Unless I'm visiting my dentist's office, I'm not really used to having anyone put their fingers in my mouth. But being game for anything—and desperately seeking a disguise for the fact I've been tired for about 25 years now—I headed in for the facial that everybody's talking about: the Bespoke Sculpting Inner Facial at Joss Beauty. My facialist was the incredible Charlotte Connoley, a former model who has since joined forces with super-facialist Nichola Joss—Meghan Markle's skin guru—to now offer incredible treatments from her Covent Garden bolthole.
Soaking up Joss's wisdom (and her inner-mouth technique) whilst developing expertise of her own, Connoley has become something of a skin whisperer who needs only a passing glance to work out exactly what your complexion is crying out for.
Apart from the fact it goes further than any facial has gone before (INSIDE THE MOUTH!!!!), that personal diagnosis is exactly what lies at the heart of this facial: It's completely tailored to you and your skin, and uses products from a range of brands that the pair have come to rely on. The treatment contains everything you'd expect from a good facial. First comes a deep, thorough cleanse (which is somehow so much more satisfying when someone else does it for you). There are also plenty of masks and skin treatments, and as always, mine were dedicated to hydration.
But the main event was the facial massage, and I'd heard that Connoley's lymphatic-drainage techniques have the ability to practically restructure your face. She started by kneading up and down my cheeks, pitter-pattering over the forehead and circling the eyes all whilst I mentally took note hoping to replicate some of her magic at home. When she ran her fingers tightly along my jawline, I could actually feel the knots crunching (grim) and melting away. Her approach is pretty forceful (none of that softly-softly bullsh*t that gets you nowhere), which is why it works so well to boost the circulation at the surface of the skin, as well as nimble up the facial muscles.
Then came the snap of the latex gloves. Gulp. Here it was—the facial massage inside my mouth. Now, I'm not sure I could ever really prepare somebody for what this sensation is like, but what you should know is that it hurts. Like, really hurts. Connoley hooks her knuckles into a corner of the mouth you never knew existed (it's right under that nobbly bit of the cheekbone, btw) and pushes the skin upwards while a single tear trickles down the face. Boy, it's KILLER, but it has this insane effect on the overall structure of the face.
You look perkier and more lifted, and the effect actually lasts.
I left the treatment looking as glowy as if I had run a half marathon and with cheekbones so taut it looked like someone had pegged my face back. A few weeks on, life has begun to cloud my skin once more, but having followed Connoley's massage advice to the letter, I can safely say these newfound cheekbones are here to stay.
Location: Joss Beauty, Good Vibes Studio, 14-16 Betterton St., London, WC2H 9BU
Price: £200 for 60 minutes