Review: Face Gym, St John's Wood
PUBLISHED: 16:05 14 October 2019
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We hop into the chair to try a new brand of facial that treats a facial as a workout
'Work It Don't Fake It' is the sign that greets you as you enter Face Gym in St John's Wood.
As I hopped into a seat, a bit like a reclining barber's chair, another sign reminds customers what it's all about: Clean, Lift, Tone, Repeat.
Don't bother holding out for the whale music and aromatherapy; an hour of lying under warm towels while a nice lady pats your face, this is not.
The Face Gym concept treats facials like a work out.
Tone and tighten the 40 facial muscles under the skin it argues, and you achieve better results. And just like the gym, those results don't happen without hard graft and a little pain. That's not to say that Face Gym ignores the ungents that hydrate and feed the dermal layers.
They are big on paraben-free vitamin-rich products with a proven record in putting back what the peri-menopause, pollution and prosecco have taken out.
(You get a customised serum prescription from their own product range or can buy Pestle and Mortar, Dr Levy, or Royal Fern)
Conceieved by founder Inge Theron as a non-invasive facelift, this purposeful approach; black and red branding, an open studio, upbeat tracks by Beyonce and Madonna on the playlist, is finding favour across the genders and generations in New York and London.
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From the off I realised I was in good hands with my trainer. The first half of the Signature Electrical (£85 for 55 mins) was whisper it, quite pampering.
Deep breathing, aromatic cleansers, blissful hot towels, a mini yoga ball, and a rigorous face and neck massage put this tired mum of three into a half stupor.
But just as I was wondering how I was going to stagger home, the second half revived me with the deep-tissue kneading of cheeks chin and forehead, that, well, dug deep. You can see why you're not allowed a work out if you've had recent fillers, botox or a toothache.
A special tool passes electrical currents into your skin like a thousand tiny shocks. It's not exactly pleasant. Then there's a scarifying tool that promotes cell renewal, whipping to encourage blood flow. Then more hot towels and a beautifully cooling stroke all over with a piece of jade.
Afterwards you feel the skin is softer and tighter across the forehead. Although there was some redness there was also a glow of wellbeing.
Like any work out you should do it regularly - every 7-10 days according to my trainer. There are shorter 30-minute work outs which you can fit into a lunch hour, plus Yoga, Party and other specialised programes.
With branches in Notting Hill, Coal Drops Yard, King's Cross and rumours of another in Primrose Hill, we can soon all be working out down at the Face Gym.
Face Gym, St John's Wood is at 41, St John's Wood High Street, NW8.
Further details at facegym.com