Beauty expert Trish Lesslie on just how far you should go when it comes to the casual nip and tuck. Plus, which new treatments should you try, and which should you avoid…

‘Perhaps it’s time to let nature take its course.’ So said a friend recently as she debated whether to unleash the silver vixen beneath the blonde bombshell. While grey can be gorgeous – just look at Christine Legarde – my friend fears she’ll end up more shabby than chic by giving up her regular trips to the colourist.

It got me thinking about the signs of getting older – and not for the first time. I began writing about anti-ageing treatments long before I felt I needed them myself and it’s been fascinating to see how things have evolved. Over the past 15 years, I’ve tried just about everything that claims to help us look younger, from jabs to lasers, with varying degrees of success.

If you’re thinking of taking the plunge, I’d recommend you opt for regular ‘tweakments’ – small, subtle interventions such as a touch of Botox and perhaps a little filler every few months, skin-firming treatments such as Ultherapy every 18 months and maybe an occasional Silhouette Soft thread lift. A good doctor will help you come up with the right treatment plan, something that gives both instant and gradual, long-term results.

Carried out by a skilled pair or hands, nobody – not even the morality police – will realise you’ve had any ‘work’. You’ll just look fresher, like you’ve had a good rest.

Nobody, not even the mortality police will realise you’ve had any work done

Joan Rivers and cosmetic enhancements

Trish intends to go ‘the full Joan Rivers’

Subtlety is key, so opt for a doctor with a softly, softly approach. Dr Jonquille Chantrey fits the bill perfectly. Her ‘fluid facelifts’, using Botox and fillers, are the stuff of legend. In fact, she’s so good with a needle she trains other aestheticians in the art of injectibles. She also has a waiting list a mile long, but it’s worth signing up to.

In my experience, the best-known names aren’t always the most skilled – they just have the best PRs. And while the effects of a Botox disaster – a droopy brow or drooling mouth – will wear off after a few months, it will feel like a very long few months. I speak from experience, having been left looking like I had Bell’s palsy after a Harley Street medic decided a Botox ‘neck lift’ was just what I needed. It wasn’t – not as administered by him anyway.

While nobody ‘needs’ anti-ageing treatments, many of us want them. For my part, I intend to go the full Joan Rivers when I feel I’m ready (and am hoping the marvellous consultant plastic surgeon Rajiv Grover will still be wielding a scalpel when I do). On the other hand, my friend wouldn’t consider anything more invasive than a pricey promise in a jar. Her face, her money, her choice.

Still, she’s keeping up those colour appointments…