facial massage

This Might Be the Key to Ridiculously Sculpted Cheekbones

Meet your new morning routine.

By: Hannah Baxter
Photography: Tim Buol
Videographer: Tim Buol

You know those girls on Instagram who always seem to have cheekbones cut from marble? Well, we’ve got a little secret for you—it’s not just contouring that’s giving her such defined bone structure. Makeup helps, of course, but if you really want to coax your cheekbones out of hiding for all the world to see, then it’s time you incorporate facial massage into your routine.

Depending on the aesthetician you speak with, or the subset of beauty you prefer (K-beauty, J-beauty, TCM), there are a multitude of different massage techniques that promise to lift and sculpt your face. There are some commonalities across all cultures, however: moving upwards, repetition, consistency, draining your lymph nodes. After speaking with numerous experts, this editor has developed her own bizarre little routine, and I must say, my skin is grateful (and glowing) ever since I took five extra minutes to get ready in the morning.

To make it even easier for you, we consulted two top aestheticians for their massage tips: Georgia Louise and Cecilia Wong, both of whom utilize facial massage in their in-office treatments. We’ve tried each of them, and they’re good. These are two self-massages that use some of their favorite techniques—one for a long, leisurely Sunday afternoon when you’re free to baby your skin for as long as you please, while the other is an express version for your weekday mornings. Try them, change them up, use tools if you want (kansa wands and gua sha stones are two of our favs), and reap the multitude of benefits. Among them are lifting, from manual manipulation of the skin and decreased inflammation; brightening, from increased circulation and oxygen; and de-puffing, from removing toxins and excess fluid via lymphatic drainage. Basically, you’re left with an overall more radiant complexion. Who doesn’t want that?

Most of all, massage is just a small way to shower yourself with self-love and some much-deserved relaxation. The steps for both methods are below, and be sure to follow along with our videos for proper placement and technique.

 

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EXPRESS MASSAGE


This massage takes five minutes or less. Repeat each of the steps a few times if you can, giving each area of the face at least ten seconds of attention. Your hands work great for this type of massage, but Louise also recommends an ice roller for particularly puffy mornings.

Use medium to firm pressure throughout this massage.

1. Apply an oil cleanser using small circular motions, working from the inside of the face outwards.

2. Cross your hands and rest them on the clavicle area (the soft tissue above the bone), pumping lightly.

3. With your hands in a prayer position, lightly press your fingertips under the jaw, moving outwards with gentle pressure.

4. Sweep the hands across the brows and forehead, moving from the center out towards the temples.

5. Use your thumbs in a counterclockwise motion around the eye using firm pressure.

6. Glide hands down the neck starting from the edge of the jaw, below your ear.

7. Use fingertips to sweep the hands outwards from the nasolabial folds up towards the cheekbones in the “butterfly” finger technique.

8. Pump above the clavicle area to activate the lymph nodes and drain excess fluid.

 

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INDULGENT MASSAGE


Had a stressful week? Wong recommends putting on some relaxing music, lighting a few candles, and even lying down with a comfy pillow while you perform this massage. Take your time, allowing each gentle press or sweeping motion to last for 30 seconds, or repeat it up to nine times. Just don’t rush through the steps on either the face or neck section—remember, this is meant to be pampering.

Use gentle pressure throughout this massage.

 

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Face

At the jawline:

1. Place both middle fingers in the center of the chin, and gently press nine times.

2. Press in a circular motion for 30 seconds.

3. Sweep both fingers from the middle of the chin to the corner of the mouth in a lifting motion. Repeat this nine times.

 

At the center point between the lips and the nose:

1. Press for 30 seconds.

2. Massage in circular motion nine times.

 

At the lower cheeks (below the cheekbones):

1. Place each hand on each cheek right below the bone.

2. Using the tips of the fingers, press upwards toward the cheekbone. Repeat this nine times.

3. Gently massage in a circular motion for 30 seconds.

 

At the nasolabial groove (the groove where your nostril meets your face):

1. Press on both sides with the middle finger for 30 seconds.

2. Massage in a circular motion nine times.

 

At the ears (at the depression before the supratragic notch, which is right above the tragus of the ear, closer to the face):

1. Press for 30 seconds.

2. Massage in a circular motion nine times.

 

At the eyes (directly under the pupil):

1. Press for 30 seconds.

2. Tap softly nine times with your fingertips.

 

On the outer corner of the eye:

1. Press for 30 seconds.

 

On the inner corner of the eyebrows:

1. Press for 30 seconds with your middle finger, then...

2. Sweep towards the outer corner of the eyebrows. Repeat this nine times.

 

Between the eyebrows:

1. Gently press down for 30 seconds, then gently massage with the tip of the middle finger in slow counterclockwise circles.

 

At the forehead (from above the eyebrows):

1. Use both hands to sweep upward towards the hairline; repeat nine times, then...

2. Repeat on both the left and right sides of the forehead.

 

On the temples:

1. Use both middle fingers to gently massage in circular motions eight to nine times, then...

2. Gently sweep the hands down to the end of the neck.

 

Neck

Behind collarbone:

1. Cross your hands, and find the soft area behind the collarbone on the opposite side.

2. Apply a half-circle stroke, coming down to the collarbone and scooping slightly inward to the middle of the neck. Repeat this stroke nine times.

 

The neck:

1. Cross both hands on the neck above the collarbone.

2. Pump for 30 seconds and repeat nine times.

 

Side of the neck:

1. Cross hands on the opposite side of the neck, placing it (flattened) on the side of the neck towards the front.

2. Massage a half-circle back towards the fingertips and down the neck. Repeat this nine times.

 

Model: Daphne Velghe

 

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