My first time getting Botox and Juvéderm
This post is also available in: Spanish
Disclaimer: I got this procedure done for free at Dr. Sterry’s office, with no promise of a review. I’m writing this post to share my experience because 1. I want to keep it real, and 2. I know some of you have been contemplating getting similar procedures and are afraid of the results. Hope this helps! If you go to Dr. Sterry tell him I sent you; you’ll be in great hands!
First things first
I know some of you have not even read one sentence of this post and are already shaking your heads, and I don’t blame you, but please open your minds, buckle up, and keep reading. I don’t have low self-esteem. I love myself. I really, really, really love myself. I wouldn’t be able to have this blog if I didn’t love looking at my own face for hours at a time.
On growing older
At the time of this post I’m two months away from my 28th birthday. I have really enjoyed all the wisdom and patience that comes with aging; I have not enjoyed, however, the physical process of aging. As a fashion blogger/occasional model, I not only have to look at pictures of myself all the time, I have to look at pictures of myself in high definition. In HD I’ve discovered blemishes I didn’t even know I had, because they’re invisible to the naked eye. It’s very scary- the camera is unforgiving. Don’t try to zoom into the photos here ’cause I’ve optimized them for the web. They’re small so the pages load quicker, but believe, you can really get a good zoom in the bigger files.
I am a very cheery person and I love to smile, but my happiness has taken a toll on my face and left me with two lines that, although I don’t think people find offensive, I absolutely hate. I hate everything about them. I hate the way makeup sets in them, making them even more visible. I hate that when I look at myself in the mirror they’re the first thing I see. I hate all the money I’ve spent on serums and lotions to try to get rid of them to no avail. I hate my lines.
And so I have been toying with the idea of getting Botox for a few years. I finally had my chance one snowy night, thanks to Doctor Thomas Sterry, whose office is located in the Upper East Side of Manhattan. There, on a very intimate soiree with his staff and other ladies, Dr. Sterry explained the benefits of Botox, and helped debunk some myths. Then he offered to perform the procedure on whoever was interested. The other women seemed a bit more hesitant to partake, but I was there on a mission, and I would have been very disappointed to have been sent home without being poked in the face with a needle. And Dr. Sterry was happy to oblige.
We went downstairs to the examination room and one of the nurses joined. Dr. Sterry told me he would be injecting some Botox in my forehead to would give me a bit of a brow lift, since I have such small, hooded eyes. I’m not a fan of syringes, so I just closed my eyes and let a gloved Dr. Sterry do his thing.
“One, two, three…” he counted down. I wish he hadn’t. I took a deep breath and braced myself for the worst. I felt a pinch, and about two seconds later Dr. Sterry asked “How was that?”
I dared open one eye. “Is it still in there?” I asked, fearing the syringe would be sticking straight out of my forehead.
“No!” He said.
“That’s it?” I asked, opening both eyes. “That wasn’t bad!”
Then came the Juvéderm on my nasolabial fold (doesn’t that sound like a dirty word?). Contrary to popular belief, or my belief, at least, Botox will not get rid of this type of line, so you have to fill them, and Juvéderm, a gel filler, will do just that.
Dr. Sterry injected me four times on my right side, and five on my left, which was the stubborn wrinkle. He asked me to smile in between shots, so he could see how far down the lines went. That last time on the left side hurt a little more than the others. But no pain, no gain! I don’t know why I was expecting there to be some sort of local anesthesia for this procedure, but I ended up not needing it.
I was still sitting when the doctor informed me that I would not be able to see the results of the Botox for 5-7 days, but that the Juvéderm was all set, if I wanted to take a peek. I jumped out of the examination table and rushed to the mirror. I gasped.
My face…it was so…round! Not like fat round, but like full of youth round! I hadn’t seen my face like that in years- I was ecstatic! The whole thing took less than half an hour and was minimally invasive. This was something I could have gotten done during my lunch break.
I thanked Dr. Sterry for his wonderful work and I stayed behind to chat some more to his wonderful staff. I headed home as it stopped snowing, and the cold air felt good against my face. Dr. Sterry told me that it’s normal to feel a bit of numbness around my mouth at first, but I felt pretty good. I got home, looked at myself in the mirror and thought…what did I just do?
Too late for second thoughts
So many questions rushed to my head as I stared at my face in the mirror. I didn’t look bad before, so why did I go and put stuff in my face I didn’t really need? Have my lips always looked like this? Are they smaller? I have so much fullness around my mouth, I look a bit like a chimp. Oh God…why did I do this? Did I just open Pandora’s box? Is this going to be my life from now on? First injectables, then an eye lift, liposuction, breast implants…when will it end? Why did I do it? Too late to back down.
The next day I woke up, took a shower, and started doing my hair and makeup. It took me about a full hour before I remembered I had had this procedure done the day before. I got up close and personal with the mirror, and I smiled. Yes, in case you’re wondering, I can still smile. After my original freak out I can say I am happy I got this done.
This whole procedure has really changed my life for the better. I feel so much more confident with myself. I’m not wearing as much makeup, and I’m wearing my hair more natural too. I’ve even started wearing my retainer to bed again, ha! I feel really, truly happy with myself right now. All thanks to this little procedure.
I didn’t tell a lot of people I had this done. I actually posted a picture on Instagram and took it down the next day because I wanted to see if people would say I looked different. No one did. Not even my boyfriend, or my mom. That’s because I look exactly like myself, only better.
The cost of beauty
Botox will not cost you as much as you think. In Manhattan, one unit of Botox is $20 each. I got 6 units, for a total of $120. However, outside Manhattan, the price for one unit is around $16. Juvéderm, on the other hand, has a heftier price tag. One syringe (1 cc) costs $700, and half is $480. To quote Dr. Sterry “The company makes getting half a syringe unfavorable.” However, Juvéderm lasts nine moths, longer than the 3-4 months of benefit you get from Botox.
Grand total for my treatment: $600
As a an independent freelancer in New York City this is quite a big price tag for a 20-minute procedure. I could get myself some really nice shoes with that money. I could go on a little getaway, or pay part of my rent. However, can you really put a price on the way that I’m feeling now? It’s really up to everyone to decide themselves. This is what plastic surgery is all about- it’s about you doing something good for yourself, not for anybody else.
So this is the story of how I got Botox and Juvéderm for the first time and
liked loved it. Many thanks to Dr. Sterry for the official photos, and his lovely staff. More thanks to Victoria and Christina (my awesome photographer!).
If you have any questions about my personal experience with the procedure or the results, please don’t hesitate to leave me a comment right here, either via the regular comment form, or Facebook comments. If you’re gonna hate, take it elsewhere.