Tag Archives: LK

Non-Surgical Butt Augmentations with Sculptra

5 Jul

How To Get A Bigger Butt

Over the past 10 years the number of legitimate  butt implants has increased over 140% according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.  The number of fat grafting buttock lifts (Brazilian Butt Lift) is climbing at similar rate to implants.  Again, the Kardashian's influence over society.  

On the one hand, they really have opened the medical aesthetic market and probably saved it from collapse (there's an implant joke in here somewhere).  They do offer a lot of information to the public (although they manipulate the information they give so always remember–unless you are talking to an ACTUAL expert, information about plastic surgery, injectables, or skincare has no validity or reliability!)  They are however… idiots, for lack of a better word and are grossly miseducating the public on procedures. I'm not sure if I owe them royalties or not, but hopefully people who are planning on booking appointments in my office will have a better understanding of the procedures I offer.

There are 3 legal, safe, FDA-approved options to achieve that "Brazilian Butt Lift" (I mean BESIDES squats all day long).  


Butt Implants

Personally, I don't find this route to be the most aesthetically pleasing, and only know ONE person who has had a butt implant and been extremely happy and had no complications with this procedure (and this particular person does not have the most natural looking result, but they are happy with it!).  There can be extreme complications with putting a silicone implant in an area that is either in motion or bearing large amounts of weight (or both). Recovery is extreme and painful, and should there be a complication (this surgery has a very high infection rate) you're looking at up to 6 months out of work.   Even with a smooth procedure, long term complications such as the development of infection and shifting of the implant are possible.  

Surgical Butt Implants should be performed by a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.  Implants can be different sizes, shapes, and put in different places to achieve the aesthetic outcome the patient is looking for.  Be sure to discuss your expectations for projection, size, and proportion to other areas of your body (like hips!).  




Fat Transfer

In order to transfer fat, you must HAVE fat to transfer.  Plan on needing to be 10-20 lbs over the appropriate weight for your body prior to transfer (your Board Certified Plastic Surgeon will tell you exactly what you need to weigh for the treatment). This is a hard concept for a lot of my clients to understand. You have to actually be able to grab the fat away from the vital organs that it protects. Skin is not fat. It can be just as hard for some people to gain weight as it is for others to loose it. If you have a hard time gaining weight, a fat transfer may be a waste of money for you.  

Immediately post transfer, expect a dramatic result, but do not expect that as the final result. Remember, not all the fat will graft, and there is a signfiant amount of swelling post transfer. It is important not to overfill the buttocks when doing a transfer, even though you might think you should to get more fat to graft. The increased pressure from overfilled, stretched skin may actually cause the fat to die. Recovery time is minimal, and you should follow any post-treatment instructions given to you by your plastic surgeon.  

I do think this is a great option (I personally do not do ANY surgical procedures in my office, but have seen MANY excellent fat transfers–I especially see great results for Brazilian Butt-Lifts in Miami! If this is something that interests you, I'm happy to pass along a great board-certified MD–the experience of the Dr. matters! Do not do this procedure with a general surgeon! 

Non-Surgical Options 

This is what I have to offer to the mix. I have been injecting Sculptra for it's intended FDA-approved use for about 8 years, and over the past 2 years, I've been doing TONS of it. I've always found it to be one of the best investments anyone can make in their skin, but it the hardest treatment to explain in terms of investment value. Sculptra is not immediate, it takes multiple vials, and multiple treatments which correlate to the amount of collagen loss the patient had to start, and what their expectations are. Although it is a commitment of time and money upfront, it is much more cost effective and natural looking than fillers. My mother has had sculptra treatments, and personally I would love to be injected with sculptra (I can't inject myself). If you are a yoga person or a runner, sculptra is FOR YOU!

Anyways, back to butts…

Sculptra Aesthetic is made with biocompatible, biodegradable, synthetic material called poly-L-lactic acid, which is gradually and naturally absorbed by the body and helps to rebuild lost collagen through a series of treatments. The specialist injects treatment within the deep dermis, where strands of collagen support your skin’s structure. For significant volume increase, a session of sculptra for the buttocks is 6-10vials, and 2-3 treatments 6-8weeks apart are required. The low-end cost for one treatment is about $6,000 and can be up to $12,000 PER TREATMENT.  


This procudure is certainly not affordable to the average person, BUT this product doesn't need to be done singularly. For patients who have previously had a fat transfer, and need more defined sculpting done in certain areas, this can be a great adjunct treatment.  If there is a small area of indentation, assymetry, or concavity that bothers you, sculptra might be a cost-effective option.  

Combination Therapy For Butt Augmentation 

Sculptra should be discussed with anyone who is planning on undergoing a fat transfer prior to thier surgical appointment. Just like any other aesthetic investment, managing expectations are vital, and although the expectations of the treatment are explained and discussed during Informed Consent, the patient should also have an idea of what follow up treatments they may require and their cost.  

As of publication of this post, these are the ONLY safe, FDA-approved (but still considered off-label) procedures you should even CONSIDER undergoing. Yes, all of these options are expensive, but if you cut costs and receive something other than these 3 options, there is a high chance you will have severe complications such as necrosis (tissue death), limb loss, or even ACTUAL death.  But first you'll pay up in hospital fees, because complications of elective, non-FDA approved procedures–insurance will not be covering those costs.  PLEASE do not put anything in your body that isn't safe!  

How to Get Rid of Cellulite

Guess what!  A variation of this procedure gets rid of cellulite.  Treatments for cellulite have traditionally been disappointing for the consumer, but this treatment is awesome!  Stay tuned for more blog posts on sculptra for cellulite reduction!  

with BlogPad Pro


Advertisements

Bruising After Fillers

29 May

I wrote this post MONTHS ago… And I just made a corresponding video. So if you prefer the sound of my voice to actual reading Botox and Bruising vBlog. It does contain different information then the rest of this blog post. So feel free to read on!

A few months ago, Alyssa Sylvestri (a famous photographer/videographer), Sarah Victor (a super famous youtube make-up artist), and I (just plain super) had a business related girls day that was SUPER fun.  This blog will prove it.

Sarah did my make-up.  Then I injected her lips with Restylane and her forehead with Botox Cosmetic.  She is now an addict and will be attending “I’m Young and Beautiful Forever Anonymous.”

Sarah’s Restylane Experience

Sarah asked me what kind of things my clients were interested in learning about when it came to make-up applications.  Easy.  You all HATE under eye circles (which I fix with Belotero and it’s so amazing, check out my Pinterest before and afters!).  The other thing I thought of was how to cover a bruise.

And for some reason I cannot insert the link to this right now….

Moving on….

Bruising can happen.  Period.  End of Story.  It’s the most likely “complication” when it comes to aesthetic medicine.  I put the word complication in quotes because it’s not really technically a complication, but to some women it’s the worst possible thing that could happen to them.  Ever.  (These are called dramatic patients).  Kidding!  Kidding!  But in all seriousness it sucks, but it will go away.  I PROMISE.

A bruise is caused by blood leaking into the interstitial tissue.  It can happen from any trauma.  When you pierce the skin with a needle, you are creating trauma.  But it’s totally worth it in the case of Botox and Fillers.

There are ways to prevent bruising.

AVOID THE FOLLOWING FOR 24-48 HOURS BEFORE AND AFTER INJECTIONS:

  • Blood thinners like Alcohol.  I understand that it is REALLY hard to avoid alcohol for 4 days, especially if you have children/a husband/a job or all of the above.  Do the best you can.
  • Anti-coagulant medications.  Anything with Ibuprofen in it.  This includes Advil.  Other examples are coumidin and aspirin.  **DO NOT DO THIS IF YOU ARE TAKING THESE MEDICATIONS FOR YOUR HEART!  NEVER DISCONTINUE PRESCRIPTION DRUGS FOR VANITY.  Take tylenol if you need too.
  • Fish Oil.  Because it is some sort of blood thinner/greaser type thing.
  • You may want to avoid getting your period.  If you can?  If you can do this… I have some questions.  But what I mean to say here is book your appointments in a timely manner with your menstrual cycle.

TAKE THE FOLLOWING FOR 24-48 HOURS BEFORE AND AFTER INJECTIONS:

  • Arnica Montana:  you can buy this at Whole Foods or GNC.
  • Eat Pineapple.  I think this is what they make Arnica from.  But I could be wrong.  But it’s definitely good for helping bruises.
  • Immediately after injections ice the site.  This causes constriction of the vessels that carry the blood, which means blood flow slows down.  Which means less blood is available to leak into the tissue.  It also helps with swelling.

DO NOT:

  • Push on a bruise.  You will make it worse.
  • Fall asleep with ice on your face.
  • Put ice directly on your face. You can burn it.
  • Over dose on Arnica Montana or Pineapple.  More is not better.  Arnica in high doses is not good for your liver.  Pineapple in high does is not good for your stomach.  Trust me.  I know!

If you have more questions, make sure you consult your injector.

Sun Block and Photoprotection

29 Apr

Everyone should be wearing sun block. But is that enough?

Prolonged unprotected sun exposure damages cell DNA. Not only does this result in premature aging, but can also cause melanoma and other skin cancers. I am a HUGE believer in wearing sun block (and not just in your make-up… that really doesn’t count).

When Buying Sun Block

If you’re not wearing it year round (which you should be), you should replace your sun block every year. Products can break down from heat exposure and from not being stored properly. It’s worth doing. You want to make sure you’re getting the best protection you can. Check your bottle for the following:

  • “Broad Spectrum” (protects from UVA and UVB light)
  • SPF 30 or higher
  • Zinc Oxide or Titanium Dioxide (physical blocks)

For more on sun block read It’s Sunny Out! (A Post in Honor of Sun Block).

Avoiding White Residue

I know people hate the white residue you get from zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, but these ingredients really are the best for sun protection. If you don’t like the white residue on your face, consider either buying a tinted SPF or buying a product that has a micro-ionized formula (smaller particles). I’ve found people really love SkinCeuticals Sheer Physical UV Defense SPF 50. It’s really light weight, doesn’t smell, and doesn’t leave a residue. The product retails for about $34, so it isn’t super expensive either.

C E FERULIC

While on the subject of SkinCeuticals products, and sun block, I have just started using their C E Ferulic serum. C E Ferulic contains ferulic acid, an antioxidant that doubles the synergistic benefits of C E – neutralizing free radicals, building collagen, and providing improved antioxidant protection. No other antioxidant technology has been shown to deliver comparable levels of photoprotection. This product has won multiple awards including:

  • Allure Best of Beauty Three-Time Award Winner Category: Best of Skin Care – Serum
  • InStyle Editor’s Pick – 2011 Best Beauty Buy Best Antioxidant Serum
  • NewBeauty – Beauty Choice Award The Best Anti-Aging Antioxidant Product

Although retinol (Every Woman Should Own A Retinol Product.) and sun block are the only topical products proven to prevent fine lines and wrinkles, I think a good anti-oxidant is almost equally important. For those of you who prefer not to use a retinoid in the summer months, C E Ferulic is definitely a good product to add to your beauty routing; it is outstanding in conjunction with sunscreen!

**Products can break down if not stored correctly (like I said before) and pharmaceutical grade products like C E Ferulic should never be bought online. Just like it’s worth it to buy new sun block, it’s also worth the few extra dollars to know your product wasn’t exposed to extreme temperatures, tampered with, or expired. Talk to a medical aesthetician if you’re interested in learning more about C E Ferulic!

Why Is Photoprotection Important?

Photoprotection is a measure of a product’s ability to neutralize free radicals and protect against oxidative stress (which can be caused by UV rays). Oxidative stress leads to premature aging, hyperpigmentation, and loss of elasticity… my three biggest fears!


Recent Studies Reveal We May Not Be As Protected As We Think:

  • People don’t apply enough sunscreen to achieve full SPF. Real-life application of an SPF 20 sunscreen yields an SPF of only 3 to 4.
  • Even when applied properly, sunscreens only block 55% of free radicals.
  • Considering what we now know about sunscreens, photoprotection is more important than ever.

The sun is stronger than it used to be, and protecting your skin is not an option. It’s time to add an anti-oxidant to your daily skin care regiment!


XOXO, LK

Cellulite. Ew.

20 Apr

“That’s some good fat.” My least favorite Dr. Russo quote.

I took some time off from working out and eating healthy (called being in a relationship and my busy season with work). I’m back to the gym and avoiding carbs (aka I’m single). If only there was a laser that could help… oh wait… we just got one at Dr. Russo’s called Velashape. Not only is it a great way to tone an area you just can seem to get, but it also works great for cellulite!!!!! Ew. Cellulite. Although I have never had the wonderful experience of being pregnant, this machine is supposed to be great for that post-pregnancy weight/skin you just can’t loose/tighten. (Just FYI, I’m having a celebrity birth, no husband present, just me, Dr. Russo and a few staff, and a nice big liposuction canister. And some Botox. And that epidural pumpin’! Then I’ll tell everyone that I lost the weight naturally like Mariah Carey did- liaaaaaar- just saying.)

What is Cellulite?

Fat deposits that push and distort the connective tissues beneath skin, creating a lumpy appearance of the tissue of the thighs, hips, and buttocks.

The extent to which it is visible is influenced by:

  • Genetics
  • Skin thickness (darker skin is thicker than lighter skin)
  • Gender (affects women more than men—like EVERY sign of aging!)
  • Amount and distribution of body fat
  • Age


Treatments

Most people dislike the appearance of cellulite and prefer to have skin as smooth as they possibly can (and by most I mean all).

  1. Methylxanthines: Methylxanthines are a group of chemicals that include aminophylline, caffeine, and theophyilline. These chemicals are present in many cellulite creams and are promoted as treatments for cellulite because of their known ability to break down fat stores. However, skin creams cannot deliver the required concentration of these chemicals for the length of time required for significant fat breakdown. While studies have shown a small reduction in thigh measurements with some of these preparations, they do not promote significant loss of cellulite.
  2. Diet
    1. Dietary supplements: Dietary supplements are not monitored by the FDA and cannot be deemed safe or effective. There are no valid clinical studies to support the use of these dietary supplements for the treatment of cellulite. They can be unsafe for people with certain conditions (like thyroid problems), so please be careful. Actually, since they don’t work… just avoid them altogether.
    2. Cellulite diets: Special “cellulite diets” have been proposed that claim to be effective in treating cellulite. Arguments for these diets claim that the combination of foods in the diet can reduce inflammation and improve circulation in affected areas and diminish cellulite. However, no studies published in the medical literature have supported these claims. Experts note that eating a healthy diet can decrease fluid retention and improve the overall health and appearance of skin, but specific diets designed to target cellulite are unnecessary.
  3. Massage treatments: Machines that massage the tissue can temporary decrease the appearance of cellulite, but the technique appears to redistribute fat rather than permanently alter its configuration under the skin. Regular maintenance treatments are required after the initial effect has been achieved or the appearance of cellulite will return.
  4. Laser or light therapy: Devices that combine suction or massage with light therapy for the temporary reduction of the appearance of cellulite. Treatments require multiple treatment sessions and maintenance treatments to keep up the improved appearance.
  5. Mesotherapy: A controversial treatment for cellulite that involves injecting drugs or other substances directly into affected tissue.
  6. Wraps: Many salons offer herbal or other types of body wraps as treatments for cellulite. While wraps may decrease fluid retention and improve the overall appearance of skin, these effects are temporary. It is also not possible to “detoxify” the body by the use of herbal or other wraps.

Velashape

Velashape gradually smoothes the skin’s surface with a noticeable reduction in cellulite as well as a noticeable reduction in circumferential measurements of the treated area.


This machine combines Radiofrequency (RF) and Infrared Light Energy to heat the tissue to a precise temperature which results in the increased metabolism of stored energy, increases lymphatic drainage, and reduces or shrinks the size of the actual fat cells and fat chambers. Vacuum and specially designed rollers for the Mechanical Massage smooth out the skin to facilitate safe and efficient heat energy delivery. There is no downtime!

Is VelaShape right for you?

This system works best for patients who have a BMI of less than 30 and who fall in the Nurnberger-Muller Cellulite Classification of Stage 1 or Stage 2. Yes, there is actually a classification scale for cellulite.


My Experience with VelaShape

Like I said, I am getting back in shape. When I posted that I was starting the treatments, my friend D Facebook messaged me.

“I did 6 treatments of Velashape before going on the back of my legs and butt. It was amazing! U will love it.” (That was verbatim).

Although I vowed to follow the six treatments strictly, my schedule is way too busy right now with the new spa! (We open May 1st – Dream Spa Medical in Canton!!!! Like us on Facebook PLEASE). I was able to get one treatment in with Larisa at Dr. Russo’s (she’s being doing a LOT of Vela treatments), and I liked how I looked after. Although, I don’t really have much cellulite to begin with (thanks to my good genes!)…

I feel like this would probably be the biggest issue to getting the best results… finding the time to go once a week for six weeks! Now is a good time to start with summer right around the corner!

Honestly, as I’m writing this blog and looking at patient’s before and after pictures… I’m inspired to find the time to do it over the next six weeks (along with diet and exercise!). It looks amazing on some people!

What to Expect:

During Treatment: It feels weird. The vacuum part sucks up your fat and it gets pretty hot.

Duration of Treatment: Expect about an hour depending how many areas you are treating.

After Treatment: Redness and swelling is normal and usually lasts less than 4 hours. Bruising is common.

Number of Treatments: expect 6-8 treatments at 1 week intervals. Monthly maintenance treatments are recommended for the first 3 months and then as needed.

Cost: about $250-$350 for the size of a sheet of paper

Is it Worth it?

Like with any of these non-invasive treatments, results can’t be guaranteed. “Nothing Replaces Traditional Liposuction”- another great Dr. Russo quote. If you have a few extra pounds that you just can’t shed, like from post-pregnancy weight gain, then Velashape is a really good option.

Try it, what do you have to lose? (Get it! Lose weight! I’m funny!)

**VelaShape is not a permanent cure for cellulite or body reshaping. It is a temporary measure and all clients will require maintenance therapy to maintain the cosmetic benefit. Exercise and a balanced diet is important to maintain and augment the effects of VelaShape.



On a side note, Dr. Russo’s Office in Newton (617-964-1440) is offering ½ priced Hydrafacials until May 1, with 100% of the proceeds going to charity. Stay Strong Boston.

My Breast Augmentation: Day Before and Day of Surgery

24 Oct

**Disclaimer: I wrote this 2 days post-op and still medicated with narcotics. If anything I say makes no sense… there will be a retraction printed in the future. I just am so excited to write this!!!!

Getting Implants– Entry 1.

October 17: The Day Before

What does one do the day before surgery? I realized I would be out of commission for a good week. In a normal week, there is work and cleaning, and grocery shopping. Preparing for being out for a week, I needed to do extra cleaning, work, and grocery shopping. I had to make sure all my laundry was cleaned and put away. There was food in the refrigerator. My boyfriend tried to convince me I had to make up for a week’s worth of sex (oh boys!). All my meds had to be picked up. I had to pack for my friend’s house… the normal stuff. I also had to get my gel nail polish taken off, my hair extensions fixed, and my eyelash extensions filled (normal? I’m not sure…?).

I got home from work at 11:30, just as Aaron was getting home. I got in the shower, washed my hair, and had my last drink of water (no food or water after midnight). I hadn’t been scared or nervous all day. But I usually do have difficulty sleeping when I’m nervous. Aaron gave me a night-night cocktail (aka Nyquil and ibuprofen) and slept like a baby (not medically prescribed mind you—do not try this at home).

October 18: 5am

Ungodly hour. Normally the only time I make the exception to be awake this early is if:

  1. I’m still up partying from the night before (which hasn’t happened since my UMass Amherst days—I SWEAR……….)
  2. I’m leaving on a plane for Mexico with the Donohue’s (from Donohue’s Bar and Grill in Watertown which is the most fun bar EVER).
  3. I’M GOING TO GET MY BOOBS DONE!!!!

I threw up a zip up sweatshirt (I didn’t want to put on anything that would have to go over the head) and some sweat pants. Don’t forget, it’s difficult to put your arms up over your head post op. Then that age old question hit me. Do I wear underwear? I decided there was probably super special sexy hospital underwear to put on. So I skipped. (They did give me some super sexy briefs at the hospital as I expected.)

Don’t I look hot at 5am?

5:15 AM

I of course forgot to pick up my post op meds (which you should ALWAYS do before surgery). My awesome boyfriend took me to the 24 hour CVS to pick up my vicodin, oxycodone, and antibiotics.

6:00 AM

Caitlyn McGrath arrives in a Ford 950 (whichever the really, really big one is). Cait normally drives a Volkswagen. I’m all like, Cait, why do you have this ginormous vehicle? And she’s all like… Well I didn’t have gas in my car, so I took my boyfriends. So I’d like to give a shout out to Pat from the Sitchiute Fire Department for lending the getaway car. We did have to make a 3 point turn at one point. It was not pretty. (Female Quincy drivers = THE worst).

Are you PSYCHED?!?!” she asked me. I was like, Cait, it’s 5 o’clock in the morning. Please. Stop yelling. (I don’t even think she really was yelling).

Cait is one of the lead medical aestheticians at Dr. Russo’s office and is in Nursing School, so she got super top secret clearance to be in on my case. Like FBI style. I’m so glad she was there. She knew every doctor/nurse/surgical assistant that walked into my room. And confirmed with me that they were all THE best.

6:15 AM

My nurse Maureen comes in, does my vitals, asks all my medical history questions, and inserts my IV (perfectly on the first try might I add). I signed a bunch of papers and started to get a little nervous, but like that first day of school nervous. That excited, this is going to be awesome kind of nervous.

7:00 AM

Dr. Russo arrived and marked my breasts for the incisions. Then the nice nurse anesthetist came in and gave me something to relax through my IV. I remember being wheeled into the OR room. 5. 4. 3. And see ya later. I was out for the next few hours.

Apparently I woke up at spoke to Caitlyn a little bit, but I definitely don’t remember that.


All bandaged up.


The bandages stay on for about 7 days. You can’t get them wet (i.e. no showering. Iiiiiiick).

2:30 PM

My friend Jen P. came and picked me up and drove me to my other friend Julie’s (when I say this surgery was a TEAM effort, I am not kidding!). Julie is an awesome recovery room nurse and she and I decided it would be best if I stayed with her for the first two days post op. I am SO glad I did.

Even with the meds I was on I was still in a good amount of pain. Julie had to bear hug assist me up off the couch (I couldn’t push up with my arms because it was too painful). She also helped me keep a medication schedule and made sure I got my meds every 3 hours. And last, and most embarrassingly, she helped me pull my pants up when I had to use the bathroom.

5:00 PM

My boyfriend came and brought me beautiful flowers and told me how much he loved me. Awwwwww. He also brought me his fleece because it smells like him and I’m a dork and it helped me sleep. J


6:00 PM

The party reallllllyyyyy begins. Kathy Nash (owner of KN MedSpa in Natick) arrives. I am really lucky to have such great friends to take care of me, medicate me, dress me, and help me keep my mind off of the surgery. It is not uncommon to have feelings of being overwhelmed or depressed after surgery. My crew kept a close eye on me to make sure I was mentally and physically stable. Errrrr… baseline…. for me.

  • A Funny Nurse’s Note From the Girls –


Baci, D.O.G. wearing my A sized bra. Awwwww. He looks like such a tuff guy… in a bra.


What! We couldn’t let Baci D.O.G. have all the fun.

A little comparison was in order from old bras to new bras.

October 19

Feeling like a million bucks. Staid on my medication schedule. It’s important to do this for the first day or two post op because you don’t want to get behind with pain. It’s hard to catch up. But I was up walking around once an hour. Feeling pretty good. I know pain worries a lot of people, but at most I felt uncomfortable right before I needed my meds.

Julie took me to Corbu Salon in Cambridge so my friend Devon could wash my hair (felt soooo good!) while Julie got hers highlighted. Thank god for all my friends in the hair industry as well! I mean, I might not have been able to shower for a week, but at least my hair could look good!

My post-op follow up is 10/24. So expect another post about post-operative care shortly!

As of today, I am SO happy. I’ve waited years to do this, and it has been the ONLY thing that has ever bothered me about my body. It’s hard to feel comfortable in your own skin, but whatever helps you do it, then do it. Just don’t go overboard!

xoxo LK

Hey, You Look Just Like Me!

25 Dec

Let’s Face it (a little pun for you!), the generic face is not attractive.  Beauty should be individualized.  It includes style and personality.  That’s what sets you apart from being just “another pretty face.” Beauty Defined.

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 Eastern 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.

One thing that certainly sets us apart is our noses.  I’m of Jewish descent, and my nose isn’t small.  But it does fit my face.  And I would never change it!  I like classic beauty, and looking youthful… but generic is one thing I could NEVER be on the inside, and my idea of beauty will NEVER reflect that on the outside.

Do I love my nose? Eh.  But it’s me.  I feel like a lot of women complain about their noses.  This is usually because it throws off the balance of someone’s face if it’s not in symmetry or proportion to other features (Proportion: The Rule of Thirds and Fifths).

If it’s broke, let’s fix it, and if it’s not broke… Let’s fix it!

Aside from correcting breathing problems, I rarely recommend rhinoplasty (nnnnnoseeee jobs).  I have seen so many bad nose jobs.  A lot of surgeon’s just have this generic nose that they put on every face… and then your stuck with it.  Like tattooing your eyeliner… it’s forever.  And it’s maximally invasive!  And super expensive!

If only there were some alternatives…………

Oh, but there are!  Depending on what your issues are, there are several less invasive and cheaper options for you to change your nose to be more aesthetically fitting to your face.

Contour with Make-up (cost < $100)

Check out this site.  I think it shows a pretty good tutorial on contouring.  Also, check out YouTube!

http://makeupforlife.net/2011/07/makeup-tutorial-how-to-contour-your-nose.html

For a special event, or a night out, contouring is a cheap, easy way to make your nose appear more aesthetically pleasing.

Lip Augmentation (cost $700)

I have a few clients who have large eyes, large noses, and a wide face… with small lips.  This makes the face look unbalanced and makes the nose look bigger.  By correcting the volume/size of the mouth, the face is put more into proportion.  I have found lip augmentation to balance my facial features, and I am very happy with this option.  My nose is symmetrical, straight, and I have no trouble breathing (i.e. a deviated septum).  Remember, augmentation DOESN’T mean you will look like a duck.  Discuss with your Nurse or Doctor what you find attractive.  (I’ll have to take pics of this. Inbox me if you feel like this would be good for you!)

Liquid Nose Job ($700+)

I have been recommending this to a lot of people lately.   This minimally invasive technique is performed using Botox and Fillers to correct any parts of the nose which are a-symmetric, can raise the tip of the nose, and fix some crooked features.

999757_152819968259375_1228035095_n

 

 

 

 

 

 

Non Surgical Nasal Augmentation

Nothing Replaces… Traditional Plastic Surgery ($$$)

If you have a deviated septum, and have difficulty breathing, or if you have a bump that really needs to be shaved… this might be the best option for you.  If you decide to go under the knife, I have a few suggestions.

Tip #1 : Ask to see LOTS of before and afters. 

It’s hard to get clients to agree to be a “before and after” example when it comes to your nose… because you really need to show the whole face.  And we all want to be “naturally” beautiful.  But your Board Certified PLASTIC Surgeon (see tip below).  A lot of surgeon’s will have a signature style.  If you see all the noses look EXACTLY the same RUN.  You don’t want to look like Michael Jackson.  A generic nose is NOT attractive.  Sometimes the signature style will be shaving too much off the bridge, or making the tip turned up (i.e. the Prince of Pop).  Look very closely at the pics, and if you do see something that resembles a personal “style” of the surgeon, think to yourself: does this fit my face?  my style?

Tip #2: Certifications

Never, ever, ever ever ever see a general surgeon for a plastic procedure.  They are NOT even remotely qualified.  Do you want someone who wears a bow-tie, can’t dress themselves, and doesn’t know the first thing about make-up to be working on your FACE?  Well… when I put it that way, I hope you say no.

What certifications do you want your doctor to have?  Dr. Russo, for example, is a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, and a Fellow of the Academy of Cosmetic Surgeons (F.A.C.S.).  Those are the type of credentials you should be looking for.  They should be posted on the persons website in their Bio.

Look into what those letters stand for.  Anyone can throw a bunch of letters on a page and make themselves look qualified.  I’m a Latisse Lash Expert (brush my shoulder off!) – this took me twenty minutes of watching a tutorial (ok, I fast-forwarded the whole thing and just took the quiz at the end).  But it sounds cool, doesn’t it!?!

Tip #3: Don’t Cheap Out

Dr. A will do a nose job for $2,500 and Dr. B will do it for $10,000.  Financially, seems like a no-brainer.  Realistically, Dr. A is probably not a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon (or a Doctor at all for that matter) and your procedure will be done in a basement under local anesthesia smuggled in from Brazil. And please stay out of Brazil.  When you get your surgery botched (which you will) insurance will not fix it.

If you’re going to opt for surgery, let’s be real.  It’s expensive.  It lasts forever.  In this case, it’s your FACE.  Real Surgeon’s know what they’re worth and they are NOT cheap.

In the same respect, if the price is outrageous… you’re a sucker.  Which leads us to Tip 4.

Tip #4: STAY AWAY FROM NEWBURY STREET

You’ll be overcharged for a generic “masterpiece.”  Actually, stay off of Newbury for any type of beauty service.  I’ve heard more horror stories from that street than ANYWHERE.  (I will name no names).  Even for hair… I’m not impressed.  And fashion… Charles Street Hands Down!  (I digress).

Tip #5:  Have a consultation.  Ask the right questions.

Check out this post if you’re Thinking about a NoseJob/Breast Aug/Lipo/Tummy Tuck? … Butt Implants?.

There are always alternatives, and remember to always put safety first!

Happy Holidays Y’All

I think I’ve been hanging out with Devan too much!
 

Body Dysmorphic Disorder

22 Dec

As an employee in the field of plastic surgery, I meet some VERY interesting people.  The girls of JAR (slang for Joseph A. Russo, MD, F.A.C.S) 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… or in JAR).  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.

Xeomin. In Your Face.

20 Dec
Allergan, the company that makes Botox Cosmetic, has lost it’s patent. This means companies will come out with competing products. Ladies, be excited.

Xeomin 

First and foremost, I’d like to say… who named this product? (I would like to make a side note here… I will make a LOT of immature jokes in this post… sorry… but it’s too funny not to!)

Xeomin. Rhymes with… exactly. You can begin chuckling now. The girls at Dr. Russo’s (slang: JAR- Joseph A. Russo) and I have been in stitches over the name. However, it is a really good product! I had Xeomin injections about a month ago. And I have to say, I was very pleased with the results. It looks exactly like Botox, and perhaps worked a tiny bit faster. I love Xeomin in my face! (laughter).

As an injector, I started using this product about 3 weeks ago. It is reconstituted (or activated) exactly the same way Botox Cosmetic is. I injected Alexis Robertson of Image Skin Care with this product. Her opinion was similar to mine, it looks the same, it was slightly cheaper, and it started working maybe a day earlier than Botox.

Merz (the company that makes Radiesse- which I LOVE) is kicking off the introduction to this product with a $50 rebate as well. The nice thing about this rebate: It doesn’t require a degree in Rocket Science to get your money back (when Allergan does rebates it’s a nightmare!).

Dysport

While I personally have never injected Dysport, or had it used on myself, I’ve had a lot of feedback from other women. There has been in increase in eyelid drooping from this product. It is in my OPINION that the reason for this is because the product is diluted (reconstituted) differently than Botox and because MORE saline (salt water) is added to the product in order to inject, the saline is spreading further through the muscle. I have been told by other injectors that it requires twice as much Dysport as Botox per injection. Women who are used to Botox are not a fan of Dysport.

Cosmetic Medicine is a new and quickly growing field. In fact, the growth of Cosmetic Medicine, since introduced, has grown faster than that of the Porn Industry. That’s right. Women like to look young more than men like sex! Crazy Statistic!

With Allergan loosing it’s patent, there are many new products on the horizon. So I’m sure there will be plenty more posts to come!

Thinking about a NoseJob/Breast Aug/Lipo/Tummy Tuck? … Butt Implants?

15 Dec

I go with a lot of my clients to their consultations and watch a lot of procedures with Dr. Russo.  My wonderful friend called me at 8 this morning to ask me what she should ask at her consult (apparently she forgot I am NOT a morning person).  I jumped out of bed though, because I remembered I had a lists!  I love lists ALMOST as much as I love white boards!

I know Plastic Surgery isn’t for everyone, but I think if you are contemplating it, you should be prepared from the beginning; starting with the right surgeon can make all the difference in the world!  (I am very partial to Dr. Russo, who, by the way, gave me this list).

Plastic Surgery:  Making the Best Decision

Brief important plastic surgeon qualifications

Please check out www.plasticsurgery.org to see if your surgeon is ASPS accredited.  If they are ASPS accredited you are in good hands.

Each ASPS member must meet the following:

  • At least five years of surgical training and a minimum of two years of plastic surgery training.
  • Board certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery or The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.
  • Trained and experienced in all plastic surgery procedures, including breast, body, face and reconstruction.
  • Peer-reviewed for safety and ethical standards prior to attaining the honor of active membership.
  • Only operates in accredited facilities.

When making the choice:

  • Use your head not your heart in making the selection.
  • Bring before and after photos, if possible, to show what you want.
  • Research the doctor, call other patients for recommendations.
  • Get a recommendation from your bariatric surgeon.
  • Meet the doctor and get to know him or her; you trust yourself to his or her care, so you need to feel comfortable with the person.
  • Use the term “reconstructive surgery” with your insurance company, since “plastic surgery” is often considered to be “cosmetic” or “elective” and hence is not covered.

Questions to ask:

1.  Are you an ASPS member surgeon? If he or she answers “yes” you can rest assured that your surgeon is board certified in plastic surgery, has hospital privileges and only performs surgery in accredited facilities.
2.  Are you board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery or The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada?
3.  Do you have hospital privileges to perform this procedure?   If so, at what hospital? Is the surgical facility accredited?
4.  Am I a good candidate for this procedure?
5.  What will be expected of me to get optimal results?
6.  What are the risks involved with my procedure?
7.  Will I need to take time off work?  If so, how long?

What you should ask about the procedure

8.  What is the simplest and safest surgery to help me achieve my goals?
9.  How is the surgery performed?
10.  What is the expected length of operation?
11.  Are other options available?
12.  What results can I expect, and how long do the typical results last?
13.  Where will scars be located, and how noticeable will they be?

What you should ask about your surgeon’s experience

14.  How many times has the surgeon performed this procedure?
15.  How long has the surgeon been performing this procedure?
16.  How many times per year does the surgeon perform the procedure?
17.  How many patients have required re-operation or touch-ups?
18.  What complications may occur?
19.  How frequently do these complications occur?

What you should ask about logistical matters

20.  What preparation is required the day before and morning of surgery?
21.  Should my regular medications be taken on the morning of surgery?
22.  What time should I arrive at the surgery location?
23.  Should someone drive me?
24.  Should someone wait at the surgery location or come back later?

 

What should you ask about emergency plans

25.  What emergency plan and equipment are in place to provide for my needs in the event of an emergency?
26.  Are the surgeon and staff certified in Advances Cardiac Life Support? (ACLS)?
27.  Does the surgeon have admitting privileges at a local hospital should problems arise during my office surgery? (Call the hospital to confirm)
28.  How would I be transported to this facility?
29.  Has an adverse event ever occurred in the past?

What should you ask about the recovery process

30.  What kind of care will I require?
31.  When will I be able to go home? Is an overnight stay required, or is one available if I prefer?
32.  Who will attend me in the case of an overnight stay?
33.  Will I need someone to drive me home?
34.  If a problem arises after I go home, who answers calls after hours and on weekends?
35.  If I need to be seen after hours, where will this occur?

36.  If I need help in my home, is a private duty nurse available?  At what cost?

37.  Are any special garments, medications, or diets required during the recovery period?
38.  How much pain/swelling/bruising is to be expected? How long are these likely to last?
39.  How long does the entire healing process last?
40.  How many follow-up visits are necessary?
41.  Who performs the skin care/post-operative follow-up/suture removal?
42.  When can I wear makeup?
43.  When may I return to exercise/bathing/driving/normal activities/work?
44.  At what point will I feel comfortable in a social setting?
45.  What if I am dissatisfied with the results or with the degree of changes achieved?
46.  If touch-ups are necessary when would that be performed?

What about fees

47.  Does the cost depend on where my surgery is performed?
48.   Will I need to see another physician prior to surgery for examination or testing because of a preexisting medical condition?

49.  Who pays this cost? Will my regular family doctor suffice?
50.  If a complication causes me to be transported to a hospital or stay overnight, who pays for this additional cost?
51.  If I request multiple procedures, can they be performed at the same time? What are the cost savings?

52.  What options are available for payment?

53.  Does the office accept credit cards?
54.  Is a payment plan available to patients?
55.  What is the refund policy should I change my mind after paying in full?
56.  Is my surgery covered by my insurance plan?

After discussing all of the factors involved with your proposed procedure with the surgeon, you should have a sense of whether or not the surgeon is right to you.  Take note of and consider whether the surgeon:

  • Listen and understand your priorities, opinions, and requests?
  • Communicate concern, compassion, request and honesty?
  • Instill confidence in you?
  • Display confidence in his or her ability to care for you?
  • Seem distracted, or come across as arrogant or curt?
  • Seem patient and willing to spend time to answer all your questions and discuses your concerns?
  • Condescend; talk down or under estimate your intelligence?
  • Make eye contact or continually jot down notes in the chart as you spoke?
  • Display positive body language?
  • Confuse you or offer clear explanations?
  • Appear to be selling you the procedure?
  • Adequately discuss any preexisting medical conditions you might have?
  • Encourage your family to participate in the consultation and decision-making process?

Do you:

  • Feel that you have established forthright communication and a positive rapport with the surgeon?
  • Trust your life to this surgeon?
  • Feel the Surgeon is acting in your best interest?
Remember, Aesthetic Augmentation is no one’s decision but yours. 

I wouldn’t be a Barbie Doll if I didn’t have Fake

12 Dec

Hair. 

And you thought I was going to say “boobs.”  Not yet. 

I’ve had lots of different types of fake hair.  Lots.  Here’s a lil info written by myself and Mike Manzo (@MikeyManzo) of Michael O’Rourke’s “Rock Your Hair.”  (He rocks my life).

In the Beginning…

Picture from the Beginning

The first time I had extensions they were clips.  And it was love at first site.

Clip-Ins

These can be purchases for between $70-$100 at Sally’s Beauty Supply.  Make sure you get real human hair, and ask the people who work there to help you match it.  You don’t want to look like you got your weave at a mall cart.  They’re easy to apply, but take some practice.  By teasing the root of your hair, they stay in better.  Ask your hairdresser for some guidance!  They can be curled and flat ironed (I recommend doing this BEFORE you put them in).  Make sure you take these clips out before you sleep… mine make me break out.  The best way to clean these is with dry shampoo (I love Bombshell).  You should wash them every once and a while though with real shampoo.

Weave (Swing Wefts)

Swing Weft

My girl Ava did some very interesting techniques with my hair (microbeading, bonding… ect).  But my first step up from the clip-ins was as a model for Ava’s new technique with wire (like fishing wire… in fact… I think we went to Target and bought fishing wire).  She wired wefts of fake hair into my natural hair.  It looked awesome down, but was hard to put up (I only wear my hair up at the gym anyways).  The hair was totally re-usable.  Ava was awesome and gave me an hour long lecture on how to take care of my new hair.  I was so excited I think I paid attention to half of it. 🙂 I think this counts as white-girl weave?

Taped Wefts

Oh boy, did I have a bad experience with this one.  Mark from Dellaria’s in Newton convinced me they were the best thing.  Guys a great salesman.  But a horrible hairdresser.  My friend Nikki and I both got the extensions.  We both hated them.  You could see tape tracks in the hair.  Taking them out was a dirty gluey mess too.  Don’t Do It.  I’d like to thank Ava here for fixing this mess. Oh, not only did they look awful, but you couldn’t die them easily.  Bad for someone like me who highlights AND lowlights.

**No pictures.  Sorry.  I wore a hat most of the time during this phase!

Went back to clip ins about here.  Added some chemical free color.

A splash of color for concert going.

After my tape debacle, I went back to the clip-ins.  Had to let my hair recover.  It was around this time where my business was taking off in Newton Center, and I realized I couldn’t have fun funky hair anymore.  Or could I…

Red, blue, green, pink… clips from Sally’s for $3.99.

Whatever you do though… don’t flat iron or attempt to curl these.  They are synthetic and will melt.  And it smells.  Bad. 🙂

Next it was time for some Classic Bondage.

Classic Bonded Extensions

When I was ready to take the financial plunge and get real extensions, I had classic bonded extensions.  A tiny iron is used to melt the bond as it lies against your hair, which the stylist rolls until it cools and hardens with your own hair locked inside.  It takes FOREVER.  That’s why it’s so expensive. Accidental contact with a curling or flat iron could melt the bond, causing two to stick together or even to slip out of the hair. Removal requires application of a solvent, which softens the bond so the stylist can loosen it and slide it off (like the tape wefts).  Also, as your natural hair grows out… it can get a lil ratty looking.  And by ratty I mean dread-y.

Microbeading 

Straight from the bag (ie, i need to flat iron the layers together--pic pending)

This is the latest and the greatest. This method is one of the longest and safest for your natural hair.  Strands can be customized to different sizes for the most personalized fit.  A small bead is threadedaround a tiny section of your hair and a strand of extension.  The tube is then flattened with a plier-type looking thing, holding the two together.  It is perfect for those who like to highlight and lowlight (like me!).  There is no glue or adhesive, so it doesn’t ruin your natural hair when they are removed.  Removal is quick and easy with Microtubes. The now-flat tubes are popped back to their original shape and slipped right off.

Things I’ve never done… but you should know about.

Heat-Free Protein Bonds

These are the smallest fusion points available and also the hardest, yet they are as flat as a piece of paper. This makes Heat-Free Protein Bonds ideal for fine hair, because they are the least likely to cause visible bumps or be felt when running a hand over the hair.

What sets them apart from the classic protein bond is that they are applied using ultra-sonic vibration to soften them as they are attached.  This means that there is no heat applied to the hair at any time, and that it would require a much higher degree of heat to melt or damage these bonds. Blow-drying and irons are of little or no concern.

Shrink Tubes This newer technology uses a clear plastic tube to attach your new hair, and is the option which allows the most hair to be added. Your hair is threaded through the tube just like it is with the microbeading, but in this case the plastic tube is heated until it shrinks to half its original size, tightly gripping the extension and your hair together.

There is room for two extensions to be sealed into each tube, if your own hair’s root is thick and strong enough to anchor that. These are great for creating a “lion’s mane” type of look, or for curly hair.

Sewn-In Wefts AKA “weave”! Tried and true, sewn-in extensions have been done longer than any of the methods above. They are often more cost-effective, but can be heavy and even painful when first applied.  The hair can be re-used for many cycles, but can be difficult to blend with layered looks.

In Conclusion…

It’s always a good idea to talk to your hairdresser before spending money on extensions, and it’s also a good idea not to go cheap.  If your salon doesn’t have a stylist who does extensions, ask who they recommend.  It’s ok to schedule consultations with a few salons before choosing a stylist and extension method. This consultation should be free and take 15-30 minutes. You should be shown hair samples, color choices, and examples of the stylist’s work. Don’t be afraid to ask questions!

%d bloggers like this: