Meredith MacRae looks equally worried as she follows Catherine (Cat) Politte, a Santa Monica massage therapist with "a celebrity clientele," through the motions of the soon-to-be released "15 Minute Acupressure Face Lift" video.
But all that concentration, which gets blood flowing to the face, is paying off for MacRae. She swears she has been sticking to the program off camera, and she's noticed, she says, "that I have fewer lines and more color in my face. I look more vital and younger. Of course, I also just got married."
Even without wedding bells in the distance, the $20 acupressure tape has merit. It's slick and extremely easy to follow. But the real no-brainer of this group has to be Facial-Flex.
The $69 metal and plastic device, which fits into the corners of the mouth, is advertised in the New Yorker and has a ton of medical evidence to support its claims. Developed originally for stroke and Bell's palsy patients, it supposedly tightens and tones face, chin and neck while adding a glow to the skin. All that is required are four minutes a day of making little O's with your mouth.
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How You Can Put On a Happy Face
* "Face Aerobics": a video based on a grandmother's regimen, $30. (800) 464-FACE.
* "Face-Fit": Soothing, doable and the most expensive of the batch, this video kit is $90. (800) 214-8585.
* Facial-Flex: device developed for stroke and Bell's palsy patients, $69. (800) 345-3371.
* "Face Life": Led by the devoted Laura Hart, the exercises in this $80 video kit seem to have worked for her. Impressive before-and-after photos of satisfied customers. (800) 905-2211.
* "Facial Magic": Awkward exercises in this $25 video will test your face's mettle. (800) 268-5984 or P.O. Box 3902, Long Beach, Calif. 90803.
* "15 Minute Acupressure Face Lift": Contains some extraneous information (i.e. background on chemical peels), but at the core of this $20 video is a centuries-old technique that brings blood flowing to the face and neck. (800) 321-4420, Ext. 41.