Why This $195 Gold-Plated Face Massager Might Be Worth The Investment

I didn’t realize I needed a vibrating, 24K gold-plated face massager until I tried the Jillian Dempsey® Gold Sculpting Bar ($195). Now, I’m positively hooked. According to celebrity makeup artist and Gold Bar creator, Jillian Dempsey, I’m in good company: Jennifer Aniston, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Naomi Watts are also fans.  “I use my gold bar on every client prior to events or photoshoots as a [pre-makeup] skin prep step,” Dempsey reveals. “It smooths, de-puffs, and contours the face and jawline area.” Perhaps you’ve seen the T-shaped, gleaming gadget on social media; I, for one, have spotted Dempsey wielding it on A-list clientele before various red carpet events.

Keep reading for a full breakdown on the buzzy, celeb-beloved Gold Sculpting Bar — including how it works, when to expect results, and why the heck it’s plated in 24K gold.

What is the Jillian Dempsey Gold Sculpting Bar, and what does it do?

The Jillian Dempsey Goldbar is a T-shaped, 24K gold-plated rod; Desmpey calls it a “skin sculpting and contouring tool.” Similar to a gua sha, the Gold Bar drains the face of excess fluid, thereby coaxing cheekbones out of hiding, sharpening jawlines, and bestowing a generally tauter look overall. These effects result from lymphatic drainage, Dempsey explains. (Lymphatic drainage “drains” stagnant lymph fluid away from areas where it accumulates and causes puffiness.) 

Editor’s Note

If you take blood thinners, talk to your doctor before using a gua sha or rolling tool.

Additionally, the Jillian Dempsey Gold Bar stimulates blood flow — both via the act of manually gliding it across the skin, and via strong ionic vibrations. The nature of these vibrations allows them to penetrate deeply into the skin and further enhance blood circulation. Since adequate blood flow is elemental to glowing, youthful-looking skin, the Gold Bar is, ostensibly, a fast-track to luminosity. 

Lastly, the Gold Bar can promote a chiller-looking face. Similar to facial acupuncture and other fascia-relieving techniques, “[it] relaxes facial muscles to release tension,” Dempsey says. Not only does this type of face massage feel nice, but it’s also thought to help reduce underlying muscle tension. The triad of nixing puffiness, increasing blood flow, and easing tense muscles can give the face a fresher appearance. 

Okay — but why is the Jillian Dempsey Gold Sculpting Bar plated in 24K gold?

As if the feeling of pure, unadulterated luxury isn’t enough to warrant rubbing 24K across your face, gold happens to provide practical benefits, too. For one, “Gold is sanitary,” Dempsey notes. Ergo, there’s little risk of it contaminating your skin with pore-clogging oils and/or bacteria. 24K gold is also believed to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties (hence the influx of gold-infused facials and skincare products). Not to mention, gold is aesthetically appealing — whether it’s sinkside or posted on the ‘gram (many celebs are wont to do the latter). 

face massager jillian dempsey gold bar

Christopher Brown Photography

How do you use the Jillian Dempsey Gold Sculpting Bar?

First, cleanse your skin to remove any and all traces of makeup. Then, apply a pea-sized amount of serum or moisturizer onto the skin (this will act as a lubricant of sorts when you’re gliding the tool across your face). To activate what Dempsey calls the bar’s “ionic powers,” simply switch the dial on the tip of the handle. (Note: This baby is one hundred percent battery powered; I love that I don’t have to deal with wires and charging docks.) Once you’ve revved up your tool, it’s dealer’s choice — choose which facial areas you want to depuff and/or define. 

Dempsey, who uses the Gold Bar every morning, tends to begin at the bottom and work her way up. “I like to start at the sides of the mouth and push [upwards] towards the hairline,” she shares. This step addresses jowl-like looseness and gives the cheekbones a boost. (Note: the instructions on Dempsey’s website warn against moving the bar in a downward motion; after all, you’re trying to give the cheeks a boost in the opposite direction!). After she tones the midface area, Dempsey proceeds to the undereyes — an area that’s particularly prone to puffiness, as many of us can attest. Gently gliding the bar under the eye can reduce puffiness, which can ultimately give the appearance of a better night’s sleep. In the same vein, Dempsey suggests using the bar to “iron out” sleep wrinkles (i.e. any rogue indentations or pillow lines that may have accumulated overnight). 

My personal Gold Bar routine is similar to Dempsey’s. First, I apply my Milk MakeupTM Vegan Milk Moisturizer ($38). Then, I chisel my jaw using the head of the T-bar along the jawline. (“The T-shaped head allows control over the [area] you wish to concentrate on,” Dempsey notes.) Then, I rotate the bar on its side — so that the head of the “T” is parallel with my cheekbone — and place it in my cheek hollow (i.e. the area I usually apply contour). Gliding the bar underneath my cheekbone creates an interesting tickling sensation that runs along the side of my face and into my ear canal. While strange, this feeling is not unpleasant; if anything, it’s satisfying to imagine that the vibrations, in all their ionic glory, are literally traveling through my muscles and affecting them deeply. After a minute or so of firm, upward strokes, my cheekbones do look noticeably more defined. Lastly, depending on whether I ate a lot of salt the night before, I might spend a minute or so gliding the Gold Bar underneath my eyes. In total, my routine takes around seven minutes.

To be honest, I didn’t expect a facial massage tool to deliver noticable results — let alone noticable results in mere minutes. But, given Dempsey’s clientele, it makes sense: celebrities often have to look lifted, glowing, and depuffed on short notice. “Since celebrities are on camera, it is critical that they look their best!” Dempsey affirms. “The Gold Bar makes a tremendous difference after sculpting for ten minutes or less.” 

Like most good things, these results don’t last forever. “The effects are temporary,” Dempsey confirms, “but a good three to five minutes on each side of the face will make your skin and face look and feel more taut and defined throughout the day.” Ultimately, carving out a few minutes for facial massage is hardly a price to pay for a glowier, more lifted-looking face. As Dempsey puts it: “It never lets me down — no pun intended!”