9 September 2021

WITHBeautyhack expert Marina Syutaeva tested the most controversial massage in which painful sensations are not prohibited – and was satisfied with the massage and with her appearance after the session.

I don’t know why, but I still haven’t tried buccal massage, despite years of beauty editing and a great desire. Perhaps the reason is that there are only three certified specialists in the whole of Moscow (although judging by the number of salons offering such a service, there are at least five of them). But most likely, due to the unusual technique. Everyone who has gone through this massage says something like: “Oooh. Well he is. Strange”. And they make round eyes. The fact is that buccal massage is really strange – it is performed … through the mouth.

This technique was invented by the Frenchwoman Joelle Siocco, a beautician and biochemist. The essence of the method is to deeply work out the facial muscles, including those that cannot be reached from the outside. This is the only technique that allows forceful action. And besides toning the muscles, during the massage there is a powerful work on the lymph flow, strengthening the blood vessels. As a result – lifting, combating rosacea and edema, smoothing the skin and returning a healthy complexion.

In general, recently I decided that it was time for my face to pump the muscles, which over the years of service have relaxed, lost willpower and surrendered to the mercy of gravity. Simply put, the relief of the face has lost its expressiveness, the contours have lost their clarity, and the skin tone has become heterogeneous: there is unhealthy yellowness around the eyes, there is a total absence of blush on the cheeks, everything else is just dull and sad. Plus, swelling in the eye area. So I ended up in the Tevoli beauty salon on Tverskoy Boulevard, for a buccal massage session with a beautician-aesthetist Oksana Smirnova.

Before seriously tackling my facial muscles, Oksana asks to fill out a questionnaire. In addition to standard questions about height, age, weight, chronic diseases and allergic reactions, there are points about previous operations, the presence of dental implants, the composition and depth of fillers, and the tendency to bruise. I honestly point out a cesarean section, an allergy to several medications and answer negatively the question whether I have been to the dentist in the previous 7 days. The latter is important because the massage is performed on the oral mucosa, and there should be no damage after tooth extraction, for example. While my skin is being cleaned of makeup, I remember in a panic that in the summer I did blepharoplasty of the upper eyelids and lipofilling of the lower ones. “It’s okay,” Oksana soothes me, “the area of ​​the eyelids is the least affected by this massage, the main work is done in the lower part of the face.”

So let’s get started. The first part of the massage is sculptural. With clear, well-honed, strong movements from the bottom up, Oksana massages the skin, rising from the décolleté to the neck, chin, lower jaw, and then everywhere.

It feels like, after a detailed study, each muscle is somehow magically fixed in the “straight up” direction. And, for example, my lips in the first minutes of the session involuntarily fold like a duck, like those of lovers of stupid selfies. I am also amused by a funny movement – quick strokes of the columella of the nose (this is the septum between the nostrils) from the base of the nose to the tip.

“There is a small but important muscle here. If you do not keep it in good shape, the tip of the nose will begin to bend down, ”says Oksana. Looking ahead, I will say that after such information, stroking the tip of the nose became something like not a habit even for me, but a nervous tic and mania.

During the sculptural massage, the lips and everything nearby need to be relaxed. I do not succeed in doing this right away, but only after Oksana suggests the yogic technique “reach the palate with the tip of your tongue”. Here, according to the laws of the massage genre, I have to relax and fall asleep – but nothing like that. I feel like in fitness: the muscles of the face are experiencing an unusual load – it’s nice, but energy-consuming.

The second part of the session is the actual buccal massage, which lasts 10-15 minutes. “During it, I will not talk to you and will focus on the muscles,” Oksana warns me. – I will close my eyes and with my fingertips I will “look” at their condition, tone. By the way, are you left-handed or right-handed? ” I am right-handed, so we start the massage on the right side of the face. Oksana puts on disposable gloves, I open my mouth – and yes, this is a very unusual feeling. One finger slides along the inner surface of the lips and cheeks, the second along the outer, kneading the chewing, zygomatic, circular muscles in a detailed manner.

“Feel rolling?” – Oksana asks, working out the muscle in the middle of her cheek millimeter by millimeter. And how! In general, I have the impression that the cheek has filled with something from the inside and now looks like a ball (in fact, not). This sensation will haunt me the next day after the massage. “The hamster effect,” laughs Oksana. “If it hurts, speak up right away.” I’m not sure if I’m in pain. No, though. Probably, it’s still pain, just bearable.

When Oksana is taken to the left side of her face, I decide to move on to pressing issues and wonder if it is possible to remove the nasolabial folds with the help of massage. And in general, is it possible to avoid injection and hardware manipulations if the procedure is carried out as expected, in a course of 8-10 sessions every six months. “If a hall has already formed on the skin, it will not disappear after the massage, although the depth of the wrinkle will be corrected,” says Oksana. This suits me, especially since the rest can always be corrected with a filler with hyaluron.

I leave the salon inspired, with a bright blush and somehow not my face: the skin is dense and unusually tight, and the contours just jumped up, I physically feel how they resist the force of attraction. My cheeks ache when I smile or touch them with my hands. But the result that I saw the next morning finished me off. After looking in the mirror after sleeping, I rubbed my eyes a couple of times: the skin tone was even. That is, ab-so-lut-no. Delicate, with a pinkish highlight on the cheeks. The last time I saw this in my student years, that is, three hundred years ago. But the muscles ached, as after a good workout. Serves them right, let them gain strength. I will repeat it in a week.

Text: Marina Syutaeva