Everyday, walking around Manhattan I see dozens of women of all ages with very smooth faces and varying degrees of full lips. Some are 20 and have likely attained them in the natural way. Others are north of 40 and look pretty good, if not always quite as youthful as they think. And the last group, well they just look like aliens. Yes, aliens. Weird, Madison Ave-skinny-creepy- aliens. All the couture in Paris can't change the fact that you look like a walrus, Ma'am. I never understand it. Why would you willingly want to look like that? I mean, I get that you want to look younger, but that bizarre face scares the heck out of me.
Look, I love that fresh, youthful look, too. I'm no dummy! But I understand that Botox, Juvederm and the like will not make me look younger, necessarily. Rather, well rested.
As a designer and media personality, I am in the public eye-specifically on camera-a lot. With a full schedule of TV appearances this spring and a July trip to Europe, I decided it was time to make myself over a little. After all, since I help make over other people all the time, it seemed only fair.
My biggest problems are that not only am I deathly afraid of needles, but also that I have a habit of changing all of my appointments three times, on average. Did I really want to piss off the person sticking needles into my face that could inevitably leave me ending up looking like Meg Ryan or Joan Rivers? Hello! Exactly.
Then my beauty guru friend, Ashley told me about a place in Manhattan called, SmoothMED. Walk in Botox in midtown and I can be in and out in less time it takes to grab lunch at Hale & Hearty? I'm sold! Off I went up Park Avenue and walked in SmoothMED (sans appointment). It looked like a very clean, futuristic doctors office. I was offered mineral water and some forms to fill out. Halfway through In Touch Magazine, I was greeted by a soft spoken Dr. Berdy, whose quiet demeanor made me comfortable right away.
After going over my medical forms, Dr. Berdy looked at me quizzically and asked,
"What is it you want to achieve today, Courtney?"
I replied, "Basically, I don't want to look like a weirdo. Can you make me smooth and fresh, like I just got back from a two week Caribbean vacay and not like some creepy lady I just walked past in Bergdorfs? Think more Christy Brinkley, less Nicole Kidman."
Wow, I sound annoying already. Dumb move, Court. Ugh.
"Yes, I can." Cool! Holy crap, I can't stop thinking of Meg Ryan's fish face. Breathe, Courtney. Breathe.
Upon Dr. Berdy's advice, what I did were very light injections of Botox all over my forehead and eyes and a half a syringe of Juvederm in my upper lip. I was afraid and nervous, but it didn't hurt one little bit thanks to some serious turbo numbing cream and a gentle hand. Within a week's time, I didn't look freaky or weird, just good. Nobody close to me asked if I did anything, what happened to my lips, nothing like that. But, when I look in the mirror I know I look a little better than I did a few weeks ago. That's the goal. If you can see a huge difference, you overdid it, plain and simple.
Dr. Berdy, at SmoothMED explained that most women that come in to his office ask for too much. If it's your first time, you probably want to go lighter the first go around. You can always add more later. For a full face of Botox, you can get three areas for about $799. If you just want a little, you can expect to pay $15 a unit. When it comes to lips, the standard request is Bigger is Better. Procedures like Juvederm & Restylane will set you back $300 on the low end - to $800 for a full syringe. It's important to remember if you don't look like Angelina Jolie now, you probably won't after you plump your lips either. The idea is to look a little better, not necessarily different. Clearly, this is not for everyone, but it was for me. And I admit it.
Should you decide to get injectables, no matter where you go remember these tips:
Only a licensed physician should be administering any cosmetic injectable. Period, the end.
Make sure you see the vial being opened in front of you and not in another room.
Don't expect to look like you did in college if you're 40. Be realistic.
Lastly, the old adage of "Less is More" applies here, too.
No appointment necessary.