.

"After the treatment, the threads will gradually anchor themselves to your tissue and stimulate the body's collagen production, creating a smooth, shapely appearance," Leah explains.

"It is most effective around the cheeks and lower jaw, as well as the neck.

Silhouette Soft is intended to be a lower face lift, and it is a particularly good antidote for jowls and sagging cheeks."

Leah promises the treatment doesn't hurt, as a local anaesthetic is applied beforehand to numb the treatment area and prevent pain.

Dr Leah's skin peels range from £70 to £120 per session.

Silhouette Soft costs from £1,650 to £2,520.

Dr Leah Clinic London, 24 Chiswell Street, London, tel: 020 7877 5999/email Dr Leah Clinic Essex, 14 York Hill Road, Loughton, Essex, tel: 020 7877 5999 or email

Dr Leah's glow tips for 2017

  • Exfoliate - once a week at least. Using a face brushing device will help moisturiser penetrate to a deeper layer of the epidermis.
  • Know the difference between dry and dehydrated skin. Dehydrated skin produces more oil, which might encourage use of harsh oil-removing products. This strips the skin and leads to even more oil. Use a hydrating moisturiser and drink plenty of water.
  • Simplify your skincare regime. Cleanse your face in the shower, use an antioxidant serum, a light moisturiser and a tinted SPF.
  • Try a muslin face cloth - you can buy segments in fabric shops. Rub the cloth over your face and spend two minutes massaging your skin upwards and outwards.
  • Massage your skin with moisturiser.
  • If you want to lift and tone, use firm upward movements. If you want to drain the skin of toxins, use gentle outward sweeping movements.
  • Stick with new products for at least three months.
  • Visit for more information

Judith Mulgrew of Belfast-based Skin MediSpa tells us about her favourite salon and at-home treatments to give you movie star looks

When it comes to getting gorgeous skin, Judith Mulgrew of Skin MediSpa, who was a finalist in the Belfast Telegraph Business Woman of the Year Awards, has her go-to treatments and products for a beautiful complexion.

After the festive indulgence our skin can appear dull and dehydrated, and with New Year’s celebrations tomorrow how can we get party-ready?

Judith says: “We are all under that little bit of extra pressure to ensure we are looking our very best tomorrow night. In terms of a beauty boost the Meso Vytal facial, £75 for 40 minutes, is a revolutionary non-invasive innovative cell rejuvenation treatment which enhances the skin’s best features.”

The beauty expert explains, in its basic form, the facial is a digital skin needling technique that uses special needles and synthesised hyaluronic acids.

She explains: “It basically works as a skin stimulant which starts to improve texture, and helps the skin in producing its own collagen and vital nutrients.

“It delivers vital anti-ageing substances between the epidermis and the dermis, where the skin suffers tremendously.”

But it you’ve no time to pop into the salon there are a host of products to choose from.

Among Judith’s personal favourites is the premium Elemis range.

She adds: “I personally love using the Elemis Pro Collagen Marine Cream, £80, during the day as it works wonders for my skin, and at night I love how the Elemis Oxygenated Night Cream, £95, soaks into my skin, leaving it feeling more nourished and hydrated especially at this time of year when the skin tends to feel more dry.”

And for a youthful visage before the clock strikes midnight tomorrow, the skincare expert recommends the Sculptra treatment which costs from £350. The high tech procedure stimulates the production of collagen — the protein that contributes to your skin’s volume and structure.

With age and repeated exposure to the sun causing collagen to break down — a major factor in the formation of wrinkles and folds, Sculptra restores that collagen, promising to give your skin a more youthful-looking fullness and firmness.

Judith adds: “Some people get the rejuvenating results they want with only one treatment. And it can help correct wrinkles and folds, particularly the deep, dynamic ones that run from the nose to the lip, the lip to the chin and vertically and horizontally across the forehead. The filler is also used to plump up skin depressions caused by scars.” Again, powerful products such as Elemis Pro-Collagne Super Serum Elixir, £49, is a great way to soften frown lines. This lotion is powered by anti-ageing tri-peptides, African birch bark and Padina Pavonica which should leave th skin feeling firmer with improved elasticity.

And, Judith points out it’s important not to neglect the neck and chest area, and she recommends Elemis Pro-Collagen Neck and Decolletage, £49, adding: “This is a powerful product which is ideal for firming and smoothing the skin in both these areas, for a softer and more youthful appearance in 28 days.”

With festive partying leaving some of us with tell-tale puffy eyes, the best treatment, according to Judith, is Elemis Anti-ageing Eye Illuminating Cream, £34.50.

She says: “This is an award winning lightweight eye serum that helps to smooth and firm eye contours, targeting fine lines and wrinkles for a more youthful appearance, and the results are almost immediate.”

Finally, trying to fit into that party frock but it’s a bit of a squeeze?

A universal contour wrap, £75 for two-hour treatment, is a great inch loss solution.

Judith explains: “This will guarantee you to lose a minimum of six inches in just two hours when you have to look your best for that special occasion.

“The six-inch loss is also guaranteed to stay off for at least 30 days so you can be confident of looking great long after leaving the spa. The secret to universal contour wrap’s guaranteed inch loss lies in the unique clay formula and special wrapping techniques used during the treatment.”

Try Judith’s Dermica Micro-Needling

With her variety of tattoos, including a huge snake at the base of her spine, Angelina Jolie isn’t afraid of giving her skin a good needling. And given her reported weight loss, post-Brad, she will be in need of a treatment to smooth and plump her porcelain skin.

The A-lister is a fan of collagen boosting micro-needling techniques, such Dermica Pen, available at Skin MediSpa, the beauty clinic run by laser specialist Judith Mulgrew, a finalist in the Belfast Telegraph Businesswoman of the Year category. Suitable for all skin types, Dermica Pen is designed to rejuvenate the skin and add radiance. It’s also pain-free and recommended for wrinkle reduction, scarring, pigmentation, open pores and sagging skin.

Judith says: “From the age of 30 onwards, we lose 1% of our collagen every year.

“Micro-needling stimulates the body to reproduce collagen naturally — no chemicals are used or injected into the face. It is a fantastic, holistic way to improve the quality and appearance of your skin,” she adds.

Developed in Switzerland, Dermica Pen is an up-to-date professional high speed micro-needle system.

The appliance penetrates the skin deeply, using an 11-pin head with adjustable depth, which allows the opening of 80% more micro-channels than traditional dermal-rollers.

This enables a greater stimulation of collagen and elastin production, resulting in a fast and visible rejuvenating effect with long-lasting results.

Dermica Pen costs:

  • Face and neck, 75 minutes, £180.
  • Face, one hour, £150.
  • Body (small area), 45 minutes, £150.
  • Body (large area), one hour, from £180.
  • Skin Medispa, Surrey Street, Belfast, tel: 028 9068 1066 or visit, or call Judith Mulgrew, tel: 07590 315 687

Christmas season Radiance Package

This is a one-hour treatment that combines the clinic’s excellent Vit-illume and Pelleve treatments. The Vit-illume basically deeply cleanses and exfoliates, then super-hydrates the skin with a potent blend of antioxidants, peptides and hyaluronic acid. The radio frequency-based Pelleve treatment is designed to target lines, wrinkles and laxity around the eyes and jaw line. It’s akin to Thermage skin tightening — a favourite of Gwyneth  Paltrow — without the ouch factor. The combination of treatments will leave the skin visibly smoother, plumper and super-illuminated.

Price: Vit-illume on its own is £120 or add the Pelleve for £130 (Pelleve is normally £315 per treatment). River Medical also specialise in a 30-minute eye lift treatment, using Pelleve. It’s a gentle treatment aimed at tackling the onset of fine lines and wrinkles in the under-eye area which can be difficult to treat. Price: £150 per treatment.

River Medical, 88 Lisburn Road, Belfast, tel: 028 9560 7585, email, or visit

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