Confessions of a Botox virgin

The lengths we take to 'look good' vary from person to person. While some people embrace the ageing and changing process, others feel like a little 'help' boosts their confidence and to each their own, we never judge; everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Today, our guest writer has opened up and shared her first, very personal, experience with Botox. 

Personally, I've always been very open to the idea of a 'nip and tuck'. During my 20s and early 30s, I often said that it was something I'd do if I ever felt the need. It's not something that I believe is for everyone, but I feel the same way about laser hair removal, dying your hair, tanning your skin, weight loss treatments, etc. It's a case of, if it makes you feel better about yourself and you're not hurting anyone (including yourself), then it's nobody else's business.

I have, of course, seen the results of bad cosmetic surgery; everyone knows the stereotypical 'wind tunnel face', and we're all too familiar with the trout pout. However, as a plastic surgeon once said in an interview on Newstalk, "of course you only see the bad ones, you don't see the good ones because they're good".  That really resonated with me. Could this be true?

I'm now in my late 30s and am blessed to have pretty good skin (thank you SPF 50), but I do have a LOT of crows feet around my eyes, and there were a couple of lines on my forehead that just didn't go away, even when my face was at rest. Personal circumstances at the minute mean that I'm in need of some confidence-boosting, so I decided to head along to a reputable cosmetic surgery clinic (in this case River Medical in Dublin 2) and get an independent opinion on whether my face was a good candidate for a little Botox treatment. There's no point in asking friends and family as they are all too nice and just say, 'oh you don't need it!'. I wanted the brutal truth.

botox shot in the cheek

There were a couple of things that put me at my ease. Firstly the waiting room was full of 'normal' people. I don't know who I thought was going to be there, but they were men and women in their 30s and 40s, all very smartly dressed and looking very much like the average person in the street. No dark glasses (or Burka disguises - Gisele Bundchen I'm looking at you). And it suddenly dawned on me: a lot of the people I usually compliment on how amazing their skin is, or how youthful they look are quite probably in here getting secret touch ups! Crafty beggars.


The other thing I liked was that the plastic surgeon (and he was fully qualified - if you are going to try this then PLEASE no 'botox party' nonsense) told me that a face must be expressive, 'no one should look like a photograph' i.e. one dimensional. He also explained that he under doses on the first round and then waits two weeks to see how you feel about it. Then if you want a little more, you can have it (all included in the overall price). He asked me about my areas of concern and I pointed out three areas. Immediately he dismissed one as unnecessary for me now. That reassured me, as he could have done all three areas and charged me more. There's nothing worse that feeling sold to.

Once we agreed on the areas to be treated, we moved from his consulting area to the procedure room next door. I popped up on the bed, and within five minutes flat it was done. I couldn't believe how quick and how painless it was. I was all tensed up with the thoughts of needles in my face, but honestly, it was no worse that a tiny scrape and it was over in seconds.

happy woman in spa salon

The Botox kicks in over four to ten days after treatment. I had no bruising or side effects, but I became obsessed with the mirror, checking my reflection every day to see if there was any change. About a week in, I began to see a noticeable smoothing of my skin and everyone began to comment on how well and refreshed looking I was.  At first, I didn't tell anyone, but when I did they were shocked and said that they would never have known and how natural it was. I'm sure most patients are demure and tell no one, but I'm an open book at the best of times and so now a bit like the Penneys mantra ("I like your top", "Penneys!"), whenever I receive a compliment, I blurt out, "Botox!", like a manic child with a new toy.

I'm 100% converted and have family and friends booking in to give it a whirl too. The downside is, that as with waxing and other treatments, once you start you won't want to stop because I never want to see those lines again. But rest assured my face is far from being immobile. I do still have lines and expressions; I just look about five - seven years younger (in my opinion).


Prices range from €275 to €500 depending on how many areas you are getting done. The first treatment will last for approximately four months, but each time you repeat the process it will last a little longer. Price wise, I would be happy to do it around twice a year, particularly considering that a good facial can cost almost €200 in certain salons. But please, if you are thinking of receiving any type of cosmetic surgery, then do your research and only go to reputable clinics with fully trained and qualified staff.

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