Beauty

Botox & Filler 101

While cosmetic enhancements aren’t for everyone, I personally ascribe to the school of thought that if something makes you feel better about yourself, you should go ahead and do it (within reason). I wanted to share my experience with injectables + share some tips.

Botox

I’ve been using Botox since I was 22. I’ve always had one eyebrow that was way stronger than the other, meaning that the muscle was so tight & overactivated that when I smiled one of my eyebrows lifted WAY up above the other one. So it looked like I was always giving a raised eyebrow when I smiled or focused on something. I didn’t like how it looked in pictures, so I went to a dermatologist, where they agreed that botox would help weaken that muscle, and they injected it just over one eyebrow. In the past few years, I’ve started to use it all over my forehead since the journey to 30 has definitely revealed a few lines. Overall, it’s a preventative, if I can’t frown, I can’t get frown lines! A lot of dermatologists say that Botox is a great treatment when you’re younger and just starting to see fine lines in your face and that using it early prevents deeper lines from forming.

Now, let me just say, lines and aging are all normal and I wish that I was able to accept the changes that come with age a bit more gracefully. But this is such an easy fix, I’d rather test my self-acceptance practice on the bigger aging signs that will undoubtedly happen throughout my life.

My Routine

I get botox almost every 4 months, sometimes stretching it to 5 or 6. Different people metabolize botox more quickly than others, mine is somewhat quick and I start to see the effects wear off around 3-ish months.

The injection itself really doesn’t hurt, almost any shot I’ve ever had in my life has caused me more pain. I go to Skin by Lovely in Santa Monica (specifically Brittany, she’s AMAZING). I’ve also gone to Anusha at Skin Specifics, and she’s also wonderful.

The whole process takes about 15 minutes, and afterward, you can’t lie down for three hours, and shouldn’t put on makeup for at least another six (although I have, it’s not that big of a deal). You may have tiny dots on your face for the rest of the day, but on me they fade pretty quickly. I also find I sometimes get headaches over the next 3 days or so as my muscles start to become immobile, but they’re pretty minor and nothing an Advil can’t fix.

As far as price goes, it’s anywhere between $10-15 per unit and the number of units you need varies from person to person. When I first started using botox I needed like 3 units… now its closer to 25/30 since I’m doing my whole forehead.

Fillers

Everyone in LA has fillers. Everyone on Instagram has fillers. EVERYONE HAS FILLERS.

Kidding, not everyone, but it’s way more common than you would expect, especially lip fillers. I say this because I think it’s crappy for women to compare themselves to influencers or celebrities or anyone they find attractive, and be under the false pretense that everyone popped out of the womb with super high cheekbones & pillowy lips. Remember Bella Hadid’s epic glow-up? I’m no expert, but she’s definitely had some fillers. No judgment obviously, she looks great. But not everyone is walking around with super defined features becuase they were born that way.

I never disliked my lips and considered them one of my better features, but at some point started feeling like they could use a little enhancing. I also have a strongish nose, and I felt that overall having my lips a little plumper would just make my face look more balanced as a whole.

My Routine

I’ve been filling my lips for almost three years. I started out with Juvederm, and loved it. My first session, I think we used 3/4 a syringe (even a full syringe is not a lot) and I was really happy with the result. I started out going every six months. The good thing about fillers is that they stimulate collagen production wherever they’re injected, so over time your lips will start to add some volume naturally. The effect of fillers is definitely cumulative, you’ll probably need less and less over time to get the same result.

Since my first injection, I’ve switched to different types of fillers (there are tons). Since I’ve been doing this for a while I don’t necessarily need a to ton more volume each time, just a bit more definition, so Brittany at Skin By Lovely has been really great with recommending other types of fillers (my most recent was called Define). I noticed the first few times I got filler put in, my body metabolized it pretty quickly, over time I’ve found it has started to last longer and longer. The last time I had my lips done was almost a year ago, which is great because it’s not cheap (be prepared to spend anywhere from $400 to $1k per syringe depending on the type of filler).

I’ve also had a little filler put in my cheekbones. Normally I do this after I’ve had my lips done and there’s a little bit left in the syringe (I mean I paid for it, I don’t want to waste it). I don’t keep up with this regularly but find I really like the tiny extra bit of definition I get when I do it.

You’ll have swelling, bruising and possibly some lumpiness especially if it’s your first time. You should be ok after 3 days or so, but if you’re worried about people seeing you in that state, definitely plan to do it before the weekend.

In short

I don’t think getting fillers or botox is something to be ashamed of but do your homework to go to a skilled injector who values a natural look. Yelp & RealSelf are great resources! It’s also easy to overdo it, so make sure you choose an injector who can push back on you if you get a little overzealous.

At the end of the day, cosmetic enhancements should do just that, enhance the way you look, not change your face entirely.

Hope you all found this helpful!

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