The lazy-girl guide to a slim face and small pores for the holidays

Now is as good a time as any to de-puff and detoxify your way to a V-shaped visage – because hey, you don’t want to lose face at your annual secondary school get-together, do you? Try these treatments to ‘save face’ and look slim without getting sliced and diced by an aesthetician!

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If the only “gifts” you’ve received from Father Time this year have come in the form of new crinkles and creases on your face, fret not: It’s doctors (plus a ton of topical treatments) to the rescue. In keeping with the critical nature of this crisis of the complexion, let's get straight to it, shall we. Bookmark this story, and have fun ticking off this laundry list of face savers and salves!

Firm up your face with a frosty morning treat

This hack really works to rid me of water retention for a Korean drama-ready ‘small’ face the morning after. What you do is to grab a jug and stir in the tiniest bit of toner mixed with water straight from the tap – I’d say approximately one to five, proportions-wise – then chuck your container into the fridge. Done? Good, you’re free to shuffle off to bed.

Next morning, simply step out of the shower, dunk your clean face into the deliciously cold brew, then caress the contours for 15 seconds or so. (Pay special heed to the cheek and jowl areas, where most of the sagging and bagging occurs.) Follow up with your usual morning regime. With any luck, you should find that this chilly treat will result in more petite pores and a less blotchy complexion.

Turn up the heat, real high

Now that we’re on the cusp of party season, you’ll see me disappearing for mysteriously long lunchtime breaks – and beauty buffs, you know exactly what I mean. You see, while lotions and potions are the mainstay of any respectable beauty regime, there’s no shame in admitting to needing a little extra oomph every now and then – so think of aesthetic procedures as push-up bras for our faces.

What to try, what to buy? For my money, Thermage is a truly terrific option when it comes to nailing that V-shaped visage so coveted in today’s K-Obsessed world. How does it work? Dr Winston Lee of South Bridge Aesthetics Clinic tells me that this next-gen treatment blasts radiofrequency rays onto the skin to tighten and tone any sagging and bagging: “This non-invasive procedure addresses lax skin and poor skin texture and makes for an effective alternative to surgical facelifts.” (Quick note on pricing: Cost varies from clinic to clinic, but you can expect to pay a low-to-mid four-figure sum per session in Singapore.)

Billion-dollar beauty question: Does Thermage hurt? Not going to lie, the prickly heat does take some getting used to, but it’s far from being a cry-out-loud, hold-my-hand experience. And yes, it really works, at least for me; my face feels bouncy and buoyant like the firmest of fishballs a mere month after my trial. Best of all, Dr Winston says your skin will continue to improve over the subsequent months. “From the patients I've treated, some have seen good improvement in as early as one week, while others can take up to three months to see the optimal results,” the dishy doctor adds. “This means you can look good at Christmas and even better during the New Year!”

Having said that, it’s absolutely imperative to do your research; you wouldn’t want to wind up looking like a battered burn victim at your office get-together. Crucial caveats also apply: Consult a doctor in real life before committing to any in-clinic procedure, and practice due diligence by always selecting an SMC-registered aesthetician.

Fill her up!

If you’re feeling wan and withered like a prune, consider plumping up your under-eye region with hyaluronic acid fillers. Here’s a quick test to see if you’re a good candidate: Simply peer down into a mirror placed flat on a table. If you spy shadowy hollows under your eye, a judicious shot of fillers injected deep into the dermis in that region (impress your doctor by referring to it as the “tear trough”) can replace lost volume and make you appear like you’ve had a solid eight hours of sleep daily. How’s that for a booster shot of instant gratification?

Right, then, picked out a personal favourite yet? Have fun lifting your spirits and your skin, and continue fighting the good fight against gravity. Happy holidays!

Want more? Depuff and detoxify your way to a slimmer and “smaller” face with this step-by-step manual, and stave off the advances of Old Father Time by following these anti-ageing beauty best practices every self-respecting office lady should know. Get your daily dose of beauty at