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I Want Botox, But I Don't Want It.

I'm annoying myself. I'm dithering about having fillers and Botox. And I don't know why.

It all starts with a consultation with a medically-qualified pro who you can find near you on Glowday

So I got to thinking, if I feel like this, then there will be plenty of other women who do too, and in a flamboyant Carrie Bradshaw fashion, I opened my Pavilion laptop (no macbook pro for Kelly) and decided I needed to write about it. Why, despite living, breathing, understanding and loving good aesthetic treatments, am I still on the fence about having them myself?

Before I get to that, let me tell you where I am.

Dipping My Toes.

In the past two years since I joined Glowday and began soaking up the aesthetic world, I've definitely moved from amateur beauty treatment and skincare lover to mid-level enthusiast. Thanks to a lockdown Zoom with Natalie Haswell, I ditched my face wipes, stopped being lazy, and made myself adopt a proper skincare routine and tried medical grade skincare for the first time.

I used to feel rather smug that I was someone who took my make-up every night (even after a few wines!) and washed my face. But at 41, there was a reason why my skin was feeling dry, looking dull and regularly breaking out in spots. I wasn't really taking care of it. I also had no idea wipes make your skin worse. FFS!

I believe skincare is too confusing. There's too much information, too many products and a lot of conflicting information. Rather than incentivise us to get a grip of our skin, it overwhelms us and we just don't bother. What we want, really, is someone to look at our skin, tell us what to use and when, and buy it all for us for £20.

If I was paid for the hours I have spent looking at skincare products in Boots, I'd be LOADED!

Where To Even Start!

After my consultation with Natalie and realising that using more expensive products made a difference (like, really made a difference) I wanted to actually learn more and try and get my head around skincare, rather than just being told what to use.

What do the ingredients do? Why are they good? What even is skin?

Caroline Hiron's book good is a great place to start. Caroline is a no-nonsense, straight talking skincare expert. While she is a fan of some medical-grade skincare products, she believes there are lots high-street products that are just as effective. In fact, the term 'medical grade' irritates Caroline - she says it's a marketing trick and the term should be firmly reserved only for products that require a prescription. Most of the products that you find in aesthetic clinics won't require a prescription, but they will require the practitioner to have specifically trained in them before they sell them. They will also have much higher doses of the active ingredients that do stuff and are far more likely to penetrate your skin, than a cheap product from Superdrug. Couple this with the fact aesthetic practitioners have a deep interest and knowledge of skin and will want to achieve amazing results for you, they're unlikely to sell something that they don't believe will work for you. That said, Caroline is right, and there may be alternative high-street products that work just as well for you. Indeed the 'skin kits' that Caroline releases every quarter have been a brilliant way for me try new products. Warning though: this isn't a cheap hobby. But it is your skin, on your FACE, it's an investment...that's what I tell myself. Ahem.

Facial On Steroids

A Hydrafacial was next on my list. I had this with the lovely nurse Dawn at The Dawn Clinic. I genuinely found Dawn on Glowday, like a normal punter! I wanted to see the new practitioners who had joined Glowday near me and low and behold Dawn's clinic was opposite my house! Anyway, I booked in for a Hydrafacial as I was keen to see how different a facial in an aesthetics clinic would be from the ones I would tend to only have on the rare occasion I go to a spa. Yeah, they're different. This gets really into your skin and sucks up all the dirt and grime in there, you get to see what comes out - GROSS! It left my skin feeling BEYOND FRESH and it had a nice glow after. Again, not a habit I can afford on a monthly basis but if I could I would, because it just feels so blooming clean! It's a good treatment to have before a holiday or big event I would say.

Time For The Big Guns - Profhilo

I have been talking and writing about Profhilo since day one of Glowday. It took me 18 months to take the plunge, thanks to a lovely birthday gift voucher from the bosses (they're alright you know!) I booked in with the superstar Nurse Practitioner Shelley at The Glow Clinic in Hereford, round the corner from Glowday HQ. Hannah, Glowday's CEO, is a big fan of Profhilo and her skin looked INSANE after her treatment with Shelley, so off I trotted.

Profhilo is probably the biggest new aesthetics trend we've seen in the past 10 years and it appealed to me because it's a skin treatment - it isn't a treatment which changes any features of your face. I wrote about it in depth here, so take a squiz if you want to know if it worked or not!

The Profhilo glow modelled by Hannah, Glowday's Chief!

So, What Next?

I feel as if I've got my skin sorted now. The foundations are there, the support structure of my face is in as good a place as it can be, I think. We always say that having aesthetic treatments without sorting out your skin first, is a bit like putting a new duvet cover on a grubby, dirty, smelly old duvet.

However, no amount of skincare will address some of the signs of ageing that are now present. I'm losing fat in certain areas of my face, which is making my eyes shrink into the back of my head.

Sounds insane doesn't it? But it's a thing. My eyes are receding, and that happens. My eyelid skin is becoming more hooded and when I pull it, it doesn't spring back. It stays there too long, and there's more of it. DISLIKE. I find this mostly annoying when I do my eye-makeup. I love eyeshadow and I can't apply it like I used to, and my mascara always now ends up my eyelids.

I tend to unconsciously raise my eyebrows up when I smile in photos, and the lines on my forehead are all I see in photos now.

The bottom half of my face is perhaps what bothers me more. It's what I catch in the mirror and do a double-take. The whole jowly area. It's all wobbly and uneven. I mean, I've never had a snatched jawline but it was never this saggy! I also have quite deep lines running between my nose and mouth (nasolabial folds) which annoy me as my makeup will collect in those crevices, which is so OLD LADY.

The Consultation.

I'm fully aware that given my job I may be more self-critical than I've ever been. I may look for things more than if I'd carried on working in finance, perhaps. I'm also super aware that the things I notice, other people don't. That many of my friends would say 'I don't see those things when I look at you!'. But, something has changed regarding my feelings about my face recently and feeling quite brazen I decided to book in for a consultation with the most fantastic Nurse, Kate Mullane at Heidi Rose Aesthetics. Again, I GENIUNELY used Glowday to find the person I felt I could trust with my face. I don't have any special privileges, access or rates!

Kate is number one for treatments in my area, thanks to many brilliant reviews. I liked the look of Kate, she looks great - but not 'done'. Personally, I don't want to see a practitioner who doesn't know when to stop on their own face. Kate is a walking-talking poster girl for amazing medical-aesthetics. She looks natural, fresh, glowy. In real life, she looks even more insane. We're the same age, which also appealed to me and I was also reassured by the fact Kate's been practising aesthetics for 12 years - that experience is important to me. Kate has done a lot of injections! Kate's clinic is a beautifully purpose-built room at her home, which feels clinical in a reassuring 'you're a pro' way yet welcoming and comfortable.

I've found 'my lady'! The superbly gorgeous and skilled Kate Mullane.

The Consultation Process

Kate's beaming smile and friendly disposition meant I instantly felt good vibes. Yes. This felt right. Before we got cracking, Kate did what all good medically-qualified pros will do in any consultation, and took my medical history to ensure there was nothing that could prevent me having any treatments. Yes, there are a lot of questions to answer. Practitioners need to know everything. What may seem irrelevant to you (you had a coldsore last year, for example) may be crucial for a medic to know if a certain treatment could negatively impact you. Allergies, surgeries, intolerances... you name it, your practitioner needs to know. This is the kind of process that sets them apart from non medics. Not only will they know any conditions or illnesses, medically, they will be able to understand if there are any contraindication - which is a reason for a person to not receive a particular treatment or procedure. Their medical background gives them this power! A beautician is simply not going to have the same intrinsic knowledge.

Down To Business

And then we got down to business. Kate asked me to sit on her lovely big white chair, and handed me a mirror. 'Tell me everything you don't like'. Three weeks later I stopped talking. I told Kate all the things I see as 'flaws'. She reassured me that lots of the things were so subtle that absolutely nobody else would ever see that when they looked at me (like the fact one side of my face is flatter than the other!) and that what we see is a microscopic view!

She then asked me to think about what bothered me most and what would be the first thing I would address.

Kate also spent a long time looking at my forehead and asking me to move my eyebrows in certain ways. I have a particularly strong 'pull' so Kate advised she'd be extra cautious if she was to treat that area with Botox as I was more at risk of ptosis (a droopy eye!) because of where my muscles are in relation to my eye. Kate felt confident she could manage this and if necessary inject in other areas to counteract that risk. I can't lie, this has scared the bejesus out of me.... but.... I do trust Kate!

The Outcome?

I wasn't ready to have any treatments there and then. Sometimes practitioners will do treatments immediately after a consultation if they feel that the consent was informed and the patient is a good candidate - but I had already decided I wanted to think about it. I asked Kate to send me the treatments she thought would be best for everything we discussed and a few days later my suggested treatment plan arrived.

It includes dermal filler in my mid-face to treat volume loss, and filler (and possibly some Botox) in my jawline to treat the jowl area, and also 1ml of Redensity 2 dermal filler in my tear-troughs to address the hollowness under my eyes... and of course Botox, in my forehead, to sort those dynamic lines.

Everything combined would completely freshen up my face and make me look more like me - or the version of me I would like! It's quite exciting!

All Or Nothing!

Now, I'm an all or nothing girl. And I'd told Kate to tell me everything. The whole shebang. A practitioner should never point out 'issues' that you haven't mentioned, but during my consult there wasn't one part of my face I didn't discuss! Aside from my ears. I personally like the idea of going for it if I'm going for it. I think I'll get a better result treating my whole face - addressing one area won't cut it for me. I'd rather address no areas. I can NOT explain that psychology, that's just how I feel! I'm probably looking at around £1000 for all of these together, but Kate did advise in my treatment plan to start with the filler and leave the Botox for now, to break me in a bit!

So What Am I Doing?

At the moment, nothing. I want it all but I don't want it and I am almost unable to articulate why. Yes, I'm a little bit anxious about risks - but it's not that - I couldn't be in safer hands than those of Kate. I'd be lying if I said there wasn't a tiny bit of me fearing that I could end up looking weird - but again, this isn't what Kate does. She won't let me look weird. She doesn't do weird, she does subtle and natural work. I know fillers give absolutely phenomenal results when used correctly and placed in the right place using the right product. I actively encourage other women to try them! That they're fantastic! To ignore all the misconceptions about them, that great work is undetectable by other people! And worse case scenario I could have them dissolved or let them dissolve naturally and I won't look any worse than what I do now.

Rationally, I know, I will love the results. I know I will have wished I'd done it sooner. I know it will make me feel amazing. Emotionally, I'm not there.

So what's stopping me booking in? Aside from needing to save up for a bit, I have absolutely no idea. I think it's a bit like when you start running or healthy eating or anything new, I'm waiting for a trigger - the click - a moment when I think 'I'm ready, I'm doing it'.

Until then, I'm pleased that I've done the leg work. I've started the process. I'm informed. I have the answers. I've found a flipping fantastic practitioner. I've got a plan and I know what I'm doing, when I eventually decide do it.

So, if you're like me and you think you want some aesthetics treatments but something is holding you back, go for a consolation. Find someone near you here and book in. You don't have to do anything, but knowledge is power and you might be surprised what's recommended for you!

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