Adele's Porcelain Skin
“Makeup-Free Adele Shocks Cosmos!”
Entertainment outlets went berserk -- even by their hyperbolic standards – back in November when Adele appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone. Theo Wenner’s beautiful photograph of the fab 25 chirp with wet hair and a white bathrobe suggested a just-out- of-the-shower freshness.
But suggestions aren’t facts. That the projected images we see feel more real to us than each other may indeed be our 21 st century lot. Yet back in the Dark Ages, say, 1961, the brilliant writer Walker Percy published The Moviegoer, whose subject is exactly that. (If you haven’t read it, read it and read this, too. Ree-ding. You can do it.)
At any rate, this is what Adele really looks like without makeup. Is she recognizably human? Yes. Still lovely? Yes. Yes, she’s young – 28 -- but there’s something more.
England is rainy, so Adele has less sun damage. It’s that and her genes that give her the peaches-and- cream complexion. Unless you have a lot of money and constantly vacation in the Mediterranean, you’ll keep that good skin. If you have that as a base, keeping it healthy and youthful is not about intrinsic aging. Ninety percent is all done from the outside.
The number one reason your skin will get premature aging is sunlight, daylight, and UV rays – period. And seventy-eight percent of those rays come from incidental exposure.
Which means … ?
RR: The times when you don’t think you’re getting the damaging rays so you skip sun protection – driving in the car, sitting in your home or office near windows, or walking outside on a cloudy day. Skipping that step will lead to wrinkles, early aging, and old-looking skin.
GA: As Alvy Singer said in Annie Hall,
RR: If you want to prevent wrinkles, wearing sunscreen three hundred and sixty-five days a year, rain or shine, inside or out, is a must.
GA: What about at night?
RR: Wash your face every night before bed. Cleansing your skin at night will lessen the amount of oil on the skin, removing acne-causing bacteria, which will result in fewer blemishes.
GA: Tina, if Adele was your patient, what would you advise to preserve her skin’s Adele-osity?
TA: No harsh things. To tread water, all Adele has to do is add an antioxidant, one of the topical Vitamin B’s and C’s, drink water, and eat a regular diet. If she starts noticing a little bit of frowning, squinting, and crow’s feet, then I’d use Botox to take out the crunch.
GA: Ladies, you both treat lots of pretty people in your respective practices. What stands out for you about Adele?
RR: Her “lit from within” skin. If your skin doesn’t already have a natural pinkness, a long-term strategy is to hang your head upside down for three minutes per day. You can do this up against a wall, or during a Downward Dog in yoga, or simply hanging your head over the side of your bed. You should notice that after three minutes, a slight redness will appear on the skin, and in the long run it can make a big difference in getting and keeping an inner glow.
TA: Adele’s come into her personal and professional own. That makes her even more confident, charming, approachable, and attractive. Not just her music, but her whole life has been turned around. You radiate positive energy when you feel good about yourself. People are always looking on the outside to make themselves happy. But with Adele, the joy comes from within. Plus she’s beautiful. It has to be the two together. And talk about what you can do to make yourself look better with eyeliner!
Product Time (in sequential application)
Good skin includes the eye area. (Adele is, after all, all about her eyes.) Once you’re past puberty, you should use an age-appropriate eye cream every day and every night for protection, prevention, and polite society. This is not the place to skimp.
N°7 Youthful Eye Serum (on sale for $21.59) is great on price and younger eyes. “Serum” is a misnomer; this is a super-light cream whose blend of hyaluronic acid, Vitamin C, and something called “soft focus spheres” smooth, revitalize, and brighten. A fusion of Vitamin A, cassava, and anti-aging peptides improves firmness and helps reduce dark circles, puffiness, and the appearance of burgeoning crow’s feet.
Clarins Super Restorative Total Eye Concentrate ($84). If you’re closer to 40 than to 30, it’s either this, or $500 Botox injections every three months. You decide. We love it because…
- A teeny bit goes a long way.
- Its pearlescent tightening formula marries the power of plants with cutting edge science to smooth, illuminate, and replenish the entire eye area. And Asian silk tree extract attacks dark circles.
- D-Panthenol enhances eyelashes (which is obviously extra-important when it comes to Adele).
In 2012, I wrote an entire story about toners. I haven’t changed my position: Using the right toner after cleansing makes a huge difference in purity, feel, and hydration. None of Renée Rouleau’s toners contain alcohol, which means you’ll never experience tight, dry, or irritated skin.
As the weather’s been especially gross lately – here in the Northeast we’re wearing summer dresses with rain booties – I’m devoted to RR’s Elderberry Toner ($33.50), perfect for touchy, weirded-out skin. Elderberry fruit extract has awesome anti’s, too, as in anti-inflammatories and antioxidants.
You need a serum. Everybody does, to reach and maintain Adele skin heights. In addition to its price and the fact that it works, what I particularly love about N°7 Protect & Perfect Intense Advanced Serum ($29.99) is its profound British-osity – it’s the biggest-selling serum in the U.K. -- which Adele would and should appreciate. What’s more, (it claims) it’s the first serum clinically proven to reduce lines and wrinkles over time.
The other must serum is Renée Rouleau’s Vitamin C & E Treatment ($64.50). One of her spas’ best-selling products, this creamy yet light and non-stinging antiaging powerhouse does it all: attacks free radicals, builds collagen, repairs sun damage, lightens dark spots, evens discoloration, brightens overall tone, soothes inflammation, calms redness, provides four times the protection of sunscreen alone (ideal under your sunscreen), and keeps skin hydrated without oil. Really.
Moisturizer with SPF
The Holy Grail of moisturizer with sunscreen is lightness, zero greasiness, high broad-spectrum (UVA and UVB) SPF, a matte but not cakey finish, wearable under makeup, and doesn’t smell like a crowded beach or an over-chlorinated pool. I found three. They’re all excellent, they’re all a little different.
La Roche-Posay Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Anthelios 50 Mineral Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid ($33.50). Shake well – it’s a tad runny – and rock out. Mineral sun filters and powerful antioxidants do the heavy lifting. This fluid can initially leave a slightly whitish cast on skin, but it fades as it absorbs, making it great under makeup.
Renée Rouleau Daily Protection SPF 30 ($37.50). Oily skins like mine rejoice over this lightweight, sheer lotion that can be worn on its own or before makeup. It won’t clog pores or weigh down your skin, so it’s the perfect moisturizer and sunscreen. What’s more, its ingredients are smart: zinc oxide is gentle and sun protective; Japanese green tea has antioxidant properties; and licorice extract calms sensitivity.
One last thing: Exfoliate regularly. Not every day, but depending on your skin type, a few times a week. Use a baby washcloth and lukewarm water, a Clarisonic, or a scrub. Because all this great stuff won’t work over dull, dead skin. This is an investment. This is for you. This is for Adele.