Have a quick look at my 2x2 method on my You Tube, it extrapolates to a 3x3 method. And the Domino 3x3 method `is similar`. You can definately start with a face, not a layer, and it's not necessarily `really inefficient`
. I work with kids a lot, and if they can solve a `face`, you can bang that into a `layer` for them pretty quick with a few domino algos. In fact just orientate the other layer and you have a `domino like` cube (before or after you make the `layer`). You can do the centre belt last with a few `corners first` algos. I love mixing up a solve with various methods.
Actually, I don't tell people not to make a `face`, becuase I think it builds skills and encourages thinking to do that. The way I start with `total` beginners is to say: "See how many pieces you can get on a `face`, a good amount would be 7". That takes away the intimidation factor (of even a whole `face`), and non-cubers can compete to see if they can get more than each other.