Beauty THIS? Beauty THAT?

About a week and a half ago, I told you about visiting my friends who work at Pacific Plastic Surgery Center.  At the time, I let my friend Suzanne, a nurse, do pretty much anything she wanted to me (in terms of non-surgical cosmetic procedures).  I only had to pay for the actual cost of the product(s) which made me much more open to experimenting.

If you missed my earlier post, you can go back and read it by clicking here.  

First, I wanted to give you a quick update on the results of the hand treatment I received.  Suzanne injected my boney hands with Radiesse.  Initially, my hands were swollen and bruised.  Now, nearly two weeks later I'm happy to say I LOVE the effect this treatment had.  Love, love, love!  My hands now look like real, live, hands and not skinny chicken bones covered by skin.

I'll also confess, if I had initially been told I would have to pay for the full cost of this treatment (around $1,800), I would never have done it.  Now that I've seen the results, however, I'm floored at what a dramatic improvement it made.  I've been self conscious about my hands for years, and my results have been fantastic.  I'm absolutely thrilled I had the opportunity to receive this treatment.


(Note to Radiesse manufacturer:  Please make your product more affordable – women would LOVE to use it!)

In my previous post, I also mentioned Suzanne did two other treatments to me while I was there.

The first was injecting Dysport to my forehead.  Dysport is, apparently, the new rage in Orange County.  (I had never heard about it before my visit.)  It's similar to Botox, but much less expensive.  By the way, I always wear a hairstyle with bangs because hello forehead wrinkles.  

Suzanne injected Dysport in my forehead and it seems to have smoothed out those lines.  It's nice, and seems to give a "softening" effect.  I don't have the harsh, frozen, Botox mask so many women walk around Orange County with.  (Which, by the way?  Doesn't look good!)  I can also still move my eyebrows and express my (many?) emotions.  This may be a tribute to Suzanne's expertise more than anything.  Of course, I also didn't use Dysport all over my face … I'm sure that makes a difference too.

I still have bangs so I don't know how noticeable my temporary Dysport change will be to anyone but me.  It's, of course, nicer to NOT have forehead wrinkles than to have them.  I think the Dysport wears off over the course of about three months. 

Suzanne, by the way, is very good at her job.  In fact, she's so good she trains other nurses in the correct way to use all the latest injectable beauty aids.  She's very conservative and very conscious of avoiding the overdone Plastic Barbie look.

Suzanne told me when she looked at me there was really one thing that stood out that she really thought I needed. 

(Uh oh!)

Suzanne told me, as women age (<—AGE:  what a terrible word!  Boo!  Hiss!) they lose volume in the upper cheek area which, in turn, makes our "laugh lines" get deeper.  A lot of women in Orange County put fillers in their laugh lines and then they walk around looking like chipmunks.

(Um, the chipmunk thing is just my opinion, but omigod they look like chipmunks!)

Suzanne asked if I'd let her inject Perlane in the area near my upper cheekbones.  More volume there, causes softer laugh lines.  The added volume pulls your skin up where it used to be, before gravity took its evil toll.

I agreed to let Suzanne do the Perlane injection, but to be honest – it's something I never, in a million years, would have done on my own.

Here's my "before" photo.

In the above photo you see:

•  The scar on my lip which I usually photoshop out of pictures.  (I had melanoma surgery several years ago and the scar is my forever reminder to wear sunscreen!  I'm VERY self conscious about my lip scar!  It also gives me a crooked smile.  I am so FLAWED!)

•  A bumpy forehead – I had just had the Dysport injected in my forehead and I was a little bumpy/irritated from it.

•  My wrinkles.  I have a lot of them.  (Amazing since I'm only 24, don't ya think?)  Take a good look at how deep my "laugh lines" are.

Here's the photo Suzanne took of me right after she injected the Perlane:

* My hair is not actually yellow or green – weird lighting, I promise!

I'm not going to lie, the injection HURT!  (The needle started on the outside area of my upper cheek but then moved in towards my nose.  When it got close to my nose – sheeeet!)  At the time, I quite honestly was thinking, "WHY did I let her do this to me?"

BUT … when it was over, it was over.  There was no lingering pain and the whole experience was over very quickly.

It's immediately apparent in my "after" photo the Perlane, injected high on my cheeks, made my laugh lines near my mouth appear softer.  Nothing was injected into my laugh lines.  I didn't look at these photos right off the bat, so at first I didn't think the Perlane made much of a difference.  Looking at before and after photos makes the change much more apparent.  

In the last ten days I've had one person ask me if I "had my eyes done" because I looked "so rested and refreshed."  I've also had three other comments from people telling me I look "great!" "younger" and "beautiful."  

None of the people making the comments knew I had volunteered for non-surgical cosmetic procedures recently. 

[By the way, my husband noticed absolutely nothing and I don't think he even knows I had anything done.  His not noticing doesn't mean anything much though because I've come home with giant purple streaks in my hair before and he didn't notice them either.)]

I still have wrinkles; I'm still far from perfect. 

I think, however, there are improvements.

Would I do it again?

Would I do it if I had to pay full price for these treatments?

What happens if you do all this stuff for ten years and then you stop?  Do you look like a wrinkled up prune over night?

These are the things I'm left to wonder about ….

What are your thoughts?

© Twenty Four At Heart

13 Responses to “Beauty THIS? Beauty THAT?”

  1. karen

    I’m probably not going to be your favorite fan today, but I don’t think you needed anything at all – you look terrific in the first photo, really, honestly, truly. And, I would not have noticed a scar unless you mentioned, and I’m still not sure if I know where it is.
    That being said, I’m not against these treatments when they make a woman feel better about herself. Society is so hard on us.

  2. Di

    Hey Suzanne… The injections really made a difference in the cheek area. It does give you a more rested look. I would just never pay the price as I’m sure it’s not a one time deal. Nice that you could have this done though for just the product cost!

  3. Deb

    It make a subtle difference but your so pretty without it. It isn’t necessary unless its something you really want. Do you have to keep redoing the cheek stuff? How often? Or is it a one time deal?

  4. Jan

    I think I’m looking at your “before” picture and wishing I looked that good.

  5. Kelly

    Oh you’re so brave. I’d never show a photo of my face so close up! lol I do botox but now I want to try dysport!

  6. Deb @ San Diego Momma

    Have to agree with the other ladies who say you looked great in your “Before” picture too. (I actually thought that was the “After” picture)
    BUT…the After pic is gorgeous as well!
    I would totally have done each and every one of the things you did if it were affordable.
    Lookin’ good, 24!

  7. Momo Fali

    I would do this stuff IN A HEARTBEAT if it wasn’t so expensive!
    Also, you? Are perfect. I have never…not once…noticed your scar. Plus, scars are what make us, us.

  8. Shannon

    I honestly couldn’t tell much difference, especially since it was like most “before” and “after” where the expressions are different. To each his own.

  9. Tami

    I disagree with shannon. There’s no difference in expression. In the first photo your eyes are looking down is all. Your facial and mouth expressions are the same in both. It does make a difference but its subtle. So then I think you have to decide if its worth doing again. You are pretty either way.

  10. Tiffany

    I tried Dysport after feeling “trapped behind a Botox face” as you so aptly described it. I am a Dysport fan! I had similar comments from my students (trust me, 8th graders don’t lie) telling me I looked happier on Monday. I guess that line between my eyes seemed like anger instead of age. 🙂 Glad you found the fountain of youth. 🙂 Well, Dysport and cocktails.


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