Welcome to Beauty In A Tik, where each week we put TikTok's viral beauty hacks and innovative trends to the test.
It seems there's a new TikTok hack which promises to transform skin every single week but you've got to hand it to the app's beauty experts, because some of them really do work. From facial cupping (which takes inspiration from ancient Chinese medicine and makes skin glow) to skin icing (a celebrity-endorsed trick for de-puffing eye bags and relaxing facial muscles), I'm often impressed with the almost instant results.
Lately it's impossible to scroll through the thousands of beauty-related videos without seeing various 'face lifting' or 'sculpting' tricks. As we age, our skin and facial muscles tend to shift and while that's entirely normal and to be expected over time, you might be looking into ways to boost elasticity and firmness and to increase definition naturally, sans needles and lasers (not for the fainthearted).
Although TikTokers are still just as obsessed with rose quartz and jade rollers, as well as traditional gua sha tools to be used with luxurious serums and silky facial oils, a handful of other 'roller' devices are taking over – with promising outcomes. There's one tool in particular which you've probably spotted on your TikTok feed countless times this week already.
Created by nurse and skincare expert Jamie Sherrill, it might look strange but TikTok's skin enthusiasts swear by the tool for sculpting cheekbones without any need for makeup, exercising and therefore strengthening facial muscles and providing skin with a youthful flush from within. One beauty enthusiast even touts it as the best skincare investment they've ever made, and it often appears with the hashtag #tiktokmademebuyit. The device (studded with 24 small tourmaline quartz stones) is meant to mimic the effects of a lifting, firming, tightening facial, all in a matter of minutes and in the comfort of your own bedroom. Of course I was intrigued. Since the pandemic took hold, my skin has gone through multiple changes. Perhaps more noticeable thanks to wearing face masks, I've spotted the skin around my eyes and jawline begin to slacken. But in general, my post-lockdown skin is in need of a livening boost.
What swayed me about this specific face lifting tool is that it's pretty no-frills. You don't have to use it alongside skincare (although it might glide better if you do) and it's said to do the job of a professional facial in 30-45 seconds when focused on one specific area at a time. TikTokers are using it at their desks, in bed and on aeroplanes, proving it's quick and easy to incorporate into any skincare routine, whether minimal or jam-packed.
When it comes to gadgets, I have to admit that I'm sceptical. Mainly because I'm too lazy to use them regularly enough to notice a difference, although I often wonder how much of an impact a manual tool like this can have on the skin, unlike proven skin-plumping ingredients like retinol and vitamin C, which we know work wonders. However, this really is something.
My initial thoughts? This is freezing. Somehow, the tiny jet-black crystals felt like ice on my skin but once I got used to it, it was incredibly soothing. I began rolling the tool along my cheeks (always puffy in the morning), jawline (which I want to tighten up), then over my nose, brow bone, chin, lips and forehead. After just five minutes, my face felt like it had been expertly pummelled and massaged by a professional facialist. There was even a slight throb (although not painful), like my face had been ordered to do a seriously intense workout. Similar to an expensive facial treatment, after a minute or two the tool provides skin with a natural flush. But that's only temporary. So what about the more permanent results?
After a week or so of massaging regularly, my cheeks appear a lot more toned and lifted but I'm most impressed by the change in my jawline, as you can spot in the before-and-after pictures. The definition is pretty incredible. I didn't notice much effect at all on the slack skin just below my eyebrows – the area I was most hoping to spot a difference – but Skin Labo's Intensive Lift Serum £12, is helping with that. It's also worth noting that any noticeable results are likely to be a result of regular use, rather than one go, no matter what TikTok's speedy videos imply. I'd also suggest taking it easy. Overdoing it with any lifting tool (for instance, pressing too hard or rolling too fast) could potentially bruise the skin or cause lots of redness. It's also advised to avoid broken skin or active acne for fear of causing irritation and inflammation.
Nurse Jamie's lifting tool isn't the only hi-tech facial roller to make waves among TikTok's beauty community for emulating the effects of a lifting facial. NuFACE's Facial Toning Device, £167, is also popular and has a longtime fan in R29's beauty columnist Daniela for sculpting cheekbones and making skin appear nicely supple. Double-pronged facial massage tools are also everywhere on the app, with TikTokers championing them for ironing away puffiness and minimising wrinkles (the latter is questionable but worth a try!). Give the very popular Skin Gym Face Sculptor Beauty Roller, £70, a go, or the Gatineau Contouring Facial Roller, £16, which is similar and less pricey. All of these tools can be used with or without skincare depending on your personal preference, and can be cleaned easily after each use.
It's no wonder at-home 'face lifting' is slowly becoming on par with professional facials. With lots of us still wary of face-to-face treatments, having a little less to spend on beauty products and more time to assess our skin in the mirror, investing in tools like these makes sense. As you can see, the results speak for themselves and 'face lifting' is definitely a technique I'll slot into my skincare routine going forward. I just have to remember that consistency is key!
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