Flicks & Folios – Book Review: Facercise

March 12, 2003

Looking in the mirror has been quite a feat lately. I don’t know exactly when this happened but my face suddenly seemed to drop! It apparently happened one day when I wasn’t looking. This is embarrassing and frustrating as most of us think the only “fix” for the problem is to head to an expensive cosmetic surgeon and get the “dog head out the car window” job! I don’t want to look that tight and phony, and I don’t happen to have the funds for the surgery. I admit, however, I am getting heartily annoyed at the haggard, old broad who keeps appearing in my mirror every morning! When I stopped looking at the mirror at all, I decided it was time to do something about this.

I bought Carole Maggio’s book Facercise (1995, Penguin/Putnam books) a couple of years ago in my local bookstore. I admit I used the exercises twice and promptly stuck the book in a closet.

I got the slim, 83 page, tome out again recently and reread it. At first glance the book appears to be too tiny to be anything but a breezy read, but I was impressed by the concrete work Carole did on the subject of the 57 facial muscles. Her book includes some before and after photos of subjects who used her exercises. As impressive as the pictures are in the book, her website (http://www.facercise.com) has far better illustrations of the effects her exercises can have. I recommend you look at the site under “Results” just to be impressed. The number one change in the photos I liked was the effect on people’s eyes. WOW! I am very impressed that both men and women went from hooded, tired looking, or just plain small eyes and then their eyes appear to be magically larger in the after photos. Since I have ALWAYS had a real problem with being “full faced” and “deep set eyed” I got cracking on the exercises again and decided to take Voice readers along for the ride.

This meant I had to knuckle down and actually do the exercises: and my husband came along as well. At first he didn’t do all of them although because he has no finger use I have to say he has a very good excuse!

Admittedly, when I started the book I was busy trying to read instructions and it slowed me down, but with time my speed picked up. Soon I was knocking off the prescribed amount of repetitions in a matter of moments. And I can feel changes happening.

When I first began:and this is SO embarrassing, I noticed if my head was leaned forward I could feel my cheek and jowl area hanging down the side of my face. Worse:I could SEE it! I wanted to change that immediately. So I worked on that exercise or two very hard! So hard indeed, my face and neck hurt and kept me from sleeping. I recommend if you do these exercises you give yourself a nice neck and shoulder rub after!

So what did I notice after one week of use? Well, I have to admit to a couple of “oopsy daisies” here. I did the exercises 5 out of 7 days for the article. Lately, I’ve been plagued with serious trouble sleeping and it’s turned my brain to oatmeal and my energy to mush. My face went along for the ride and looked droopy even more. Thanks! That was such a help!

Before and after pictures of Larry and Laura after a week of Facercise.

T he back of Carole’s book states you can, “diminish puffiness around the eyes, shorten and narrow the nose, smooth the chin, neck and jawline, improve skin color and tone, lift eyebrows, recontour the cheeks, make lips fuller…and more.”

Quotes from Harpers and Queen magazine and Beverly Hills plastic surgeon, Lawrence Birnbaum, M.D. insist that the exercises work.

The only problem with all this wonderful information is that so many of us rush around “doing things” all the time. We don’t stop to apply some of the marvelous things available to us… like those body exercisers we buy, use once and stuff into a closet or dry our clothes on.

I’ll include our photos for you to see and – keep in mind it’s only been a week – you can decide yourself. I hope you’ll consider the exercises and get some fabulous results. Hey, if you do, write the Voice and have them forward the photos to me. I’d love to see your results. Now, I have to go do some more neck and eye repetitions. I need bigger Betty Boop eyes for a cruise coming up!!

Laura Seymour first published herself, at age 8. She has since gone on to publish a cookbook for the medical condition Candida. She is working toward her B.A. (Psyc).

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