Some beauticians argue that the best way to keep time at bay is to use one’s facial muscles as sparingly as possible; Eva Fraser would be horrified by the idea. She makes a distinction between the deep lines that result from habitual over-use and the slackness, which is equally ageing, that comes from the combined forces of gravity, time and inertia – ie muscle that isn’t worked enough. The facial muscles are the same as any other on the body, she asserts, and are therefore just as much in need of building, toning and firming if they are not to slacken and waste away.
Since her exercises centre on isometrically building the muscles at critical points with tiny, precise movements, mastering the technique requires close one-to-one instruction. Of all the anti-ageing approaches this was easily the most onerous. But Joan Rolls, Vogue‘s fashion advertising director, loved the idea of exercising her face firm again. “It seemed a more positive reaction to ageing than resorting to scalpels and syringes.” A natural fitness enthusiast, she found the lessons “exactly like having a personal trainer” and embarked on them with gusto just weeks before her fortieth birthday.
Eight months later, she says her whole face feels different, especially when she’s