Can you get a facelift in a box?
Quick answer to the question in the title of this post: yes, you can totally get a facelift in a box – as in, you can buy one.
Perhaps a better question, however, would be, “Does this thing that claims to give you a facelift in a box actually WORK?” And guys, that’s the very question I’m going to try to answer for you. Because that’s what I’m here for: to take your hand and guide you through the maze of beauty products, to find the ones that actually work. And also to spend part of my Saturday morning looking like this, apparently:
Yes, people, I wear the strange-looking face masks so you don’t have to. But I’m getting ahead of myself. First, here’s the product in question:
It’s by Crystal Clear, and it’s called – appropriately enough – Facelift in a Box. So I didn’t just make that up for THE DRAMA: it’s the actual name of the product. It’s also the reason I agreed to test it out, because as some of you know, I’m the kind of person who gets willingly sucked in by even the most blatantly-untrue claims beauty product manufacturers make. There’s a reason Terry always forward-winds commercials when we watch TV, and it’s not just that he wants to see the rest of the show: it’s because you could sell me just about ANYTHING, seriously. And a product which claims it’s going to be like a facelift, only without the surgery? You could sell me that TWICE. Three times, even.
Anyway, I may be gullible, but I’m not totally stupid, so I was aware going into this review that the product I was testing was NOT, in fact, a “facelift”. Actually, it’s a face MASK. Here’s what it says on the box:
Crystal Clear Face Lift In A Box gets to work fast, immediately firming, smoothing and softening the skin – plumping out lines and wrinkles within 30 minutes, leaving you ready for anything.
Before any of this magic can happen, however, you have to mix up the formula, which comes in two separate bottles, one containing a powder and one containing a liquid.
“Mix 80ml liquid and 25g of thepowder,” said the instructions. What the instructions didn’t say was that this was basically ALL of the powder, and around 90% of the liquid activator, which honestly struck me as a little strange. I mean, why not just provide you with 80ml of the liquid, if that’s all they want you to use? It’s not like I’m going to keep that 10% that’s left over and use it for something else, is it? But anyway!
I dutifully mixed together the two bottles, which was kind of fun, and made me feel a bit like a mad scientist – possibly because I was cackling in a “comic book villain” manner while I did it. The resulting mixture (which looked a bit like icing, actually: mmm!) is supposed to provide enough for one application, and must be applied to the skin immediately, so it doesn’t dry out. Once on, it does start to harden quite quickly: you’re not supposed to move your facial muscles while it sets (You know how your mum used to say to you, “Take that expression off your face right now, madam, because if the wind changes, it’ll stay that way!” It’s a bit like that, really), which is why I ended up with the photo at the top of the page, which I will reproduce here for you, just so you don’t have to scroll all the way back up again:
Yeah. It’s all gone a bit ‘Silence of the Lambs’, hasn’t it?
If you’re worried about that drip that’s about to fall off my chin, by the way, don’t be: as I said, the mask sets pretty fast, so I basically ended up with a “nubbin”. I quite liked it, to be honest. Well, who wouldn’t?
What I also ended up with, however, was a HUGE amount of excess product. I’d applied as much of it as I could to my face (Because if it’s £22 for one application, you better believe I’ll be using ALL of it…), but I still estimated I had enough left over for at least one more application. Which is why THIS happened:
Well, it would’ve been a shame to waste it, wouldn’t it? And you know what they say: the couple that face-masks together, stays together. (Er, they don’t say that, do they?) As you can see, neither of us was sure how to deal with the issue of Terry’s beard: he was pretty adamant that he didn’t want his facial hair waxed off, though, so he’s modelling what I’m going to call the “demi-mask”. Oh, and we’re also both modelling our dressing gowns. You’re welcome.
If I look a lot more serious than the situation demands, by the way, it’s because I couldn’t actually move my face by this point: the mask had started to set, and I could feel it tightening on my skin. It’s not remotely uncomfortable, you just have to be careful not to try to move your facial muscles too much, or you’ll end up with a bit of an ‘Incredible Hulk’ situation going on, with the mask kind of cracking apart, dramatically. Guess which one of us did THAT, while standing in front of the mirror and pulling faces at his own reflection? Guess which OTHER one of us spent the next thirty minutes trying to pour hot coffee through the tiny gap that was her mouth? Uh-huh.
So, anyway, with the mask in place, you basically just sit back, relax, and let it get to work for the next thirty minutes, while desperately resisting the urge to start peeling it off. I have to admit, I was REALLY looking forward to this part (When I was a little kid I used to dip my fingers in the the glue we had at school for craft projects, just so I could peel it off again when it dried…), mostly because I was imagining that it would come off all in one piece, like the Phantom of the Opera’s mask or something.
Well, not quite. It was pretty satisfying, though: it dries to a thin, rubbery substance and once you’ve loosened the edges, it come off pretty easily – yes, even the bits that were stuck to my eyebrows.
But what about the results, I hear you ask? That’s the most important bit, after all!
Well, I didn’t bother taking a “before” photo (Although I always hope for the best with stuff like this, I also always expect the worst), but here’s a selection of “after” shots:
Pretty amazing, huh? I think you’ll all agree, it’s taken YEARS off me. YEARS.
OK, OK, I didn’t take an “after” shot either: the fact is, the kind of changes you get from a treatment like this aren’t the kind that make for dramatic “before” and “afters”, really. And also, I didn’t really feel up to taking close-ups of my wrinkles, you know? That doesn’t mean there aren’t any results, however: actually, I was pleasantly surprised when I peeled off the mask – and, OK, when I finally finished playing around with the rubbery residue of it, and remembered to go and look in the mirror to check out the results.
It’s NOT like having a facelift: I mean, I think that much probably goes without saying, right? But while it didn’t work miracles, there WAS a noticeable difference in the fine lines on my forehead and at the side of my mouth, and I also felt my skin looked both smoother and plumper. This was confirmed by Terry, who, as you will remember, ALSO ended up testing out this product, and who ALSO noticed a definite reduction in his forehead lines. Yay for the facelift in a box!
Wait: not so fast. Because this isn’t like an ACTUAL facelift, the results aren’t permanent, and we were both starting to revert back to our usual wizened selves a couple of days later – although, having said that, we’re now on Day 4, and I’m still seeing a difference in my skin, which is pretty impressive, really.
While it’s not a permanent fix, however, it’s important to note that this product doesn’t CLAIM to be: I actually think that calling it a ‘Facelift in a Box’ was a bit of a mistake, because it’ll probably create unreasonable expectations in people who don’t read the leaflet properly. I guess ‘Really Good Face Mask’ wouldn’t make quite as good a product name, mind you, but a really good face mask it is: and it’s the kind of thing I can imagine using before a night out, say, or some other special event.
In closing, I have both good news and bad news for you. The bad news is that this costs £22 per box – or £17.60 if you buy it right now, at the sale price. That’s pretty pricey considering it’s only supposed to give you one application per box, right? The good news, however, is that, as you can see from the above photos, it actually DOESN’T give you just one application per box: in fact, after Terry and I had used as much as we needed, there was still enough left for at least one more application (It was really such a shame that we only have the two faces between us!), so I reckon if you just divided the measurements by three, you’d get more than one application out of it – and more value for your money, too.
[This product was a review sample: all opinions are my own.]