For years now, I’ve had a ‘resting bitch face’, an ‘RBF’ if you will. People whom I’ve become friends with have always said something along the lines of ‘Well, I wouldn’t have messed with you‘. I don’t go through my life beaming out death-stares, although I think I give that first impression – that I will give no shit, and take none. Most women can throw a legendary ‘Ten Yard Stare’ when it’s called for – we all need one of these in our arsenal.
I love the idea of aging. Just looking at someones face and seeing a lifetime of laughter, wisdom and experiences really appeals to me. However for some, ageing means that our facial muscles start to loosen to the point that the edges of the mouth are dragged downwards, because out skin gets thinner and less elastic over time.
For me, every biological stage or aspect of womanhood – I’ve had the entire book thrown at me. I started cycles before everyone else, I was wearing a bra before everyone else, my cycles were like clockwork (and mostly traumatic), and I was as fertile as a rain forest after the rain. A guy would need a condom just to be in the same room as me.
So of course it would follow that when my ‘clock stopped’ (a fancy phrase for hot flashes, anxiety, ‘night bladder’, general horror and misery), my RBF would get worse and worse. (probably on account of me spending my waking hours crawling on all fours, looking for my sex drive). My top lip, for some reason, also started migrating.
I’ve never been vain. I’ve never had any problem going out in the morning for coffee with bed hair and no makeup, and although I’ve always wanted to be one of those women that fell out of bed, chucked some clothes on with their eyes closed and still look stunning enough to stop traffic, it never happened.
BEFORE PICTURES, AT YOUR OWN PERIL
So this year, I started considering and researching non-surgical solutions to my downward-migrating mouth, and was delighted to find that this was exactly the kind of thing that Derma-Fillers were created for. I’d never considered or planned to have this kind of thing but this was just the ticket. A few months ago a relative (my Aunty-slash-Godmother) recommended her cosmetic nurse, Julie Brackenbury at JB Cosmetic. I researched her very thoroughly, loved her before/after pictures and decided to go for it. Julie ‘tours’ salons, and so we made an appointment to see her, near to where my aunt lives.
So, yesterday Julie was based out of a salon in the beautiful historic City of Bath and we found a parking space about ten yards from the salon’s doorstep and a few paces away from a restaurant (to eat beforehand) and a pub (
for after… not really) and it was in a beautiful quiet corner of the City.
We had brunch beforehand and watched the people go by, admiring outfits and hats etc. At this point I knew I was expecting needles and a bit of pain (the two go together, don’t they?) and I had a very clear idea of what I wanted. I wasn’t nervous at all.
We were ushered into the salon to a floor under ground level and it was much cooler down there. Julie was super-pretty and exceptionally dressed (I felt a bit like a hobo, but you know, it was 82f outside (28c) which meant tee-shirt, linen crops and Birkenstocks!)
My aunt went first and had some Botox around her eyes, I studied intently. Julie applied what she referred to as ‘scattering’ of injections (let’s call them ‘pops’) for a natural look, she was was very quick, very gentle (as you can be with needles) and my Aunt didn’t flinch at all. ‘Okay,’ I thought, ‘Yep, I can do that.’
My turn. I very basically explained my RBF, downward pointing mouth and a few lines around it, and also that my top lip had thinned. Julie very diligently studied this area of my face before deciding on derma-fillers for the resting bitch face, lip augmentation and a little bit of Botox to support the corners of the mouth from turning downward (it’s not just for frown lines, ya know)
She applied some numbing cream and asked me what my pain threshold was. I still didn’t get nervous (yeah Sam, ya dumb-ass), and I confidently told her that I had been tattooed before. She gave me a tiny look and my Aunty started chuckling in the corner. I know that lips are an erogenous zone, and so have a lot of nerve endings and blood vessels -so I expected more pain in this area. After a trip to her car to get some product for me, she wiped off the numbing cream and off we went.
The sides of mouth (about three pops each side) were very tolerable, and the lower lip (four pops) uncomfortable, but entirely what I expected. Top lip: entirely one of the most uncomfortable experiences I’d ever experienced in all my experiences. Even that said, Julie was very quick, and as gentle as she could be.
IMMEDIATELY-AFTER PICTURES, SAME WARNING!
Honestly though, I really wasn’t in any pain whatsoever immediately afterward. I think I was kissing the ice because it was hot out.
Julie very carefully explained the aftercare which was common sense, really. Keep it clean, try not to touch it or mess with the injection sites, relax, drink lots of fluids etc etc
Bruising is up this morning, and if I purse my lips tight, I can feel a teeeency bit sore at the pop sites. A little swollen but I would guess this is the hyaluronic acid (fillers, synthetic sugar) settling in.
I’ve been asked to expect optimal results after a couple of weeks, and the entire effect to last many months, depending on your lifestyle, health and diet.
WAS IT WORTH IT? WOULD YOU GO FOR MORE?
Oh HELL yes. If I can have a few minutes of discomfort to have my face not default to ‘miserable bitch mode’ then that’s another ounce of confidence I will happily carry around. The reason I had this done was because it was bothering ME. My RBF really didn’t reflect who I was as a person, and I think that a valid reason for having a small adjustment.
WHEN IS TOO MUCH?
Who’s to say that in a year or two there might be something else bothering me. If so, sure I’d consider getting more. In terms of when to stop, well, there are definitely many sources of cautionary tales out there, don’t you agree?