I'm getting really, really, real today and talking about something most people do (especially in L.A.!) and never mention a word about: botox and fillers. GASP.
First of all, I think the double standard in this country ('Merica) needs to go. The fact that a female should always look beautiful effortlessly and never talk about what they did to get there is so totally ridiculous. I'd really like to change how procedures like Botox is looked down on, and maybe that's a tall order for one blog post, but I hope if you're reading this that it removes even the tiniest bit of stigma about trying something you've been wanting to do in the realm of beauty treatments or plastic surgery. While I've never had plastic surgery, I did recently try botox and fillers for dark circles that have always bothered me. If I needed it, I'd get plastic surgery, too. I believe if something bothers you and you have the means to fix it, by all means DO it!
For my recent experience I visited SkinByLovely, which is this gorgeous, super nice medi-spa in Santa Monica. Centrally located to the Westside of LA, but also close to Brentwood and Central Los Angeles, I would highly HIGHLY recommend them. Their space is beautiful, clean, and they specialize just in doing these types of treatments so I knew I was in good hands. For my visit I was attended to by the lovely Morgan, who was like a Botox fairy who made me feel SO at ease. Seriously I went in there nervous about the experience, which totally went away after about 5 seconds in their lobby. I literally almost changed my mind about doing this blog and going in for the treatment, but finally grew some and thought it was a great opportunity to get out of my comfort zone and talk aobut something most just won't.
If you're in your mid 20's - early 30's and wondering about trying Botox, Juvaderm, Restalyn, or any other kind of filler, keep reading for some tips and for some words of wisdom about my experience.
1) Why fillers?
Like I said above, I went in not even sure I'd do the filler under my eyes, cause I was actually scared, even though it's something I've been thinking about trying for a while. Why fillers for dark circles? Well, basically, as you age, your dark circles get worse due to loss of collagen and volume in your under eye skin, which is very thin. Sometimes people naturally have dark circles under their eyes even at a young age. I've always had them, not terribly bad, but I've noticed lately them being worse with how stressed I've been and because of work. Other than that, I've always been blessed with good skin, which made me really focus on this one thing I didn't like about my face. (OK there's others but we all have flaws, whatever) Anyways, I heard about doing fillers in this area to make dark circles better probably 10 years ago, but I finally bit the bullet and decided to try it this time around.
Here's what the experience was like. First, Morgan took a numbing agent to my upper cheeks above my cheek bones to numb the area under my eyes which is obviously really sensitive. After I was numbed, I basically didn't feel anything except for a little pinch when she put the (very) long needle into my under eye area. This was the hardest part. She asked me if I wanted to see her putting it in and I said yes (stupid), which FREAKED me out. Turns out I don't like the way it looks with a needle 1/2 an inch from my eyeball. That being said, if you're squeemish like me, don't ask to look during the process, LOL!
2) It doesn't hurt.
As for the botox, it was really mild. I asked her to put it in my forehead where I feel like I furrow my brows a lot, but I was really emphatic about her only using a little bit. I don't want freezer face EVER, and she totally understood - and said she wouldn't have given me a ton even if I asked for it. ha. I think I had something in the 10 units range. Most places charge 5-15 dollars per unit, so really it was just a small amount. You usually don't need a lot in your forehead unless you're older or have a lot of really deep lines.
3) How does it work?
Botox basically paralyzes the muscles to smooth out the skin that's on top of it, and prevents wrinkles by relaxing the muscles wherever it's placed. It's good to do in small amounts in your 20's to prevent wrinkles, especially if you start to notice them early on. As for the fillers, there are different kinds for different uses and there's too many to try to go into them all here, but basically they can be used to plump up any area - lips, cheeks, filling in lines like around your mouth (called nasolabial folds), or under eyes to help with dark circles. Clearly, I got the filler under my eyes for this purpose. Two of the most popular fillers are Juvaderm (commonly used in the lips), and Restylane. The one I tried is called Restylane.
4) Do I see a difference?
Yes, but I don't think a lot of other people can tell. It's not drastic, but I never wanted it to be! It's almost just like I look like a more relaxed, well slept version of myself. I like it. ALOT. Maybe too much! I'm kind of scared for it to wear off because I like the results so much.
5) How long does it last?
Again, it depends. Botox usually lasts 3-6 months but it depends on the area and strength of the muscle. People even get it in sweat glands or put it in their jaw for teeth grinding, which are really strong areas that have to get treatment usually more frequently. The fillers last longer, up to 2 years, depending on which ones you get.
5) Would I do it again?
Yes!!! Especially the botox. I think I'll keep maintaining it twice a year or something like that to prevent wrinkles, depending on when or if I think I need it. Like I said before I never want to totally freeze my face, though. I think human expression in a face is beautiful and I'd never want to get rid of that.
I hope this blog was useful and informative for any of you interested in trying Botox or fillers in the future, and eases fears for those who have been thinking about trying this! Feel free to message me on social media or leave comments below with questions, I'm always here to answer any you may have! Thank you so much to SkinbyLovely for having me and giving me such a great experience, I'll be back soon!