FaceGym: Gym for your face. Curious? You should be. Remember when I interviewed Eva Fraser and she hammered home the importance of giving the muscles in your face a workout to enhance structure and defy gravity? Well, think of FaceGym as a slightly lazier way to exercise your face muscles. All you have to do is head along to Selfridges and prepare for a little pain for a lot of gain…
FaceGym is Inge Theron’s brainchild. The result of years of trying many a treatment across the globe in her role as undercover spa reporter for her Spa Junkie column in the Financial Times, Theron wanted to create a place for a snappy facial that made a difference without the use of any needles: ”I’d tried a thread lift for an article for the FT and ended up looking like Michael Jackson. I came to Selfridges and said ”this has to stop. Stop the botox and fillers and calcium injections. Let’s go back to basics.’ ”
What differentiates FaceGym from your average facial? Instead of working on the skin’s condition, it works on the structure of the face: ”If you think about it, your skin sits on a bed of muscles. You have 600 muscles in your body and 50 muscles in your face and you never work the muscles in your face out. The motions you make repeatedly age you. You know what happens at the gymwhen you work out? The same is true of your face.”
Treatment review /
Signature Workout (£35 for 30 minutes) + Advanced Technology (an additional £95)
I’m reclining in Selfridges in what appears to be a dentist’s chair on the ground floor. Those of you who frequent Selfridges will know the ground floor = thoroughfare of shoppers. I’m being gawked at a little bit and have to firmly tell myself to push embarrassment out of my head – I’m not here to relax to some zen music, I’m here to give my facial muscles a hell of a work out.
The FaceGym session starts with a ‘warm up’ which involves some (fairly violent) kneading of the face with a cleanser created by uber-facialist Alexandra Soveral, followed by a teeny tiny body brush stroked upwards to kick start lymphatic drainage.
Next is ‘cardio’: a series of energetic, quick strokes that send blood speeding around my face. After cardio, the ‘strength’ session ensues. This part is painful – as with any massage designed to work kinks out of stressed muscles, having the deeper muscles of my face pushed at is almost unbearable. I start to wish I could grit my teeth as tension knots are squeezed out of my jaw.
I feel relieved when the fingers are removed from the nooks of my face and my blood resumes its normal flow. But there is more to come. As I’ve opted for the advanced technology supplement, the next part is a rather more high-tech and involves an interesting-looking micro-current machine that is designed to pulse and relax muscles.
If I’d been under any illusions as to the importance muscles play in facial structure, this part was to allay my concerns. It is demonstrably effective at exercising muscles; as the current passes over my chin, my forehead starts to contort (much to the amusement of onlookers). Then my neck twitches when it goes to work on my forehead. I genuinely come close to dribbling when it approaches my nose.
Just in the nick of time, out comes a jade roller. Cooling, redness-reducing, gentle jade. After a little spritz of Alexandra’s hydrating toner, I’m handed a mirror. Before I take a look, I touch my face – it feels plumper and firmer. I lift the mirror to find my face looks markedly different: my cheekbones are more pronounced, my jawline tauter and my forehead smooth as the proverbial millpond. Relaxing it ain’t, but effective it is my friends.