Lifting the lid on dermal fillers
If you've been following Fashion Slave for some time, you'll know that keeping it real is a strong theme that punctuates the blog. So I guess it might seem a little off to be posting about dermal fillers - something that's so readily categorised as fake. But I am keeping it real by being totally honest with you in what I've had done, rather that than pretend it's just makeup and a supernatural evolution process that just makes me look slightly more attractive. I'm not going to do a Kylie Jenner and say "I have one million percent not had any work done ever ever ever and I definitely just overline my lips and contour!!!" whilst pouting excessively in my selfies and trying to burn/delete any photos taken of me prior to 2015. Plus, if you're asking me, it really is high-time that cosmetic dermatology and surgery gets stripped of the fake reputation that precedes it - we've come a long way since the 1990s with actresses and It-girls regularly hitting headlines for dodgy lip jobs and other such things. It's 2016, procedures are more advanced - they can even replace the need for some surgeries - and when it comes to fillers, the philosophy is most certainly less is more.
So I went to Viva Skin Clinics to meet Dr Rupert for a little natural enhancement using dermal filler Juvederm Voluma. When it comes to getting work done, I'll always emphasise the importance of having someone you actually get along with do the procedure. It sounds simple, but would you trust someone who feels a bit shady sticking a needle in your face? I didn't think so... But Dr Rupert is friendly, honest, and trustworthy, so no fears there.
After my first consultation discussing with him things I'd like to improve, we decided to use between 1-2ml of filler to enhance my cheekbones, smooth out my subtle marionette lines and slight dips in the corner of my nose at the top of my nasolabial folds, then a tiny bit of filler in my bottom lip to even out my pout - a procedure called the the Viva Skin Clinics 3D face refresh. It uses small amounts of Juvederm Voluma (which starts at £350 per 1ml) in in specific points across the face to tweak and treat subtle signs of ageing. With minimal downtime, literally no bruising and natural results, it's an incredibly affordable way to address annoying folds and lines that you'd like to airbrush out of your face 24/7.
Within a few days I was back at the Old Street clinic ready for a little enhancement. If you're dead-set on getting fillers, my one major piece of advice is take arnica tablets for around a week before the treatment - words cannot describe how much this reduced swelling and bruising. I've had fillers around 4-5 times now, and the occasions I hadn't taken arnica the bruising and swelling was bad (to quote Ross from Friends, I bruise like a peach!) but when I've taken it, there was zero recovery time and I was straight back in the office the next day without a puffy face.
In the appointment, Dr Rupert applied anaesthetic cream to numb the areas and marked up where to put the injections. Now, when it comes to dealing with your face, I think we can all agree that there's no such thing as being too thorough, so I felt in safe hands when Dr Rupert spent ages feeling my cheekbones to mark up the injection points to ensure the filler was administered in the most perfect place.
After the cream had taken its affect, the injections were administered in the areas to add definition, smooth out lines, and plump up. Did it hurt? I can honestly say no, not really. The bottom lip is always a little bit of a stinger because it's a fleshy and sensitive area, and the nasolabial folds just felt a bit weird and uncomfortable- but then again, I'm a little bit used to it all by now with this being the 5th time I've been injected! For me it felt more like squeezing a really stubborn spot hard - when you're seriously going to town on it and it pops and hits the mirror - and that's about it. Check out the before photos on the left, with the afters on the right.
It's all super subtle as you can see, with little bits of tweaking and enhancing, lifting the cheeks to add more definition to my bone structure, smoothing the lines around my mouth and nose, and plumping up my bottom lip just a tiny touch to balance out the top.
The other week I wrote about going photoshop-free on my blog, and of course I can already hear a cacophony of people saying is it not hypocritical to say you won't edit your photos but you'll promote cosmetic dermatology? But it all boils down to honesty. I want to be honest to my readers and audiences about enhancements and such instead of keeping it hush hush and pretending that I'm simply evolving into a slightly better looking creature or that my makeup has the same miracle touch of Jesus. Yes, I have had work done, but I'm not afraid to talk about it because like I said, I don't think it should be a taboo subject. We get braces to straighten our teeth, have hair and eyelash extensions, go to the gym to slim down, and wear makeup, so what's wrong with a little tweaking here and there?
Plus, with the rise in people getting fillers done (Kylie Jenner's lip filler confession lead to a 70% increase in enquiries last year, cheers K!) it means there's a good chance there's more people with less cash looking to do it on the cheap, which in turn leads to corners being cut and women going to salons or beauticians that don't use the right products and don't have the correct training. This is what results in botched lip jobs and lumpy fillers and articles on the Daily Mail lambasting the world of cosmetic dermatology.
And I can vouch for this from personal experience. A very well known chain of cosmetic surgery and dermatology clinics were charging a very low price for fillers compared to other places in London. Having TV campaigns and ads in all major women's magazines made it seem totally legit, so I went and had them done. But the 'doctor' who did them didn't listen to what I asked for, botched it up a bit and made them uneven and lumpy. They were so swollen I had to have two unplanned days off work whilst the swelling subsided and I decided whether a wig or full on mask would provide the best form of disguise. It was only after this that I googled that particular branch to discover bad reviews from others having similar experiences from the same doctor.
Recommendation really really is the best way forward with this, as well as research. The best work is the one where you can't tell someone has had work done - they just look like better versions of themselves.