Contour. Detox. Tone.


“The Gankin massage was a life-changer, a work changer”, declared iconic Make-Up artist Morag Ross. The creative visionary behind the flawless visage of Cate Blanchett’s unknowable heroine in Todd Hayne’s film Carol, to the opalescent complexion of Scarlett Johansson’s fey ingénue in Sophia Coppola’s Lost in Translation, Morag Ross has long- established herself as a respected doyenne of makeup artistry. Recently named the ambassador of Japanese cosmetic institution Suqqu,  the BAFTA winning artist speaks candidly about the one technique that has revolutionised her approach to beauty and the face.


The Gankin Method

Morag Ross

There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t use it before I apply makeup.

The origins of the Gankin technique can be traced to makeup artists of the Japanese film industry.  Through the precise and effective application of pressure to the face, these massage techniques were found to effectively prime and tone the facial muscles, creating the perfect canvas for makeup to follow. These techniques were later consolidated by Japanese cosmetic house Suqqu into a comprehensive facial massage routine that has entered the arsenal of many beauty and industry experts.

How It Works



The Benefits

  1. Contour

    This particular method helps eliminate toxins that have accumulated overnight. Some people even say they never realised they had cheekbones until they had the Gankin massage.

  2. Detox

    You see the results immediately because it’s a detox for the face. Back in the 1980s, makeup artist Eva Fraser stressed the importance of stimulating the facial muscles. It is similar to working with acupuncture and how it opens up the meridians of the body. With the Gankin Massage, it releases built up tension that we hold in our faces.

  3. Tone

    It smooths out the muscles, and when applied with Suqqu’s Musculate Massage Cream that contains Geranium extract, this also helps to breakdown fatty tissue.

    Suqqu Musculate & Massage Cream



Morag Ross

The Gankin Massage has changed the way I put on any cream, because I realise how differently my skin feels when I’ve done the Gankin Massage.


Likened to a “workout for the face”, the benefits of a regular Gankin Massage can be seen almost immediately. Morag advises the following frequency to receive maximum benefits of this technique.


1   Do it as often as you would the gym, 3-4 times a week.


2  You can also incorporate it into your daily routine.


3  Do it for three minutes in the morning, everyday when you first get up for three minutes.  You can customise what exercises to incorporate in those three minutes.

The Technique

Morag Ross

 The basis of Japanese beauty stems from having clear, flawless skin. So naturally, the stimulating and detoxing movement of massage is an organic extension of this same philosophy.

The gankin massage guide

a comprehensive tutorial

Instruction: This full tutorial may be used in tandem with one's skincare regime, or to prime the face before applying makeup. It is recommended to perform this message with a thick cream or oil to minimise stressing the skin, and to allow for a more effective massage.



Morag Ross is a multi- BAFTA award winning Makeup Artist who has worked with the most iconic faces in the industry. Her film credits include multiple notable films such as Elizabeth: The Golden Age, Carol, Source Code and Enemy. She currently serves as the ambassador to Japanese cosmetic brand Suqqu, and continues to grow her expertise and influence in the field of makeup artistry.

Suqqu is a modern and influential name in the field of beauty and cosmetic technology. Founded in 2003, it has firmly established itself as a leading innovator in Japanese beauty. Beginning with the innovative, nurturing facial ‘ Gankin Massage’ through to the gentle luxuriousness of their products, their concept has redefined the technology of beauty for a modern generation of women.