Workout culture in New York City is intense. Nowhere else had I seen so many women lugging yoga mats on the train, all willing to spend $30 on a single workout class, before I moved here. We've all fallen victim to pursuing the latest workout trend—no matter how niche, it's always fun to put it on Instagram. Well, the latest workout we tried is more specific than most, and will definitely get you more likes than those other workout selfies. Why? Because it's a workout for your face.
FaceGym is exactly what it sounds like: an exercise regimen for your face. Through a series of kneading and pulling, the different treatments offered at FaceGym tone and tighten the often-neglected 40 muscles in the face. “Muscles are the scaffolding of the face,” the brand's website explains. “And strong muscles result in healthy looking skin.” It’s meant to mimic a facelift, only without the knives and needles.
Within the FaceGym “studio,” the aestheticians are called “trainers,” and the treatments have names like “game face” and “yoga face.” Your hair is pushed back with a sweatband and you settle in for the best kind of workout: the kind where you don’t have to do anything. I received the “signature electric” facial, which takes you through the typical steps of a well-rounded workout: The warm-up involves stretching the skin with a mini ball, while cardio felt like being lightly slapped continuously (“that’s really to make your muscles sweat, to detoxify,” my trainer, Clovelin Stewart, explained). Next was sculpting, which utilizes the electric pro tool that sends mini currents through the face to help with definition (Stewart notes that it’s like if your face did several hundred crunches). The last step is the cooldown, which involves sliding a jade guasha across the face to help with lymphatic drainage and get rid of any puffiness.
It sounds a lot more intense than it is. Certain parts hurt more than others, but not enough where you want it to stop. Similar to a massage, it’s the kind of pain that you know will pay off once it passes. And unlike a regular workout, you won’t leave feeling exhausted or unable to walk down the stairs the next day. Rather, your face will appear more toned and shaped than before you sat down. You'll appear more youthful and look refreshed—and you don’t even have to break a sweat.
Fun fact: Facial exercise is apparently a favorite of Meghan Markle’s, and I know we all witnessed the glow she emitted on her wedding day. At the behest (recommendation) of my trainer, I took a snap of my face before and after my own facial workout. And while I didn’t walk out with Markle’s chiseled jawline or high cheekbones (or, like, Prince Harry on my arm), I did leave looking like I got a full eight hours of sleep and drank two liters of water before 11am, which is my idea of living like royalty.
You can check out FaceGym at Saks Fifth Avenue in New York City and at various London locations.