Botox and fillers are contentious subjects. For every woman who briefly flirts with the idea of a little somethin’ somethin’, there’s another who thinks that only a godawful eejit would be injecting anything into her face. Well, I’m afraid lots of you reading are about to put me into the godawful eejit category but, for the sake of everyone who’s ever wondered about it and is considering a similar procedure, I’mma gonna share anyway. Be kind.
Pic from Renew website
I may have mentioned a time or three that there’s nothing like taking lots and lots of pictures of your face to suddenly make you excruciatingly aware of your every flaw. And from the moment I realised that my upper lip was slightly uneven, and lacked the volume of my lower, I couldn’t seem to un-notice again. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t lose sleep, but it quietly bothered me nonetheless.
And then I met Jeanette, one of the lovely founders of Renew Aesthetic Clinic. And she is lovely, that’s not just a turn of phrase – anyone who’s been there has commented on how nice and approachable they are in that place, and they’re right (and let's face it, if someone's going to be sticking a needle in your face, it does help if you like them). But Jeanette, a registered nurse, is probably also Ireland’s no 1 expert in fillers – for years she worked as a national trainer, showing people how to administer Restylane in a medical capacity. I got to asking her about it and the rest, as they say, is history.
Before and after iPhone snaps, taken in the clinic
What I find attractive about Restylane is that it’s basically hyaluronic acid - that wonder ingredient we’ve become so fond of in skincare and makeup, thanks to its moisture attracting properties. Using it topically is of course very different from injecting it, but because this ingredient occurs naturally in the body, we find it very easy to break it down. In addition to lip enhancement, it can be used to smooth wrinkles and add volume and fullness to the skin.
Abi Clancy, just one of the many women that the Daily Mail has accused of having trout pout. (Pics also taken from that esteemed 'news' site).
Fast forward a few weeks and I was having a full consultation, warned of all the possible side effects and talked through exactly what would happen. Immediately after the injection, your lips look similar to how they will end up. But over the next 24 – 48 hours, there will probably be a lot of swelling, which is nothing to be alarmed about. It will eventually calm. I was a little afraid of trout pout, but I actually experienced very little swelling and no bruising – I was almost disappointed. My appointment was on a Friday and by Monday, you would never have known.
So what about the injection itself? Firstly the area is swabbed with a strong smelling alcohol wipe. Then comes the needle, which does pinch on the first injection on each side. I had two on either side of my top lip, but in total only 0.5ml of Restylane was used. I wanted a subtle effect, and I already had volume – just less in one than t’other. This amount, and up to 1ml, is €300 and the effects should last between 6 and 9 months before the product is naturally absorbed.
Comparison snaps - the top row is 'before', the bottom, 'after'
I can feel it in my lips myself, but I have it on good authority that no-one else can, not even when kissing (an important point to note!). The effect is so subtle that not a sinner has noticed till I‘ve pointed it out - and even then, some people can’t see a difference. But I do, and I love it, and that’s really the most important thing.
So, tell us then: botox and fillers. Would ya? Could ya? Or maybe you already have? To the comments!
Emma was a guest at Renew Aesthetic Clinic; find them on Hatch Street in Dublin or Naas in Kildare.