Let’s be honest, almost every woman 35 and over, actually make that 25 and over, is curious about Botox. It is a word that is casually thrown around to describe every woman or man that we see that looks like they have had some work to their face! Actually, Botox is generally not that obvious, and the people that we see on TV or wherever that look stretched and pulled (Joan Rivers) have had a lot more serious work done like facelifts and tucks etc. Usually things that involve cutting! Botox is sort of like getting your teeth cleaned – I think of it more like maintenance so that in the long term, you won’t need more work done.
So, yes, I am revealing myself.
I have done Botox.
Since I was 31 years old.
To be really truthful, I haven’t done it as much over the past 5-6 years because I just haven’t had as much income and therefore have been allocating my funds elsewhere. But when I was working full-time, I didn’t miss a beat when it came to getting my frown lines done every 3-6 months.
Common questions friends ask me:
1). Does it hurt?
Hardly at all. It is just a needle under the skin so feels more like a pinch or mosquito bite. Generally I get about 25-30 units in the forehead or as I call them ‘my number 11’s’ which is the two lines that appear between my forehead. It hurts less than a Pap smear in my opinion. Sometimes as the doctor starts to move the needle across the forehead (each injection point) the head of the needle starts to get a little dull so the puncture hurts a teeny tiny bit more, but truly that is all. I’ve never had it done around the eyes so I cannot talk about the pain here. My best friend has had this done many times and she claims it doesn’t hurt. And even if it did, I would say that it was worth it because it really changed her face. Her mother had crows feet that were very deep and my friend started to get them also in her early 20’s. The Botox around the eyes helped soften it and now at age 43, she looks remarkably young with no crows feet. I wish I had photos of her (I am sure she doesn’t want her photos on my blog though!) but you will have to settle for the generic ones.
2) Is it expensive?
It isn’t cheap. But I wouldn’t say it is expensive either. I have shopped around and probably seen 8 different doctors in 10+ years for a little tune-up – I’ve gone with my friend in Winnipeg; I went to the clinic my Aunt worked for in Regina; and I was a ‘model’ at the Pacific Dental Conference for dentists learning during a course on Botox. The prices can range from as low as $8 per unit to $14 per unit. It is a matter of who you feel comfortable seeing. You can expect that if you are in you mid-40’s and have never done any Botox before, you will probably be looking at 45-50 units. I am no doctor but I can tell you that if you want to see results, that is probably what you will start at. Think of a hairdresser analogy: If you are in your mid-40’s and have never coloured your hair and have grey, it will be a longer and even more intense process (and likely more money). For myself, getting 25 units at $10 a unit twice per year, that is $500. I don’t think that is expensive. Some girls get their nails done every 3 weeks at $40-60 a pop, some get their eyelashes done every 4 weeks at the same price. Or facials. It just depends on what you want to spend your money on to keep up your appearance. I don’t do my nails, but I do get pedicures often (ingrown toenails!) and Botox too when I want a treat! Lol!
3). What if I come out looking freaky?
Do you want to look freaky? Haha! No but really, any reasonable doctor/dentist is not going to jack you up so much that you look freaky. It is their reputation on the line too, don’t forget! I can bet that many of you could even do it without your husband noticing. True story. The difference is really quite subtle. You look more rested and lifted. I like to get a few units over each eyebrow. My eyebrows are not even (no two eyebrows are generally the same, like sisters, not twins). One eyebrow I get 2-3 units and the other just 1 unit. This makes me feel brighter and more open-eyed. But I’m pretty certain no one else really notices much.
Now I have seen this look overdone on some celebrities. Nicole Kidman is one that really has the super-duper-arched-brow that looks overly fake. Funny how her eyebrows got higher and more arched over a 20 year period! Too much Botox.
Again this is my opinion. Take from it what you will.
Also my opinion: Jane Fonda is one of the most beautiful people in the world, who clearly (and self-admittedly) has had work done, and she looks her age, yet not cranky or tired.
4) What if I am allergic to it? What about side effects?
Many years ago I had what I thought was a side effect to Botox. I got a rash all over my legs that was excruciatingly itchy and I just couldn’t get any relief from it. I went to a few doctors but a rash is very hard to diagnose. The only thing that I could determine that was different in my regime at the time was that I had received Botox so one doctor thought I could have been having an allergic reaction to the ‘protein in the carrier’ of the drug. So I took Prednisone for 5 days and it went away. BUT, I had Botox again later (yes, I tried it again despite the itchy rash!) and never had that reaction again. Looking back, it was at a time of my life when I had two kids under 4, was working full time and travelling about 30 trips a year. I think I was just under a lot of stress. I didn’t drink alcohol at the time (it probably would have helped the stress!!!) and just had way more on my plate than I could handle. My IBD was also in full-on-effect and I was at my lowest weight ever in my adult life (121lbs). So now, looking back, I’m pretty certain that it wasn’t the Botox that caused the rash.
I haven’t heard of a lot of side effects from my Botox-using friends. My aunt is a Registered Nurse that worked in a laser clinic and she often told me that Botox is safer than Penicillin. So everyone is different and may have different reactions, but I am pretty sure, from my experience and what I have read, that the risk is very very low.
Since I do makeup I have seen all types of girls/women of various ages and different types of skin. Some could really benefit from Botox. Even in their early 20’s. One really nice side effect of Botox that I notice is that my pores fill in a bit and don’t look so gaping-ly large. I have large-ish pores and oily skin which has always been something that has bothered me. I have used tonnes of different products over the years, but this is the genetics that I have been dealt. So Botox definitely has helped the appearance of my skin.
One thing I do have to say though, being that I am a Botox advocate, is that the duck-face lips that are popular right now are NOT attractive (these are not created by using Botox by rather by fillers like Juvederm). Many young girls could use a few units of Botox so that they prevent big Number 11’s from showing up in their 30’s and 40’s. But the filler in the lips looks just awful and I think THAT is aging. I love Julianne Hough, but cannot handle what she has done to her lips! I could barely watch the movie Footloose in the close-up scenes because I couldn’t stop looking at them. Unnatural and unnecessary.
That is my rant for the day. If you ever want to talk to me about Botox and the doctor that I go to, send me a message on the Contact page.
The other thing that bothers me is my puppet-lines around my mouth. That is a completely different story that requires Juvederm or Restylane. I figure that Jennifer Aniston rocks her puppet-lines, so maybe I can too(?). Sometimes I am not so sure……If anyone wants to share their experiences with me, I’d love to know!!