Let’s be honest. Effortless beauty isn’t so effortless. What it really means is avoiding telltale signs of working hard to be beautiful. Just say no to the surgical (stick-a-fork-in-me-I’m-done) look. Effortless beauty is tough in a town (Beverly Hills) were the model of beauty is a hacked-up gold torso on Rodeo Drive. The key with effortless beauty is that less is more. Increasingly my patients understand the immense value of hyaluronic acid fillers like Restylane and Perlane. We do surgery, of course. There just needs to be a very good reason to do it. Gone are the complaints that fillers are just a temporary service. While the filler companies claim only 6 months of benefit, it is clear that treatment last 12 months or longer. No surgery downtime, comfortable treatment right in the office, readily adjustable if needed: it’s designed for our fast paced lifestyle.
Of course the basics start with finding the right injector. We recommend finding an office where the surgeon does the service. Your injector should be from one of the core specialties: Oculoplastic surgery, general plastic surgeon, facial plastic surgery, or dermatology. Honest injectors will tell you what they are comfortable with treating. If you are told that they don’t do a particular treatment, consider seeking a second opinion. We are biased but it is helpful to see someone who is involved with teaching, lecturing, and making a difference in the world. Specialized facial locations are probably best left to injectors who are highly experienced in treating areas like the under eye and the nose. Unwanted bruising after a service is the most common complication and can be minimized by avoiding herbal products and medicines like aspirin and Motrin for a couple of weeks prior to a treatment. If you are not sure about a supplement, call the office you are schedule with. It never hurts to ask. Another common issue after treatment is under or over treatment. A good injector can easily remedy either of these situations.
Your treatment needs will vary based on a number of factors. Here are some general guidelines based on age:
Twenties: Don’t over do treatment unless there is a special issue. Executive lips-yes, adult entertainment lips-no. Very few women need more than half a milliliter of filler in their lips. The lower lip should always be slightly stronger (bigger) that the upper lip. With lips, less is more. You don’t want people whispering about you behind your back. Trust me you will be the only one thinking how great you look overfilled. Lower eyelid hollows are beautifully treated with small volumes of hyaluronic acid fillers.
You might have heard of the “smooth” fillers like Belotero and Juvederm. Who does not want smooth? But these are not the right fillers for the under eye. When the marketers talk about smooth, it is code. What they are saying is “runny.” These fillers are forgiving for inexperienced injectors. A lump or bump caused by a treatment tends to smooth out. However, this is absolutely not going to work for the lower eyelid. The product needs to be carefully placed and shaped. Restylane is very good for this location because it holds its shape. Of course this means that your injector needs to be on their game to make this treatment look perfect. If there is an issue after a treatment, please remember that the product is adjustable long after a treatment has been performed so stay calm and see your injector. Longevity of the service for individuals in the twenties can be up to two years (lucky you).
Thirties: Ok, I know you feel like you are falling apart. Please pull it together. You’re still hot and you know it. You need executive lip edge treatment with a little help in the outer corners of the lips where you look like you are frowning all the time. Under eye treatment with Restylane will make those bouncers double-check your identification (Yeah, I get that all the time). A small amount of filler in the lateral eyebrows is amazing. If you have old acne scaring, hyaluronic acid filler just under the scars can be extremely helpful to reestablish the fullness of the cheek and is more powerful than fractional laser treatment. Finish the look with a splash of Perlane in the chin and cheeks. This treatment should last well over a year.
Forties: Plausible deniability is the name of the game. We are talking incremental treatment and maintenance. Effortless beauty means you don’t want them see you sweat. Don’t let anyone make you look ridiculous (i.e. frozen forehead and overfilled cheeks). Looking unnatural does not make you look better. Take advantage of the longevity of these treatments to layer in an effect over time. A little here and a little there so that people won’t suspect that you are getting work done. Again, don’t be afraid of having lip treatment. The key is moderation. You need lip edge support not adult entertainment lips. Volume in the corner of the mouth and chin helps rebuild that chin area along the jaw line-so no you don’t need a facelift just yet. Under eye treatment may need more volume but the results are still amazing for many. Don’t be afraid to mix treatment. A Microdroplet botulinum toxin brow lift can raise the brows without freezing the forehead. It also helps with the crows’ feet lines. Perioral treatment should include a dash of service to the nasolabial fold right at the nose. Don’t over do it: eliminating this line won’t be right.
And Beyond: Effortless beauty can be age indeterminate. The key is having a surgeon who will tell you when surgery is appropriate. It is your option to follow this advice or not. However, many are finding remarkable success working with the hyaluronic acid fillers and the Microdroplet botulinum toxin brow lift as a reasonable alternative to surgery. It if works, there is no reason not to stay with the program. The key is having options that work for you. Rock it sister!
Dr. Kenneth Steinsapir is a board-certified ophthalmologist who is extensively trained in oculofacial and cosmetic surgery. He trained in oculofacial surgery at the University of Chicago, and completed three years of oculofacial training at UCLA. He is separately fellowship trained in general cosmetic surgery.
He is in private practice in Beverly Hills and is a Clinical Associate Professor of Ophthalmology at the Jules Stein Eye Institute at the David Geffen School of Medicine. Dr. Steinsapir offers advanced oculofacial surgery and cutting-edge, minimally invasive treatments like under-eye fillers and Microdroplet botulinum toxin.
He is actively involved in research and teaching, and reviews manuscripts for 7 peer-reviewed scientific journals.