A few weeks ago, I crossed the beauty line from creams to cosmetic procedures.
I got Botox injections by Stacie Yeager, a registered nurse and nurse injector of Timeless Aesthetics, which operates out of Century Dental Associates locations in Scranton and Eynon.
When friends and family heard I was getting Botox, most were supportive, but others worried it would “mess up” my face. Like we went over last week, the majority of unwanted side effects are usually not a result of the Botox itself but rather the injector. Thankfully, I trust Stacie; I was impressed with her knowledge and eased by her calm demeanor.
Also, some said I was “too young” for Botox, but since I’m turning 30 next month, I’m at just the right age to start. Stacie explained it’s preventative for those in their late 20s and early 30s as continuing Botox injections will reduce deeper lines and wrinkles from forming. It’s still a great option for those in their 40s and older, but to start with a smaller amount when we’re younger gets ahead of it.
The day before my appointment, Stacie told me I should drink lots of water and avoid alcohol. That morning, I arrived at the office at 11:30 a.m. with a clean face and my boyfriend for moral support.
Stacie then handed me a mirror and asked what my thoughts were. I showed her the horizontal lines in my forehead; the parallel lines, or “elevens,” between my eyebrows; and the wrinkles around my eyes. I also mentioned I would like to try cosmetic filler down the line to plump my lips. Stacie then explained to me the “lip flip” — Botox injected into a few points above my lip to relax the muscles. This lets the top lip roll up slightly and creates the appearance of a fuller top lip. I was sold.
I made silly faces to trigger all of my wrinkles and lines (furrowed brow, raised eyebrows and squinting), and she marked injection points. While I didn’t need any numbing cream for the rest of my face, lips are sensitive, so Stacie applied some above my lip.
She then started injecting along my forehead. While I felt a tiny pinch, it was over before I knew it. She moved to my elevens — which I didn’t even feel — and then under my eyes. I’ll be honest that I was freaked out slightly when I thought about what was happening so close to my eye, but again, it was over before I could really process it. Also, I know Stacie is a pro.
She obviously kept everything sterile and safe, but she also was gentle and calming while injecting.
“Almost done. You’re doing great,” she would say. “Just breathe. Don’t even worry about what I’m doing.”
My lips were last and the numbing cream definitely worked since I felt no real pain other than a slight pinch. My eyes also started to water a bit, but Stacie (and other women I’ve spoken to about lip injections) said this was normal.
The whole injection process took about five minutes. I went back to work after, but I had a few rules to follow. I couldn’t lay down or bend forward for at least four hours, as it could cause the Botox to migrate. (So make your appointment for morning or early afternoon.) I couldn’t lift anything heavy, work out with weights or touch or rub my face for 24 hours. Because I also got a lip flip, I couldn’t use a straw for 24 hours, either, as the pucker motion could compromise the Botox. I felt fine after my injections, but by 9 p.m., I felt fatigued (a normal side effect) and was ready to lay down. Very unlike me, I didn’t wash my face or apply any products before bed. While it wasn’t advised, I slept on my back that night to avoid pressing on my face.
After 24 hours, I gently did my skin care routine. Botox does not work right away, but by day three, I began to notice my top lip was a bit fuller, and on day four, my eyebrows weren’t moving and the lines in my forehead disappeared. On day 10, my elevens were gone. Stacie still left slight movement in between my brows, which I love. I’m pretty expressive, and losing that movement wouldn’t have been me.
I am incredibly happy with my results. My forehead is completely smooth, and my eyes are slightly pulled upward, which lifts the corners of my eyebrows. My makeup goes on smoother, and my top lip doesn’t disappear when I smile. Also, my face looks better in pictures.
Two people who see me all the time — my mom and my boyfriend — unknowingly told me the same thing: I looked subtly different and more refreshed and awake. This is exactly the look I wanted: me, but better.
Those are just the cosmetic perks. Since forehead Botox, my near constant headaches have stopped. I’m not sweating from my forehead anymore or getting breakouts there. Another off-label use for Botox is treatment for teeth-grinding and TMJ, both of which I suffer from, and I’m planning on getting injections to treat that.
Though its longevity varies from person to person, Botox in my forehead and around my eyes should last anywhere from three to four months (five if I am lucky.) My lip flip will only last four to six weeks since those muscles are constantly engaged when I speak, eat, drink, sing, etc. However, Stacie told me that there’s a new toxin being approved this September that will last up to six months and Timeless Aesthetics will be the only place in the area to carry it. (Right now, Timeless Aesthetics uses Botox or Xeomin.)
So, if you’re considering Botox, go for it. (Read the Botox 101 story for tips before booking.) If you love it, great, and if you hate it, it’s not forever. Just remember that we all have autonomy over our own bodies, and whatever we choose to do is our business. Just like makeup or skin care, cosmetic enhancements are a form of self-care.
And when you look good, you feel good.
Gia Mazur is an award-winning staff writer and beauty obsessive who joined The Times-Tribune’s Lifestyles department in 2015. She’s a product enthusiast who can’t live without an eyelash curler. A proud Virgo, Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Pillow Talk is her go-to. Contact: email@example.com; 570-348-9127; @gmazurTT