Skin icing – or facial cryotherapy – is one of the latest skincare trends flooding Instagram Reels and TikTok – and for good reason. Quite apart from the mesmerizing effect of watching celebrities and facialists massage ice globes onto their faces, the action of skin icing tightens and contracts the skin, leaving it sculpted and plump with an outdoorsy glow. A case in point is Irina Shayk, whose morning skincare routine comprises an ice tool by Nicole Caroline to wake up her face: “Trust me, it works!” she says in the IGTV for British Vogue.
The idea of applying ice or using a cryotherapy tool in a professional facial treatment isn’t new but the recent innovation of ice-based tools has meant it’s now easier than ever to give yourself an at-home skin icing treatment, without the unglamorous and frankly annoying downsides of melting ice cubes dripping on to your clothes. Whether you want to de-puff skin or get the blood circulating for a post-walk-in-the-cold glow, skin icing is your ticket to see results. Throw in the immediate lifting effect and the added benefit of lymphatic drainage and it becomes an even more exciting prospect.
Watch any YouTube tutorial and you’ll see before and after shots of icing: skin is glowing, pores are a thing of the past and, most noticeably, the face is lifted. Facialist Teresa Tarmey has been using cryotherapy in her treatments for years because the “ice-lift effect instantly and dramatically lifts saggy and puffy skin, rejuvenating a dull complexion and sculpting the face.” Indeed, icing was proving so popular in her salon that Tarmey created her own cryo-ball so that her clients could continue the treatment at home. “I first intended for it to be used before big events or to save stressed or problematic skin, but it’s so effective, many people use it every morning to de-puff and de-stress skin. The results are seriously impactful,” she says.
The promise of an immediate glow, tightened pores and de-puffing on your skin is reason enough to start skin icing but if you don’t fancy using simple ice cubes, make space in your freezer for one of these cryo tools.
Teresa Tarmey Cryo-Ball
This surgical-grade steel ball contains fluids that stay freezing cold while you roll the ball over the architecture of the face, along the jawline, up the cheekbones and across the forehead for a lifting effect.
Fraîcheur Ice Globes
Satisfyingly chic, freeze these spherical ice globes overnight and use them to give morning skin a massage. From enhancing circulation to taking down redness and puffiness, consider it a worthy AM skin ritual.
Georgia Louise Cryo-Facial Freeze Tools
In lieu of facialist Georgia Louise’s own hands and high-tech in-clinic procedure, look no further than her Cryo Freeze Tools. Louise recommends first rolling from the inner areas of the face, outwards; then, covering the eyes with the tools for 10 seconds to de-puff.
001 Skincare Cryopress
Counting the likes of Jennifer Aniston and Gigi Hadid as fans, this little tool maintains a temperature of between -8 and -25 degrees Celsius to get the job done – and efficiently. The brand also claim it helps more sensitive skins, like those that suffer with eczema and psoriasis, too.
Foreo UFO 2
This nifty little tool has a number of settings, from LED light to heat therapy and, of course, a cryo function which helps to shrink pores, reduce puffiness and take down inflammation. It’s not the coldest, at five degrees Celsius, but it does the job well.
Anne Semonin Express Radiance Ice Cubes
Specifically designed for the eye area, these skincare-infused ice cubes can fit in even the tiniest of freezers and make brightening tired eyes a total breeze.
Parisian makeup artist Violette’s top secret for how to apply foundation? Execute it without a trace. “I want people to say, ‘Oh my god, your skin looks amazing!’ not, ‘Your foundation is so great,’” she explains. And while finding the perfect formula is half the battle, once you have it, making like Houdini and ensuring it vanishes into your complexion is just as crucial. Here, three in-demand makeup artists share their fine-tuned tips for how to apply foundation and achieve that ever-elusive, second-skin finish.
Create a glowing canvas
Clean and moisturized skin is a no-brainer, but to really supercharge your glow, begin with a hydrating mask and follow it up with a lymphatic facial massage. When makeup artist Nina Park works with clients such as Zoë Kravitz and Bella Hadid, she begins with a sheet mask specifically targeted to their skin type, with ingredients such as rose to combat oiliness, aloe to treat dryness, and green tea to soothe inflammation. After masking, gently massage your moisturizer into the skin to boost circulation and reduce puffiness. “It creates a natural flush that makes the face look more awake,” says makeup artist Kira Nasrat, who helps give Jessica Alba that perpetually luminous complexion.
Prime as needed
To prime or not to prime? It’s an eternal question for amateurs and pros alike. While Violette typically skips the extra base step in the interest of using as little product as possible, when applied correctly, it can prolong foundation for all-day wear. “I use an anti-shine primer for hotspots like the forehead, hairline, sides of nose, and around the mouth, and then a sheer, illuminating one for the tops of the cheekbones,” explains Park, adding that she applies each with her fingertips.
Apply from the centre and move outward
Only apply foundation where it’s really necessary, insists Violette, who counts Estée Lauder Futurist Hydra Rescue Moisturizing Foundation with SPF 45 among her favourites. “Start in the centre of the face, on the apples of the cheeks, and slowly blend out,” she instructs, adding that another key part of the face is the area around the mouth, which is prone to yellow undertones and shadows. To ensure the foundation looks as natural as possible, Violette often skips the bridge of the nose — letting freckles show through for those who have them — and the corners of the nostrils, so the pigment doesn’t cling to dry patches.
Don’t paint, buff
No matter what tool you’re using — a foundation brush, a BeautyBlender, or your fingers — buff (or bounce, if you’re using a sponge) the foundation into your skin as opposed to “painting” it on to build coverage smoothly and avoid streakiness, says Park.
Strobe wherever the sun hits
For dimension, blend highlighter onto the high planes of the face that catch light naturally, such as the cheekbones, temples, and Cupid’s bow. “I’m not a fan of powder highlighters because it looks a bit fake to me,” says Violette. “Creamy balm textures will give you a dewiness as if you’re not wearing any products.”
Blot, then set
First, soak up excess oil with blotting papers. Then, look to a featherweight translucent powder to seal in foundation and prevent unwanted sheen. “Use a brush to apply it very lightly and only to the areas that get the most shiny,” says Nasrat, adding that the leftover lustre is what will really drive home that second-skin guise. Silky smooth and even-toned, with just the right amount of lit-from-within dewiness, that’s how you execute believably perfect skin.