Grab a sandwich, post a letter - oh and get a facelift! This is what Karen Shepherd’s lunch break looks like as she arrives at Illusionz Salon in Attercliffe on Friday afternoon.
The 56-year-old city care worker breezes in the door and natters happily to salon owner Vinisha Ali as numbing cream is applied to her face, then sips a cup of Yorkshire Tea as she waits for it to take effect.
Forty minutes later she’s heading back to work, looking ‘really well’ - though you’d be forgiven for pinpointing exactly why.
In reality, Karen has just undergone what salon owner Vinisha has dubbed ‘the lunchtime facelift.’
Karen is one of over a hundred people in the city to have tried the non-invasive procedure, which arrived from Korea last year and has already seen a host of celebrities - including Madonna, Kylie and Kimberley Walsh - give it a try.
So just how does it work?
Because there are no cuts or incision, there’s no scarring and no side effects
The procedure uses polydioxanone threads, which have been used in surgeries for over 30 years, inserting them into the sub dermal skin using very fine needles. As the body breaks down and dissolves the stitches, it stimulates the production of collagen and elastine, which causes shrinkage in the surrounding tissues, listing it upwards and outwards.
Vinisha, 41, explains: “Because there are no cuts or incision, there’s no scarring and no side effects. There’s minimal possibility of bruising and only slight reddening, meaning a client can get straight back to their day. You can see some effect straightaway but it takes 14 days before its in full effect. Even then, it can continue working for weeks and months afterwards and lasts 18-24 months so it’s a really good investment.”
Karen, who’s the same age as Madonna, was keen to address what she considered her facial ‘problem area’ - her jowls.
She says: “As time and gravity have played their part, my skin has begun to drop in certain places, and I was particularly bothered by my jowls. I’ve been to Vinisha in the past for botox and, when I heard about this, I wanted to give it a try. I’m a big believer in giving anything a go if it makes you look and feel better.”
And this is not the first ‘celeb craze’ treatment that Vinisha has bought to the salon she’s run for 18 years, minus the hefty celeb price tag. Last year she introduced ‘3D Lipo’ to the region, a non-invasive fat-busting treatment, which involves the application of a suction cup to the skin, which freezes the fat cells before eliminating them naturally from the body.
Vinish says: “The reality is people in Attercliffe can’t afford to pay £2500 for an aesthetic treatment, but I think they’re as entitled to that treatment, so I’ve made it my mission to bring these things to the city and keep them affordable. That’s why the PDO thread lifts start at £400 for an area.”
The price was key to winning Karen over.
Karen, of Southey, chips in: “I love to read about what celebs are having done and the latest procedure, but more often than not I can’t afford them. Vinisha makes these things accessible.
“The treatment wasn’t painful, just a little pinprick at most, and I’m so pleased with the results. I can see it working instantly and I love the fact it will keep working and improving for months.”
Karen came to Vinisha in February to have the treatment on the skin of her neck, and she says she’s seen a massive improvement.
“I was so pleased with how it looked and it’s been tightening and lifting ever since. People keep telling me that I look ‘really fresh and well’ which is lovely to hear. I’m a busy woman so, being able to pop in on my lunch break and have this done and then head back to work is perfect.”
The procedure isn’t limited to faces and necks. According to Vinisha, any skin that can be tightened can benefit from the treatment.
“I’ve done arms, stomachs, thighs; there’s that bit above the knee that gets wrinkly, the décolletage, telltale backs of the hands - even the bum!” she says.
Vinisha has a policy - she is always the first person to try any new treatment that comes to her salon.
“I like to be able to speak knowledgably to my clients about sensations and what to expect. Plus I always say that prevention is better than cure - and it must be working because nobody thinks I look 41,” laughs Vinisha. “We’ve been doing this treatment since February and I’ve been so impressed with the results I’ve seen. It makes people look so much younger and fresher.”
So what about the results?
Karen confirms: “I’m so impressed, ten minutes after having it done I can see the lift in my own face and those lines from my nose to my mouth have already faded - I love it!
“People have to be realistic, you’re not going under the knife so it’s never going to be a full face lift, but at this price it’s wonderful to see such results, I’m thrilled.
“I’m looking forward to watching myself get younger looking for the next 3-6 months!”