Digital editor Alison Izzo risks her marriage for the sake of a wrinkle-free face…
I’d never thought much about plastic surgery, Botox or filler, oh, um, ever. It seemed the far-off domain of reality TV stars and aging Hollywood stars trying to cling to their youth. That is until I realised that a) most of the friends and colleagues who I thought simply ‘looked good for their age’ had dabbled in an injectible or two, and also b) that my even my best anti-aging makeup tricks could no longer conceal that fact that my face was starting to change. And not for the better.
My husband, bless him, insists I look my best with no makeup (this is not true, I can assure you), and he had always emphatically claimed that he would ‘divorce me’ if I made any permanent changes to my face by way of plastic surgery, Botox or fillers. I’d always laughed it off, and reminded him that he probably didn’t realise what good cosmetic work looked like, because when done well it was indiscernible. Also, because – perhaps arrogantly – I never thought I’d need it. *sheepishly swallows her words*
His words however came haunt me, as I was lying on a bed at celebrity-favourite facial spa The Clinic in Bondi Junction. I was about to have 24 units of Botox injected into my ‘glabella’ area (aka the frown lines between my brows) for the first time, and couldn’t help but wonder if I should’ve perhaps mentioned this to him before taking the coveted appointment with clinical nurse and co-founder Lisa Sullivan-Smith. But my plan required his ignorance.
A few weeks before, I’d started researching what could be done to hold back the ravages of time (superficially at least). Botox, or anti-wrinkle injections as they’re otherwise called, seemed like the lower-risk option, as it wears off after three to four months, and the potential risks – headaches, bruising and ‘drooping’ – were rare and not permanent. Plus, the wrinkle-smoothing effects were the result of a muscle relaxing, more than my face changing shape which is what fillers do – which I found reassuring.
Although I was *ahem* older than the recommended age to start Botox for preventative measures, having recently turned 36, Sullivan-Smith assured me I hadn’t left it too late. With 20-plus years of injecting experience under her belt I felt safe in her steady hands as she picked up the super-fine syringes. And oddly, excited and my (hopefully) ‘refreshed’ looking face.
She explained how targeting this area is often the first port of call for first-time Botoxers and it would “help the texture of the skin by temporarily placing muscles at rest, this inhibits the dynamic expressions we make (e.g a frown), therefore fine lines and wrinkles will lessen, and the skin will appear to be a lot smoother.”
My plan was to get just enough Botox that I stopped looking cranky, tired and well … old.. but not enough that my husband would notice. Not because I didn’t want to tell him – I had always planned to – but more to prove to him that injectables, when administered by a skilled hand, does not necessarily result in the unnatural, frozen faces he associates them with.
And the results?
The entire procedure took about ten minutes, it hurt less than your standard flu jab, and the only side effect I noticed was a slight tension headache on day three, after the treatment. During the appointment, Sullivan-Smith applied a frozen popsicle-esque stick between my brows which helped to numb the area before each quick jab – of which there were six in total starting from the centre of my brows and spreading out to the mid point above each eyebrow. And then I was done. No downtime. I felt a bit tender but that was it. No blood. No bruising. No pain (well, a nothing to write home about).
As advised, it took a few days for the Botox to kick in – and by day five I couldn’t furrow my brows, which was a strange feeling to say the least. I’m now almost a month from my initial treatment and I don’t think I look that different. But I don’t look as tired. And I’ve lost the permanent micro-crease that used to sit next to my left eyebrow.
I’m using less makeup, and even though I only had one small area injected, I feel like my whole forehead is less lined and smoother but I can still raise my eyebrows so I’m not expression-less. The nicest part? I’ve received numerous compliments on my ‘youthful’ skin lately, which is both unexpected, unusual and just plain flattering.
And my husband? He hasn’t noticed either, so… mission accomplished! The only question now is not whether I book in for another round (yes, obviously), but whether I tell him about it first…
An initial consultation and subsequent Botox treatment from The Clinic starts at $400. Head here for more information.