Before lockdown, Marie Claire trialled the non-surgical treatment. This is what happened...
It is possible this time in isolation has made you appreciate what you have, not just in terms on your family’s health and financial stability, but also your body’s ability to run to the nearest park and your face for actually looking rather reasonable without make-up.
Encouragingly, looking natural was a beauty trend on the rise before the coronavirus pandemic took hold. Gone are the days of more is more, as more women seek procedures to sharpen their appearance, while still looking like themselves. Massive lips are officially off the menu. Phew.
The Face Art trend
Instead, a beauty trend called Face Art – also known as facial contouring – has been growing in popularity (although it’s currently frozen (sorry) as aesthetic clinics are closed in the UK). Face Art is a type of cosmetic procedure that can transform your appearance in a matter of minutes and has zero downtime. Botox and filler are used to restore volume in the cheeks, areas around the eyes, lips and chin in a tailor-made package depending on what the client’s desires are.
I’m turning 28 in a few weeks, and before the current climate of social distancing I booked a Face Art appointment with the goal of reducing the lines around my eyes and forehead, that have made permanent residency on my face thanks to that unavoidable life process called ageing. Crucially, I wanted all this done without anyone knowing I’ve had it done (the irony of publishing my confession is not lost on me).
Custom designed injectables
The most important part of having a cosmetic treatment is deciding who you trust to hold the needle. With the demand for injectables, especially among millennials, increasing, there is no shortage of clinics in London. But hours of research kept pointing me to one certified expert. The catch? He’s based in Dubai.
Now, Dubai has more cosmetic clinics than Beverly Hills – which is L.A.’s plastic-surgery district – and it’s only a six-hour flight (remember those?) compared to 11. My aesthetician was Dr. Jaffer Khan, one of the region’s most highly sought-after plastic surgeons and founder of Nova, Dubai’s leading Plastic Surgery Boutique & Medical Spa.
Dr. Khan’s Face Art procedure considers balancing your facial features, be it with Botox, lip filler or both. By just booking, for example, Botox, it alters your face and therefore can uneven other features. This procedure, on the other hand, is custom designed for each patient.
Obviously, I didn’t fly to Dubai just for Botox. I was already spending a few days there for a friend’s wedding, so the timing worked and I booked the appointment over five weeks in advance.
The Face Art treatment takes 1 hour and 30 minutes with Dr. Khan and includes the following:
Consultation + Assessment (I had a video consultation as I was in the UK)
• Application of Anesthesia
• Treatment: Unlimited anti-aging injections + fillers depending on assessment and patients requirements, 1 Session only
• Post treatment CryoFacial (a treatment that subjects your skin to extreme deep-freeze temps – to reduce inflammation and speed up recovery).
On the day white numbing cream (it’s ‘proper’ name is BLT cream, which stands for Benzocaine, Lidocaine, Tetracaine and is regarded as the best for cosmetic procedures) was applied on my lips, forehead, between the brows and around the corner of my eyes. During the five minutes it took for the cream to take effect, I signed paperwork surrounding the risks (such as bruising and headaches) and Dr. Khan revisited my consultation notes about concerns regarding my face. He asked me to pull faces (raising eyebrows and frowning) so he could decide how much to inject with (we decided on 0.85ml of juvederm injected throughout the lower and upper lip).
The injections (I had 13 tiny ones in total) aren’t painful, but they are uncomfortable, and it was a strange feeling having the liquid moved around in my lip. After 40 minutes, it was all over, and the numbing cream wore off during my journey back to hotel. After care includes taking six tablets. One to take before dinner that evening and two after, and the same pattern the following day.
The next morning my face felt stiff and my lips were slightly bruised, clearly fuller and dry (because they’d been stretched). Botox took a week for the full results to show, as the product softened and settled in.
Since lockdown, more of my friends have told me the situation has propelled them to action beauty wishes when they are unlocked, and I truly believe there is no shame in wanting to have a tweakment. I don’t seek a hefty and protruding upper and/or lower lip, I accept my face and simply wanted to enhance and define the natural angles, outlines and facial structure to give a fresher, streamlined look. And all non-surgically.
I’d hate for women to have a cosmetic procedure and regret it, but I stand by Dr. Khan and his clinic to use correct and conservative amounts. He is an absolute expert. You will not leave looking and uncrecognisable and you absolutely do not need a ‘top up’ every few months. Even six. Even 12.
In my opinion, skincare products can’t rival injectables. I’d rather spend hundreds of pounds on Botox and filler that is scientifically effective for preventing wrinkles and adding volume to specific areas, over a marketed face cream. That said, beauty guru Caroline Hirons makes a valid point, ‘Botox and filler change the structure of your skin, not the surface of it. You may have plumper, higher cheeks, but you could still have acne, pigmentation, redness and dryness – that’s where good skincare comes in.’
Finally, don’t be driven by celebrity culture. Don’t be driven by social media. If you genuinely want a procedure for yourself, I’m all for it. Just please allow your natural features to shine through.
For more information or to make a video consultation or phone appointment for Face Art by Jaffer Khan at Nova Clinic, call (+971) 4 384 5666 or visit thenovaclinic.com