The Anti-Gravity Facial

If you are looking for a facial that does more than just leave you covered in oil, check out the effects from the famous buccal facial massage, which comes with a royal seal of approval. Editor Trudi Brewer explains.

The Anti-Gravity Facial from Skinography

What is it?
The Anti-Gravity Facial, at Skinography from $280. 

What does it involve?
Performed by only a handful of top facialists around the world - this European facial technique includes a mouth massage to reach the buccinator muscle in the wall of the cheek.  

Here’s what you expect

How does it work?
Geared around lifting, sculpting and firming the face, this massage includes the buccal muscle found inside the cheek, and up under the cheekbones. It involves vigorous face massage to release tension, improve circulation while lifting and sculpting, the face. Touted as the natural alternative to a surgical facelift, or fillers, there is nothing fluffy about this facial, it's a full-on workout for your face. 

What can you expect?
With a reputation for being a phenomenal facialist, there is nothing ordinary about Kate Michelmore's approach to skin healing. She offers a range of holistic treatments, her brand Lunar, consists of a variety of aromatherapy atomisers, massage candles, crystals, and naturopathic teas. So when she gave me the heads up a few months back that she was off to Los Angeles to train under world-renowned facialist Yakov Gershkovich, I was intrigued. Gershkovich is the best when it comes to the art of sculptural buccal massage, so I knew once Michelmore mastered this technique it would round off her integrated beauty and well-being offering nicely. Designed to strengthen facial muscles, and firm sagging skin; buccal massage is the focus of this 60-minute skin treatment. Under the linen duvet at Skinography, this anti-gravity skin treatment starts with a double cleanse, and then next Michelmore slathers my skin with organic shea butter, and the facial massage begins at my neck. The stokes are firm and prolonged, much like kneading bread dough, the movements are swift, with pushing, and rolling-like motions. From the throat to the jaw and up to the brow bone, even the lips are rolled and kneaded over and over again. Next, four fingers, (gloved up) two on the face and two inside my mouth stimulate the buccinator muscle deep in the cheeks. The fast rolling motion of buccal massage from both the outside and the inside of my mouth target the lower part of the face, nasolabial folds (laugh lines) and jaw jowls. There is not an inch of my face or neck that doesn't feel the effects of this deeply personal facial. Bare-foot and focused Kate uses all her strength to deliver this unique facial workout and admits it's physically demanding. "I opened Skinography to change what's on offer when it comes to a facial. The sculpting, firming effects of buccal massage, combine pressure point and lymphatic-based movements you can't reach unless you place your fingers deep inside the mouth."  She goes on to mention this treatment creates 'micro trauma' in the skin, which kick-starts your collagen and elastin production. While I did feel slightly alarmed, at the thought of a skin pummeling, I could not ignore the fact that this beauty service comes with a royal seal of approval. It was the treatment of choice for Meghan Markle before her wedding to Prince Harry, for that fact reason alone I needed to get across its firming effects.  

The result?
Mind-blowing. It took me a few moments to move after this facial. My skin was glowing partly due to the rich shea butter, and the pink glow you get from the boost in blood circulation after this kind of vigorous massage. However, on closer inspection, my face looked broader across the cheek area, firmer around the jawline and more relaxed, (hence, it's reputation as a natural alternative to appearance medicine). With a big party to host a few days later, this was just what I needed to get glowy. Kate promised the effects would be visible for up to four days post-treatment, and she was right. In all my years of facials, this is easily the most impressive technique combined with a set of seriously, firm hands to give my face an anti-ageing lift. If you have a special occasion coming up, or want to give your skin the kick-start it needs to get glowing,  consider a little buccal indulgence. The effects are instant - I guarantee you will be sold.  

Before and after shots

Editor Trudi Brewer with clean skin before and after the Anti-Gravity Facial.

Editor Trudi Brewer with clean skin before and after the Anti-Gravity Facial.

Expect to pay $280, allow 60 minutes, for buccal massage only. Or $340, allow 90 minutes, which includes a full facial and the buccal massage.

Kate Michelmore is currently the only NZ facialist to have an advanced level certification in this technique. She recommends the Anti-Gravity facial once a month for prolonged results. Also, you will need to wait three weeks after any injectables such as Botox or skin fillers, and six weeks after any cosmetic procedures.