TRIED & TESTED: I used the cult NuFace facial toning device. Here's my verdict.

Mamamia’s Tried and Tested series is your review of the latest to hit our desks in beauty, health and wellness. You won’t find any #sponsored content here, just honest, relatable and independent advice. This week, Senior Beauty Writer Erin Docherty road tested the NuFace Trinity Mini Facial Toning Device.

Okay, first things first: the NuFace Trinity Mini isn't exactly a new device. You've probably seen it kicking around the beauty streets with all the other cool devices for a while, and you might've even read all of the glowing reviews. 

And sure, it all sounds good, but these fancy devices can be pricey. And if you're anything like me you use these things for like, a week, before getting bored and chucking it in your bathroom drawer with your facial cleansing brushes, hair removal devices and light treatments, along with 789,670 miscellaneous charging cables. 

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But then lockdown hit, and with some of us still unable to leave our houses (we're looking at you, Melbs) to enjoy all our regular beauty treatments, skincare devices powered into our beauty routines. And we're not exactly mad about it. Cause when you're stuck indoors for days on end, what else is there to do but electrocute your own face?


What is the NuFace Trinity Mini and how does it work?

Just to be clear, it doesn't *actually* feel like an electric shock, but rather a kind of gentle tingling sensation. That's because the device uses micro-current technology, which is a very low level of electric current. This helps to give your facial muscles a bit of a nudge and tells them to stop slacking off and taking so many smoko breaks.

While micro-current technology was originally introduced to help stimulate muscles in people with conditions like Bell's Palsy, it didn't take long for the technology to be picked up by the beauty industry for its facial-toning benefits. 

With regular use, this particular device is designed to target things like fine lines, wrinkles and facial contour, all while improving your skin tone, stimulating collagen and circulation. 

Sounds pretty nifty, right? 

But it ain't cheap. The NuFace Trinity Mini retails at a cool $319. You'll also need to pick up a tube of NuFace Hydrating Leave-On Gel Primer (we'll get into this later), which is $22 a pop. In saying that, when looking at how much you're saving if you use it regularly, compared to the cost of a professional treatment, it really isn't so bad.

I guess the main thing I was looking for was a way to keep my forehead smooth, tighten my jawline and sort out those annoying fine lines around my eyes. I know, I know - a lot to ask from a non-invasive skincare device. And one that is supposedly pain-free, at that. But a girl can dream, right?


How to use the NuFace Trinity Mini.

It's all pretty straightforward and the instructions are mapped out on a pamphlet (with little facial diagrams) that comes with the device. After cleansing and drying your skin, you apply the gel primer in a mask-like layer - don't forget your neck!

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Next, you switch on the device (there's only one button, so no confusion) and glide it over one side of your neck three times, glide it over your cheeks three times, sweep it up one side of your forehead three times and then repeat everything on the other side of your face. 

Each motion lasts for five seconds, before a beeping noise tells you to move to the next section. 

There's also three different settings you can choose from - low, medium and high (you just use the on/off button to move between these settings). I started off with high, because I'm crazy like that and hungry for results. Gimme.


Okay, nice. How did you go with it?

It's worth noting that I've only been using the device for a little over one week, so I can't speak to the benefits of using it for a long period of time. I can, however, talk about what the device feels like and how my skin felt afterwards.

The first thing I can tell you is that I was a little shaky starting out. And I kept missing the automated beeps because I have the hearing of an 85-year-old. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

When it came to sweeping the device up my forehead, I felt like my hairs were kind of prickling a little. It felt like an elastic band snapping against my skin. It didn't hurt - it was just a slightly weird sensation. 

I also noticed it felt a tad funny around my neck region (like I was going over veins or something not good), so I lowered the setting for this area. My first guess was that I was maybe starting too close to the middle of my neck (I'm pretty sure your thyroid lives here...eek).

After a little help from Google, I learnt that the gel primer actually plays a pretty important role in transferring the micro-currents into your face. So the previous sensations I was feeling were probably due to the gel drying before I got to that particular area. Whoops! 

Me, the gel primer and my purple bathroom tiles. Image: Supplied So, Yeah - you need to lube your face up good. The next time I used it, I applied the gel to one side of my face at a time and I didn't experience as much tingling. Yay!


The whole process generally takes about five minutes, and you can expect to see a bit of redness afterwards, especially if you're a gal with sensitive skin like me.

Once you're done, you basically just massage the remaining gel into your face. You can then apply your sunscreen, serums, moisturiser, etc. and you're good to go!


Here's what my face look like before and after my fourth treatment:

Before & after my fourth treatment. Image: Supplied. Let's be honest, there's not a MASSIVE difference - but I didn't expect to see incredible results after just a few treatments. However, my skin does look a little fresher, healthier (it looked a tiny bit dull in the before pic) and less puffy. I also look like I have more definition around my cheekbones - which I'm all about. You'll also notice that the Gel Primer fixed all of my frizzy flyaways, so that was an added bonus.


What's the verdict?

So, is it worth it?

If you would like to improve your facial contour, skin tone and circulation AND you have the money to spend on a device like this, I say go for it! While it's never going to be as powerful as the in-clinic devices, I think it's a great non-invasive, no-downtime option if you know you're really going to stick to a routine. This isn't a device you can use now and then and expect to see good things - you need to be consistent (it's just like working out, I suppose). 

In saying this, I usually fall off the bandwagon pretty quick when it comes to skincare devices, but it's been surprisingly easy to keep up with these treatments because I genuinely feel it makes my skin look healthier (maybe it's the increase in circulation).

That said, $319 is a steep price to pay for upping your glow a little. You may be able to achieve similar circulation-boosting results by using a ghu sha tool or a facial roller. Or just some killer highlighter. 

Have you tried the NuFace Trinity Mini before? What are your thoughts? Share with us in the comment section below.

You can catch up on our previous Tried and Tested reviews here: 

Feature image: Supplied/Erin Docherty