Remember that moment of terror when you looked in the mirror and noticed that first sign of crow’s feet, those little lines around your eyes that say that you’re alive and that you’ve smiled, but irritatingly stay there whether you’re smiling or not? It was probably a bit disconcerting but, thanks to modern medicine, it was easy to remedy. (If you can’t relate, stay with me, your day will come!)

You probably found yourself headed to your nearest doctor or med spa to get some of that magic Botox and smooth out those pesky lines post haste. While you’re sitting in the office, waiting your turn, you notice the eerie similarities of the ladies around you, all sporting puffy cheeks, small upturned eyes, and platypus lips and thinking ‘that will never happen to me’, not having the slightest idea of the slippery slope you’re embarking on, or how close their reality can become your own.

Beautiful young woman looking in the mirrorHaving smoothed those wrinkles with a mere prick of a needle, you begin to feel empowered, like you have it all under control.Until that one horrifying day you wake up to the bane of every woman’s existence – JOWLS – the ultimate sign of aging.The first logical step is to get the advice of your trusted Dr. Fixit, the one that’s helped you blur those lines for all these years. Now, if you’re fortunate enough to have an in-the-know injector, she will know that if she puts a little Botox around your jawline, you can stave off those jowls for the short term, but then what?

Well unless you’ve come to terms with those jowls, there’s not a lot else that can happen next. You’ll have that ‘aha’ moment, the one when you realize that the loose skin in the jowl area is simply caused by a loss of projection in your cheeks and that, if you just had a little more fullness up in there, your jowls would be lifted. And as easy as that, you have entered the danger zone of dermal fillers.

Here’s how it goes down from there. After you get your first filler injection, your cheeks will seem super swollen and you panic, but then, every day, you start to look a little more like yourself OR you look nothing like yourself but you start getting used to that extra millimeter of projection and wonder, what would I look like with a little bit more? It becomes as delicate as a house of cards, ladies.

You realize that probably, if you had just a teeny bit more volume around your temples, your eyebrows would slightly lift, making your eyes seem bigger because, you don’t realize it, but your eyes have started to look smaller due to all of that extra projection in your cheeks.

This is where you approach the fine line of trying to be ‘ageless’ versus just being happy to look well-preserved for your age. ‘Hmmm, my lips could use more volume’ and so on, and if you’re not careful, before you know it, you’re the one walking around like a wax character, sporting those puffy cheeks, small upturned eyes, and platypus lips, staring at your reflection, wondering if you’re due for more Botox.

But this won’t happen to you because now you are aware. To be on the safe side though, I’m going to break it down to a few hard-learned tips.

  • Don’t focus on individual features. Back away from the mirror and take a look at the whole picture. Who cares if you’re cheekbones are high and you have no jowls or wrinkles, if your face looks like an alien or strange looking mannequin?
  • Find a friend, who you don’t see on a daily basis to tell you if your face is looking different. And then listen to her! Or take photos and keep a diary on your computer.
  • Less is more, you can always add more but taking it out is, not just a waste of money, but can deplete your original collagen making you worse off than when you started. Don’t let your injector talk you into adding more filler to make up for some that may be absorbed back into your body.

There is a middle ground between Jamie Lee Curtis and those wax characters that you see carrying their poodles in Neiman Marcus. But most importantly, you ARE beautiful with or without laugh lines or a bit of laxity into your jaw. Do what makes YOU feel good, preserve yourself in a way that makes you comfortable, aim for well-preserved and let’s get back to living!