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Structural Changes in the Aging Face

3 Jan

Wrinkles and sun spots aren’t the only things we can expect to happen to our face as we age. There are many structural changes going on below the skins surface that contribute to an aging face that most people would never have noticed when they look in the mirror.

The young face on the left is round, contoured at the cheeks, and has a sharp jaw line (oh and hair and no wrinkles). The face on the right appears narrower, sunken, and droopy.

So besides the integrity of your skin, what else has changed?

Below the Skin

Bone Structure

Let’s start at the ground level. Your bones.

Your bones are always being built up and broken down. The rate at which the bone is broken down slowly starts to exceed the rate at which the bone is being built up as you age.

Bone changes cause:

  • a reduction in facial height
  • Increase in facial width and depth
  • The fat pad under the eye to bulge
  • A change in the shape and projection of the chin

Teeth

Injury and periodontal diseases result in loss of teeth, and it’s not like when you were young and the tooth fairy came and left you a dollar and a new tooth grew in (I hear with inflation it’s like $5 now!).

Loosing teeth affects the jaw bone and the muscles which attach to the jaw bone, which can result in make the face look narrower, hollow, and concave on profile.

Taking care of your teeth is super important, and not just for that pretty smile!

Fat Compartments

Collapsing fat compartments in the cheeks and temples reduce support to the overlying skin (side note: don’t worry! These fat cells go to other places… like your hips! j/k).

Splitting the face into thirds


Upper Third

Most people miss this when they look into the mirror at their aging face, but loss of fat in the temples results in the phenomenon I like to call “peanut head, ” which is also noticeable on super athletic people.

The presence of peanut head reflects a lack of support of the outer brow, which, along with loss of subcutaneous fat in the upper lid, causes the appearance of a droopy upper brow.

Blephroplasty anyone?  (Observing Surgery: Blepharoplasty.)

Middle Third

Eye sockets become wider and longer, resulting in a bulge of the cushiony fat pad that lies underneath the eye.

The cheeks start to flatten out, and the fat from the cheek descends to create a deep nasolabial fold.

The tear trough (area where eye skin and cheek skin meet) becomes noticeable. The middle third no longer has that fluid contour. This loss of fullness and form change causes shadowing in the trough, making a person appear to have dark circles, resulting in a tired appearance (just one of the things that causes dark circles).

Angles of the nose change, giving the appearance of increased length and the tip of the nose begins to droop.

Decrease of collagen and increase in tooth display at rest cause the upper lip to lengthen. Fun Fact: the upper lip can stretch by almost 4mm as you age.

(Stolen from another site…shhhh…) Image A shows a youthful face. Look at the contouring from the eye to the cheek. As you age, it can be convex like image B, which shows the fat pad bulging, or it can be concave like image C, making the eyes look hollow. Both B and C show a flat cheek when compared to Image A.

Lower Third

With all this stuff happening in the upper portions of the face, skin sags and starts to hang in the lower third. Adding insult to injury, the angle of the jaw changes, the jaw line, becomes less defined, and the chin shortens. Excess skin droops from the jaw line from gravity and loss of elasticity. Loss of ligament support in the jaw leads to the formation of jowls.

Even with droopy skin, the lower portion of the face starts to look smaller than the upper and middle third.

advancedskinwisdom.com a

(This image was also stolen).

What are your options?

Don’t worry. There are things you can do for volume loss! They do NOT include Oil of Olay, although the new commercial on tv claims it can (they lie).

Injections

For advanced volume loss, Sculptra is really the best injectable product. This product is a biostimulator; it works by stimulating your body’s own natural collagen. Results are the most natural of all the fillers, and the product lasts 2 years. I plan on writing a lot more about Sculptra, so stay tuned!

If you aren’t mentally or financially ready to jump into Sculptra, Radiesse is a wonderful thick, volumizing filler. It is usually my product of choice for cheek augmentation, naso-labial folds, and marionette lines.

For tear troughs, I LOVE Belotero (which is made by the same company as Radiesse). Filling this area literally takes ten years off your face, but remember, it is a very advanced procedure. Stick to a friend’s referral as to who to go to; I have seen a lot of over treated troughs!

For more help with fillers, check out What Goes Where?.

Surgical

Another option is fat transfer. I have assisted in several fat transfers; it is a very interesting procedure. If you are planning on liposuction, I highly suggest inquiring about fat transfer as well.

For sagging skin around the neck and jaw line, surgery is the only real option to date.

XOXO, old LK

(I found the ‘Age My Face’ Ap… yes… there’s an ap for that!)

Glam Girls Go Camping Too!

18 Aug

So, I’m totally in love (no sillies, with someone besides myself!) and I went camping. This girl, right here. So… if you don’t know me… I’m the stilletto’s and fake hair type. Fully manicured. My friends and clients got a KICK out of me going camping. But, I did it, because you can do anything for a weekend and because my awesome boyfriend told me I could bring as many bags as I want and he will carry them. I considered that a challenge. So here goes.

 

I’m going on a Camping Trip and I’m bringing:

A:

  • Airmattress
  • Aloe
  • Allergy medicine

B:

  • Burberry Sunglasses
  • Bells (just in case of Bears)
  • Bug Spray (4 days = 4 cans)
  • Bikini’s
  • Batteries
  • Band aids
  • Boyfriend

C:

  • Clothes (as you can see each outfit is individually packed in a ziplock bag, making getting dressed fast and easy)
  •  

  • Calamine lotion

D:

  • Dry shampoo
  • Daisy (the dog) and a Duck (just kidding he was already in Maine)

 

 

 

F:

  • Flannel Sheets

G:

  • Gloves

H:

  • Hair: Oh god, this was scary. Apparently, wearing your hair down is a bad idea, it will get dirtier faster. Also, apparently bandana’s are you friend. And braids. I like braids though.
    • Silk scarf for night
    • Headband
    • 2 hair ties
    • Bandana!!!!

  • Hat
  • Hydracortisone cream
  • Hookah

I:

  • Ipod and Idock (what, even in the woods I like to dance!)

J:

  • Jeans

L:

  • lighter

M:

  • Mirror

N:

  • Nail file

P:

  • Pillows (because one is never enough)

R:

  • Raincoat

S:

  • Sunblock (tinted)
  • Smores
  • Sleeping bag
  • Shoes:
    • Sneakers
    • Flip flops
    • Slippers

T:

  • Toilet paper
  • Tweezers for ticks
  • Tylenol (because of the hangovers)
  • Towels
  • Toothbrush
  • toothpaste

U:

  • Underwear
  • Umass Hoodies (or college sweatshirt of your choosing)

W:

  • Wool socks
  • Waterhouse’s flashlight (Waterhouse is a friend of mine whom I stole a flashlight from.)
  • Wet naps
  • Wine (in the box. It’s going to be a long weekend… ok fine it was tequila… but wine sounds so much classier…)

X:

  • Xanex (just in case)

 

It was a really fun weekend, and I can see why people enjoy camping. I did wind up in the lake with all my clothes on after a possible poison sumac encounter. It was pretty funny. I think I’ll stick to camping once a year.

Pictures courtesy of Lauren Coffey. Thanks Lauren!!

 

It’s good to be home and back in a Betsy (Johnson).

XOXO, LK

 

 

Fake It Until You Make It

25 Apr

“Time goes by so slowly for those who wait
No time to hesitate
Those who run seem to have all the fun
I’m caught up
I don’t know what to do”

  1. Who doesn’t love Madonna?
  2. I found a font called “crazy girl blonde.” I didn’t know I had my own font!
  3. Tangent. Anyways. I realized I’m at 6 months of blogging. Longer than any relationships I’ve been in for the past 5 years. Eh. I love myself and that’s what matters right? Well, whether you think I’m a narcissist or not is up to you (did I mention I’m a Leo?); but I think it’s important to take a second to appreciate reaching milestones.

So here goes. In the last six months of blogging I have:

  • Written almost 70 posts about skin care, beauty, and health.
  • Reached 10,000 people with what I have to say (or at the very least looking at my pictures).
    • Which on a sub-bullet leads me to the fact that I’ve learned how to make my pictures pretty fancy and interesting looking. Case in point. Above I put my picture into “perspective.” It makes me look so thin. And black and white – always classy. J
  • Connected with readers in 95 different countries. (I am SO impressed by this! Wow!).
  • Sparked several Facebook controversies over things I’ve done in order to have something interesting to write about. Mainly… things I’ve done to my face.
  • Basically saved the world. Oh wait… that’s my one year goal of the blog. Ha.

It really is a lot of work to write a post. Some take me over four hours (between researching what I’m writing and taking pictures—always trying to be interesting and original—and most important—trying to convey my voice and personality through written text). So I’d like to take the time here to thank all my readers and everyone who has given suggestions (positive and negative!). So thanks everyone! I think if this was an award show I’d be cut off now.

I guess when you stop to actually think about the things you’ve achieved be they work goals, life goals, or even aesthetic goals, you can actually be surprised by how much you’ve accomplished. I know personally I spend so much time trying to complete the next step that I get frustrated with things not moving as fast as I want them to, and it can be really discouraging. My lawyer, Richard, reminded me how far I’ve come in business over the past two years, and I hadn’t really taken the time to think about it. So I’m taking the time to remind you. The longest journey beings with a single step. Keep moving forward in the direction of your dreams. (Insert other cliché phrase here). You can get pretty far in six months! Does my Madonna quote kindda go?




A Bride’s Guide

17 Mar


Every bride wants to look perfect on her special day, and that takes a lot of hard work and preparation (or so I hear…)… I thought I’d be a big help for all those brides (and their bridal parties!) with a little bit of information you might find helpful!

Actually… I think any time anyone attends a wedding they want to look good. Weddings = Pictures. And now-a-days, pictures – the good, the bad, and the ugly – wind up on Facebook! So if you’re at the age where you will be attending lots of weddings in the near future (i.e. my age) you might want to take some notes…

Non-Invasive

Spray Tan

Spray tan’s typically last 7-14 days.  If your thinking of spraying (which I highly recommend), do it as close to your big day as possible!  You can’t shower for 6 hours after a spray, and you can smell a little bit sugary post-spray, so keep this in mind.  For the best results, spray the day before. As it wears off, it can sometimes look a little patchy. Make sure you exfoliate prior to your appointment (and shave).

Also, I hear there is a new spray out, that has glitter in it (OMG RIGHT!), but it’s only good for 24 hours I think? Maybe someone else knows more about this? I would also like to note here, that if you are not the bride, you should NOT be shining. That’s rude.


Facial

A plain old facial can be done anywhere from a few days to a month before a special date. Healthy skin is essential for a beautiful face. I recommend everyone see an aesthetician and purchasing some products that will keep your skin healthy.

Weddings are super stressful, and your skin responds to stress. Facials will keep break-outs at bay, not only by cleaning your skin, but by giving you some quality relaxation time. Spa days are great to do with your friends, mother, and future mother in law!


*Note: if you are planning on doing Botox or fillers, a facial should be done either immediately before or 5 days after any facial treatments.

Chemical Peel

Degree of peeling can vary, so talk to the aesthetician performing your peel and be CLEAR if you have any wedding events (or any events for that matter) that you don’t want to be shedding for. ‘Tis the Season for Chemical Peels!.  For a real good, deep peel, expect about a week to two of down time. Trust me, it’s worth it.

Very Important:  moisturize often with a pharmaceutical or cosmeceutical grade product after a peel.  Many places have post-treatment kits.  Do NOT pick at your skin!  Stay out of the sun! Do not use Retin-A prior to or post treatment for about 7 days.

Waxing

Waxing your brows or lip shouldn’t be done the day of an event.  The process can irritate your skin, leaving it a little red.  Icing the area helps.  Or an anti-inflammatory like ibuprofen.  Make sure to keep the area clean to keep bacteria out of your pores, and causing break outs.

Microdermabrasion.

Often done during the same time as a facial, and can cause some minor redness.  Protect your skin after this treatment. Again, stay out of the sun, and do not use Retin-A prior to or post treatment for 7 days.

Laser Skin Rejuvenation Treatments

Depending on the laser, and the treatment, there can be some downtime with this (discoloration and flaking), anywhere from a day to a week.  Ask your practitioner what to expect with the treatment you are receiving.  These treatments really make your skin look great!  Never heard of laser skin rejuvenation?  There will be blog posts to come!

Teeth Whitening

It depends on the number of treatments you will need to decide when you should start. Some treatments take a few sessions, some are one and done. Go for a consult. At the very least, do the Crest White Strips.

Long Lashes

A lot of brides ask me about eye-lash extensions. Although a little expensive, they look great for a wedding.  They should be done about a week before your big event.  They take some getting used to! Lovely Lashes!. They also don’t last very long… usually about a month, so don’t do them too soon unless you are going to keep up on them. If you are having your make-up professionally done, the make-up artist will probably offer you some sort of fake-eyelash. If you are doing your own make-up and you want that lashed out look, practice a few times before the big day. I am a master of the strip lash… but it took me about a year to perfect my technique!

Minimally Invasive Procedures

These can be tricky to time.  If you are planning on doing any non-invasive procedures, they should be done either immediately before Botox and Fillers, or 5 days after.  This is because you don’t want Botox to travel into the wrong muscle group, or fillers to be moved into the wrong area.  Use good judgment with timing your treatments!

A lot of women do Botox and fillers before a big wedding!

Check out this article: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/24/fashion/24skin.html?pagewanted=all


(I’m the bridesmaid all the way to the left. I would like to add a disclaimer: The bride here is naturally beautiful. And has not let me tempt her into Botox—yet).

Botox

If you are new to Botox, I suggest trying it out 4-6 months prior to the wedding date for a couple of reasons. First, this way you can decide if you like it (which you will, but I still recommend trying it). Second, Botox is a dose dependant medication (your results depend on how large or small a dose you receive). Six months gives you plenty of time to work out with your injector the perfect dose for you! Last, you will not be able to look angry for 3-6 months. This might be helpful to any Bridezilla’s out there. So, when you are in witch mode, at least you won’t look like it. J

If you don’t have six months to do a trial run, if you are a Botox Pro, or if you just want to go for it, you should have your treatment AT LEAST 1 month prior to the big day, and NO MORE than 2 months prior. Anything more than 2 months, it might start wearing off, anything less than a month you might not have the result you desire.

Another interesting use of Botox with Brides: It is becoming popular to be treated for hyperhydrosis (sweating) in the underarm. I recommend this to brides who will be getting married outside in 100 degree weather. Sweating profusely is pretty gross. You’re already going to be nervous, and when you add your layers of dress (which I’m sure is not air conditioned), and all the dancing you’re going to do… might be a good idea. Plus, you didn’t spend all that money on a dress to have pit-stains on it. This procedure requires a pretty big dose of Botox, and is therefore pretty expensive. It’s not for every bride.


(Remember don’t go overboard either!)

Fillers (Radiesse, Juvéderm… Perlene, Restyline, ect. ect.)

Depending on the area of injection, there can be some minor bruising (or major depending on the injector).  Invest in some Arnica cream, and expect the worst (2 weeks).  Cheek augmentation bruises the least, while lip augmentation and nasal labial folds tend to bruise the most.  Gosh, I hate it when I have dental work 😉 The average bruise lasts a few days.

Usually older brides are doing facial fillers, while younger brides might want to plump their lips.

As for the rest of the wedding participants, the mothers of the bride and groom are usually also very interested in fillers (and Botox). After all, they have been looking forward to this day since the days BEFORE their children gave them premature wrinkles. Whether she is interested in a facial or Botox treatment, moms deserve to be asked “is this your sister?”

Things to Do 6 Months or More before a Wedding (or wait until after):

–  Bioenhancers like Sculptra Aesthetic (it can take up to 6 weeks to see a difference)

–  Plastic Surgery. Remember that crazy reality show on TV that brides were competing with each other trying to win plastic surgery procedures so they could be perfect for their big day? Those women were … appalling. Plastic surgery should never be taken lightly. Or have a competitive reality show. Leave competitive reality to “Survivor!”

–  Changing your hair color or cutting it short (stick to what you know looks good on you!)

A Night of Beauty in Brookline

12 Mar

“Love of beauty is Taste. The creation of beauty is Art”

  • Ralph Waldo Emerson

I’m a huge fan of beauty (I have good taste) and I’m also a huge fan of art (I consider myself something of a modern artist). I like to be surrounded by beautiful things. Art. My mother bought me my first piece of art when I opened my first office. A mask made of leather, half smooth and beautiful, half in desperate need of Botox. This gift was a representation of success to me. Money is such an intangible possession. But art. That’s something to be proud of.

A close friend of mine, Orna Kasif, invited me to an art show this weekend. A chance to wear a cocktail dress and support local artists? Sold. (See fancy picture above!).

I think the artist I was most impressed by was Rachel Shatil. Her medium was masking tape. Proving my theory that you can make anything into something beautiful—with the right artist!

Here, Orna is explaining this piece is a portrayal of what is happening to Holocaust survivors.

The highlight of the night was composer/filmmaker iLan Azoulai’s sneak preview of his upcoming documentary and a discussion: “Israel combating modern-day slavery.” It was a documentary on sex trafficking in Israel. Very cutting edge, very shocking, very informative.


I don’t know if it’s me, or my age group (*cough 30-ish*), or our society as a whole, but I found this documentary a shocking tribute of how ignorant I am to the problems of the world (and I listen to NPR…). I remember in college my friend going to Virginia to help people in the hills without running water. I had no idea places like that existed in the United States. And I had no idea the severity of sex trafficking in places that are considered “First World” countries, like Israel. It really made me wonder if things like this happen here, in our own backyards.

As much as I may joke about the beauty of ignorance, it is not something I ever wish to be (I believe I noted in another post that I have a tattoo “A Beautiful Little Fool” in reference to The Great Gatsby). I would like to think that I do a lot to help women, by making them feel good about themselves on the outside, so they may empower themselves within. Even in our own country, woman’s rights are constantly threatened (Roe v. Wade especially). In some places, women don’t have the rights to their own bodies and this is a serious issue. I hope everyone who reads this will check out this documentary. I’m sure donations can be made to this cause through Orna. The website is http://www.israeliartistsexhibit.com/. (Or… maybe someone will leave a comment on how to do this???) Also, I hope this post makes it to the Hipsters of Allston. Your parents pay for college. Stop whining. And your pants are too tight.

I would also like to send my sincere congratulations to Orna, an amazing Boston Business Woman, who did an amazing job putting this art show together! The turn-out was fantastic, and my friends and I all had a great time! (Also thanks for serving my fav wine, two buck chuck!)


This being such a serious post, I’d like to make fun of Allston one more time. I stole this from Facebook. (For those of you who don’t know… Allston is where all the Hipster kids live. I avoid it at all costs… Hipsters… yuck.)


Be Memorable. Brand Yourself. A Post on Individuality.

4 Feb

 Beauty Defined is physical attributes in conjunction with psychological traits.

There are certain characteristics that are considered “universally beautiful,” that are timeless and cross-cultural; however, the concept of “beauty” is so much more complex.  Individual ideas also defines the term, and therefore, beauty is a word that is considerably subjective and that makes it so much harder to define.

Individual Ideals

Opposable thumbs and the ability to reason (ok… maybe our ability to be unreasonable?) is what sets our species apart from other animals.  But what sets us apart from each other is our personality.  As women, I think we place a lot of importance on being treated as individuals.

Take a minute.  Write down how you would describe your beautiful personality. 

Physical Qualities

Defining your personality is usually easy for most people, and for some reason, a lot of women have trouble seeing their own physical beauty.  We can all agree “beauty comes from within” and from this statement we can conclude that anyone can be beautiful.

Always Be Yourself.

I know this might be hard for some of you because of my theory on Self-Worth Dysmorphic Disorder but now I want you to write down your favorite physical attribute.  What is the most beautiful thing about your appearance?

Universal traits are not unattainable.  They’re the easy part!

It’s important to highlight your best attributes.  I like to call it branding yourself.  🙂 

One of the first things my mentor (and lawyer) told me is you need to be more conservative.  You represent your business.  Well… I’ve at least started to dress conservative.  But changing my fun, crazy personality… that might take a while.  🙂  I work in the spa industry, where the dress code is black…. black… and more black.  My new thing is pink lipstick, it brings out my best physical attribute without drowning it: my eyes!  And it drowns out the black and uniformity that is what I wear everyday.  Even in a sweatshirt, pink lipstick makes me feel hot!  And in the end, it’s all how you feel about yourself.   

Your clothes don’t make you who you are, your face does!  Ok, fine… and your personality. 

Yep, sometimes I could use a brush

 Remember… There Has Never Been A Smiling Face That Was Not Beautiful!

Boston Barbie

24 Jan

This is from limited_edition_barbie_massachusetts_edition.php.  They didn’t know who came up with it… so I couldn’t site the original author, therefore I am not sure if I’m violating copyright laws?  SOPA and PIPA are dead right?  Anyways, whomever the author is, this is really funny!

Limited Edition Barbie: Massachusetts Edition

We really aren’t sure where this came from . It seems like the stereotypes portrayed below have been applied to areas around St. Louis, Florida, Memphis, Detroit, among other US geographic locations. It came to us via email, un-attributed to the author (email us, we’ll give you credit), and humorously rang true for some of the locations integrated into the list. Suggestions for the South Boston Barbie (both original model and Fort Point edition), Cantabrigian Barbie, and Allston/Brighton Barbie are welcomed..

backbaybarbie.jpg“Newbury Street/Back Bay Barbie”
This princess Barbie is sold only at The Prudential and Copley Malls. She comes with an assortment of Kate Spade Handbags, a Lexus SUV, a long-haired foreign dog named Honey and a brownstone. Available with or without tummy tuck and face lift. Workaholic Ken sold only in conjunction with the augmented version.

framinghambarbie.jpg“Framingham Barbie”
The modern day homemaker Barbie is available with Ford Wind star Minivan and matching gym outfit. She gets lost easily and has no full-time occupation. Traffic jamming cell phone sold separately.

WORCESTERbarbie.jpg“Worcester Barbie” (also available for Springfield)
This recently paroled Barbie comes with a 9mm handgun, a buck knife, a Chevy with dark tinted windows, and a Meth Lab Kit. This model is only available after dark and must be paid for in cash (preferably small, untraceable bills).That is, unless you are a cop, then we don’t know what you are talking about. Springfield model is available with Smith and Wesson handgun and matching hunting knife for added home-town street cred.

marblehead.jpg“Marblehead Barbie”
This yuppie Barbie comes with your choice of BMW convertible or Hummer H2. Included accessories include: Starbucks cup, credit card and country club membership. Also available for this set are Shallow Ken and Private School Skipper. You won’t be able to afford any of them.

northadamsbarbie.jpg“North Adams Barbie”
This pale model comes dressed in her own Wrangler jeans two sizes too small, a NASCAR t-shirt and a tweety bird tattoo on her shoulder. She has a six-pack of Bud light and a Hank Williams Jr. CD set. She can spit over 5 feet and kick mullet-haired Ken’s butt when she is drunk. Purchase her pickup truck separately and get a confederate flag bumper sticker absolutely free.

northendbarbie.jpg“Downtown/North End Barbie”
This collagen injected, rhino plastic Barbie wears a leopard print outfit and drinks cosmopolitans while entertaining friends. Percocet prescription available as well as a condo, no car is available for this Barbie – parking is a bitch.

westernmass.jpg“Western Mass Barbie”
This tobacco-chewing, brassy-haired Barbie has a pair of her own high-heeled sandals with one broken heel from the time she chased beer-gutted Ken out her house. Ensemble includes low-rise acid-washed jeans, fake fingernails, and a see-through halter-top. Also available with a mobile home – similar to Northern Connecticut Barbie.

nohobarbie.jpg“Amherst/Northampton Barbie”
This doll is made of actual tofu. She has long straight brown hair, arch-less feet, hairy armpits, no makeup and Birkenstocks with white socks. She prefers that you call her Willow. She does not want or need a Ken doll, but if you purchase two Barbies and the optional Subaru wagon, you get a rainbow flag bumper sticker for free.

newbedfordbarbie.jpg“New Bedford Barbie”
This Barbie now comes with a stroller and infant doll. Optional accessories include a GED and bus pass. Gangsta Ken and his 1979 Caddy were available, but are now very difficult to find since the addition of the infant.

southshorebarbie.jpg“South Shore Barbie”
She’s perfect in every way. We don’t know where Ken is because he’s always out a-‘huntin’.

ptownbarbie.jpg“Provincetown Barbie/Ken”
This versatile doll can be easily converted from Barbie to Ken by simply adding or subtracting the multiple snap-on parts.

Body Dysmorphic Disorder

22 Dec

As an employee in the field of plastic surgery, I meet some VERY interesting people.  Our office always have hilarious stories that would be PERFECT for a reality t.v. show, unfortunately… HIPPA (Health Information Portability Protection Act) would make it a little difficult.  One unfortunate, and fortunately small population of beauty-goers is the woman suffering from Body Dysmorphic Disorder.  This syndrome causes a person to be excessively concerned with body image.  The affected individual has such a strong negative self-image it affects their ability to function in daily activities.

As most of us are aware, when we look good we feel better about ourselves.

People with BDD are so critical of their looks, it affects their ability to function as a normal person.  It can cause anxiety, depression and other mental health issues.

In my experiences, the clients I see that suffer from this disorder are GORGEOUS.

So why do they not see what I see?

Mental health disorders are caused by biological, psychological, and environmental factors. (I have a minor in Psychology, any of you UMASS Amherst alum will know the great Professor Halgen who taught Abnormal Pscyhology–one of the best classes I’ve ever taken).  I have observed very low self esteem with these patients.  I have found through talking to these clients they are usually in abusive relationships, and are looking for something they can physically change about themselves to make their abuser “love them.”  Usually people in abusive relationships have a history of emotional neglect and physical and/or mental abuse.

The syndrome typically manifests itself during adolescence (don’t worry, I’m not Botox’ing anyone under 18!) – a time where we all start becoming critical of appearance.  A time where most women start wearing make-up ;).

80% of people who suffer from this disorder have had suicidal thoughts.

For those of you in the beauty industry, you might run into these people from time to time (but probably not as much as I do in my office…).  The only thing you can do with clients like this is to be supportive.  Many of us establish strong bonds with our clientele (who doesn’t LOVE their hairdresser or aesthetician!) and they value our opinions.  If you feel you have a client who might suffer from BDD you should tell them.  This behavior to be constantly critical of yourself is not normal, and professional help is the only thing that can help.

  Do I treat them?

Yes, but I handle with care.  A client with BDD will go to whomever will treat them, and (I don’t know if you know this) but there are a lot of people out there that are driven by money and not morals.  I make it very clear that they have nothing physically wrong with them, and any treatments I agree to with them are solely for preventative purposes.  Beauty treatments are therapeutic to a lot of women, and although I am not a psychologist, I think when I sit behind these people in the mirror and tell them there is nothing wrong with the way they look they are agreeable to doing less drastic changes.

I like to bring up this AMAZING underground cult classic movie that inspired me during a bout of depression (not BDD).  The movie is called “What the Bleep Do We Know: Down the Rabbit Hole” and it is a docu-drama about Quantum Physics (and I bet my last blog post gave you the impression I was less than mature!).  Please, please, please take a minute to watch some of the clip below.  I hope you will find it as inspiring as I have!

After showing my friends the clip I decided it needed a preface.  The movie is about a girl who is deaf and is having a difficult time with life and has a poor self-image (that’s the drama part).  There are clips of Physicists discussing the Theory of Quantum Physics (the documentary part).
 

Quantum mechanics is the body of scientific principles that explains the behavior of matter and its interactions with energy on the scale of atoms and atomic particles.

Basically, your internal thoughts and feelings affect external outcome of a situation.

**If you’d like to know more about String Theory, ask my brother.  He’s the smart one in the family.

Women look in the mirror on average 32 times a day.  We always direct our attention to subtle flaws we have.  But most of us can name a feature that we consider “attractive.”  Everyone has their own unique beauty, and it is healthy to maintain or enhance your natural image.  But beauty starts on the inside, and sometimes we need professional help finding it.

The Halo Effect

19 Oct

The idea in psychology/sociology that attractive people are seen as angelic and are therefore stereotyped with having angelic qualities and treated with positive enforcement of these “qualities.”

Studies have shown that attractive people achieve more in life, are generally happier, and have more self-confidence.

Quick Personal Story

About 2 years ago, I was dating this really good looking, smart guy and I really liked him.  And I let him treat me… not so nice.  On July 4th, after not returning multiple phone calls, I was out with my friends downtown, when we ran into each other.  Essentially he broke up with me on a pole outside of Dillon’s (a bar).  With glitter on his face.  Probably from making out with some girl.  His response:  “I was going to break up with you on Monday.”  Devastation.

Fast Forward 9 months.    I run into this boy again.  This time I have just had my lips done.  He kindly bought me drinks all night, and at the end of the night I said thank you, and good bye.

Did he feel bad?  Was it because I was hot?  Who knows, and who cares.  The fact of the matter was, I felt hot.  And confident.  AND best of all, I felt retribution for the way I was treated by this boy less than a year prior.

The Attractiveness Co-Effecient

Did I treat him better because he was good looking?  Probably.  Did he treat me better when I was better looking?  Definitely.  Was there some self-fulfilling prophecy factor involved?  Probably.  But like I said, I feel justified and that’s what counts.  We’re on a semi-friendship level to this day.

Beauty is not always advantageous though.  I have many experience where I’ve been perceived as mean, stupid, materialistic (ok this one is kind of true), and vain.  I have had people question my expertise and my skills in both medicine and business.  It is a difficult experience for me, as I have always excelled academically and am constantly reading and researching topics that inspire me.  I can only take these experience and use them to make me better as a person, and in my field of work.

The Hairdresser Effect

If the Halo Effect is the idea that good looking people are treated differently day to day, I would like to introduce my theory of the Hairdresser Effect.  When you look good, you feel good, and you reflect this confidence to others.  Every woman’s favorite place is the beauty salon.  FACT.  Why?  Because when you leave, you are at the height of feeling attractrive.  My hairdresser is the first person I go to when I’m sad (I would like to credit Lauren Cence, of Sylvestre Franc–thank you for making me the best blonde I can be! … and for all the free therapy sessions).  I aspire to have this effect on people, to bring physical beauty to aide a person to have the confidence to be themselves.  And be HAPPY with who they are.

Bottom Line

The bottom line here, beauty matters.  It effects how we feel about ourselves and how other treat us.  Whether it is self-fulfilling, whether it’s this Halo Effect, whether it’s right or wrong.  It doesn’t matter.  What matters is how YOU feel about yourself.  Striving for physical attractiveness is not a vain endeavor, but an expression of confidence and reflection of inner beauty.  Being attractive will lead you into a happier more successful life.

A Youthful Appearance

18 Oct

This being my area of expertise, it’s hard to know where to start, but first and foremost, I consider myself a bio-dork, so I’ll start there!

Biology of YouthUniversal

The biological purpose of reproduction creates attraction to a youthful appearance by both men and women.

Researches have found the female perception of beauty changes throughout the month (just like us woman to change our minds!).  Women typically prefer a mature, masculine looking man.  These characteristics include a heart-shaped face and small chin with full lips.

During menstruation, however, woman are typically more attracted to softer, more youthful features.  These include a small nose, large eyes, and defined cheekbones (which males find to be attractive characteristics for females).

Work, work, work! Cultural

Thanks to medical advancements, we’re living years longer, and thanks to the economy, we now have to work during those extra years!  The lines on our faces reflect the years of hard work, dedication, and stress from work and life in general.  And let’s face it, the depth of the lines are in direct proportion the difficulty of life experiences.  Although not technically visible, these experiences have a direct effect on our psychological traits as well.  Therefore, one could make the jump that an older appearance on the outside reflects negative traits on the inside (I’m not saying it’s right or it makes sense).

“I want to look the age I feel” -Personal

Yes, it is our culture to jump to conclusions from physical characteristics to psychological traits, making personal beauty to many a reflection of how they feel on the inside.

Yes, life makes us feel tired sometimes, but it’s also full of exciting events!  Graduations, marriages, reunions, divorce (hey, for some people it’s a good thing!), children, grandchildren!  All these things make us happy; they spark that joy we associate with being young and excited.  Is it wrong to want your face to reflect this youthful joy?


Youth, No Longer Wasted On the Young


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