Lynda Lippin, sans makeup, after her Facial Magic face lift.
A few years ago while we were working at Parrot Cay, my husband started to play with my chin wattle. What started as a cutesy joke quickly turned into a fight.
Me: "Don't play with my wattle; you'll only make it worse!"
Hubby: "But I love everything about you, and it's so cute!"
Me: "IT'S NOT CUTE!"
Gravity is not our friend as we age. As an exercise and fitness professional, I know that exercising muscles in our bodies keeps them toned and helps keep the skin attached to the tissue underneath, so it makes sense to me that exercising facial muscles would do the same. However, exercising the face is tough for at least two reasons: there are a lot of small specialized muscles (43, in fact) and unlike most of the body's muscles, most facial muscles have only a single bony attachment, and some have none at all.
Early on in my social media experience, while still in Turks and Caicos, I connected with Cynthia Rowland of Facial Magic on Facebook and Twitter. Her products always interested me, but once the wattle incident occurred I really started to research these facial exercises, and once we arrived in Manhattan I emailed Rowland to see if she could help me lift my face and, more importantly, get rid of the wattle. "Of course!" she replied, and my Facial Magic kit arrived a few days later.
I received the basic kit: two jars of the wonderful Green Tea lifting treatment, several pairs of white cotton gloves (crucial for proper anchoring), an audio CD, DVD, and book outlining the exercises.
You start with two exercises held for a total of 35 seconds each, six days a week, building up by two exercises weekly until you reach the full 18 exercise series, which takes about half an hour to complete. Once you have achieved the results you want you can cut back to two or three days a week, but I continue the full six day routine as my face continues to lift. The exercises are not easy, and you need to be pretty exact in your positioning and faithful in your routine, but they really do work. Luckily Rowland's instructions are clear, and the DVD and CD are very helpful for learning proper placement. Basically, you use your hands to anchor one end of the muscle in question, and then contract the muscle towards the bone.
Most "less invasive" cosmetic procedures, including injections, take several weeks to several months to show full effect, which was exactly my experience with Facial Magic. The major difference is that with injections and non-invasive procedures like Thermage you must return for more treatments at several hundred to several thousand dollars a pop, and as these are procedures that involve injecting foreign substances into the body, you do risk some complications. Once you learn the good-for-all and non-invasive Facial Magic exercises they are yours for life.
I was lucky enough to meet Cynthia Rowland and her friend, radio announcer and voiceover specialist Jackie Silver, on Manhattan's Upper West Side. Together these two vivacious ladies make up The Ageless Sisters, and to look at them you would never guess that Silver (on the right) is in her 50s and Rowland (on the left), who does not divulge her age, has kids who are older than I am.
Silver jokingly describes herself as "Cynthia's stalker." Once Silver started the exercises and saw some results, which were surprisingly evident even after a history of procedures such as injections, she started to follow Rowland to events and lectures. Years later they are close friends and produce a great radio show (tune in on August 16, 2012, when yours truly will be their guest), among other ventures. Plus, these Ageless Sisters practice what they preach! In fact, Rowland took me through the exercises with her own coaching, showing me proper hand placement and where to feel the contraction.
Rowland discovered these exercises for herself over two decades ago, when she sought a non-surgical alternative to an eyelift that she desperately needed but could not afford. She discovered a French ex-pat woman who was working out of a Denver, Colorado office teaching women and men these exercises, which also turn out to be useful for TMJ, palsies, and stroke rehab. Since then, Rowland has made it her mission to spread the good word.
Still skeptical? Here are some of my before and after photos — no makeup, no retouching. I am 45 years old and my eyelids have lifted, my lips are plumper, my cheekbones are more defined, my hairline has lifted, my chin and jawline are more defined, and my wattle, while not completely gone, is much smaller and tighter. Note that wrinkles were not an issue for me, so I do not comment on them. Hubby completely notices the difference, and he actually laughed when I first opened the kit and thought it would be a ridiculous waste of time. He sees how happy I am at the results of Facial Magic and supports what makes me feel my best.
It is crucially important that you do all of the exercises in sequence. (Really, it is; Jackie Silver tried only doing the ones she felt were relevant to her face and did not see great results. Once she began the full program her face shaped right up.) Still, here are a couple of my favorite and most effective exercises for you to try at home. Follow as Cynthia Rowland and Jackie Silver lead you through the eye lift exercise and the double chin (aka wattle) exercise. You will feel these working and will see almost instant results. Enjoy!