Tag Archives: attractiveness

What Goes Where?

4 Aug

Prior to 2002, there was one type of facial filler: collagen. Many products have been developed over the past ten years which have caused collagen to become obsolete. There are now multiple categories of fillers, all made of different materials. The products in these subcategories have properties which make them better in treating some signs of aging than other areas or other products. Remember, fillers are different than Botox (it’s not all just Botox!). So what goes where?

Hyaluronic Acid (HA’s)

Synthetic forms of hyaluronic acid (a sugar that your body naturally produces) include products like Juvéderm, Perlene and Restylane. HA’s increase fullness and enhance the viscosity of the naturally occurring hyaluronic acid in your body. Although it may cost a little more, Juvéderm is currently the longest lasting product (in some cases lasts twice as long, and therefore is worth the extra $100 or so per syringe). I have performed over 200 Juvéderm procedures, and have personally been injected with this product many times!

*note: My face is just a model, I haven’ had all this work done I swear! I just love “Paint.”

  • Best for superficial lines (not very deep, not folds).
  • They are used in areas where “plumpness” is desired (like your lips!)
  • They can be used in cheek augmentation, vertical lip lines, and nasolabial folds, but might not be the best product. Cheeks and Nasolabial folds typically require a lot of filler, and cost-effectiveness wise, this isn’t the product. But if you just need to fix a little sagging, it can be used in the cheeks. If you want to overpay for deep nasolabial folds, then this product also can be placed in this area.
  • Vertical Lip Lines are usually superficial, which would make Juvéderm a good product, HOWEVER, if it is not placed right, the result is a monkey face.

Tips on Hyaluronic Acid

  • When I’m filling lines in the glabella, I always administer a dose of Botox to the area 2 weeks before injecting Juvéderm. This allows me to inject directly into the line; it is easier to aim at a stationary target! How do you know if you will need Botox and Fillers? If you have a line in between your brows at rest (a “1”, “11”, or “111”) and you pull that line apart with your fingers, do you still see a crease in the skin? If yes, you need both, if no, Botox is enough.
  • I always apply numbing cream 20 minutes before injections.
  • I never inject too close to the outer rim of the eye (distal orbital rim), it usually irregularities in the contour of the face.
  • Injecting into the tear trough is a very advanced procedure. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen this area over filled (which looks TERRIBLE). My recommendation: it is better to under-fill and book a follow-up. This area requires a minimal amount of product, and my personal policy is to allow a client to come back at no charge if they require a small amount more (within reason).

Particulated Fillers

These products, like Radiesse and ArteFill, contain synthetic beads or particles in different liquid carriers. They last longer than HA’s, because the body doesn’t break them down as fast. They are also thicker than HA’s, which means they satisfy a larger area of volume loss. These products are injected deeper in the layers of skin (never superficially like HA’s are). Why? Because they’re made out of beads in liquid… and in superficial skin that would make bumps! This means they NEVER get injected into the tear troughs or into the lips. EVER. For very, very deep glabellar crease, Radiesse can be used (but usually an HA is a better choice).

  • These products are for moderate to severe volume loss. As you age, facial skeletal changes, general tissue volume loss, and the effects of gravity flatten out your cheeks. If you look at the contour of my face on right side of my face (your left), you will see how round my cheek is. I think you can see in this picture that the apples of my cheeks are round as well. A lot of women will look in the mirror at their nasolabial folds and want to go straight for filling only those, but that doesn’t give the youthful round shape back to the face. On some people I like to do cheek augmentation with Radiesse as well as nasolabial folds. I always do cheeks before folds, because the cheek bone is the scaffolding for the lower face skin. When you change that, the depth of the NL fold will also change. Always top to bottom, never bottom to top, when it comes to your face fillers! **When you have extra weight on your face, you keep the roundness. Skinny people have really flat cheeks when they age. HA. Take that skinny people.
  • The marionette lines, prejowel, and oral commissure are usually treated as one area that needs to be fixed. They’re kind of like vector components of each other (for all you Geometry dorks out there, *brushes shoulder off*).
  • Again, skeletal changes that occur as you age cause your chin to recess and along with volume loss, change the angles of your jaw and chin. This is another area a lot of people overlook when spending that quality time in the mirror pulling at their face in the “this is what I would look like if I had a face-lift” pose. Even if you do have a traditional facelift, you aren’t doing anything about the volume loss. This contributes to the unnatural look of a face-lift.
  • Radiesse and Juvéderm can be used in conjunction to fix contour irregularities in the nose.

I hope that cleared up the two main classes of fillers. It’s a lot of information!!! The next post will be about Sculptra, which gets grouped in with fillers… but this is already too long! Lol.

xoxo SPRAY TAN – O – REXIC LK

Hydra-facials are awesome.

19 May

(after picture)

Because I’m pretty and I say so. And in case that’s not enough of a reason… read on. J

A Little Latin Lesson in Linguistics (alliteration is as awesome as hydrafacials)

In case you’re a little rusty on your Latin, “hydra” means water and facial means … well facial isn’t Latin for anything. That I know of… but I’m not a linguist. Anyways. Hydrafacials are amazing! They work by infusing serums into your pores. Hydrafacial, or hydradermabrasion, is a noninvasive, non-laser skin resurfacing treatment that combines cleansing, exfoliation, extraction, hydration and antioxidant protection simultaneously, resulting in clearer, more beautiful skin. There is no discomfort or down-time (although you might have a little redness for about an hour). The treatment is soothing, moisturizing, non-invasive and non-irritating. It also has attachments that can be used on the back, neck, and décolleté (that’s actually a French word… not Latin).

The HydraFacial treatment improves the appearance of:

  • fine lines and wrinkles
  • congested and enlarged pores
  • oily or acne-prone skin
  • hyper-pigmentation and brown spots

Before starting, I washed all of my make up off (which I don’t wear much of because my skin is usually so nice!). This is my before picture. I was in DESPERATE need of a facial.

Pass 1: Activ-4™ Skin Solution

Designed for most skin types. It helps to promote the overall health of skin; improve the appearance of hyperpigmentation, brown spots, fine lines and uneven skin tone. The tip attachment used on the hand-piece during this step has a fine sandpaper-like part works like microdermabrasion. It mechanically exfoliates the top layer of skin.

My face is RED.

The black part is the microdermabrasion tip.

Step 2: Beta-HD™ Skin Solution

This Salicylic Acid based skin solution is specifically designed for acne-prone and oily skin (like mine). It softens sebum, dislodges skin debris and aids in painless extractions of whiteheads and blackheads.

Step 3
Antiox-6™ Skin Solution:

Containing Vitamin A, Vitamin E, White Tea Extract and Hyaluronic Acid, the Antiox-6™ is designed for overall antioxdiant protection and deep hydration on most skin types.

Other Steps

  • DermaBuilder™ Peptide Complex (
    DermaBuilder™): THE new, hot age-refining solution right now! The DermaBuilder™ helps to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, skin firmness, skin tone and skin texture.
  • GlySal™ Acid Peels ( GlySal): This special Glycolic Acid & Salicylic Acid blend combines physical & chemical peeling to achieve optimal results. Unlike traditional acid peels, there is little to no downtime involved. Skin is well hydrated, smooth and radiant after the procedure.

1 hour later …

In the CAAAAAH Leaving JAHHHHR. Boston. Haaaaaa.

Representing my team. I love Rondo! #9 : My man.

Very happy my skin looks so good. Now if we could just fix my skunk hair. Just kidding. I love my Ombre (hombre? I think that’s Latin?). As you can see I’m still a little pink, but my skin looks and feels so fresh and so clean.

Recommendations

Visible skin refinement and an even, radiant skin tone may be seen after just one treatment. The smooth results and hydration may last 5 to 7 days or even longer.  A series of 6 treatments is recommended for improving the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, hyper-pigmentation, acne and oily skin. Remember, using good skin care products at home will help these results last longest and help give you the most bang for your buck (did I just say that?) for any in office procedure. (Step 2: Spend wisely.)

I even got Alexis to love them (the Image Rep slash Skin Guru). And she is so picky about her skin. See. She’s smiling.

Botox Before and After

9 May

I started doing Botox two years ago, at age 25, when I started my business (you know… injecting Botox). Personal experience has taught me a lot about the products I use for Aesthetic Procedures, and that’s why I make it a point to use all of them. Do I need them? No… Probably not (except the duck lips… those I need…). Are they hurting me? Definitely not, they’ve been around for YEARS (especially Botox).

Remember this face? How could you forget it? I look angry! (it’s from my post on facials). I clearly have needed Botox for some time.

I get migraines when I’m in need of Botox.

I look angry when I’m in need of Botox.

I need Botox.

…hey we all have our addictions right? J

Pre Botox

My Botox Injections

I get Botox in my forehead and glabellar crease. When I started, I got Botox every two months. Here’s my medical records for y’all as an example.

2/19/10    21 units Botox

4/20/10    21 units Botox

7/1/10        21 units Botox

10/15/10    21 units Botox

2/5/11        21 units Botox

6/12/11    35 units Botox (had my 26th birthday… started noticing forehead lines!)

11/10/12    35 units Botox

5/7/12        35 units Botox

**Remember, results will vary. Everyone has a different face!

If you keep up on your Botox, as soon as you have movement back, you will get more and more out of your Botox injections. Most people go down in the amount of Botox they require as well. My doses are minimal. Plus I like that zero movement look. Especially now that I don’t have my Barbie hair… I need to keep my Barbie face (in case you’re a new reader, I recently switched teams… I’m a brunette now).

The reason for this is called muscle atrophy. This process is a natural occurrence in other parts of your body as well. Think about going to the gym a bunch. You get huge muscles. And then you stop. Your muscles die from not being used. The body naturally metabolizes the muscle tissue. Same thing basically happens if you’re not using the muscles in your face. It’s not dangerous. It’s a pretty natural process.

I didn’t take a very good before picture of my forehead, but my glabella (area between brows) is pretty good.


Before


Post Botox Day 1


Post Botox Day 2

As you can see, it takes 2 days to really see a difference from Botox. Some people it kicks in later. I tell people it takes 2 weeks to see the full difference from a Botox treatment. If in two weeks you have not experienced the results you’ve been looking for (i.e. you still have too much movement) then the dose you were injected with was not enough. I charge by the unit, so if you pay by the unit, you will pay for additional units. If you pay by an area, you may wind up paying for an additional treatment as well. Be careful what you payyyyy forrrrr. You want to pay by the unit. Trust me.

And now that my Botox has kicked in, as you can see, I really can’t make that angry face. Makes me look friendly and approachable….


Post Botox Day 3

So I’m all smiles!

It’s a lot softer look than from before huh? But… I still look like me. All Smiles Baby!

Softening the Lines

10 Apr

P. is a 50 year old woman who has seen me twice over the past two years. To start, she had deep naso-labial folds that she hated. We first filled them with Juvéderm (which was my product of choice two years ago, but now I like Radiesse better for this area). We then did a little bit of cheek augmentation with a large syringe of Radiesse.

P.’s son is getting married and she wanted a little touch-up before the wedding. This is totally common with treatments (and weddings). Remember, any procedure should be done with plenty of time for healing to occur in regards to bruising or swelling.

Before


After


Again, remember, I’m not a photographer! The goal with P. was to soften the downturn on her mouth, the depth of her chin, and the depth of the NL fold.

Gravity…

As you age gravity causes several changes to occur in your face. The fat pads on which your eyes rest slides out from the socket and begins to bulge. At the same time, fat pockets in the cheeks break down in a known consequential manor. The combination of these two things and the pull of gravity on lax skin deepen the look of the nasolabial folds and add years to the face.

So What did I do?

As I said, P. and I have done a few treatments together before. We did the folds first, to fill the depth caused by lax skin and gravity, and then I did cheek augmentation. As I have become more advanced however, I have changed my practices to moving from the top of the face down (because of gravity) and from the most advanced sign of aging backward. I have found this to be the most effective way to treat aging. In retrospect I would have done the following:

  1. Cheek Augmentation

    By reconstructing the fat in the cheek area by filling it with product, this will decrease the laxity of the skin which forms the NL fold. I know women start pulling up the sides of their cheeks at around 30, wondering what a facelift would look like. Well this isn’t a facelift. It’s a laxity lift. (I made that up). It’s an improvement which will help me use less product in the laso-labial fold area. This means a better result AND less money. J


    **Do you do this in the mirror? As you can see, I don’t have much lax skin… from multiple procedures (cheek aug and ulthera mostly). But uh…. I do have roots. No one’s perfect! 😉

  2. Marionette Lines

    This is one of the most advanced signs of aging (because it’s the precursor to jowls). The marionette line starts from gravity pulling down the corners of your mouth and gravity pulling the fat down from the cheek. It’s just a big ol’ gravity mess! Pulling the needle around the corner of the mouth pulls up the downturn of the mouth.

  3. Naso-labial folds

    While this is the LEAST bad sign of aging, this is usually what women are drawn to fixing first. Depending on your age, and your current amount of fat in your face, and the money your willing to spend to have the best result, are all deciding factors on where to start first. Aging didn’t start overnight, and… to be realistic… one treatment isn’t going to restore the youthfulness to your face. Many women’s biggest fear is looking like a Desperate Housewife (fake and expressionless) but this is not the goal of aesthetic medicine. The goal is to restore and maintain your features.

“Softening P.”: A Maintenance Session

P. still had nice volume in her cheeks, and her N.L. folds still had some nice fill (1 year later). P. just needed a little softening to look her best.

X = needle insertion point

Line = needle direction of needle





  1. Mouth Corners
  2. Marionette Lines
  3. Lip line
  4. Chin Sharpening
  5. Jaw Softening
  6. Nasolabial fold softening

Again the Afters


This round of treatment was to soften and touch up. One large Radiesse syringe was used to treat 6 areas. The result is a softer looking face. There is not a HUGE difference in what P. looks like, but there shouldn’t be. Treating six areas with one syringe will not show a HUGE difference. Six syringes in 6 areas… now that’s a different story. Personally, I will only do ONE syringe at a time. Once you fill one area, you change the skin volume, and laxity changes. If someone tries to sell you six syringes at once, RUN. They are not looking out for your best interest, and you are going to leave the office looking like a different person (or something non-human!).

LK Signature Facelift: Giving Myself a Facelift

8 Apr

You have NO idea how hard it was for me to give myself the LK Signature Facelift and take pictures of myself at 9am. Ok, I admit, it’s not that hard. But still, I look pretty silly in some of these photos! … so I hope you appreciate them! Below are pictures and the steps in my LK Signature Facelift, including what each layer is and what it does for your skin. And also… in case you didn’t know… LK is my initials. 😉

So who is the LK Signature Facelift good for and what kind of result should you expect to see? The LKSF (my new nickname for it) is recommended for anyone and everyone! It is an especially excellent resurfacing treatment for those who suffer Rosacea. The LKSF can even be performed in conjunction with Botox and dermal fillers! After the LKSF, your skin will be tighter, lighter and brighter….who doesn’t love that?!?

ß (I need to touch up my Botox and that’s my “I need Botox” face)


Step 1: Cleanse

When I do this treatment on my clients, I use the Image
Ageless Total Facial Cleanser, which contains 12% Glycolic Acid. Glycolic Acid is excellent for exfoliating the skin, leaving it fresher and brighter looking! The Ageless Total Facial Cleanser has a great tingly feeling, so you KNOW it’s working! It is excellent for keeping pores clear and occasional breakouts to a minimum

I cleansed my skin with the Ormedic Balancing Facial Cleanser, it’s a gentle cleanser (Organic Aloe Vera is the first ingredient in this cleanser!). I didn’t feel like leaving my bathroom to retrieve my Ageless Total Facial Cleanser which is literally an arm’s reach outside the bathroom door. It was 9 a.m., people!

Step 2: I-PREP Degreasing Solution (Professional Only Product…btw)

The degreasing solution is applied with gauze. The reason degreasing solutions are used in professional treatments, is because we want to remove as much of the surface oils on the skin, as possible. This will allow for the product to evenly and more effectively penetrate the different layers of skin.

Step 3: Vitamin C Enzyme Resurfacing Solution (Professional Only Product)

This first layer I apply is the Vitamin C Enzyme Resurfacing Solution and it’s used to keep the pH of your skin high. The higher the pH of a product, the less irritating it is. Vitamin C is actually an excellent resurfacing agent and will help brighten your skin. Not to mention, your skin needs Vitamin C in order to form healthy new collagen! Collagen is what gives skin its healthy, bouncy structure.


Step 4: Resurface/Exfoliate



The Ageless Total Resurfacing Mask has smooth, little micro-exfoliating beads in it that gently exfoliate the dead skin from the top layer of skin (the epidermis). By exfoliating dead skin, your body is stimulated to increase it’s cellular turnover rate (In more simple terms, it makes new healthy baby skin cells, and the still healthy young skin cells are pushed up through the layers.) Can you see how the micro-exfoliating beads in this formulation are perfectly round? They don’t tear your skin (like certain over the counter “exfoliators” will, inviting infection into your skin… and also making your body work to repair micro-tares). The Image Total Resurfacing Masque is high in glycolic acid as well. It is one of my favorite products because you can use it as a masque or a scrub! Sometimes I even like to mix a little into my Ormedic Balancing Facial Cleanser for some added exfoliation.

I’m such a ham! A Kosher one…

Step 5: Blast of Nutrition


The Vitamin C Enzyme Resurfacing Solution is applied a second time…the point here, to add even more Vitamin C to the skin! Remember, tighter, lighter and brighter!

Step 6: Hydrating Enzyme Mask


This final layer is an active masque that eats up the dead skin cells that have been removed from your face with the other layers. The Vital C Hydrating Enzyme Masque is also one of my favorites because it injects the skin with hydration and antioxidants! My skin is always left looking brighter and more supple after using this masque…sometimes I even sleep with it on so I wake up looking super-hydrated and vibrant.

Step 7: Remove Layers

Using sponges and warm water all four layers are removed, leaving me with fresh, bright skin!

At home tip: You can do your own at home mini-LKSF. Start by cleansing your face with your favorite Image Skincare Cleanser. Then mix equal parts Ageless Total Resurfacing Masque and Vital C Hydrating Enzyme Masque. You can leave this combo on for up to 30 minutes. Then remove with a clean washcloth and tepid water. Next, apply your favorite hydrating Image Skincare serum, Image’s most popular serum is the Vital C Hydrating Anti-Aging Serum. Then apply an eye crème, like The MAX Eye Crème, uses the latest in cosmeceutical technology and breaks up blood pigment (dark circles) by up to 20%! Next you would apply either your favorite Daily Defense Moisturizer or Image Repair Crème. Finish with the Ormedic Balancing Lip Enhancement Complex, for the ultimate juicy, plump lip without that irritating bee-sting effect.

Image Skincare is only sold to licensed Skin Care Professionals, like me! So, if you are interested in purchasing some of these products for your own at-home use, contact me. I also offer free shipping!

Step 8: SMILE…

…because nice skin makes you happy! I have this facial done every other week in the summer… when I shouldn’t be doing as many chemical peels. It’s a nice gentle exfoliation. And off to work I go with no make-up on (I don’t know why I still look half asleep… oh maybe I do need some make-up…Flawless Foundation from Image Skincare is my fav!!!). Can you tell I love this line? Lol, I’m not the only one though. I think at some point I’ll do a testimonial’s post!

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!)

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!

A Note From Skipper

26 Jan

Skipper and Barbie going to Iceskate at Frog Pond

In response to my post Hey, You Look Just Like Me!, in which I reference my friend/coworker/client Devan (whom I have dubbed Skipper), sent a reply that I felt would be better as it’s own post.  Here was her reply, which starts with an exerpt from the original post:     

“Devan (the girl I live with on the North Shore 2 days a week), turned to me the other day and said, “we look like sisters.”  Well… we certainly did not start out that way.  I’m Boston Bred and Russian/Polish by descent.  She’s from Virginia and sports some very fair skin (more Western European).  Several spray tans, a couple of boxes of Juvederm, some cheek augmentation, and a splash of bleach later… and we look like sisters.  Either she’s blind… or we both have the same idea of beauty.”

Laura,

I would have to agree on this post. Not only am I thrilled that you have involved me in your blog lol I figured I definitely need to give my opinion on this. We obviously have some similar features due to augmentations but our idea of beauty is the same. I was 19 years old the first time I got my lips injected with Juvederm, many of my clients ask me “Why? You are so young, why would you start so early” I always respond with:

 1. “I am in the industry.” How can you possibly promote a product when you physically have not used it and do not believe in it? You can’t and that is false adverstising as far as I am concerned. Don’t knock it till you try it.

2. “My top lip was half the size as my bottom and it was something that bothered me.” When I had the option to alter my look just a little bit to (1) please myself and (2) make me look better I thought why the heck not?

I would have to say that Juvederm is one of the best products out there on the

My Bathroom Shelf

market today (props to the amazing pharameceutical company Allergan- the makers of Botox, Juvederm and Vivite- a glycolic based skincare line).  I have had clients complain about restalyn (especially regaurding cost and duration of result) but never once heard a complaint against Juvederm.

If you can take something that concerns you and change it just a tiny bit to enhance it to the point where many people would say “you look awesome, what are you doing different?” But not actually pin point what it is you have had done. WHY WOULDN’T YOU DO IT? It isn’t harmful, so for me it is a no-brainer.

At the end of the day, it is hard to stay on top of things in the beauty industry, but how can you be a good esthetician, hairdresser, cosmetologist, nurse injector, etc. if you do not strive to use the best products and promote beauty within yourself and most importantly to YOUR CLIENTS.  That’s why I don’t trust Dermatoligists or General Practice MD’s with my injections.  Just because you have the title MD does NOT make you an expert in beauty!

In closing, a little spray tan, Juvederm, Radiesse or blonde hair never hurt anyone!

Representing Boston Beauty and Boston Sports!

P. S- I don’t think you’ve been spending too much time with me. It is awesome to have such a wonderful friendship with someone who strives to be the best at what they do, just like myself, and who also has an amazing concept on what is beauty.

WE ARE BEAU-TIFUL AND FOREVER YOUNG.

Thank you BOTOX and Laura for making BOSTON BEAUTIFUL!

-Devan Ritchie, L.M.E

Go Platinum Salon and Spa

200 Lake Street, Peabody, MA

978-535-8575

Pucker-Up, Princess – Damn Sexy Lips

7 Jan

Joy in one’s heart and some laughter on one’s lips is a sign that the person down deep has a pretty good grasp of life.

Or a good grasp of what Juvéderm is. (That’s NOT Botox.)

Juvedérm is a hyaluronic acid that is injected into the lip to make it fuller.  It is also used in deep “1” lines in between the eyebrows and sometimes in the cheeks and naso-labial folds.  It’s a sugar your body naturally produces.  You don’t need allergy testing with this product.

It can be natural looking.  

There are two techniques for augmenting the natural lip.  A lot of women want/need volume.  As you age, your lip naturally beings to thin out.  Physical Facial Changes That Occur As We Age.  In order to restore the volume, the product must be placed in the wet/dry border (where your lip goes from wet to dry).

* The Black Dashes represent where product is put.  The Red X’s represent needle insertion points.  They are a representation.  You might have more insertions if you have asymmetry, or less if you are trying to achieve several changes at the same insertion point.    
**Remember when looking at the pictures I’m not a graphic designer.  I’m a nurse.  And I’m pretty proud of my skills in the program Paint and my Pout.  God, I love alliteration!   

The full length of the needle is inserted into the border of the lip.  Yes.  It sounds like it hurts, but a topical numbing  cream should be applied 15-30 minutes prior to the procedure.  A lot of places will cheap out on this.  The stuff is expensive.  Trust me you want it.  Even if the product being used has a numbing agent in it (like Juvéderm XC – the XC stands for xylocaine, which is in the lidocaine family).  Plan on being numb from 1-4 hours.

If you have a low pain tolerance, request having a dental block.  This the procedure you have before you have dental work done.  The nerves are blocked with a pain killer, and you don’t feel anyyyyything.  Don’t drink or eat for 4 hours after a block.  I rarely do blocks, because I’m so good with a needle.  But natural redheads and light blondes are usually more sensitive to pain.  I usually recommend them for these Fitzpatrick I and II’s!

The Duck Look

I like my lips ducky.  Other people who like the duck look:  models, 21 year-old’s, bartenders, strippers… you get the point.  People who need to look sexy.  (You can WANT to look sexy and any age and any profession though!!!)  This look is achieved by inserting the length of the needle into the lip line, otherwise known as the vermillion border.  The volume there curls up the line.  Again, it should be numb so it won’t hurt as much.

Mouth Corners

Gravity turns down the corners of your mouth making you look a little frown-y as you age.  By inserting the needle at the lower lip and curving it around the lip’s corner, the lip turns more upward, getting rid of that frown.  A nice smile is attractive.  A frown is not.  This can be a little painful even with numbing cream, because of the location of nerve endings.

Columns

The Philtrum Columns are the two lines that come from your nose to your cupids bow.  They flatten as you age, so by recreating them, you look YEARS younger.   It pulls up the “Cupid’s Bow” area, which also becomes flatter as you age.  I’m not going to lie.  This hurts.  A lot.  There are a ton of nerve endings that come out of your nose and it’s very difficult to block them.  Expect there to be tears.  In this case, the tears are worth it though.  It lasts a good year or more.  And although I haven’t gone through child birth, it can’t possibly be as painful.   

The Pout

I am fully aware not everyone likes the Trout Pout (a term my friend Lauren gave me – http://www.shapeupwithLauren.com).  It’s another look I really like though.  Depending on how your natural lip is pre-injection, the product is deposited along the wet/dry border and/or the vermillion border.  I usually like to do both to make it extra pouty.

Proportions.

Proportion: The Rule of Thirds and Fifths and what should it be when it comes to  your lips?  The natural lip is 1/3 volume top lip and 2/3 volume bottom lip.  I see this isn’t necessarily true with darker Fitzpatrick types (V and VI).

Balance.

Many women who have larger noses and big eyes don’t need a nose job.  We need balance.  I naturally have huge eyes and a large nose.  By augmenting my lips, I’ve found some peace with my face.  I look proportional and balanced.  I have tons of clients who feel this way.  Lip Aug is way cheaper than a nose job!

Symmetry

You can use lip augmentation to fix a-symmetry.  Don’t expect it to be PERFECT though.  We all have a little a-symmetry with our face.  If you look at my lips, they aren’t perfectly symmetrical.  But, if you had your lips done, and your friends point stuff out without you telling them, go back to the practitioner.  If it’s real bad, they should fix it free of cost.  If it’s not noticeable, they’ll re-assure you that you’re crazy and you might have Body Dysmorphic Disorder.  It takes about 2 weeks for swelling to go down completely (even if you don’t see it, the inflammatory process is still in gear), therefore, wait two weeks before going back.

Pearls of Wisdom:

  • Expect that you might bruise.  Everyone bruises differently.  If you are anemic (which many of us are during menstruation) or very fair skinned (Fitzpatrick I and II) I highly recommend buying Arnica cream and Bare Essentials makes a purple tinted gloss that works wonders, called Starr.
  • Because you might bruise, don’t do your lips the day/week before a family get-together or a big party.  Questions will be asked.  That dentist was such a witch.  Wink wink.
  • You will be swollen.  Anytime you puncture or traumatize the tissue your body responds with inflammation.  ICE.  20 minutes on 20 minutes off.  The more you ice, the less you swell.
  • The next day, you will look a little more swollen, and your lips will feel very dry.  That is because hyaluronic acid attracts water molecules and you are still swollen from the injection.  Keep icing and applying a hydrating product to your lips.  I like Image’s Ormedic Balancing Lip Complex.  Pharmaceutical grade repair!  A lot of people like Burt’s Bees too.
  • Juvéderm Ultra Plus XC is the best product for your lips.  It lasts 1 year + in most people, unlike Restyline, which lasts about 6 months or less.  Juvéderm Ultra isn’t as plumping because it’s not as concentrated with hyaluronic acid (although it is cheaper – so make sure your practitioner is using Ultra PLUS).

In Conclusion.

It’s ok to be sexy!  This isn’t 1820.  The Feminist Movement doesn’t restrict you to Intellectual Sexiness.  You can be pretty AND smart.  I am (and modest)!   Let’s face it ladies… men like tits and ass.  But they also like what I’ll refer to as DSL (Damn Sexy Lips… or if you want to be crass—D*ck Sucking Lips).  More importantly, it will make YOU feel sexy.  In case you don’t remember why I love my lip augmentation, you can read about it in The Halo Effect.  You want your husband/boyfriend to pay for this?  You mention this part.  “Imagine the Possibilities.” 

My Before…

People always request pictures of how I looked before.  I have a few of my photo’s from when I was in my early 20’s (that don’t have Pabst Blue Ribbon in them).  As you can see I had a nice lip line to begin with.  Symmetrical.  Nice Shape.  Full.  21 (ish).  The top is pretty flat, and thins a lot when I smile.  To me, my face looks out of proportion: big eyes, big nose… small lips… over tweezed eyebrows (hey, I didn’t always have such perfect style!)  I’d like to thank my dog, Nila, for posing.  Pitbull Love.

…After

From Girl-Next-Door to Diva.  See how my nose looks more balanced?

                                   If that face doesn’t scream “I

                               need Botox”  I don’t know what

                                 does!

For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone. 

Audrey Hepburn

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.

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