On a cold afternoon a fortnight before Valentine’s Day, gray skies gave way to patchy vestiges of snowstorms past that rendered city sidewalks slippery and unsuitable for any fashionable footwear. Undaunted I trekked the two block journey to meet my nervous friend Genevieve for her first foray into fillers. Now that shopping has become a thing of the past, what’s a girl to do in winter but have a liquid facelift and a latte!
Having your first experience with an injection is a little like the first time you have sex; it’s over before you know it, you can’t understand what the big secret was, and you know you’re definitely going to do it again. Although I’ve been asked on more than one occasion, I don’t do the hand holding thing for every filler novice, but Genevieve is a special case. A fair redhead with flawless skin, she admitted to having BOTOX™ once about two years ago, so she is technically not a virgin but she is far from a veteran. I naturally ask why she had never gone back for more, and she pointed to her long red bangs as if to say ‘duh?’. I suppose bangs would be the cheap and cheerful alternative to BOTOX™, except of course when the wind blows.
Arriving at the stately white marble clinic of Sadick Dermatology in the heart of Housewives of New York City territory, Genevieve was ushered into a private room to meet the good doctor. He handed her a mirror, asked her to point to the parts she didn’t like, and proceeded to assess the damage. “Laxity along the jaw line and volume loss are the two major things women complain about,” says Dr. Neil Sadick. “Volume replacement is extremely important to maintain a youthful appearance.” Genevieve remained stoic as he zeroed in for a closer look. He suggested Evolence™, the rebirth of collagen, one of the newest additions to the FDA approved wrinkle war chest. The collagen has been naturally cross-linked, so it adds support and structure to your own personal network of collagen bundles. “Evolence™ works well because it has a unique way of linking collagen molecules together and stimulates your body to make new collagen,” he tells her. “There is also minimal swelling so what you see is what you get, only better.” Sounds great, and she nodded in agreement with only a slight sign of trepidation.
As Dr. S left the room so his able assistant Laura P. could set up, Genevieve peered anxiously for my approval. Evolence™ seemed to be the perfect choice for a newbie who was not thrilled with the idea of going under the needle too often and didn’t want to advertise that she had any work done. Dr. S. promised a year to a year and a half duration, and if you amortize out the cost for two syringes (around $1,550) over an average of 15 months, it is only about the price of a cable bill.
Laura offered her a numbing cream for 30 minutes to take the sting away, as Dr. S. described, “It looks like the icing on a carrot cake.” As a first timer, less is more and making the treatment comfortable means that Genevieve is more likely to go back again on her own. Dr. S. came in as she was sufficiently slurring her words from the anesthetic, and I was surprised that he didn’t wear glasses to inject. “I had LASIK done and my vision is 18/18,” he explained. I suddenly moved the white leather stool under me a few feet back to avoid his x-ray vision spying all my flaws. Cosmetic Derms do have a way of looking at you as though you are butt naked even when you’re fully dressed.
He moved swiftly with the accuracy of a scud missile targeting Genevieve’s nose to mouth lines and chin folds. “Are we done yet?” she asked as he stood to admire his work. (I secretly beamed with pride for my protégé, who didn’t recoil at the sight of the needle plunging into her jowls.) She had zero swelling and bruising, just a little redness where the filler went in. The numbing cream preparation took twice as long as her treatment. With a gentle massage from Laura to smooth the collagen around, and a few dabs of concealer, she was good to go. We couldn’t leave without a subtle plug for Capture Totale, the uber rage Dr. S. developed with Dior that slows down the genetic markers of aging.
Fast forward 72 hours, my phone rang just as I was sipping my first Starbuck’s. “Hi, it’s Gen. Do you think it’s too soon for me to go back for more of this stuff? He said he could do my cheeks at another time, and it is another time, right?” Mission accomplished – my work is done here. Another filler junkie is born.
Wendy Lewis is President of Wendy Lewis & Co Ltd, Global Aesthetics Consultancy. She offers private image enhancement coaching by appointment in person, or via phone or webcam from all over the world. http://www.wlbeauty.com