What to expect when you get injected
Myth: I’m going to walk out of my first injection appointment looking like Angelina Jolie.
Fact: No matter how much filler or Botox you get, you are not Angelina Jolie.
“Is this normal?”
I get that question a lot, and I know how daunting that question can be! I’m here to ease your worries, beauties. I want to tell you precisely what to expect when you get Botox and/or Filler so you know what is normal and what isn’t. Read on to see what you can expect.
I know I have said it before, but I will say it again: Start Botox young! What age exactly? When you start seeing a faint line at rest on your upper face (forehead, between brows, around eyes) or if your makeup gets settled into those lines, then you are ready for Botox. People may tell you to start Botox when you are older, and I say that is nonsense! If I could go back in time, I’d start Botox at age 20. Remember Botox is preventative! I call it Baby Botox sprinkles for my younger generation. I’ll never forget the plastic surgeon I worked for when I was 25 years old. He told me I had the wrinkles of someone in their 50’s (most likely from being very expressive and tanning in a tanning bed for years). I told him I was too young for Botox. Man, do I regret that! Botox trains our muscles not to work so hard, and thus prevents the start of permanent lines. You don’t have to wait to see any lines either. A sprinkle of Botox as a preventive measure is perfectly fine.
If you like your injector, you trust them, and did your research to find a good one, stick with them!Finding an injector is the same as finding your hairstylist, therapist, or yoga studio. You have to find your match. With that said, don’t shop around from one injector to the next. Do your research and see how you feel after meeting for a consultation. Don’t disregard your injector right away, as it will take a few times for your injector to learn your muscles and what techniques work best for you! Be patient. When you hone into that one person who understands your beauty needs, don’t let that person go.
Botox takes two FULL weeks to get your final result. Please wait the full two weeks to let the Botox work its magic. If there is still some unwanted movement after two weeks or you have questions, then it is appropriate to schedule a follow-up appointment. I will not re-treat you for Botox within those two weeks. We run the risk of giving you two heavy brows if we don’t let the Botox settle in. Again, be patient beauties.
Zero movement is not pretty. My younger sister once said,“It’s not human if I can ice skate on your forehead.” She is right! Allow for some eyebrow elevation and movement. Trust me, you don’t want to be frozen.
Commas, Wi-Fi signals, Wings: The pesky wrinkles above your lateral eyebrows are hard to get rid of. Too much Botox can drop your lateral brow, which no one likes. Completely knocking out the only muscle (frontalis aka forehead muscle) that allows you to raise your brows will make you feel like you have an elephant pushing down your forehead. Sometimes it takes time to get those lateral winkles to calm down. At times I have found that the wrinkling is a result of loss of volume in the temple/brow region and filler may be needed to help re-volumize that area. Remember, Botox treats muscles, not loss of volume. If you have those pesky lines, head back to your injector at two weeks and they can put a small amount of Botox in that area to smooth it out. Small is the keyword here. Too much Botox will cause an eyebrow drop and you’ll be walking around with your eyebrow in your lap. No one likes when their eyebrow is in their lap.
I will not re-treat you with Botox within 90 days of the injection. Botox is approved to last up to 90 days. Re-treatment can be done every 90 days. If your muscles start getting in the habit of needing these baby sprinkles every two months, you’ll be throwing your money out the door. Don’t allow your muscles to think they need Botox every two months.
Just because your friend, sister or co-worker got 25 units in their face doesn’t mean that is what you’re going to need. It’s important to listen to your injector after they assess you and your muscles and give you an appropriate treatment plan. You must treat your muscles with the appropriate amount of units in order to see a great result and to get the full duration of treatment.
The basic, brutal, and honest truth:
You are going to swell.
You are going to swell unevenly.
You are going to bruise.
Your lips will look ridiculous for three days.
You will look like Angelina Jolie on Maleficent NOT Angelina Jolie in real life for three days.
Your under eyes may need more than one treatment, and maybe even surgery.
You may feel lumps and bumps a few weeks post injection.
You may still have asymmetries.
Below I will touch on a few areas where filler is done in the face. (The same information goes for full face filler injections).
Lips are fragile. If you think about it, our lips swell or bleed if we bite them or if we are punched (which hopefully will never happen). Our lips swell from the smallest of hits. Doesn’t it make sense that a needle going into our lips over 10 times would cause them to swell or bleed? I wouldn’t even need to put filler in your lips to make them swell. Needle pokes can create bleeding, and bleeding creates bruising. Only get your lips injected if you are okay with swelling and bruising. And be sure you have at least two weeks to where you can handle potential swelling, bruising, bumps, unevenness etc. Don’t plan your family photos, your job interviews, your vacations, weddings etc. within that two weeks after filler injections.
Lips will feel hard and stiff for up to two weeks. That’s just the hard reality—no pun intended. When the hardness goes away, you still have filler in your lips. Just because your lips are soft doesn’t mean the filler is gone. You want your lips to feel natural after they have healed.
Your lips will lose volume over time. I will only inject one syringe of filler in the lips per time, which is ⅕ of a teaspoon. That’s a fraction of my fingernail. It takes time to layer filler. It takes time to build lips. If you go too big too fast, your lips will hit the door 30 seconds before your body does. No one wants duck lips. If you aren’t patient, then your upper lip will turn under and become heavy. This will make it extremely hard to add filler correctly in the future.
Lips hurt after injections. It will hurt to purse your lips. It will hurt to eat. This will last 1-2 days. Ice and Arnica tablets help take this discomfort away. No straws or kissing for a week post injection!
Uneven swelling and Asymmetries: Our lips are normally uneven before they are injected, and chances are they may be a little uneven after injection. I will try and correct any natural asymmetries, but it is impossible for me to make a round lip more straight or a pointed peak rounded. I won’t change you. I want to enhance the beauty that is already there. No one is perfect. Our asymmetries make us unique. Embrace it.
Under Eyes - Tear Trough filler:
Collaboration with other injectors and 10 years of experience has made one thing clear about our under eyes. This area on our face is one of the hardest areas to treat and seems to have a low satisfaction rate. If realistic expectations are not made clear with clients from the very beginning, they may be unhappy. Most of my clients need 1-3 rounds of filler under their eyes (one month apart) to layer product safely and appropriately. Too much at once will cause too much fullness when that area swells. Too little will upset a patient because they won’t see a change. Here is what I know for sure: It’s better to have less than more, especially in an area that already swells without filler (our eyes get puffy after crying or consuming too much sodium for example). Adding something that absorbs water (hyaluronic acid, which is what most filler brands are) will only add to that volume.
It can take a few visits with your injector for tear trough correction. Like lips, it’s a layering process. Lay the base down and then we can slowly build on top of that. I like to do a 1/2 of a syringe per side and have my clients come back at a month for another round, and then another after that if needed. Even better, if you can come in for PRP (platelet rich plasma) injections 1-2 times prior to getting the filler, the dermis will strengthen and make filler easier to lay down. This combo treatment is magic.
Filler can only achieve so much. Many of my patients are disappointed with the reality that filler isn’t the answer, but plastic surgery is. You may need under eye surgery (lower bleph) or a facelift, and that is the hard truth. I have referred several of my patients to surgery if their beauty goals cannot be met by filler alone. I will always be honest with my patients about realistic expectations and results.
Give your face and your injector time to create the volume your face needs in all the right spots. You may need to go in every few months for injections to get this. When your injector tells you that you may need seven syringes to get the results you’re looking for, that is not unrealistic. I have 7-8 syringes every two years put into my face.
I will not dissolve your filler for at least one-month post filler injections if you don’t like it. At times filler can take a full month to settle into the final result. It is only in rare cases where I have had patients struggle with ongoing swelling post filler for up to a month. Unless you are having a reaction to the filler, or I see an obvious area that needs to be dissolved, I will not dissolve it.
The infamous quote: I don’t see a difference. I had my amazing sister put Vollure in my lower face and could not tell the difference the procedure made until I saw a before and after photo. I almost dropped the phone! The treatment completely changed my face. Sometimes what we see in the mirror is completely different than what we really look like.
Every person’s genetic makeup is different. Thus, every individual’s treatment plan will be unique. I will not be giving you the same amount of syringes and units I would give your best friend.
Make it so that people have to keep wondering about your beauty secrets. Be a mystery.
I’ve said it before, but I will say it again. Don’t compare your inside to someone else’s outside. Social media is a way to channel our highlight reels, and sometimes we get caught up in filters. The photoshopping can be tempting, and misleading. If you love someone’s lips on Instagram, consider that they may not be an appropriate representation of that person’s lips. Think critically about what you are seeing and be realistic about your own expectations.
Remember, you all are beautiful human beings. As your injector I want to use cosmetic injections to soften and enhance your features. I don’t want to change what you look like. I don’t think your significant other, family or friends would appreciate that either.
I want you to find the beauty that already exists, not chase an image that doesn’t match your heart.
My intention in writing this post is not to scare you. It’s merely to present you with the facts. The lines of communication are always open. If you are not happy about your results or troubled by anything aesthetic related, I want to know. Let’s discuss options and outcomes. I am here.
Shine on Beauties.