FaceGym: A Workout to Tone & Sculpt Your Face!

Photo: Sarah Kunst

I didn’t know my face could benefit from a workout, but now that I’ve experienced one at the FaceGym, I’m obsessed. This British import recently opened its first American location in NYC at Saks Fifth Avenue’s new second floor beauty extravaganza. (If you haven’t yet gone for a spin around the new floor, you should! It’s more like a light, bright, modern beauty neighborhood that invites exploration and discovery, less traditional beauty counters with women spritzing you willy-nilly.) Like with any upscale neighborhood that has its SoulCycle, Equinox and local yoga studio, it’s only natural a desirable beauty neighborhood would have FaceGym.

The FaceGym tagline: It’s not a facial. It’s a workout. A combination of non-invasive techniques–facial massage, electric current and radio frequency heat stimulation–the workout lifts, smoothes, and contours your face. No extraction. No up-sell of additional masks. As someone who made a conscious decision to forgo Botox as part of my anti-aging regimen, I’m always on the lookout for non-needle alternatives!

When you walk into the FaceGym, it looks like an upscale gym/spa. It’s all black and white with hits of red. The sun streams in from windows in the back. It has a perfect urban gym vibe. There’s a check-in desk, with stretched bands as a decorative motif and a huge elixir bar where your “trainer” will mix a customized serum for your skin’s needs. My trainer offered me a glass of water before we began our session–and then suggested two.

“This is really a workout!” she said. “You’ll thank me for it.”

I’m seated in a hairdresser-type chair. Other women are seated alongside me and are having their own workouts. There’s the Signature that’s $70 and employs both massage and the use of various tools. Yoga Face for $90 that’s a hands-only treatment intended to “invigorate and restore,” with more focus on tension-release and lymphatic drainage. Of course, I have opted for the Game Face, the most advanced workout, a 75-minute treatment that clocks in at $275.

It was weird. It was long. It was amazing.


The Stretch: After cleansing and an application of a very fresh and pleasant-smelling hydrating serum, she began the workout by rolling a rubber ball all over my face to stretch it out, pressing against various pressure points. Odd, but nothing too crazy.

The Warm-Up: After the stretch, she used a radio frequency device to heat my skin and elevate the temperature by four degrees. According to my aesthetician, radio frequency is conducted through the water molecules in the skin to help increase the production of collagen and elastin for tighter, lifted skin. Mainly it felt like a steady heat. At times, it would get quite hot and I’d say, “Too hot!” She’d then send a cooling blast through the device to my face and lower the temperature. I asked if it was possible to sustain a burn from the device. Her response was that as long as the device moving, there wasn’t a danger of a burn. A flicker of anxiety crossed my mind, but by the time she was done with one side of my face, I saw a noticeable difference from the untreated side. Plump, lifted, with more definition in my face. Not bad for just a warm-up.

The Cardio: This entailed vigorous massage and a flurry of fingertips all over my face. By way of comparison: “Your face is on a treadmill at 7.0,” my aesthetician said.

The Sculpt: It started with a deeper massage to sculpt the jawline and define my overall bone structure.  Things got crazy when she whipped out a Pure Lift device that sent electrical currents to stimulate my facial muscles. The stimulus created various muscular twitches in your face that felt odd and disconcerting. Like a typical microcurrent facial turned up to 11.

“This is the equivalent of 600 sit-ups for your face muscles!” she said.

The Cool-Down

She used a jade gua sha tool to press and aid absorption of all the serums and products that were applied. The jade pieces were refrigerated so they felt cool and so refreshing after the workout. Applying pressure to them as she smoothed them across my face left with a rosy glow.

The results were immediately noticeable. It wasn’t the same old face I walked in with. My skin was glowing and flushed. As if I’d just had a great workout. Or when you catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror after great sex. Or when you’ve come back from a perfect day on vacation? But even better, my jawline was more defined, my skin plump and hydrated, my cheekbones sculpted. I looked more awake, definitely less puffy, like the healthiest, best version of myself. A workout with immediate results? Now that’s incentive.

Click to book an appointment at the FaceGym, located on the Beauty 2.o floor of Saks Fifth Avenue in NYC. Plus, a few of my fave products from my workout below…