Lift, Tone, and Sculpt Skin with a Luxe Vibrating Gold Bar
Written by: the Editors of goop
Updated: November 14, 2022
A fly on the wall might be forgiven for dropping, starstruck, to the floor on any given day in Jillian Dempsey’s life. A world-class makeup artist and product-formulating magician, Dempsey is in the business of making people look good, though most of the people she works with already have a leg up in that direction (she’s worked with GP several times, and shortly after GP interviewed Julia Roberts for our podcast, Roberts sat down with Dempsey to get ready for the Golden Globes). When she’s not doing or creating makeup, she’s hanging with her kids, her donkeys, and her husband, the no-slouch-himself Patrick.
Dempsey’s kit is of course full of makeup, her own and other brands. But it’s also crammed with everything and anything that might make a person look or feel better: every sort of (clean) moisturizer, sheet masks, eye cream, every brand of eye drops, and much more. “I arm myself with everything I possibly can,” she says. “You don’t know what someone’s going to look like until you walk in the door. I even used to carry those freezer packs they use on boxers in the middle of the match.” Which means she’s always on the hunt. And a couple years ago, when she was on a job in Japan, Dempsey discovered a vibrating,
twenty-four-karat-gold-plated T-bar that was all the rage for facials. “There’s a strong traditional belief in Japan about the benefits of metals and gold, specifically for skin,” she says. “It’s used over there with face masks during facials: They put on a mask, then go over it with the gold bar.”
Dempsey, however, had a different idea: face sculpting. “I used it on myself, and it makes a real—if temporary—difference in how your whole face looks. It’s fun to do half your face and then look in the mirror,” she says. “I knew my clients would go crazy for it.”
The effect lasts for the better part of a day or night, she says: “I can do it on someone in the morning for an afternoon red carpet or in the afternoon for an evening event, and truly, a client uses it once and they have to have one.”
Getting the genuine article (fakes and copies abound, apparently, none of them plated in real gold) to sell in the US took diplomatic skills honed through years of demanding makeup jobs. “I had many, many meetings with the original manufacturer of the gold bar, getting them to agree to make it for me,” she says. “It was worth it—I have the peace of mind that this is the original, effective Japanese product. When you open the box, it’s going to be perfect and amazing and delightful. And its Japanese battery just kicks ass.”
There’s only one hard-and-fast rule in terms of using it: Never use it with foundation on your face. “The bar is only for prep,” says Dempsey. “Not only would you be pushing foundation into your skin; there are also ingredients in foundation that are no good with the gold—it will actually turn them a greenish color. Beyond that, the rules are up to you. A little moisturizer or oil on your skin first helps the roller move over your skin, but it’s all about the right amount of slip—versus grab. For my skin, oil gives me too much slip, but moisturizer is perfect. My daughter, on the other hand, doesn’t need anything.”
The ideal amount of time to use the bar is ten to fifteen minutes, she says: “But anything helps!” You can also do it twice a day if need be. “I’ve definitely done it in the morning and then done a refresher before going out in the evening.” It works for both men and women, Dempsey notes. “Men love it for their jawlines, especially. My husband had a prototype he was using, and when I got the final product, I wanted to give it to him, but he was so attached to just the prototype, it was hard to pry him away from it.”
Male or female; oil, moisturizer, or nothing—to get started, try the moves below. But freestyling is encouraged. “There’s no wrong move,” says Dempsey. “Feel free to move about the cabin! Experiment! And really: Do one side of your face first, then look in the mirror at the difference—it’s pretty amazing.”
FOR YOUR CHEEKBONES:
Starting at the jawline, gently push the bar upward to sculpt your cheek. Continue for five minutes on one side of the face; repeat on the other side. (Avoid pushing down—the desired effect is pushing upward, toward the temple.) “We can have extra puffiness at side of mouth going toward the ear, and moving upward helps smooth that out,” says Dempsey.
FOR YOUR JAWLINE/CHIN:
Starting at your jawline, gently push the bar in toward the neck and under the chin. Repeat for five minutes, moving along under all areas of the chin and jaw.
IF YOU HAVE TECH-NECK LINES:
Using your index finger and thumb, gently stretch the skin on either side of the tech-neck lines. Quickly glide the bar up and down in a vertical movement to help reduce the appearance of the lines.
(Tech-neck lines are the now-infamous furrows that can appear across your neck after too much looking down at your phone, computer, etc.)
FOR BETWEEN YOUR BROWS:
Turn the bar north-south (vertical), and iron the lines between your brows. “It also feels great at the pressure point right under the brow,” adds Dempsey.
IF YOU GET FILLERS OR BOTOX:
The gold bar vibrations shouldn’t interfere with either fillers or Botox, Dempsey says: “I definitely get a tweak here and there, and the bar hasn’t affected them whatsoever. That said, if it makes you nervous, avoid the spots where you’ve been treated.”
There’s nothing like these cooling, smoothing, depuffing, ultrahydrating prebiotic eye sheet masks for waking your whole face right up. Leave them on for fifteen minutes or so in the morning and go through the day a brighter, more luminous version of yourself. Or use them just before a big night out (or, these days, a big night in) for sparkling, wide-awake eyes. “The masks are made of biocellulose, which has a skinlike texture, so they’re pliable and don’t feel like anything on—and they bathe your skin in a milky serum that’s smoothing and firming and doesn’t drip,” says top makeup artist Jillian Dempsey, who created them for prepping her red-carpet clients and realized they work to make anyone look subtly (but significantly) more rested and fresh. A blend of hyaluronic acid and almond and camelina oils saturates the masks to hydrate, calm, and nourish skin, leaving the undereye area supple and glowy. To use them, simply unpeel the paper on both sides and stick one under each eye. And for the ultimate experience, put on the masks and use Dempsey’s brilliant vibrating roller over the top.