My husband didn’t know my actual age until we were taking our first trip abroad after we’d been dating for almost two years. He was buying the plane tickets and needed to know my birthdate. Like my for real for real birthday. The one on my birth certificate.

I’m so vague about my age my sisters get confused about how old they are! LOL. But despite being vain about my age, I never thought I would try Botox until I got married eighteen months ago. And then, yep, I crossed into the toxin’s turf.  Until today, I’ve never told a SOUL I tried it. So I expect to be getting some calls from some girlfriends squealing, “YOU DID NOT! YOU DID? GIRL, YOU NEVER TOLD ME!”

Nope, I was mum about it. But on my wedding day when one of my best friends said, “Cheryl, you look like you’re thirty-years old. You look so rested!” I knew I’d made the right decision for me. But I was scared as hell, and for good reason. There are a lot of ways to mess up your face with this stuff. You’ve seen those “Access Hollywood” interviews with the stars who look like they should have starred in the movie “Frozen.” So you know what I mean. A little goes a long way in the Botox department. (And I don’t understand why some women just don’t get this!) But I selected my doctor ve-ree care-ful-ly.

I chose Dr. Rosemary Ingleton, a dermatologist who specializes in working with those of us with a little more melanin. I heard her speak at an elite women’s conference and loved what she had to say. She looked fabulous, too! Unlike a hairdresser whose hair is always jacked up but can make yours bounce and behave, I wasn’t about to chance my face to someone whose own face looked like it could be in the Rocky Picture Horror Show. So rest assured, Dr. Ingleton is beautiful, and she has a calming nature. I flew to her office in New York City, interviewed her before I let her anywhere near a syringe, and made sure I understood her philosophy that “less is more.”

For those of you who haven’t tried Botox, fillers, or miconeedling (yet), don’t go hatin’ on those who have. Different strokes for different folks. (And never say never.) My job is to keep you abreast of all things five-star, so here’s a down and dirty intro on what these beauty enhancers can do for you.

Botox – This is a neurotoxin, or a bit of anti-jiggly juice that tells your muscles to relax! Think: frowning muscles, over-smiling muscles, etc. You scrunch up your face so the doc can see where your wrinkles occur naturally, the juice goes in, the muscles freeze up and can’t move as much, and voila! You look fabulous and less wrinkly. The deep burrow by my right eye never did fully disappear, and I was fine with that. It kept a natural look.  If you over-do-it, you look dead. It stings a bit when the needle goes in, but it doesn’t feel like a shot. Since you are paying for the syringes, your doctor should put your name on it and store it for you in the event you come back. You are not supposed to lie down for like five hours afterwards, your face is a little sore for the next twelve hours or so, and you can’t wear any makeup right away. So don’t do it on a day when you have to be anywhere after your appointment! But don’t get too excited. You don’t see full results for about a week. I didn’t have any bruising. Usually a Benadryl is about the only thing you need afterwards. [Lasts about 4-6 months. Get it done at a certified dermatologist. $300-$900 for each area injected.]

Fillers – I like to think of fillers like this: You know how you fill up your bike tire with a portable pump? That’s what the filler does. It pumps up the volume in your cheekbones or jawline, and for wrinkles, it fills in the lines so that they puff out and disappear pronto. All fillers are not created equal, so please do your homework before getting the needle. I tried Restylane® under my eyes before the wedding because serious under-eye bags run in our family, and I was quite pleased with the results. No photo shopping was needed on the wedding day photos! You have to let the doctor know in advance if you’re going to get more than one treatment done at a time because it does matter which comes first, the chicken or the egg. And you should stay away from saunas for a while, but I forget why and for how long. (Sorry.) [Lasts about 6 months, $450-$550.]

Microneedling – Essentially, this is a device with teeny-tiny needles (ouch) that are pricked into your face to trigger your skin’s natural healing process. It hurts! Not unbearably so. (Y’all should know by now I have a very low tolerance for pain.) But it is supposed to stimulate your collagen and elastin. You can do this at home or contact a doctor to get your face toned up in firmness and texture. Ladies, anytime it comes to the face, ALWAYS opt for an MD. (Seems you can use it for stretch marks, too! Heeeyyy!) I tried it because I suffered horrible acne as a teenager, and almost four decades later, the scars from my puberty are still evident. They failed to warn me that my skin would scab wherever the teeny-tiny needles punctured my skin. (Read: all ovah my face!) So I literally FREAKED OUT when I woke up looking like I’d been attacked by the teeny-tiny scab fairy! They went away in about three days, but I was traumatized enough that I haven’t been back for another treatment. [Lasts about 3-6 months, $100-$700 based on extent of treatment, age and skin condition.]

Look, you gotta make up your mind what’s best for you. It could be any of these out-of-office treatments. Or you could just download the Facetune app and clear up everything with a swipe and a squeeze, and call it a day! But I loved the way I looked and felt on my wedding day. No regrets.

2 Responses

  1. You go girl, I love the knowledge. It is Power! You looked amazing on your wedding day “Amazing” so I want to say “Do you”. I believe you are naturally beautiful my Chicago sister but if a little botox is in your friend I say “Do you”.
    I have been around people who have over did it. I’m not sure if they just didn’t do their research or what but there comes a time when you must step away from the needle.
    Cheryl, I’m going to work “32” as long as I can right now ( Lol) but I know who to call when I need backup. Oh, I don’t like needles. Ouch!!!!! It’s going to be awhile.

  2. Great information ! Cause there comes a time in every girls life where you might need a little lift and my time has come !!

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