Ok, so as previously mentioned, my cheek fillers are now in. Basically, cheek fillers aren’t really designed to give you the humungous cheeks of a laughing toddler but to give a natural looking plumping effect around the mid-section of the face where things can sink a little due to collagen depletion. I have mine done by Dr Robin Stones at www.courthouseclinics.com. It’s not a very uncomfortable process, but you do need to be okay with needles. While I’m always a little hestitant to do direct links (I think it’s more my job to tell not sell), I’m happy in this case to do so as it *is* where I go and have done so for years. I get a lot of questions about ‘tweaks’ as I like to call them, so am always happy to pass on my experiences.
Right, so this time I had a filler called Voluma, which is said to last a bit longer than other filler gels. The downside to this is that it is a very thick substance that needs a thicker needle in order for the practitioner to be able to push it through into the skin. However, Robin mixed it with anaesthetic so the most painful part was the needle going through the skin, and he because after that point the injection of filler was pain free he could use a finer needle because I wasn’t feeling anything. There is however a slight sensation of the fluid being squirted in.. odd little bubbling sensations every now and again.
To understand what cheek contouring actually does, Robin’s explanation does a pretty thorough job of telling it how it is. “Imagine the face as a tent frame and the skin as the canvas over the frame. If the frame shrinks a little bit, the canvas will become too big.” Which is what leads of course to jowls and the inevitable downward journey of skin as we age. Adding filler plumps the frame back up and all the surrounding skin looks and feels firmer. So it will deal with nose to mouth lines and also any sagging around the jaw. I like it – it lasted 9 months last time and I expect it to last even longer this time. I can just forget about it now.
But, ‘tweaking’ isn’t always plain sailing. Over the years, I’ve become quite sensitive to Botox, so I need less and less to make an impact. There’s no way to know ahead of time that sensitivity has heightened. One Botox treatment sent my brows down instead of up, so I had three months of looking massively grumpy and a bit depressed. I once had Botox above my top lip that completely stopped me being able to spit – not an immediate issue until you come to brush your teeth, that is! I also couldn’t sip. Annoying. But the mouth is a very mobile area and this kind of reaction doesn’t last long at all. This time, Botox around the chin area (designed to affect the muscles around the mouth) means that chewing is a bit difficult. It will remain so for the next week or so and will gradually wear off to something manageable. I can only eat tiny, tiny morsels at a time. So, you never do quite know.. it’s not an exact science yet. I’m open to being experimental so I really don’t mind these occasional odd effects – they’re fascintating really – and it also charts sensitivity so I know not to do it again!