botox and fillers: what they are, and why we love them

Cosmetic injectables can have a scary connotation (thanks, botched Hollywood stars and reality TV!) until you meet the right injector who educates you on the difference between products, what they're used for and how they're used properly and then voila! You'll be in love just like the rest of us working in the aesthetics field. 

First, it's important to know the difference between Botox and fillers. They each serve a specific purpose and contrary to popular belief, are not used interchangeably. Second, trust me when I say this, a skilled injector will NOT let you end up looking like a crazy person who can't move their face or show any emotion. I can't even fathom the amount of product these people have had injected over the years on top of many, many plastic surgeries gone wrong.

What  it is  vs. What  it isn't ...

What it is vs. What it isn't...

Okay, let's get down to business.

Neurotoxins - AKA Botox & Dysport


Neurotoxins are injected into facial muscles to treat and prevent wrinkles that are caused by the movement of those muscles. The most common areas for treatment are:

  • Crow's feet -- wrinkles around the eye area
  • Frown lines -- between the brows and on the forehead
  • Fine lines around the mouth
  • Neck cords to relax and smooth protruding bands 
  • Lift the eyebrow for a more defined arch

Both Botox & Dysport come from the same scientific background and achieve similar results, but are manufactured by different pharmaceutical companies. Think Puffs vs Kleenex. The biggest difference is that Dysport is structured differently on the molecular level which allows your results to settle in a little quicker, but that factor alone doesn't necessarily make it the best/right choice. You or your injector may develop a personal preference for the desired result you want.

The appointment is pretty pain free (you may feel a tiny pinch when the needle breaks the skin) and only takes about 15 minutes. There is no downtime besides a little swelling at the injection sites, similar to a bee sting, which subsides within the hour. The common misconception is that your results are instant and all of the sudden you're going to have a frozen, emotionless face. In reality, you'll notice your optimal results gradually (7-10 days for Dysport and 10-14 days for Botox). Think about it like this -- Go to a mirror and make a surprised face. Raise your brow as high as you can and notice the wrinkles on your forehead. Now furrow your brow like you're mad at someone, and notice the wrinkles that form between your brows (nicknamed the 11's). Within a few days of having Botox you'll start to notice those movements are a little harder to make, and the wrinkles that form are significantly smaller. Neurotoxins are eventually metabolized so results generally last 3-4 months.

At this point you may be thinking "I'm only 27, I'm too young for Botox!" or "I already have so many wrinkles, it's too late for me!" Well, you're in luck. We see clients of all ages. Our younger patients have prevent prevent prevent on their minds, while our more mature clients just want to soften their wrinkles to give a slightly younger, "Yes, I've aged gracefully" appearance. Nothing beats the feeling of having your friends or significant other compliment your fresh face!

Dermal Fillers - AKA Juvederm & Restylane

As we age, our collagen and elastic fibers break down and we lose volume and fat (unfortunately, only in the places we wish we could keep it!) that once gave us such a youthful glow. Both men and women begin to notice where beautiful cheeks once were, are now hollow and gaunt. Our lips begin to crease and lose their shape, and even if we've never smoked a day in our lives we see those pesky lines around our mouths begin to form. The corners of our mouth begin to turn down, and those laugh lines that hold so many wonderful memories get so deep we don't even recognize ourselves. That is, until dermal fillers change the game.

Now days, dermal fillers are hyaluronic acid (HA) based meaning they draw moisture to the skin and give something for our natural collagen to cling on to. HA fillers are also eventually absorbed and metabolized and just in case you don't like what you see afterwards, they can be dissolved with an enzyme called hyaluronidase. Talk about reassurance - that's as close to an insurance policy for your face as it comes! The most common areas where filler is used:

  • Cheeks - to add volume and lift
  • Lips - to smooth and/or add volume
  • Vertical lip lines
  • Facial wrinkles
  • Nasal labial folds – commonly known as “smile lines” or “laugh lines” that run from the corners of your nose to the corners of your mouth
  • Marionette lines – lines from the corners of your mouth that run toward your chin

If you only take away one thing from this blog post, let it be this:  Each syringe of filler contains 1 mL of product. 5 syringes of product = 1 teaspoon. That's not a whole lot people, so don't assume you'll be leaving your appointment looking like a different person. Sure, we can make more dramatic changes happen, but building over time is the key!

Moral of the story? Working with cosmetic injectables is an art form, so before brushing it off and deciding against it, schedule your complimentary consultation with one of our skilled injectors and get all the necessary information. With each appointment, you'll fall in love with the subtle changes you see.



lip injections; how to get the good (and avoid the bad & the ugly)

Lip injections. Lip filler. Lip enhancement. Lip augmentation. You name it, we've heard about it. We've all seen the good, the bad and the ugly. Thanks to Kylie Jenner for finally owning up to the fact that her lips are not natural (obviously!) and not due to some crazy lip suction device (see this Buzzfeed article for some laughs), the topic isn't so taboo.

First, a little history behind dermal fillers. The products we work with are HA (hyaluronic acid) based meaning our bodies eventually metabolize the product AND they can be dissolved with an enzyme called hyaluronidase. This is good news, people. It allows for some reassurance that if you do have a bad experience, it can be taken care of. More good news, it's very rarely needed.


Let's talk about lips, baby.

Let's talk about you and me. Let's talk about all the good things and the bad things that may be. Let's talk about lips! [inspo shout out to Salt-n-Pepa!]

Way back in the day, Restylane was one of the only options. Injectors all over the world were using it anywhere and everywhere on the face to add volume and reduce fine lines and wrinkles giving a tighter, younger looking appearance. Think cheeks, laugh lines, fine lines around the mouth, lips for smoothing and volume, and the chin. Now days, we have many many products to choose from that have been developed for specific areas of the face for very specific needs. This allows for much more natural looking results. Thanks, science!

Now, let's talk about products we use for lips. Restylane, Silk, Refyne, Juvederm Ultra, Ultra Plus, Volbella and Vollure. Seems overwhelming, right? The good news is that a good injector will listen to your expectations and help choose the right product for you, getting you the results you want. Factors to think about:  price? how long does it last? will it hurt? how much volume will I get? will it look natural? can I build volume over time? will they just deflate after its been so long? will I look like a duck?

Here's the short of it. The injector is key; and I'm not afraid to toot the Hollyday horn (toot toot!) because Holly and Jenny are two of the best in the city! The product determines all of the answers to the questions above. Let's just say $450-500 is a good average for price and 6-12 months for how long they last. We numb every client with a topical lidocaine so you'll barely feel a thing. Some post treatment swelling and tenderness is normal, but it subsides quickly. If you have tiny lips that disappear when you smile, we can give you a little oomph without everyone and their mother knowing you've had something done. If you're happy with what yo mama gave you, we can smooth and define them. If you want volume, we can give you Angelina Jolie-esque lips that look soft and natural, not ducky. HA fillers give something for your own collagen to cling on to, so over time your lips will be naturally more plump and pillowy. They aren't just going to disappear over night.

The bottom line is this - if the thought has crossed your mind (don't lie to yourself!) the answer is yes! You won't be disappointed.