How to feel like you've had a facial when you really can't afford one

While a facial often feels like a once-in-a-blue-moon luxury, facial massage and great skincare can happen at any time and any budget.

Having spent a weekend in the very lovely Ashford Castle, I had an unbelievable facial. A treatment that lasted well over an hour, I felt like I went home with a new face. Although any breakouts I had did not disappear, my face felt cleaner, plumped up and hydrated. The instant benefits of a facial are very welcome, but it's how your skin looks a week or so later (glowy, resurfaced almost rebooted from within) that makes them really worth the money.

Products aside, it's the physical massaging that does half the work during a facial. Think about it, when we cleanse at home we are usually trying to get it done as quickly as possible, even if you're double cleansing. Getting a facial is like a mini workout for your face that gets the circulation moving, helping to give you plump and radiant skin.

Take the rise of Face Gym that channels this idea, describing what they do as; "It's not a facial, it's a workout". With 'studios' in the UK and US this concept is gaining popularity and aims to 'tone and tighten the forgotten 40 muscles in the face'. This is done through a series of kneading and massaging techniques that in a sense 'wake up the face'.

How can you do this at home?


Although it is exceptionally lovely to have someone else massage and sculpt your face for you, not all of us can afford the luxury. So here's our way of getting that facial feeling at home by yourself.

Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm; €29.00 at

First of all, you'll need to remove your make-up and deeply cleanse the skin. I remove the worst of my make-up with micellar water first. Then, I go in with an oil-based cleanser. Something like Clinique's cleansing balm is great for this as you'll want to spend as long as possible massaging the skin. Really take your time, especially on the second cleanse as you want to boost circulation in the skin as much as possible. Remove the cleanser both times using a hot flannel taking care to gently exfoliate any areas that might need it like around the nose, chin and forehead.

Kiehls Midnight Recovery Concentrate; €44.00 at

Once your face is thoroughly cleansed the next step is to apply facial oil as you would in a facial. Use whichever one you currently have on rotation, I love Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Oil for this as it doesn't sink in too quickly, giving you time to work with it. Now spend as long as possible massaging this into the skin using upward strokes. You can use your hands, or alternatively, a facial roller is a nice way to do this. You can buy affordable ones in The Body Shop, or go all out lux on a jade roller.



Yu Ling Rollers Jade Facial Roller; £18.00 at

Depending on your specific face concerns you can concentrate on different areas of the face. If you struggle with puffiness (or have a hangover), a facial roller straight from the fridge is soothing and helps to de-puff under eyes and cheeks. If you feel you skin is slackening at your jawline you may want to focus on tightening and plumping that area. Spend at least 15/20 minutes on this, I like to stick something on Netflix and park myself in front of the TV while I massage. Before you know it you'll have been at it for half an hour!

If you want some more tips, or just some visuals on how to use your facial roller we highly recommend watching this video from Lisa Eldridge. Not only does she show step by step what she does but her voice is so soothing it makes the whole experience more enjoyable.

Repeat every Sunday and go to work looking like you've spent the weekend having treatments in a fancy hotel (they don't need to know you were on the couch in your ratty old pjs).

Header Image: @intothegloss

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