Late last year I was looking at some photos from a frigid soccer tournament my daughter Gwen played in, and while the action pics made me smile, I didn't like what I saw when it came to the photos of my ultra-bundled, frozen self on the sidelines. You know, it's the pic you take to see if you look as cold—in sub-freezing temps with major wind—as you feel. There's something about a hood that makes everything on the face super prominent, which is incredibly precious on a child. On this 43-year-old? My 11's were massive, and my nasolabial folds, or laugh lines, were oh-so pronounced. Overall, I just wanted my face to be lifted and tightened.
Now, I know we all age, and it's a blessing to do so, but I just don't like when I look into the mirror or at a photo of myself and see someone who looks angry or tired when she is not angry or tired. And, well, we're all our own worst critic. I don't think we see wrinkles on other people at all like we do on ourselves. We see a person for who they are, for their heart, for their sense of humor, for their quick wit, for their warmth ... for their sass.
Back to my own issues, as someone who bruises easily, I wasn't looking forward to possible downtime after Dysport. While I adore the results after the bruising subsides (I got Dysport along with Restylane Defyne once two summers ago), the confidence-boosting results are so fleeting, and so expensive. And I'm really trying to avoid jumping back on the filler train, though I am the last person to judge those who are on it. Yours truly is not yet ready to go under the knife either.
So, for Christmas, I asked my amazing hubby for some gadgets that promise injection-free, suture-free, big-time clinical results at home using the power of microcurrent and laser technology. That's technology like what is used in the dermatologist's office, but with no downtime featuring scary sights before the final desired results.
I guess Matt was sick of my complaining (happy wife = happy life), was pleased with the massive holiday deals, had considered the longterm savings vs. injections, and, well, he definitely loves technology. He delivered!
What follows are my initial thoughts on the NuFACE Mini+ Microcurrent Skincare Regimen ($245) and the NIRA Precision Laser ($399) after 21 days. I'll have another update at 90 days or soon after (NIRA has a 90-day guarantee), but, I am so stoked to be seeing change already!
As for the reason why I chose those two devices given all the options out there? I'll start with NuFACE. It's FDA cleared with 3-depth technology, targeting skin and muscles to give a tighter, more lifted, toned and contoured look. Basically, it's like a workout for your face muscles. NuFACE was all over my social media feed with wow-worthy before-and-after pics showing major lifting of the facial muscles and sculpted cheeks minus makeup tricks. I couldn't ignore it. After all, lifting is one thing I was definitely seeking.
Also, several podcasters and writers that I trust for beauty advice declared their affinity for the tools. Molly Sims and Emese Gormley have never steered me wrong. Plus, NuFACE had recently launched their new Trinity+ (which is NuFACE's priciest face device and has attachments available as add-ons) and Mini+, which promised to go even deeper and be even more uplifting than their original devices.
As for the NIRA Precision Laser, leave it to Dominique Sachse. The recently retired news anchor and uber popular vlogger (1.81 M subscribers and counting) is absolutely beautiful at 55 and very honest about what she does to her face. What's more, the smart cookie really does her homework. She reviewed the NIRA, and I knew I had to have it.
The pain-free non-fractional laser is FDA cleared and proven to reduce wrinkles and fine lines while stimulating natural collagen production sans redness. Plus, it has a 90-day money-back guarantee and was discounted 40 percent for the holiday season.
When it comes to my initial thoughts on the two devices, my favorite is the NIRA.
Why I love the NIRA:
- It is really easy to hold onto, very ergonomic. It's very comfortable to push the button and laser it all up!
- It holds a charge for a really long time. I still haven't plugged it in after the initial charging.
- It feels good, just a little warm. There are five levels. I'm on level 4. Go big or go home, right? I will probably have the guts to try level 5 soon. I do notice it feeling a little more intense near my mouth area and at the far corners of my eyes, but I wouldn't call it painful. I'd start out low if you're concerned or have really sensitive skin.
- Different kinds of beeps let you know if you're holding it right or wrong, and it beeps a certain way when 40 pulses have been completed, which is what is suggested for under one eye.
- It's quick to use. I do it under both eyes, above my eyes, on my 11's and on my nasolabial folds in under five minutes. I can do the under-eye sections in just over two minutes. I get quicker every day.
- It doesn't cause me any redness or irritation.
- It doesn't require any lotions, potions or conductive gels to make it work. You just use it on a clean face. I love that!
- If really ambitious, the NIRA can be used 2x per day.
- Most importantly, I feel like my crow's feet and under eye are looking smoother already!
- It's to be used every day for 90 days or more for lasting results, which some may see as a con, but I love using it. I look forward to it. I do it first thing in the morning after washing my face and brushing my teeth.
I really like the NuFACE Mini+ as well, just not as much as the NIRA.
First, what I love about the NuFACE Mini+:
- You see immediate lifting and contouring. I've taken pictures before treatment, after treatment of one side, and after treating both sides; the results are unmistakable.
- There are a bunch of different treatments you can do in the app, and you can make a lot happen in 5 minutes.
- It can be used once a day, is recommended to be used 5 days/week for the first 60 days then 2-3 days per week for maintenance.
What I don't like about the NuFACE Mini+:
- You have to use it with an activator. I've used mine with the NuFACE Hydrating Aqua Gel. You can also use it with the brand's Firming & Brightening Silk Creme, which I haven't tried yet. The gel aggravates my face a bit, and I don't like getting it near my clean hair (this is why I now do the NuFACE right before I shower, instead of right after showering.). I can't wait to wash it off after treatment, though you can leave it on and continue with the rest of your skincare if it feels good. Also, if you don't put enough of the conductive gel on, it tingles in an uncomfortable way.
- When I use the NuFACE near my ears or on my forehead, I feel tingles or zaps on other places in my hair farther back on my head. I'm not sure why, but it's uncomfortable and freaks me out a bit.
- I've had issues with the NuFACE app. Some of them were caused by our ad blocker, but some were not. For instance, some of my photos are no longer in the app, and one of the treatments froze mid-treatment yesterday.
- I find it a little awkward to hold. I think the bigger Trinity+ would be easier to grasp and glide.
I'm excited to keep using both devices and will report back in a couple months. I feel like even when I smile, the lines are a bit softer.
And I'll never let lines stop me from smiling.
Have an awesome week!
PS. There are contraindications for both devices. Always check with your healthcare providers to make sure you're good to go should you wish to try either device.