• Stephanie Drax

FaceGym: a horizontal, hard-core workout

Like the sound of working out with your feet up? Making muscle while blissfully snoozing? So do I. Admittedly the contours that are being shaped are on your face and not your figure, but the bonus is you’ll  look radiant and younger instantly.

I live near Face Gym. I’ve walked past Face Gym. I never knew what I had on my doorstep. This is a salon where your face is exercised to lift and sculpt 40+ facial muscles into submission. It’s basically the best bit of a facial – all that stroking, kneading and knuckling - without the face mask downtime.

I book in for ‘The Signature Electrical’ (£90/50 minutes). My ‘trainer’ Claire is a gleaming, smooth-skinned ambassador for the place – au fait with all the beauty treatments out there, she says she’s a total convert to the Face Gym method.


She offers me 100% natural cold pressed oils to choose from, a serum to keep the skin lubricated and supple during the session. I lie back, listening to chilled beats, while Claire cleanses my skin and begins the ‘warm up’ by rubbing a faceball on my face, neck and chest. The mini inflatable exercise ball encourages lymphatic draining, muscle tone and tension release – and it’s a super cute reference to the whole ‘workout’ theme.

Then we hit the ‘cardio’ section: Claire’s fingers work at terrific speed, whipping and pinching at my jaw line, cheeks, brows and forehead to detoxify the skin and get the blood pumping. For the ‘strength’ training part of the workout, she sculpts my skin with smooth, firm movements to tone the facial muscles. I literally feel like putty in her hands as I melt in sublime relaxation. By the soothing ‘cool down’ time, I’m floating somewhere between euphoric and catatonic. I look in the mirror and I’m rosy-cheeked and glowing. They call this the ultimate non-invasive facial workout, and I’m not arguing.

And then Claire introduces me to the FaceGym Pro face lift trainer, a gizmo that looks like something you might find on the naughty shelf in Coco de Mer. This tool pulses electrical waves to stimulate facial muscles to contract more deeply, meanwhile contouring the cheekbones and restoring elasticity. When Claire gently rolls it on my face, my lip twitches and jerks uncontrollably. I imagine it’s not a good look (I ask for a hand mirror, and yep, it’s not) and it feels very, very weird (I’m definitely not snoozing at this point), but Claire assures me that I’m going to see an instant lift.

Et voilá! After half my face is done, I’m looking in the hand mirror again and it looks like a split screen: the side that’s been electrically stimulated looks much tauter and lifted, my cheekbone sharper. I’m sold. After having both sides of my face blitzed Claire rolls a cool jade stone over my skin. Before I even leave FaceGym, a waiting client tell me my skin looks dewy and gorgeous. Is this all too good to be true?

Well, like with any muscle toning, you’ve got to use it or lose it - FaceGym’s magic is temporary and will wear off. I’d definitely duck into FaceGym before a big a party or event and I know that a weekly session (starting at £45 for a non-electrical ‘Signature’ workout) would make a difference long term. FaceGym’s founder, Inge Theron, aka the Financial Times’ Spa Junkie, has experimented with every anti-ageing treatment going - one procedure left her housebound and longing to start a natural facelift company. She’s done the due diligence and created a fun concept that actually shows instant results. I expect that soon FaceGym will be popping up on everyone’s doorstep.

FaceGym: 020 3167 6030; 352 King’s Road SW3 5EW; facegym.com. There's also a concession within Selfridges, Oxford Street.