Unfortunately, A Negative NuFACE Review

honest and negative nuface review. I share my experience with buying it twice and how it worked for me.

I was reading Bobbi Brown’s interview with Into the Gloss and she mentioned she used a NuFACE device. I follow Brown on Instagram and she looks great – she doesn’t look 25, but she glows and looks healthy and well cared for. I am over 40 and seeing gravity affect my skin; I ordered a NuFACE mini device hoping for the same results as Bobbi Brown. I didn't want to write this negative nuFACE review but I pride myself on being honest on Wardrobe Oxygen.

This NuFACE review was originally published in 2016, but has been updated as I ordered from NuFACE two more times and wanted to share my thoughts on those devices, and why I still have this as a negative NuFACE review.

My Over-40 Skin and Why I Ordered a NuFACE Device

Other than a tough year in middle school, I’ve had pretty good skin. I worked for a skincare company after college so I learned early the benefits of regular cleansing, polishing, and protecting. However, I was a sun worshipper and spent a good percentage of my college years inside a tanning bed. I had my first sunspot at age 29 but things really changed once I turned 40.

It seemed as though my skin changed overnight once I turned 40. Suddenly I was dealing with dry patches, loss of elasticity, and wrinkles. Creams and serums that plumped and hydrated didn't seem to be as effective.

I went to a dermatologist to get a full-body scan (a very… exposing experience but one I recommend to get a very detailed check) and asked about Retin-A. Many of you had recommended it for improving skin. My doctor suggested Differin as a budget-friendly alternative but I didn't see the results I desired and hated how it made me so photosensitive.

Then I was reading that Bobbi Brown’s interview with Into the Gloss and she mentioned NuFACE and I was intrigued.

What is NuFACE?

NuFACE is a device that sends microcurrents to the skin, helping tone the skin and lift jowls, contour the jawline, reduce nasal labial folds and wrinkles, lift eyebrows, and open eyes.

The full-sized NuFACE is almost $500 which is completely outside my price range, but I researched and many said the NuFACE Mini was just as effective and half the price.

what is the nuface mini honest review

Selling anywhere between $160-$250 on sites such as Amazon, QVC, Ulta, and Sephora, I chose to buy it from Nordstrom knowing that if I had an issue with it I could easily return it without a return cut-off date. The NuFace is regularly part of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, and a good time to purchase it for less.

This is a long but detailed video from when NuFACE Mini was featured on QVC and one of the few videos where the models aren't 25.  It explains the difference between the original and mini and shows how microcurrents work.

The NuFACE Mini comes with a palm-sized device, charging cord, a tube of their gel primer, and a laminated card with the general 5-minute daily routine to complete with the device. If you download their app (advertised in the package), not only will it send you notifications when it’s time to do your treatment (optional), it has videos for more elaborate treatments.

To use the NuFACE, you must first cover that portion of your face with their gel primer, which has a consistency similar to aloe vera. The laminated card and videos on the app are very clear to follow.

How to Use the NuFace Device

I charged the NuFACE Mini for 24 hours before first use, and plug it in to charge overnight every few days. The NuFACE Mini is set to turn off after five minutes; when getting familiar with the device or if you wish to do the more elaborate just turn it back on and keep going (this is one of the things different between the Mini and the full-size version). You can safely use the device up to 20 minutes a day.

The NuFACE Mini stays charged for almost a full week, but I found it was best to plug it in overnight every Wednesday and Sunday to keep it ready to go.

nuface before and after
Images from the NuFACE website showing before and after using a NuFACE device for 60 days. I saw similar results, though such results do not last if you do not continue to use the device.

You slowly glide the NuFACE device over your skin and the round metallic balls on the gel make it very smooth and comfortable. When you do the more elaborate routines on their website or app, you may hold the NuFACE in one place for a few seconds, but I didn't experience any pain or discomfort with such techniques.

If you use enough gel and stay far away from your eye sockets, there’s little to no feeling when using the NuFACE Mini. I occasionally had a bit of a metallic taste in my mouth after using but it goes away pretty quickly. If you don’t have the gel or have a sensitive part of your face you may feel a slight pinch or twinge on the skin like a hair getting caught in a spring.

NuFACE makes it hard not to use the product correctly. With information leaflets in the packaging, an app, and plenty of tutorials on the NuFACE website, you are armed with all the information to have success with the NuFACE device… that is if it works for you.

Does the NuFACE Actually Work?

So Alison, this is all fine and good, but does the NuFACE actually work?

NuFace Mini Before and After - Wardrobe Oxygen | NuFACE Mini Facial Toning Device Review featured by popular DC style blogger, Wardrobe Oxygen
I completely forgot I texted this picture to my friends back in March to show how it works.  So yes, there is a photo of the before and after.  I did my left side of the face in this picture, my forehead is all shiny from the gel you use with the device.

Before writing this review, I used the NuFACE mini daily for over two weeks before sharing my thoughts. It frustrates me to read glowing reviews on items and then find the person only used it long enough for the glamour shots in their bathroom. I wanted to be sure I gave the NuFACE enough time, and I could honestly see lasting results (or no results) before ranting or raving.

Yes, the NuFACE Mini does work. It worked really well on me. I could do one side of my face and it would look as though I was half-smirking and raising one eyebrow. It reduced the furrows on my forehead and makes my jawline more pronounced. My skin in general looked healthier, not so dry, not so flat.  I found the results could last up to 48 hours, and the longer I used it, the longer the results lasted.

I would do the 5-minute treatment most days and when I had time, would go more in-depth and do it for about 15 minutes.  But even five minutes fives times a week will be enough that people will ask if you've gotten more sleep, maybe lost a couple of pounds, changed your makeup.  That subtle something different (unless your partner walks in after only doing one side and freaks out and wonders if you had a stroke; may or may not have happened in this household).

The combo of the gel and the machine can cause some serious breakouts if you don’t clean very well afterward. I was getting insane deep whiteheads around my mouth and I thought it was hormonal, I thought it was my diet, my new night cream. Then I was reading around online and found many other NuFACE users experienced the same. With a deep cleaning after use, the breakouts stopped.  So I NuFACE, wash my face at the sink with CeraVe, and then hop in the shower and wash again with CeraVe or a random facial scrub or wash sample I have, and sometimes with my Clarisonic.

My First Negative NuFACE Review: Was It a Dud?

honest nuface mini review

If I wrote this post after my two weeks of using the NuFACE device, I would end it right here. It’s great, it works, the NuFACE Mini can be purchased at Sephora, Nordstrom, QVC, and plenty of other places. But I’ve been slow with my Over 40 Beauty posts and this time it’s a very good thing. Because my NuFACE went from awesome to awful in just a few weeks.

I used it fine for about three months. I couldn’t rave enough; while $200 may be a lot at first, the results were better than all the random tubes and pots I had purchased over the years. I saw it as an actual savings, and an alternative to Botox and other injectables.

After a few weeks, my NuFACE Mini seemed to lose its charge earlier than usual. I plugged it in; it ended up charging for two days straight. It wouldn’t turn on again. No light, no beep, nothing. I was frustrated, how could an item this expensive (and raved about all over the place) break down after just a few weeks? I left it on the top of my toilet and figured that weekend I’d box it up and return it (this is why I bought it from Nordstrom after all).

A few videos I captured of my first NuFACE Mini facial toning device before I packed it up and sent the possessed thing back!

I didn’t get around to returning it in a timely manner, the NuFACE Mini sat uncharged on my bathroom counter for over a week. Then one day my daughter was taking a bath in our bathroom and she starts screaming. I race up the stairs fearing the worst. “Mommy your machine is beeping!” And sure enough, the NuFACE Mini, which was silent for weeks, was beeping the way it does when it’s in need of a charge.

So I plugged it in again, excited it was working again. I waited 24 hours, tried it, and still it wouldn’t turn on. I left it there, plugged in to the charger.

That night around 3am it started beeping. Beep beep, be-buh-la-la-beeeeeppppp beep. Beebeebeebeebebeeb… I went in and all the blue lights were flashing in different patterns! I unplugged it and it stopped… and wouldn’t turn on. I left it unplugged and went back to bed.

That morning around 5:30 am my alarm went off and I, half-asleep, wandered into the dark bathroom and sat on the toilet and the unplugged NuFACE started going bonkers again, lighting up the bathroom with blue strobes. I was no longer half asleep!  I turned it off and it was quiet for a few days… but then Monday night while brushing my teeth it started going off again!  My NuFACE was possessed!

I packed up the NuFACE and sent it back, worried the package would be destroyed before it got to Nordstrom, with USPS thinking it was a bomb. But Nordstrom sent me an email that they received my return and credited my account.

I figured my NuFACE device was a dud. I kept seeing so many positive reviews, it had to be an accident. So when the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale came around the following summer and I saw the NuFACE Mini was part of it at a great price, I ordered another one.

My Second NuFACE Mini Review: More of the Same

Almost a year later, my second NuFACE Mini arrived in the mail. And again, I was impressed by the results after the first use. The NuFACE really does a great job of lifting and tightening without pain or discomfort. I felt such confidence, my face looked younger and more rested.

And again, three months into owning my second NuFACE, it became possessed. It wouldn't turn on when I wanted to use it, but would start beeping with lights flashing in the middle of the night, even if it hadn't been charged for a week. Again, I returned the nuFACE, glad I purchased it somewhere with a lenient return policy.

My NuFACE The FIX Review: Third Time is NOT The Charm

Maybe I am a glutton for punishment, but a good year after my second possessed NuFACE Mini, I saw many of my favorite Instagrammers, YouTubers, and bloggers raving about the NuFACE FIX.

Over $50 less than the NuFACE Mini, the NuFACE FIX is a smaller device that specifically targets fine lines and wrinkles around the mouth, eyes, and forehead. During a Sephora sale, I ordered myself a NuFACE Fix figuring the brand got its act together and its technology would last longer than three months.

Nope, in less than a month, the NuFACE FIX stopped working. If you look at the Sephora reviews, you will see several others had the same thing happen. Luckily it happened early enough that I could return it to Sephora.

Wardrobe Oxygen NuFACE Mini Facial Toning Device Review

Why I Do Not Recommend the NuFACE

Since my experience trying three NuFACE devices, dozens of Wardrobe Oxygen readers have reached out letting me know they too had similar experiences with their devices also malfunctioning anywhere from a couple of weeks to a year after purchasing their device.

The NuFACE works. It is a truly effective non-invasive method for dealing with fine lines and sagging skin. However, the technology is not stable enough for me to recommend any of their products.

I question all the rave reviews I have read about the NuFACE. How long did the reviewer have the product before sharing their thoughts? Did they continue to use the NuFACE after their review? What are their thoughts a year after? I recommend you ask such questions with any review you read online, including any reviews in the archives of Wardrobe Oxygen.

If you are willing to take a risk and try the NuFACE, I recommend purchasing it from Nordstrom or another site with a lenient return policy. I hope it provides you with years of success, but in case you have a terrible NuFACE experience like me, you will be able to get your money back!


  1. December 27, 2021 / 2:55 pm

    I have been happily using my Nuface Mini for over two years now and I wonder if the way I charge might have something to do with its longevity. I leave it off the charger, sitting on the counter in my bathroom until the battery is fully discharged – usually 3-4 weeks of using 5 days per week, before I put it on the charger for 12 hours then immediately unplug it again. I also am scrupulously careful to wipe the device with a clean, damp cloth after each use before I dry it off with the dry portion of the cloth. Yes, it’s more work to do all of that every morning, but I’m happy to do it if it will last longer and give good results. I used up the gel that came with the device ages ago, and now I use Ziip Golden Gel with my Nuface, and that stuff is really worth the price: a small amount is all that’s needed and it really helps keep my 54 year old skin happy and strong.

  2. Kris
    December 26, 2021 / 7:10 pm

    So good too see this article. I bought through Nuface and had two replacements. When the third one went in a couple of months (mine weren’t possessed just quit powering up or stuck on level 1) I just said forget it. I honestly saw no difference with faithful use, unlike so many reviewers, anyway. I was just brainwashed into thinking it was doing something anyway.

  3. Connie Schnecker
    December 6, 2021 / 11:47 am

    I am on my 2nd NuFace mini, both purchased from QVC. I started using it in 2014 & used it 10 minutes on each side regularly(4-7 times a week) I had great results, but the gel was much too pricey, so I began using aloe vera. Soon, the chrome was wearing off & I could hear metal shaking inside. Eventually the plastic cracked on both. I am 68 years old & I hate to be without a device since I am 7 years in….

  4. violet
    December 5, 2021 / 1:26 am

    i am having the same issue. i was using my nuface mini for a year and it started doing the whole possession thing. the company was really nice and sent me a replacement but it couldn’t turn on after a month. i’m on my third one now and today it has started being possessed!!! i was wondering if i was doing something wrong but seems like it’s not a user error issue.

  5. ari
    November 19, 2021 / 4:11 am

    Do you think there is more success with the NuFace Trinity rather than the Mini Nuface? I am also about to return my second nuface mini in less than 6 months, its very frustrating!….I am wondering if after I return it, I should just go for the bigger trinity version? I am hopeful that perhaps the Trinity has less problems.

    Any advice greatly appreciated or experiences?

  6. Mimz
    October 30, 2021 / 2:06 am

    Hi everyone, I just wanted to share my experience with yourselves. I’ve had my nuface mini since August 2020 and I’ve only charged it three times, once fully charged you can use it up to 4 months without charging it. Same with my nuface fix I only charge it every few months. I love the results it gives. I’ve just recently turned 40 and I get told I look like I’m in my 30s. I use my led red & near infrared therapy light and then do all my nuface treatments with the nuface firming & brightening silk creme (conductive gel) and then wipe it all off with nuface cleansing wipes and finish it off with my normal skincare products…

  7. Deborah
    October 26, 2021 / 11:35 pm

    Have had a NuFace Trinity for 3 years. It still works great!

  8. Dawn
    October 16, 2021 / 3:27 pm

    My Nuface has the exact same issue, purchased from Sephora who won’t rake a return past one month. I so desperately want to buy again, because it did do wonders for my 40 year old skin… but I feel like I can’t trust it won’t crater as well!

    I’ve contemplated taking it apart to see if there is a connection issue but not sure how safe that is.

    Nuface please rectify and address this issue!

  9. September 21, 2021 / 3:19 pm

    I had my first NuFace mini for a couple of years before it died. I bought a second one about 4 months ago and it died. I thought it was perhaps the lead because when you plug it in, all the bars go blue and stay like that, so I ordered a new lead from NuFace. Exactly the same thing happened. I just can’t turn it on. Unfortunately, I got a deal when I ordered it so won’t be able to get a refund. I may order a third but it all becomes so expensive but my husband does notice a difference; and noticed the fact that I haven’t used it for about a month! Everything starts to sag back! I appreciate the tip about Nordstrom and probably will bite the bullet.

  10. Shannon
    July 26, 2021 / 4:13 pm

    I’m on my third mini in less than a year because of charging issues! We’ll see if 3rd times a charm, but I doubt it. I ordered directly from the site so they have replaced each one. I do, however, have to pay for shipping when sending it back. Grrr.

  11. Leu2500
    July 14, 2021 / 8:04 am

    Think of all the items we plug in to charge (Clarisonic was the first to come to mind, but
    also cordless power tools, battery backups, etc) that don’t stop accepting a charge after 2, 3 months. Definitely unacceptable that this device fails like that.

    • July 18, 2021 / 12:36 pm

      Agreed! I still have my Clarisonic that I bought… it may be older than my daughter? I have an LED face mask that is a year old and still chugging along. My EMBR Wave bracelet, my two pairs of Bluetooth headphones… so many items survive and the ones that don’t I think the brand just hasn’t put it as a top priority.

  12. Ada
    February 28, 2021 / 7:33 am

    I am legit worried after reading your post, I just ordered one a couple of days ago and it has shipped. I have asked for a return and refund immediately. I regret not ordering straight from the official website. I don’t think this product is worth taking the chance on for the money one pays for it. The lack of quality control with the charge is astounding and it seems like a lot of the reviewers are paid.

  13. Angela
    May 15, 2020 / 2:04 am

    FURIOUS about buying mine from NUFACE website. $218!!! Bought Feb 28, 2020 and only used it for ONE WEEK. IT was fine but COVID and quarantine made me stop using it and just letting it stay plugged in for 10 weeks. I never used it due to quarantine. Now here I am, May 14 and unplugged it to use it, as the lights were all charged but as soon as I unplugged it to use it since it only works when you unplug it, suddenly it goes black. No charge, not on, nothing.
    Then I go to the NUFACE website to try to exchange it only to find they do not take returns past 60 days!!!! WTF!!! $218!!
    And they ask you to RATE it with 1-5 stars and provide a comment so I did, ONE star and listed why. And when I clicked SUBMIT the review popped up as 5 STARS with a THANK YOU FOR YOUR REVIEW and they deleted my comment and one star!!! BAD BAD. How can they do this???

    Mind you, last year I went through this identical issue on Nuface Mini purchased 4 TIMES in ONE YEAR and had to exchange ALL of them each at 2-3 months for the identical problem!!! But overstock takes it back. Nuface NOPE. I am going to report them to the Better Business Bureau if they don’t give me my money back. Does it work for the short time you get to use it? Yes. But you need to only purchase knowing it’s only good for a couple months so find a source that allows returns for 6-12 months afterward.

  14. Jacquie
    May 1, 2018 / 6:05 pm

    So what was the outcome for the second NuFace? Was it too possessed?

    • March 13, 2020 / 9:49 am

      I am so late to this reply but since I’m linking I wanted to update. I ordered a second one and it happened again after about two months. Returned and never going to try again.

  15. Gail Clark
    May 8, 2016 / 7:59 am

    What gel do you use? I’ve read some complain about the cost of the recommended brand of gel. Some state that they’re been ordering the gel used for sonograms on Amazon at half the cost. Just wondering.

    • May 8, 2016 / 9:36 am

      My device came with a bottle of gel, I was just hear finishing it when the device went wonky. I’ve heard sonogram gel, aloe Vera, even water but on I believe Makeup Alley they were saying this gel does make the device more effective. I wonder if sonogram gel is the same though, I do plan to try other products if my next device works well and will report back!

  16. tgchi13
    May 5, 2016 / 5:48 pm

    Wow! Okay, so if you had the funds to get this or a Clarisonic for the same price, which would you suggest?

    • May 5, 2016 / 6:08 pm

      I think it’s apples and oranges. I have a Clairsonic Mia and I do love it for getting a deep clean, gently exfoliating, and making my skin happy. This is for toning and lifting, which you don’t get from a Clarisonic. I think it’s about what your top skincare needs are. To be honest, I used this far more than my Clarisonic (the brushes get so icky so fast, I’d forget to charge it, etc.) but also because I have in general clear skin and my skincare priority was lifting and toning. Both are good!

      • tgchi13
        May 5, 2016 / 8:04 pm

        Bananas and grapes 🙂 you are absolutely correct – it depends on skincare needs especially when funds are limited! Thank you for reminder!

  17. HokieKate
    May 5, 2016 / 1:39 pm

    I love how your personality comes across in this post.

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