The De-Puffing, Skin-Tightening Gadget That Delivers Instant Gratification and Long-Lasting Results

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My face usually looks like a balloon in the morning, with my eyelids appearing swollen and my cheeks puffy. This “balloon face” phenomenon can last well through the afternoon, taking hours for me to get my face back and feel like myself, unless I put in some real time doing facial massages (while also juggling mugs of coffee, meetings and a heavy current of email notifications). 

So when I found a gadget that could do away with my balloon face in 15 minutes, tops — the newest version of NuFace’s pocket-sized skin-care device, the Mini+ — I was all in. It’s a handheld, gold nugget of a tool that relies on microcurrent technology to boost circulation, massage the face (hence reducing puffiness) and tone the underlying muscles for long-term benefits as well.

To briefly break it down, microcurrent technology uses low-voltage electric currents to stimulate facial muscles, encourage collagen production and, over time and with repeated use, tone the muscles for a more defined, lifted look. While it’s doing all of that, the NuFace Mini+ device also helps to drain fluid from the face immediately; and all of these benefits combine to result in a more sculpted jawline and more contoured cheekbones in minutes. 

To use it, you coat skin in the brand’s conductive gel (which is included in the starter kit sold with the tool) — without it, the current won’t penetrate the skin. Holding the rechargeable device to your face, you move the two protruding spheres in an upward motion, following the contours of your face, repeatedly, until you’ve treated your entire face — brow muscles, jaw line, cheek cavities, you name it. While most skin-care products take months to deliver real results, NuFace’s microcurrent devices are designed to deliver both instant gratification and long-term results. 

I’ve been using mine for several weeks, and in addition to my daily “balloon face” being much easier to overcome, I also notice that my face looks more defined and lifted on the days when I don’t even use my NuFace. Seeing those lasting results has kept me hooked on the little tool.

While NuFace’s at-home microcurrent devices have been around for decades, this newest version is more compact and less expensive than previous models (though $245 isn’t exactly cheap). It also comes in a fun range of colors, including black and violet, which is an upgrade from the usual white-and-silver tools.

The Mini+ starter kit, which includes the gel and a brush to apply it, gave me everything I needed to jump into my daily NuFace routine. It’s pretty simple to get the hang of, but the brand also offers an app that pairs with the device via Bluetooth for step-by-step tutorials and selfie results tracking.

NuFace Mini+ Starter Kit, $245, available here.

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