FITNESS, STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING
One of London’s original (and, in my view, best) reformer Pilates studios has gone online. From core‑strengthening mat Pilates to barre classes and “Ritual” – a blend of Pilates, yoga and ballet-style exercises rumoured to be favoured by the Duchess of Sussex – Heartcore’s expert trainers will help you to get long, lean and toned. £5 classes via Zoom, heartcore.co.uk
TRX Suspension Training
The first TRX was created by Navy Seal Randy Hetrick in 1997 from a jiu-jitsu belt and some parachute webbing. Since then the pulley-like equipment has been used by everyone from supermodels to professional athletes. By counteracting gravity with your bodyweight, it’s a fast, effective way to tone muscle, build strength and increase mobility – all in a small space, inside or out. TRX Home 2, including a one-year subscription to the training app, £169.95, trxtraining.co.uk
Auro Personal Training
Dubbed a “personal trainer in your ear”, the Auro app has hundreds of workouts covering everything from walking and running to strengthening, yoga and stretching. While you can listen to its music, there’s also the option to overlay sessions with your own Spotify playlist. Sync it with your Apple Watch to get heart rate-based data and monitor your progress. 14‑day free trial, then £11.99 per month via the Apple App Store and Google Play
If you’re looking for a real challenge, Olympic Triathlon and Iron Man coach James Beckinsale is at hand. His Gold Package includes a personalised programme, delivered via professional athlete-training platform Training Peaks, one-to-one virtual sessions, digital Zwift bike races and meditation exercises – as well as unlimited access to him via Skype, WhatsApp and phone. Gold Package, £235 per month, jamesbeckinsale.co.uk
If you can’t get out to your regular physiotherapy sessions, or worse, if you injure yourself, Technique Physiotherapy has a team of accredited experts on hand to carry out musculoskeletal assessments via Skype or Zoom. They’ll furnish you with self-massage and foam-rolling techniques, along with a bespoke programme of exercises to help you manage aches and pains. £49 for 45 minutes, techniquephysio.com
A unique method developed by US-based physical therapist Lara Heimann, who has combined physiotherapy, kinesiology and neurology into a whole new practice. Everything, from beginner to advanced work-outs, is now available via her live-streams and video library. Trust me when I say your glutes will burn, your posture will improve and your mind will rediscover the art of focus. After a month, you may even perfect a handstand. $39.99 per month, movementbylara.vhx.tv
Those suffering from back issues or sciatica can get expert advice from leading spinal experts at The Mayfair Clinic. Its Back In Shape membership area provides access to tutorials and progressive workout videos to help strengthen your back and core without injury. Seven-day free trial, then £15 per month, themayfairclinic.com
Specialist Pain Management
Aching, tight shoulders, necks, wrists and hips are likely to feel worse when we’re spending much of the day sitting at home. Richmond Stace, specialist in chronic and persistent pain, is offering Skype sessions where he’ll carry out an assessment, then deliver a programme of exercises, relaxation, visualisation and mindfulness to help manage your condition. £140 for one hour, specialistpainphysio.com
MENTAL WELLBEING, RELAXATION AND SLEEP
Better Help Therapy
According to the Global Wellness Summit, demand for “teletherapy” has leapt since the outbreak of Covid-19. Better Help gives you access to licensed psychologists, therapists and counsellors, matching you to the right person after an initial assessment. Contact your expert via message, phone or video conferencing. From $40 per week, betterhelp.com
The Insomnia Clinic
One in three of us suffers from sleep problems at the best of times. With upset routines and increased anxiety keeping us awake at night, a Zoom session with a specialist could help you fall asleep faster, wake less frequently and feel more rested come morning, via a range of CBT techniques developed specifically for insomnia. £90 for a one-hour consultation; £189 for the four-part Sleep Well Live Better course delivered via video, theinsomniaclinic.co.uk
The Breath Guy
Richie Bostock has trained leaders from Deloitte, Harvey Nichols, TedX and the Cabinet Office in optimal breath work. Helping to reduce anxiety, induce greater calm and focus – and improve lung function – his digital group sessions have recently become a daily essential for many of his 31,000 Instagram followers. Free, Instagram Live @TheBreathGuy
The Kaizn Method
Who doesn’t need to build resilience right now? Performance coaches Alex Potter and Jono Remington-Hobbs help you to rise to the challenge by mastering your home-based day, and unlock new opportunities for personal and professional growth. £1,250 for a course of two three-hour private sessions, £99 for a four-week Art Of Challenge group programme, kaiznmethod.com
Strala Yoga & Tai Chi
Created by former classical ballet dancer Tara Stiles and her husband Mike Taylor, a mind-body medicine Harvard alumnus, this method (backed by Dr Deepak Chopra) fuses different forms of yoga with tai chi, qigong and traditional Chinese medicine to activate the body’s chemical relaxation response – even in times of challenge. I can personally vouch that you’ll feel amazing after just one session. Series start from $45, stralayoga.com
SKIN, HAIR AND NUTRITION
Adonia Medical clinic Virtual Facial
Stress, sleeplessness and being stuck inside spell all kinds of trouble for the skin – especially for anyone who’s already prone to flare-ups of acne, rosacea or eczema. Which is why dermatologist Dr Ifeoma Ejikeme has created a virtual facial consultation. After an aesthetician assesses your skin online, you’ll be sent a “prescription” of products suited to your skin before your expert walks you through a facial via video tutorial. £150 for a consultation with Dr Ejikeme, redeemable against treatments or products. Facial treatments from £80, adoniamedicalclinic.co.uk
Hershesons Hair Appointments
Professional blowdries, cuts and colour might be beyond reach. But Hershesons is offering private online consultations to help you deal with visible roots, grow out your fringe and fix disastrous kitchen-scissor haircuts until you can get to a salon. £10 for 20 minutes, redeemable against your next in-salon appointment, hershesons.com
Nutritional therapist Eve Kalinik is taking her one-on-one sessions online. She assesses individual needs, then offers tailored meal plans, recipes and supplement suggestions to help alleviate a range of heath complaints. As she believes that 70 to 80 per cent of our immunity stems from the gut, there seems no better time to start. An electronic version of her book, Be Good to Your Gut: The Ultimate Guide to Gut Health, is included. £295 for initial one-hour consultation, £150 for 45-minute follow-ups, evekalinik.com
Facetoned Facial Workout
When that regular facial or fillers appointment is impossible, try Pilates – but for your face. Pilates teacher Carme Farré teaches facial fitness to lift the neck and jawline and smooth wrinkles. All you’ll need is clean skin and a good facial oil. From personal experience, nightly workouts helped to ease anxiety and stress headaches. From £11.99 per month via the FaceToned app, facetoned.com
Curtis Brown Creative Writing Workouts
Research consistently shows that creative activities can increase the level of the feelgood hormone dopamine in the brain. This Weekly Writing Workout, led by one of the world’s major literary agencies, gives you access to tasks, professional tips and pointers on everything from starting your novel to pitching it. Free, curtisbrowncreative.co.uk
Co-created by songwriter, composer and producer Quincy Jones, these sessions are an opportunity to learn from Emmy- and Grammy-award-winning artists how to play everything from Coldplay to Beethoven via Miles Davis on a keyboard or digital piano at home. From $17.99 per month, playgroundsessions.com
Opera and Ballet
The Royal Opera House has created a programme of full‑length productions – from Peter and the Wolf to Così Fan Tutte – to be broadcast via its Facebook and YouTube channels (free, but donations welcomed). Likewise, Sadler’s Wells’ Digital Stage platform provides access to a free programme including Deluxe by the BalletBoyz and Rumpelstiltskin. roh.org.uk, sadlerswells.com
Oxford University Tutor Takeover
As part of a new “Curious Minds” campaign, the Department for Continuing Education has unlocked the Bodleian Library’s Digital Collections, a Mathematics Institute Public Lectures programme of YouTube lectures – and every other day will feature a Tutor Takeover, whereby a leading academic recommends podcasts, articles and other knowledge sources to keep your mind occupied for months. Free, conted.ox.ac.uk
THERAPEUTIC GADGETS TO GET YOU THROUGH
FaceGym Pro by Xtreem Pulse
This face tool uses electro-stimulation to strengthen underlying facial muscles and lift the skin when used for just 10 minutes, three times per week. £495, facegym.com
Flow Neuroscience Headset
Combines electro-stimulation with app-based behavioural therapy to manage the symptoms of depression. On subscription for £65 per month, flowneuroscience.com
From a wearable AI stress-buster to algae-based supplements, here’s how you’ll be staying fit and healthy this year.
We’ve long understood that to keep our bodies taut and youthful, exercise is required. Carme Farré is one of a growing number of fitness instructors suggesting we should be doing the same for our faces. GQ tried it out…
Exercise is rarely a sexy state of affairs, but face pilates – yes, you read that right – might win the award for most deeply unattractive fitness endeavour. At one point in my first taster session I turn to my instructor for help making sure I’m doing the exercise correctly: with a dopey smile designed to work out muscles in my jaw, I have the strange look of Animal from The Muppets. This, depressingly, might have been the best looking of all the faces I was asked to pull.
Yet when my instructor, FaceToned’s founder Carme Farré, shows me before and after photos of her regular clientele, it almost makes it seem worth it: People’s jaws look changed, their cheekbones more defined than it seemed possible. Skin, too, is now clearer and healthier. “If you have an arm that doesn’t exercise you will see the skin a little bit, you know, older. if you start toning that muscle, after four-six weeks, you will see the skin fill up with muscle underneath,” explained Farré. “This is the same in the face.”
Farré describes what she does as like a “mini facelift” and “natural botox”, and when you see the results it’s hard to disagree. She also shows me pictures of her in her twenties, and her now, on the cusp of 47. There are startlingly few differences. It might sound borderline inane, but when people look this good because they’re working out their faces, maybe it’s time to listen.
Farré opened her (full body) Pilates studio in 2013: she trained with Alan Herdman and BASI – the former a more rehabilitative version, the latter more athletic – and then when Eva Fraser, who is a long standing figurehead in the world of face exercising. Fraser didn’t respond to a request to speak for the story, but there are videos of her – looking frankly luminescent for her 80s – teaching volunteers what to do: watching Alison Hammond doing it on This Morning in 2010 is a particular highlight.
Farré was 35 when she first went to a facial exercise class and fell in love with it. “it wasn’t a beauty concept or anything,” she said, “it was just: actually yes. If you work your muscles in the body, why wouldn’t you do the same with the face?”
FaceToned, her current system, exists in a couple of forms: one on one classes in her studio, and then an app which you pay to join the way one might a gym membership or telefitness app (it costs £19.) It contains recipes developed with nutritionists, and a Foundation Program of six weeks with 15-minute tutorials for facial workouts. There are also live webinars that people can join, participating in real time with Farré but with your own face invisible to all involved (which, I cannot stress enough, is a huge relief.) She has also done group sessions in person, she says, but “they tend to be quite giggly.”
Facial exercises, Farré argues, are a crucial way of battling the signs of age. “Aging is not about wrinkles, its about sagging,” she says. “You see a face that is very tight, and it has a few lines, looks younger than a face that has no lines but its sagging.” But it also has benefits outside of cosmetic change or just general fitness: she says it’s excellent rehabilitation for people with Bell’s Palsy or whiplash injuries.
Carme’s studio is a basement in Notting Hill, small and square, entirely mirrored, and stuffed to the gills with reformer pilates equipment. For our session she sits me down at a small white vanity and sits behind me on a balance ball. She pours me a water- I’ll need it, apparently- and she starts by getting me to cover my face in a serum.
Then the workout begins. Farré starts with the jaw and neck every time, “because it’s the number one concern of clients when they come to the studio.” We start with a simple exercise, placing my tongue against my top lip and pushing forward with the former, and resisting with the latter. “In pilates there is always two forces,” she explains, “one that presses and the other one that goes against.” After the first round she asks me how I feel, and I’m amazed at how much effort my face has exerted just to keep certain parts in place, to move things without other things following. The face is full of these chain reactions, she explains, where we move parts of the face because we feel it’s required to achieve something else. In one, we try and find ways for me to open my eyes wider without moving my forehead at all.
Part of me wonders if it only felt like my face looked ludicrous at the time because of how new it was. Watching back footage of my session I… was entirely correct to think I looked ludicrous. Even the most basic exercises look like I’m very unsubtly trying to work something out from inside my back teeth. What was perhaps most interesting was seeing the differences in between me and Carmé’s facial musculature: some exercises she would do would expose taut, powerful muscles in parts of the face it’s very easy to forget we have muscles in. The same one, done by me, simply looked as if I was gurning. Perhaps the most unpleasant to see reflected back at me involved me putting my bottom lip over my top, and then pulsing a smile up and down, focusing on the corners of the mouth. Catching sight of myself in the mirror, I honestly looked like the face of a Chinese guardian lion. That being said: I came out feeling like my face had been through the wringer, which is a sign I probably did get a real work out.
According to a 2018 study from Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine, facial exercises were shown to make a sample group of middle-aged women look younger. Based on the before and afters Farré showed me too, it’s also effective for men. Farré says her male clients have loved it, and while I can’t promise I’ll be signing up for the app tomorrow, it’s clearly having the desired effect. If you’ve been looking to combat the signs of aging, facial pilates might just be the answer you’ve been looking for: just make sure you do the exercises behind closed doors.
Jo and Sarah answer real questions from readers: to put your query, go to beautybible.com
Q I’m noticing my jawline getting a bit lax with the suspicion of jowls forming and a little pouch under my chin. I would love to stop them in their tracks but not keen on anything invasive. Do facial exercises work and would they help?
A The short answer to your question is yes and yes! Facial exercises do work and they would almost certainly help your neck and jawline as well as toning the lower half of your face. And of course you can extend the workout to the upper half too.
The legendary Eva Fraser was the first practitioner we know of to create a set of exercises that would tone the 40-plus pairs of facial muscles to help counter the downward drift as we age.
Technology is on the side of learning and practising facial exercises, which really helps as you can see so much more detail. The FaceToned® Facial Fitness programme is a recent online entry to the arena. Sarah had a taster of FaceToned recently and was impressed.
FaceToned is the brainchild of former banker turned Pilates teacher Carme Farré. Now in her forties and a mother, Carme wanted to devise a programme both for her clients and herself, and to make it available online so that everyone could try it for a moderate subscription. As she says, we devote hours to exercising our bodies but apart from perhaps a spot of facial massage when we apply product, our faces – the first part everyone sees – tend to get left out.
If you think life is too short to stuff a cherry tomato, exercises like repetitively pulsing your tongue against the roof of your mouth and doing micro movements with your lips may not be your bag. But Sarah had to admit, albeit a tad reluctantly, that 15 minutes working out with Carme had a real effect. Of course it didn’t miraculously hitch up facial sags and bags but the workout did leave her with a bright, pink-y complexion, wide-open eyes, a feeling of muscles coming alive and a general air of uplift.
Before launching online this spring, Carme had been teaching and refining her FaceToned programme with clients for five years. She promises that, if you exercise regularly for 15 minutes three to four times a week using the online modules, you’ll start seeing real benefits after four weeks. Many subscribers actually choose to practise up to six times a week. In a survey of 33 women who signed up for the FaceToned online programme, 28 said they found it fun and intend to complete the course. Subscribers are also positive about the live weekly webinars.
In Carme’s experience, the majority of clients using the FaceToned method regularly notice the following improvements after eight weeks:
· Improvement and definition in the jaw and jowls (which is the number one concern, she says)
· A more toned and defined face overall with tauter skin
· More volume in cheeks
· Some reduction of lines and wrinkles on forehead and laugh lines around the eyes.
And finally watch that space, ie the website, because a FaceToned app will be launching in October this year.
Beauty Bible loves…
Fer à Cheval, from £4.50.
With soap having a massive revival, you may have spotted creations by Fer à Cheval popping up in stores near you. (Gorgeous stockists include Flint in Lewes, Long Barn in Winchester, Stiffkey Stores in Norfolk, Objects of Use in Oxford…)
Or you may have spotted it on your French travels, of course. Fer à Cheval (it means ‘horseshoe’) is the oldest and biggest soap company in Marseilles, still making soap in the traditional way, to an age-old recipe and traditional techniques passed down through generations of master soap-makers.
Fer à Cheval , from £4.50. If you prefer liquid soaps, there’s a wonderful range of those – scented or non-scented
The big, blocky Savon de Marseilles-embossed olive oil soaps are the most traditional, of course (and very reasonably priced), but they now also offer all sorts of beautifully-scented soaps including Lavender, Rose Petals, White Tea & Yuzu, Seaside Citrus, Aqua Tangerine (we’re particularly loving that one). No single UK website stocks the lot, but the French website ships (and Cotswold Trading has a good selection, in the UK).
If you prefer liquid soaps, there’s a wonderful range of those – scented or non-scented (as above) – and for your inner #instacleaner, a great range of home cleaning options that are definitely a step up from Fairy.
We think it’s definitely a lucky day, the day you discover Fer à Cheval.
- Pilates teacher Carme Farré designed the exercises to help defy ageing process
- Exercises work deep into the core facial muscles and more superficial ones
- Technique focuses on four common concerns: Neck, cheeks, eyes and forehead
Face Pilates is the newest craze which can help smooth out fine lines on the forehead and tone sagging skin below your chin.
Pilates teacher Carme Farré, 47, from London, devised the exercises which she teaches to hundreds of her clients in her private studio, and has also created an app, FaceToned®, which guides you through the movements.
Using special techniques, demonstrated by Carme, the programme shows how to work deep into the core facial muscles and then more superficial ones surrounding your face, creating natural definition and a more taut and toned appearance.
She told Femail: ‘It is based around the theory that we work out the muscles in our body regularly, yet the muscles in our face tend to get forgotten. By toning the facial muscles, we start to reduce fine lines and loose skin. The technique focuses on the four most common concerns: the neck, cheeks, eyes and forehead.’
Piltaes teacher Carme Farré, 47, from London, came up with the exercises to help us defy the ageing process
Carme reveals that we should work the exercises into out beauty routine – cleansing our skin, applying a serum to moisturise, doing the exercises and at the end, applying an oil to massage.
‘For the massage, I recommend using a Gua Sha or Face Roller as it helps to increase the blood circulation and improve the results of the exercises,’ Carme admits.
The Pilates teacher, who has been doing the exercises herself for over 10 years, says that you only have to do them for 10 minutes a day and, ‘once you have learned the techniques, you can do it at home, in the car or on the train. ‘
Here Femail reveal four of the key exercises, which you should do every day…
Carme reveals that we should work the exercises into out beauty routine – cleansing our skin, applying a serum to moisturise, doing the exercises and at the end, applying an oil to massage. Pictured: Carme doing the advanced exercise that tones the neck, cheeks and jowls
For: Advanced exercise that tones the neck, cheeks and jowls
Method: Lengthen the neck upwards and bring the chin up slightly holding your collarbones with your hands, and slightly pulling down.
Now bring the chin forward and slightly up so to hold the top lip with lower teeth, then try to touch the tip of the nose with your lower lip.
Now, lift up the corners of the mouth and pulse up and slightly down as if smiling for eight counts. Hold this position for eight counts and then relax.
Perform three times.
Carme shoes how you should tone the ‘youth triangle’ of the cheeks and lower eyelids
For: Tones the ‘youth triangle’ of the cheeks and lower eyelids
Method: Lengthen the neck, place both index fingers next to the outside lower area of the eyes and slightly pull to the sides up towards the temple.
Keeping this position, squint and relax as you pulse the lower eyelid eight times, making sure that the upper eyelid does not move.
Then keep the squint for eight counts and relax.
Perform three times.
For: Tones the forehead, softening wrinkle lines
Method: Place both index fingers just above eyebrows and hold them firmly in place.
Pulse the forehead up and down eight times, while resisting with your index fingers. Then keep the lift for eight counts and relax.
Perform three times.
For: Tones the core, neck and lips
Method: Lengthen the neck, bringing the tip of the tongue between the top lip and teeth, pressing against each other.
Keeping the pressure constant, circle the tip of the tongue right, down, left and up four times and then change direction.
Perform three times.
Talking about why the exercises work she said: ‘I always loved working out and when I discovered facial exercises, it was a revelation for me.’
‘It made complete sense to me that exercising your facial muscles could lead to a more youthful appearance in the same way as we when we exercise the muscles in the rest of our body.
‘I started facial exercise at 35, but FaceToned® is suitable for anyone of any age who wants to prevent ageing, tone up or rehabilitate their facial muscles.
‘Exercise is one of the most powerful anti-ageing methods possible for the body, and the same is true for the face.
‘By exercising our facial muscles, we can increase muscle tone and volume, thereby leading to a more youthful appearance.’
The FaceToned® app is now available in the Google and Apple app stores
New FaceToned® App – live face gym, on-demand classes. Try Facial Pilates
Entrepreneur Carme Farré started her facial and body Pilates business Studio Carme in 2013 and recently updated the popular FaceToned® App which is growing in popularity post lockdown as a recent survey shows members prefer self-care, beauty routines from home. FaceToned® is all about embracing ageing whilst exercising your face, in the same way one exercises to maintain a healthy, functional body.
Carme explains: “The face exercises are based on Pilates technique to empower you to keep your face looking young and boosting your confidence. FaceToned® goals are toning and strengthening the facial muscles to prevent sagging of the skin, improving joint mobility, and releasing tension in the jaw, neck, and shoulders to achieve results in a short time.”
- All their jaw and neck tension built up through lockdown has been reduced and almost gone completely;
- They can see their face looking better, more toned and defined jawline;
- Volume in their cheeks improved, with reduction in laughter lines; and
- Improvement and definition in the jaw and jowls – the number one concern of women.
May 2021 figures show
- 92% of the clients who try FaceToned® sign up to the programme
- 76% of members renew during the first 30 days
- 44% of the members are active after 2 renewal periods.
Carme comments: “Most clients who start FaceToned® are keen to do it five times a week. They find that shortly after starting it becomes a must in their beauty routine. FaceToned® becomes their ritual, in the same way that their exercise routine fits into their lifestyle.”
FaceToned® offers personalised programmes, online classes live and on-demand and skin recipes. Using special techniques, demonstrated by Farré, the programme shows how to work deep into the core facial muscles and then more superficial ones surrounding your face, creating natural definition and a more taut and toned appearance.
Now 48, Carme started facial exercises at 35: “FaceToned® is suitable for anyone of any age who wants to prevent ageing, tone up or rehabilitate their facial muscles. Exercise is one of the most powerful anti-ageing methods possible for the body, and the same is true for the face. By exercising our facial muscles, we can increase muscle tone and volume, thereby leading to a more youthful appearance.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
Carme Farré has a professional background in economics. In 2011, aged 39, she became a teacher of Face Fitness and Pilates and trained with Alan Herdman, Rael Isacowitz from BASI (Body Arts and Science International) and Eva Fraser in London. In 2013, she opened her own private studio, Studio Carme in London and has been teaching facial exercises to hundreds of private clients ever since. Her years of study and practical experience have helped Carme to clearly understand facial anatomy, and how to tone the facial muscles efficiently and technology has allowed her expertise to easily be shared globally.
The current pandemic means that many of us are spending much more time sitting in front of computers, on never-ending conference calls, watching TV, or simply just looking at our phones much more. It’s not surprising that many of us are suffering physical complications like stiff neck, painful shoulders and tension in the jaw, as a result of our recent change in habits and movements.
FaceToned® is a new form of facial fitness exercise, which can help to relieve pressure and aches, specifically in the jaw, neck and shoulders. FaceToned® Facial Fitness was created by Pilates teacher Carme Farré.
It is based around the theory that we work out the muscles in our body regularly, yet the muscles in our face tend to get forgotten.
FaceToned® is a natural facial Pilates routine that uses exercises and stretches to tone the muscles to lift and rejuvenate your overall facial appearance.
Facial Tension Could Be The Cause Of Your Head, Neck And Jaw Aches
After a few session clients feel not only improvement in their appearance, but the pains and discomfort have also disappeared.
Carme says: “Anatomically back muscles extend from the spine up to the neck and the skull so adding exercises for neck, jaw and face makes sense if you are suffering from tension. By targeting these areas you can restore length, relax and strengthen the cervical spine muscles, and release tension in the jaw, both of which are imperative to improve mobility”
FaceToned® is unique in terms of its technique because it applies Pilates principles when exercising the face and neck muscles and covers the following areas:
· Stability of the joints: jaw and neck
· Centering to work out the ‘core facial muscles’
· Concentration to obtain the maximum value of each movement
· Control to allow you to work out the muscles with isometric and isotonic movements
· Precision to isolate the muscles to obtain better results
“Breathing and stretching at the end of each FaceToned® session” is also very important says Carme. “Normally, clients have poor posture, which puts pressure on the lungs preventing the diaphragmatic muscles from activating. Proper breathing allows space for the diaphragm to expand and only then it is possible to start strengthening the upper back.”
FaceToned® Basic Exercise
A short FaceToned® routine for easing tension and stress in the shoulders, neck and jaw
Lower Facelift – Advanced exercise that tones the neck, cheeks and jowls
· Lengthen the neck upwards and bring the chin up slightly holding your collarbones with your hands, and slightly pulling down.
· Now bring the chin forward and slightly up so to hold the top lip with lower teeth, then try to touch the tip of the nose with your lower lip.
· Now, lift up the corners of the mouth and pulse up and slightly down as if smiling for eight counts. Hold this position for eight counts and then relax.
· Perform three times.
FaceToned® Exercise – Neck Strengthening
· Make sure that you are sitting up right, your ribs are relaxed and core engaged.
· Lengthen the neck upwards and place both hands behind your neck with your shoulders wide opened.
· Push neck backwards against the hands without moving any other part of the body – make sure the shoulders stay relaxed.
· Repeat 3 sets of 8 reps, hold between reps.
FaceToned® Neck Stretching
· Breathing through the stretch, bring both hands behind your back and lengthened, then bring one arm up and over the head to reach opposite arm and to hold hands, or at least touch the fingers at the level of your shoulder blades.
· Repeat twice each side.
FaceToned® Jaw Release
· Slide the jaw forward and backwards very carefully.
· Then, open and close the jaw as your fingers run along the back teeth, make sure you stop when you find a tender point.
· Repeat 3 times for the count of 8.
But don’t just take our word for it, here are some of their client testimonials
“I have been seeing a physiotherapist for a while to help with my upper back and neck pain (as someone who spends a lot of time in meetings and in front of a screen this has been an issue for a while). Since Carme and I started doing our exercises regularly (which includes stretching) my pain disappeared – which is quite unbelievable.” Yulia, May 2020
“Working with FaceToned® has really helped keep jaw tension to an absolute minimum. My jaw feels free and easy to move.” Alison, June 2020.
“All my life I have suffered from tooth grinding at night and would often wake up with a stiff jaw. (This has the medical name “bruxism”.) My dentist made me a mould to wear at night to stop this, and also suggested some exercises (some of which are similar to some of the FaceToned® exercises).
Since doing FaceToned® he remarks that my jaw is better (and I certainly don’t wear the night guard, which I never liked anyway!).” Ros. June 2020
“I have had problems with my jaw due to stress for a while, to the point that some of my teeth has chipped from grinding at night and I would get headaches. My dentist prescribed a mouth guard at night about 15 years ago, but it is really uncomfortable to use.
Since I started FaceToned® my jaw is relaxed. I now know what exercises to do to bring the tension down really easy, and I do them almost automatically during the day. I wished my dentist had told me about it before!” Almudena June 2020
YOU’VE HEARD OF FACE YOGA, NOW MEET FACE PILATES. WE FIND OUT THE SECRETS BEHIND THE PHYSICAL FACE LIFT AND TRY THE BEST ONLINE FACE WORKOUTS
Lockdown opened our eyes to a lot of things; our penchant for banana bread for one, a skill for at-home hair removal for another and most recently the need for facial exercises, the latest of which is Face Pilates. Face Yoga, which exercises the muscles in the face with a touch of meditation, has been around for a while, but what is Face Pilates?
It’s a series of exercises that require you to actively engage your facial muscles to achieve a natural facelift. “Face Pilates tones and strengthens your facial muscles to prevent sagging of the skin, improving joint mobility and releasing tension in the jaw, neck and shoulders,” explains Carme Farré, Pilates teacher and founder of facial fitness programme FaceToned®, whose workouts are all app-based; you subscribe to a monthly or a yearly membership, just like you do with any other online gym.
Carme developed the method based on Pilates principles; you use a variety of isometric, isotonic and stretching techniques to exercise the facial muscles. Through this technique, you are taught to isolate the muscles you want to work on and to relax the rest the same way you would in Pilates.
How often do I need to do Face Pilates?
Face Pilates workouts tend to be around 20 to 25 minutes long and ideally should be done daily, says Carme. The more work you put in, the better the results will be.
What happens in a Face Pilates class?
Just like an exercise class, facial Pilates sessions begin with a warm-up, followed by the exercises and finally a cool down.
Before the exercise you will normally apply a serum or facial oil to help your hands slip around the face more easily, allowing you to perform vigorous knuckling movements to boost the lymphatic system without dragging the skin. Face Pilates comprises of exercises to target all areas including lifting the brows, sculpting the cheekbones and tightening the jowls.
The sessions comprise of resistance training, stretching and then a manual massage to finish. “You engage muscles throughout the online classes for over 20 minutes and you feel the muscles working out. One of the key points is to make sure each class is different so the client is never bored and the muscles don’t get used to the same movements. The face is so complex that if you want to improve your jowls or neck, you need to start working out your nose,” she continues.
Face Pilates moves
Core Lift – tones the core, neck and lips
Lengthen the neck, bringing the tip of the tongue between the top lip and teeth, pressing against each other. Keeping the pressure constant, circle the tip of the tongue right, down, left and up four times and then change direction. Perform three times.
Triangle Toner – tones the ‘youth triangle’ of the cheeks and lower eyelids
Lengthen the neck, place both index fingers next to the outside lower area of the eyes and slightly pull to the sides up towards the temple. Keeping this position, squint and relax as you pulse the lower eyelid eight times, making sure that the upper eyelid does not move. Then keep the squint for eight counts and relax. Perform three times.
Forehead Smoother – tones the forehead, softening wrinkle lines
Place both index fingers just above eyebrows and hold them firmly in place. Pulse the forehead up and down eight times, while resisting with your index fingers. Then keep the lift for eight counts and relax. Perform three times.
Lower Facelift – advanced exercise that tones the neck, cheeks and jowls
Lengthen the neck upwards and bring the chin up slightly holding your collarbones with your hands and slightly pulling down. Now bring the chin
forward and slightly up so to hold the top lip with lower teeth, then try to touch the tip of the nose with your lower lip. Now, lift up the corners of the mouth and pulse up and slightly down as if smiling for eight counts. Hold this position for eight counts and then relax. Perform three times.
Do you need equipment for Face Pilates?
We’re used to carting around a mat for exercise classes but tools aren’t essential in face exercises. It’s the movement of the facial muscles that really gets them working but if you want to encourage the product to really sink in you can always add a roller or a gua sha tool in.
How quickly will I see results?
Unlike slogging away at the gym, facial Pilates produces results fairly quickly. “Some clients can see the glow after just a few sessions of face Pilates,” says Carme.
Other facial exercises to try
Similarly to face Pilates, facial yoga works out the many muscles in the face to lift, sculpt and tighten, but it has a self-care vibe to it with relaxation activities such as breathwork, visualisation and meditation alongside facial massage, explains Camilla Bankes of Luminous Face Yoga, a membership website offering facial workouts for £29.99 a year.
When it comes to face yoga, Camilla suggests practising for 15 minutes, six days per week to see results, but points out that one time poor days you can fit the exercises in any when in your day, be it waiting for the kettle to boil, on the school run or while you’re watching TV.
“After two to four months of facial yoga you should notice a reduction of fine lines and wrinkles and between six and nine months people have reported they look and feel several years younger, as well as feeling more relaxed and energised,” says Camilla.
Face Gym facial exercises
Face Gym offers facial workouts in studios and online too, but a little more vigorous than Pilates or yoga, with exercises including “cheek burpees” and knuckle massage. “Most FaceGym clients see results straight away in hydration, lift and glow but for longterm results, you need to keep at it,” says Inge Tjeron, founder of FaceGym.
GTG’s Commercial Projects Manager Catherine Fulwood is a face exercise convert and was a regular at Face Gym in North London before lockdown.
“I became addicted to Facegym last year; I always got so many compliments on how glowing my skin was after my visits, during which I had the Signature Sculp, so I was a little bit panicked when lockdown hit and I couldn’t go anymore. Then I discovered their weekly Instagram Lives; over 2000 people were tuning in for a 45-minute workout. Every Monday they hosted a class focused on working a different area, be that a double chin, crows feet or the ever-popular cheekbone sculpting.
“The Lives were structured much like when you visit the studio, with the full attention on one side first, so you can really see a noticeable difference right away, it’s been especially helpful with puffiness and dullness which I have been suffering a lot with of late. You don’t strictly need any products or tools for the sessions, our hands are more than enough, but I definitely was sold on the gold derma roller, £40, and the gua sha stone, £38, which makes the whole experience feel a little more luxurious! The obsession even reached a point where I decided to host a Zoom call to teach all my friends my new found skills, I *think* they enjoyed it.
“The real turning point for me, however, was when the stress of being cooped up caused me to get severe tooth and jaw pain, which I later discovered was due to grinding my teeth at night, the finger hook move I learnt allowed me to ease all my tension and the knots and was an absolute lifesaver.”