Ever wonder how supermodels stay supernaturally young looking? Some of it’s genetics. A lot of it’s not. Face taping is a trick that I’ve seen and admired while on set with a lot of my fellow supes and hanging with my drag queen mister-sisters, but I haven’t tried it till now.
Admittedly, at 53, fatigue shows up on the face and neck. When The Glow Up friend makeup artist Marc Cornwall suggested that I add tape to my face on a shoot for a little extra lift, I thought, why not?
Got an occasion where you want to play the younger games? Maybe that high school or college reunion, a wedding or a profile picture? Face taping is a cheap, noninvasive option for a little lifting.
I used Mark Traynor’s Miracle Face & Neck Lift kit ($29.50) from Alcone; Amazon.com has options as well, like three-and-a-half-star consumer-rated Secret Lift for $17.95. It’s just two bungee cords attached to a piece of surgical adhesive tape on one end, with a little tab that slips through eyelets on the cords to adjust the tension. For lifting the neck, it’s a mini-version of the face-tape fandango—a tiny cord with a tab of surgical tape at each end.
It looks like child’s play, but honey, let me tell you, it takes some doing to get it right. I had a hell of a time with the eyelet rings getting caught in my hair when I tried to do it alone. My suggestion? Have a friend section your hair and help you apply the tape and attach the strings along the nape of your neck. Going DIY? A wig cap and lace front are your tangle-free answer.
To get started, throughly cleanse your face. Working in front of the mirror, use your fingers to gently lift from the point above the arch of the eyebrow up toward the hairline until you feel as if your forehead and brow bone area look sag-free and refreshed. Do not pull your skin until you have a look of shock and awe. Taunt skin works best for applying the tape.
Position the tape about a quarter to half an inch below your edges. Don’t worry about peeping the tape—you’ll conceal it with a little makeup and hair magic afterward. Peel the backing off the tape, then smooth it down and stretch the bungee cord diagonally across the crown of the head toward the opposite temple.
Next step: Get the small connecting piece of tape ready (the one without eyelets on the string) and gently lift the skin at the temple upward toward the top of your ear. When you get the desired look, peel the backing on the tape and adhere to the skin a quarter to a half inch from the temple. Repeat on the other side of your face.
Now that you’re wired, here’s the tricky part. Those bungee cords snap back and swing around like snakes in a bucket. Take your time. Hold on to both strings gently and move both strings toward the center back of your skull. When you feel lifted enough, slip the tab through the eyelet to fasten the cords together.
Now for the turkey-neck attack: No heavy artillery needed—it’s as easy as slapping on a Band-Aid. Wipe your neck down with alcohol to help the tape stick better. Cup your hand around the back of your neck and gently squeeze the skin toward the center of the neck. Do not pull your neck too tight; overstretching the cord causes the tape to peel away. A light coat of whatever foundation you use renders the tape invisible.
How does it look? Like you had some good surgery that’s still kind of settling in around the eye area—not altogether natural, but step in front of that lens, and baby, I promise you, it gives you life like you retired to Brazil with a million bucks in cash.
How does it feel? Tight like a fresh weave installed by a Dora Milaje commando as an interrogation tactic. I could wear it all day in studio—but to walk the streets or go to a social affair with friends? It’s not me. At least not yet. You never know. Black don’t crack, but it does sag and dimple … my resistance may be futile.