Meghan Markle and Bella Hadid swear by facial massage to tone, lift and sculpt without the use of fillers or Botox. But is it worth it? I found out.
Facial workouts are a big thing in beauty. Meghan Markle swears by them as a plumping, natural alternative to Botox.
“I swear it works,” Meghan told Birchbox.
“On the days I do it, my cheekbones and jawline are way more sculpted.”
Bella Hadid meanwhile, who recently documented her facial massage on Instagram, claimed: “lymph drainage helps the body detox which then helps with the crazy inflammation/puffiness I get from my Lyme [disease]”.
The “only one I let touch my face”, according to Bella, is Madalaina Conti, the national training manager at a place called FaceGym. Obviously, I had to try it so I made an appointment and jumped on the subway. I opted for the Signature Sculpt for $95 (approx. $127, plus tip because #America).
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When you arrive at FaceGym in NoHo, you’ll notice it doesn’t look like a place you’d go to get facial treatments. As the name would suggest, it’s more like I was walking into a fitness studio. Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance was pumping at the time I walked in.
After filling in a questionnaire about my skin type and concerns, what firmness I wanted (medium), and I sat down, removed my facemask (#pandemic) to begin the treatment.
As you would in a fitness class, the first step is the warmup. At FaceGym, this involves a yoga ball being pressed into your face and stretching your skin at various pressure points. This was really nice and calming, as you’d expect stretching to be, and I definitely felt like my circulation increasing.
Oh boy, if I could pay someone to do this to me all day… My esthetician began with fast, firm pinches to my cheeks and jawline. My blood was definitely pumping now, as you can see by my redder face. Next was a pressured massage along my jawline with my esthetician’s knuckles, which, for a nighttime jaw-clencher was AMAZING and I felt my stress melting away with each stroke.
This little tool not unlike a ninja star was brought out twice, once to aid lymphatic drainage and the other to de-puff, fresh out of the fridge. The long edge is for contouring, the teeth are for smoothing wrinkles. This felt nice but I didn’t really notice a difference.
The main event
So you may have heard of microcurrent devices (easily the most popular and recognised brand is NuFace) but have you ever actually experienced it? It’s…weird.
First, you have to apply the Collagen Activating Serum which acts as a conductor for the mild electric currents that are going to surge through the tens of thousands of tiny muscles in your face That sounds scary but it’s actually super gentle, albeit tingly and WEIRD because your facial muscles visibly contract as the device rolls over it. Yes, my eye twitched and yes, it was strange.
These very expensive little gadgets apply EMS (electric muscle stimulation) to your face to tone and tighten. My esthetician likened it to “your face doing sit-ups”. I was able to do a comparison after one side had been done and… I dunno. The right side does look a little slimmer and more toned, but I do wonder if that’s just my wallet trying to justify it. BUT in looking back at my before snap pre-workout maybe I can see a difference?
Would I do it again?
Like exercising, FaceGym recommends regular visits, up to every week which my wallet certainly can’t allow for. You can do at-home ‘classes’ too, and purchase FaceGym products through their online store. But as much as I enjoyed the experience, I might just have to sweettalk by husband into massaging my face instead.