Beauty comes from within, but I’m really tired – so I get Botox
When you work a stressful job with a demanding schedule, no serum or expensive moisturizing cream can “take the tired off” quite like a shot of Botox. While I’ve never been afraid to tell people I use Botox, I’ve been reluctant to write about it and invite the inevitable criticisms that I’ve fallen into the “beauty equals self-acceptance” trap. In reality, though, my goal is much more down to earth: I really just don’t want to look like I stayed up all night.
Businesswoman and author Penelope Trunk has said that as women age, we become more invisible. Irreverent? Yes! True? Maybe. Even if you don’t feel “invisible,” Botox and fillers can still be powerful tools in lengthening the runway of feeling vibrant and interesting on the job while also trying to raise kids and hold your marriage together! Great Botox, applied in the right places, can be as good as a time machine, but too much in the wrong places and you might end up looking like the Grinch or worse – the Joker. Bottom line: whatever your reasons for getting Botox, if you’re going to do it, you want it done right.
I grabbed Kristen Kneidel, my clinical nurse injector at Monarch Plastic Surgery to help write this article on how to ensure you get the best Botox possible. A licensed nurse for more than 20 years, Kristen has a sincere passion for the art of Botox. If you’re contemplating injections or didn’t like a Botox experience you had in the past, here’s some advice:
“Botox is a drug made from a toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. It's the same toxin that causes a life-threatening type of food poisoning called botulism. Doctors use it in small doses to treat health problems.” This article focuses only on the use of Botox for the temporary smoothing of facial wrinkles and improving your appearance.
Finding the right injector
Kristen: You want to make sure you are going to a licensed medical professional for any injectable because they are working with your muscles, veins, and arteries. Should any incident arise, we have medical safety training and are knowledgeable about adverse reactions of treatment to certain medications. Lastly, we can recognize underlying medical conditions that may be contradicted in getting treatment.
Every injector is different. We all have our own techniques, ideas, and treatment plans. It is important to feel comfortable with who you are trusting with your face. Go to a professional who offers complimentary consultations. This allows you to come in, ask questions and see if the comfort level is there. Finding an injector who you find to be relatable, authentic, and trustworthy is key.
Vanessa: Don’t be afraid to ask questions about undesirable results you want to avoid, as well as how to achieve the results you want. I take in pictures of people I don’t want to look like and I still, to this day, will question everything that Kristen is doing to make sure all dosages are the same and we are treating the same areas. You can’t be too vigilant when it comes to your face.
Avoiding THAT look…you know the one
Kristen: You want to look refreshed and not overdone, frozen, or like you have evil eyebrows. Patients should look like themselves, only softer, less tired, and more lifted. As we age, we lose a considerable amount of fat in our face, causing the skin to crease or sag. Starting slow with the area that bothers you the most is a great place to start if you are apprehensive about the process.
Vanessa: I began with one area of my face, the forehead (which I've had deep lines since I was 18), and with a smaller amount than most people get. I eventually began treating my crow’s feet as well with small amounts, being careful to never go too low on the eye. It’s beautiful to see expression lines, but I do like them to be softer. Every time I get injected, Kristen will ask me about each line under my eyes whether I want to treat or back off the dosage. In my opinion, less is more, so I end up leaving some of the wrinkles I think look natural and softening others that don’t.
About the money
Kristen: You can ask about other Botox-like injectables that are less expensive. We have a few we use at Monarch. Choose a provider who gives you other lower-cost options with every visit and is willing to stay within your budget.
Vanessa: Although I have Botox in my personal budget, some people can’t afford to get injected every 3-4 months. The downside to not keeping up with injections is that you’ll lose the compounding effects Botox maintenance provides in diminishing wrinkles long into your 60s! With that said, I have many friends who can go longer than 3-4 months before getting Botox again, which saves them money.
Good luck in your Botox search!
Kristen: Keeping a patient looking natural with filler and Botox is an art and a passion for some of us, but having a provider who will tell you when you do not need more is invaluable. To make your experience a great one, be sure to choose a provider who takes great care and pride in creating a natural look for you.
For more information, you can contact Kristen Kneidel at Monarch Plastic Surgery, 913.663.3838.