The setting: A book club somewhere in metro Denver.
The book: “The First Wives Club” (made into a film of the same name starring Goldie Hawn, Diane Keaton and Bette Midler.)
The plot: Three women “of a certain age” take revenge on their ex-husbands who have left them for younger women, the so-called dreaded trophy wife.
The author: Olivia Goldsmith, whose theme of plastic surgery is obsessively covered in every one of her dozen novels.
The irony: Goldsmith died on the operating table while being prepped for a chin tuck. (Actually, she fell into a deep coma from the general anesthesia even before the routine procedure had started.)
Of course, during the discussion book club members, fortified by wine and cheese, were unable to ignore the elephant in the room. A member quickly popped the question: Who here has had plastic surgery?” Each looked hesitantly at each other. No hand moved, but wait, in the back, one quivering limb was raised. Then the follow-up: Who here would like to get some “work done”? In a split second, every hand shot up.
How many of us (Style Matters included) wish we could smooth out a wrinkle, add a little lift to an eyelid or reduce jowls and marionette lines, the so-called “smile lines?”
Everyone needs a little “freshening up,” as they say, especially when on the campaign trail, meeting key donors and doing the work of the people. Costs for cosmetic procedures have gone down and the choices have gone up. So why not at least investigate. Style Matters suggests starting conservatively by learning more about the wonderful world of injectables. What are they?
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons, plasticsurgery.org, explains that “injectable dermal fillers can plump thin lips, enhance shallow contours, soften facial creases, remove wrinkles and improve the appearance of recessed scars.”
To find out how they work, SM spoke with one of the most successful plastic surgeons in the Denver area, Stacey Folk, in practice since 1997 has been recognized several years running as one of Denver’s top docs by 5280 magazine. Folk cautions that fillers will improve but not necessarily fix all signs of aging. Sooner or later we all have to face that. (Pun intended.)
Here’s a partial list of what fillers are available today and what they do. Most cosmetic surgeons will use a combination of these.
Hyaluronics — This is a group of clear jelly-like fillers that each work in different ways. The most popular, what Folk likes to call her “work horses,” are Juvederm Ultra, Ultra plus, Perlane and Restylane. One of the best features of hyaluronics is if the patient is unhappy with the look, the material can be dissolved and disappears as if it were never used.
Voluma — The new kid on the block of injectables, Voluma, is the first filler to gain FDA approval for enhancing the midface or cheek area. It is also reported to last up to two years longer than other hyaluronics.
Radiesse — A calcium-based product, Radiesse has FDA approval to soften nasolabial folds, the two skin folds that run from each side of the nose to the corners of the mouth. As Radiesse dissolves, it stimulates some collagen formation. That’s a bonus. However, this filler cannot be dissolved if the result isn’t a patient-pleaser.
Sculptra — A favorite Folk filler, Sculptra is unique in that it does not immediately add much volume, but stimulates the growth of collagen over time. Injected in a series, Sculptra can last for two years. Folk’s secret tip is to use this filler around the periphery of the face, which she says is an area often neglected by less sophisticated injectors.
Botox — The bad boy of fillers, Botox along with new brothers Dysport and Xeomin are all botulinum toxins that weaken muscle movement for an improved appearance. Now that the scary word toxin has been mentioned, Folk explained that Botulinum toxins have been used in research and medical treatments since the 1950’s. Botox received FDA approval for treating the glabella (forehead vertical lines resembling the number 11) in 2002, and crow’s feet in 2013. Botox works by weakening the muscles around the eyes and forehead that cause wrinkles. According to the ASPS, it is by far the most popular minimally-invasive cosmetic procedure.
Tips When Considering Fillers
1. First, update hairstyle and color. Cover gray, add highlights. Just this change alone can make a big difference without resorting to fillers.
2. Begin a skin care regimen. Get recommendations from your dermatologist and/or plastic surgeon. Most of these specialists carry product lines in their offices that have higher levels of active ingredients than do commercial brands.
3. Start small. A few Botox injections around the eyes subtly smoothing out some wrinkles could be enough to “freshen the look.” Ask about fillers that last only 4-6 months such as Juvederm to get an idea of whether you like the effect.
4. Find a cosmetic surgeon who specializes in facial injections. These physicians understand facial anatomy and know where to strategically place the filler. With a reputable physician, there is no danger you will end up looking like Nicole Kidman.
5. Expect some redness and bruising. These typically disappear in a few hours or days.
So, Stylish Reader, could it be your time to banish your inner book club? Are you raising your hands or sitting on them?
Judie Schwartz, AKA Style Matters, is the co-author of two best-selling books on the best places to shop in Colorado. Called “A Fashion-Lover’s Guide to the Best Shopping in Denver and Beyond,” the books are available at stylematters.us. She is also a wardrobe consultant. Schwartz has one husband, three children, no pets and small closets. She can be reached at:
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