Original Article by Sabrina Must.
And just like that, I'm obsessed with Botox! Words I never thought I'd write, let alone think. And so I'm going to share why I got Botox... buckle up!
I'm what you call a naturalist. I appreciate natural beauty, the way hair is supposed to fall and shine—without chemicals and hairdryers and dyes. The way lips and cheeks are supposed to look—without fillers and layers of lip liner. The way eyes are supposed to age, showing off decades of emotions and experiences—without surgical face lifts and injections.
"Fuck makeup!" was my mindset. And that extended to all things cosmetic and surgical. And then, over the past couple years, being in my 30s, I became acutely aware of my age setting in--despite, if I can say so myself, looking damn good for 34). Lines around my eyes, a tiredness to my normally upbeat complexion, sunspots which never used to be as prominent (arguably because I have lived in sunny California for 4 years). I’ve made a concerted effort the past few years to use lotion and get facials occasionally and try this and that to improve the texture and appearance of my skin. It’s made some difference, of course. But there’s not much you can really do to completely stop the aging process...unless you regularly get microdermabrasion, invasive skin peels, injections, and more.
And so, wanting to look and feel my best, I've noticed how more open I've become about that which I thought was overtly vain, that which I'd never even consider doing to myself and wanted others to avoid because that stuff doesn't make you love yourself more.
While driving with girlfriends, one casually mentioned needing Botox touchups. Though I knew Botox was very popular, on a wide spectrum, I didn’t realize people I know do it. As naïve as that sounds. Rather quickly I realized I've missed the memo. It seems it's everyone's best-kept "secret.” Even a guy friend said, "Oh yea you could use it for sure on your forehead! I need more soon." Even my mom said it was a great idea—and I learned my natural ways from her. I had been so averse to less natural anti-aging, wellness techniques, I had become blind and deaf to it all.
Over the next week I spoke to more friends about Botox and realized almost everyone but I had been participating. Or at least had wanted if they could afford it.
While I've always encouraged friends to embrace their beauty and not worry about leaving the house without a full face of makeup and perfectly blown-out hair, I also am all about doing that which makes us feel most confident. We’ve all got our thing. And we’re all working toward greater self-acceptance. Be more open to whatever someone does to make themselves feel more at home in her/his body.
In general, I’m a really confident person. I don’t wish this body part was more of this or less of that. Of course I have moments of insecurity, like any human does, but overall I'm very happy with myself. Would I love if I had less sunspots and a few less wrinkles, sure. Would I love a bit shinier hair, sure. Do I hate myself or my body because those are my realities? Not even close. I think I’m beautiful. I’m very comfortable in how I look and feel. Which, mind you, took years of self-work to accomplish in my early 20s.
Of course, Botox and boob jobs and tummy tucks and all the other things can't mask our insecurities. We must first love ourselves—and that isn't some Hallmark crap. Really, truly, if you don't think you're a beautiful person—Intellectually, emotionally, and physically—anything you do to your body to reverse the effects of aging won't make you happier. But a little Botox to soften the effects of aging doesn't hurt!
I connected with Votre Allure, a SoCal-based concierge med-spa, specializing in high-end, experiential treatments and group events in the comfort and privacy of your own home. They bring it all to you, which makes the med-spa experience both less stale and also more fun. I got a few friends together and we had such a great time…while getting Botox. Why not laugh and kickback with friends while investing in some self-care? Plus, I can never turn down snack trays of hummus, veggies, nuts, fruits and all the other good stuff!
Votre Allure hires talented registered nurses (RNs), Nurse Practitioners (NPs) and Physician's Assistants (PAs) who are licensed and trained to inject and utilize telemedicine tools to provide the necessary medical oversight and patient charting wherever they go. A nurse reviews all your medical history with you on an encrypted video chat with a prescribing medical provider and discusses what outcome you want from Botox (or can prescribe treatment herself if she is an NP or PA).
Botox, a neurotoxin, temporarily paralyzes muscles, lasting approximately 3-4 months, to help reduce wrinkles in the face and also prevent wrinkles from forming. It also has positive effects on headaches and migraines (which was originally one of its primary uses).
I was admittedly a tad nervous my face suddenly wouldn't look like my face. That I’d appear expressionless. Or that I’d have an allergic reaction to Botox (since I have a lot of food and drug allergies). You hear horror stories about the injectable—warnings and downsides. However, there is tons of research and case studies that prove the drug is very safe. As soon as I started talking with the PA (Rosie), my worries dissipated. She was so confident and knowledgeable about what the drug would do to my face and how much I needed to attain the results I wanted. Plus, she looked amazing so I jokingly said, "Whatever you're doing, do to me!"
Botox takes about 3-5 days to settle in. For the first 24 hours, you're instructed to avoid any intense activity so the neurotoxin doesn't relocate and affect an area of the face you didn't intend to affect i.e. droopy eye. (Fortunately, Botox isn't permanent so within a few months the unwanted effect would wear off.)
At Votre Allure's group events, with typically 6-12 people, the cost is between $9.50 - $12/unit. I received 36 units dispersed across my forehead, between my eyes, and on the sides of my eyes. It was more than I originally assumed I would have wanted but it was just right. And boy, have I seen a huge difference! (Sounds like an exacerbated sales pitch, but really, I did!) After 3 days I could feel it kicking in, my forehead a tad numb/stiff when trying to raise my eyebrows. The deep lines between my eyes also disappeared considerably. A friend put it well: “You look refreshed.” And that’s exactly what it is. I look like the heaviness of age on my face has softened. I still look like me. I still have wrinkles and lines. But my skin looks less…challenged. Plus, I swear it help less any acne breakouts on my face.
I know the photos do not have identical lighting and angles, but I promise you, there was a very noticeable difference. 🙂
Do I think people in their 20s need to shoot up their face? Not really. Do I think people in their 30s could proactively lessen the aging effect? Yes. Do I think people in their 40s and 50s and older could benefit as well. Absolutely. Lastly, note, this is not just a female thing. I learned that many, many men get Botox as well. We all wanna look and feel our best.
**Disclaimer: I am not being paid by Botox to promote their product. I collaborated with Votre Allure to receive treatment in exchange for a review. That being said, I will NEVER write a positive review of a business or brand if I do not have a positive experience. So far, as of a few weeks after receiving Botox when I wrote this article, I have nothing but positive results. Votre Allure was so professional and accommodating. They put on a great event. I’m very comfortable recommending them to anyone I know! They service all of SoCal. And if you host a party for 6+, you get a $200 credit toward services.