Wrinkle-free: My experience with Botox

I never thought I would get Botox.

I’ve been getting lip fillers for the past three years and I remember when I started with that, I was like, okay, this is probably the only filler I would ever get (I mean I also said that after I got my first designer bag)…

When it comes to Botox, there is such a stigma around it. Will it make me look I am in a constant state of shock? Am I cheating the aging process? Do I really need it?

I turned 30 this past May and although I have always prided myself in having amazing skin, I did start noticing that crow’s feet were starting to develop around my eyes.  I feel like usually when people get Botox, the forehead and the lines between your brows are the first to get treated, however, since I’ve been taking amazing care of my skin for years now (and I guess I don’t use my forehead muscles that much), my forehead still looks smooth and wrinkle-free. What was starting to wrinkle were those little lines around my eyes when I smiled.

Before and after with Botox for Crow's Feet

Now as you can see in the before photos, they really weren’t that noticeable, however, the great thing about Botox is that it’s a preventative treatment for down the road. Why do you think so many 20 years old get Botox? It’s because they don’t want to get wrinkles once they start turning 30 (or even younger).

In case you don’t know what Botox is, it’s a neurotoxic protein that is injected in the skin to help a wide variety of problems. It’s most widely used to smooth facial wrinkles, however it can also prevent excessive sweating (it’s very popular for those who have hyperhydrosis or severe underarm sweating), migraine headaches, hair loss, and a ton of other uses. In fact, it was first discovered four decades ago by an ophthalmologist who wanted to help a patient who had double vision. He ended up injecting a small form of botulism toxin, which is the world’s deadliest poison, into the patient’s eye muscles.  That eye doctor ended up selling the rights to Allergen in 1991 and it was cleared by the FDA in 2004.

Getting Botox for Crow's feet at Self Aesthetics in Winnipeg Getting Botox for crow's feet at Self Aesthetics in Winnipeg

Without getting too sciencey on what it is, essentially it’s formed by spores of a bacteria, which latches on to receptors in skeletal muscle, nerve endings, the brain, and some smooth muscle.  It blocks nerves from sending signals to the muscle to contract for short-term periods. Although it has done wonders for people with various medical issues, it’s most famously used to prevent wrinkles from forming or to smooth out existing wrinkles.

Since my crow’s feet were very small to begin with, I wanted to get it done for more preventative measures. Meaning that since the muscle will be paralyzed in my eye area, that means that it will delay the effect of wrinkles.  As we age, our skin gets thinner, drier, and less elastic.  This leads to wrinkles, creases and lines. With Botox, your skin essentially doesn’t move since the muscles are paralyzed, meaning that there will be no long-term depressions in the surface of the skin.

A lot of clinics offer this treatment, whether it’s a dermatology clinic, a plastic surgery clinic, or medical spas. I ended up going to Self Aesthetics here in Winnipeg, located at 2-455 Sterling Lyon Parkway. The clinic is relatively new and although they specialized in laser hair removal, they also offer Botox and other cosmetic injections as well.

I went to the clinic a couple weeks back and met with nurse Bev, an medical injector who has years of experience doing this type of thing. Bev was super knowledgable about Botox and how the facial muscles work and filled me in on all the 411 behind the treatment.

Botox containers at Self Aesthetics Nurse Bev injecting Botox at Self Aesthetics

Since I’m so young, she ended up doing three units on the top and two on the bottom, which were spread half a centimetre apart. I also asked for a slight brow lift, so she did three units per brow. When it comes to Botox, I think the biggest question people have is “how much is it?”. They price the treatment based off units, so essentially each vial of Botox contains 100 units. Botox actually comes as a powder in a vial, and then depending on how many units you require, the nurse adds saline to the powder to create the formula, which is then injected in the skin. At Self Aesthetics, they change $10 a unit, so it’s tough to say how much it would be for each individual and the area they want treated, since everyone would be different. For me though, for 16 units of Botox (crow’s feet and brow lift), it would have cost $160.  Definitely not as much as I thought it would be.

As for the actual injecting, they use a shorter needle than the one that they use for Juvederm (what I got done for my lips). She also didn’t use a topical freezing product to freeze the area beforehand. I have a pretty high pain tolerance but she did put an ice pack on the area prior to treating it (it didn’t really hurt BTW, just a slight pinch).  Other differences between lip injections and Botox is that it’s not an instant result. For me, it took the full 14 days to see results. It’s also a really quick process and there is no downtime. By comparison, when you get your lips done, your lips will swell up for a few days and you can definitely feel the product in your lips (they feel hard and it’s hard to chew as you can’t move them that much since they are stiff from the injection).  Although you can have some slight bruising with Botox, I didn’t actually experience any of that. Honestly, it was like I didn’t even get it done. It was in and out, super quick, super painless.

Before and after with Botox for crow's feet from Self Aesthetics

So how long does it last? I was told because I’m so young it will last a little shorter time for me, approximately three months. The Botox peaks at two weeks, so although you may not see instant results when you leave the clinic, it will get better over time.

Overall, I’m very happy with how it turned out and was very impressed that it made my little baby crow’s feet disappear. I don’t know if I would keep it up every three months, but I’ll definitely do it a couple times a year to keep that area in check. If you’re thinking about getting it down but scared of the judgement, my best is advice is don’t be. Honestly, it’s your body, who cares what people think. For me, it’s such a subtle difference that people wouldn’t even notice.  You’re also not going to look shocked if you get it done (another misconception); you’ll still have full control of your facial muscles.

If you are interested in getting Botox done in the Winnipeg area, I highly recommend Self Aesthetics. Bev did an amazing job and I’ll definitely be going back!

Have you tried Botox?

Please note, I partnered with Self Aesthetics on this post. All opinions are my own.

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Red-y for fall: Sally Hansen Red/esign collection

There is something so classic and feminine about red nail polish.

If you are a huge fan of reds (honestly, it’s suitable for any occasion), then you’ll want to look into Sally Hansen’s new redesigned Complete Salon Manicure collection, which includes nine shades of red nail polish.

In case you haven’t tried Complete Salon Manicure (C$8.97 at Walmart Canada), this line is made of a keratin complex formula for stronger nails and delivers up to 10 days of chip-free wear.  I’ve tried out a ton of colours in this line and really love the formula in the polishes since they deliver opaque colour in one stroke (usually) and are chip-free for more than a couple days.

Sally Hansen Red/esign nail polishes Sally Hansen Red/esign nail polishes

This new collection features nine shades of red, with five new colours in the mix (Cherry Delightful, red-Handed, Oh So Lava-ly, Berry Fancy, Belle of the Ball) . Sally Hansen says that the Cherry Delightful colour is the most universal of the bunch, suitable for a number of skin tones.

I swatched each and every one, and although I don’t have a fave, I was struck by how much I loved each and every colour. A few of them were very similar, but for the most part, if you are looking for a classic red, then you’ll definitely find one in this bunch.

The real showstopper of this line is definitely the brush. It features a contouring brush that easy deposits the colour on the nails in a simple, smooth, and streak-free application. I usually use a base coat and top coat, but I believe that you don’t actually need one for this line.

When it came to actually swatching these, although the colour went on great with one stroke, I did find that they subtly stained my nails, so therefore I did have to do a polish a day to test and photograph these. I mean usually you wouldn’t actually try on nine polishes in the span of an hour, so this wasn’t a huge deal, but I thought I would just mention it in case that would be something that you would look out for in a polish.

Sally Hansen Red/esign nail polishes in Belle of the Ball Sally Hansen Red/esign nail polishes swatch in Berry Fancy Sally Hansen Red/esign nail polishes in Cherry Delightful Sally Hansen Red/esign nail polishes swatch in Oh So Lavaly Sally Hansen Red/esign nail polishes in Red-Handed Sally Hansen Red/esign nail polishes swatch in Red My Lips Sally Hansen Red/esign nail polishes swatch Red Over Heels Sally Hansen Red/esign nail polishes swatch in Society Ruler

Overall I really liked this collection. I’m not a huge red person (in both polishes or lipsticks), but red is so classic and timeless that any of these shades won’t go out of style anytime soon (or ever, really).

What’s your favourite nail polish colour?

Please note, polishes provided by PR. All opinions are my own.

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Bold + bright: Mary Kay Matte Lipstick

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, you can never have too many matte lipsticks.

Although my formula of choice is a liquid lipstick, sometimes I like to wear a traditional lipstick formula since it’s easy to remove and is typically more comfortable to wear.

I received the limited-edition Mary Kay Matte Lipsticks about a month back and couldn’t wait to try out these bold colours. Available in four shades, the brand collaborated with the most influential trendsetters in Milan to bring consumers a uniquely designed lipstick. This is their most matte formula and it delivers some major pigment-packed colour.

If you are looking for something more subtle to wear, then this is not the collection for you. The colours include Puro Mirtillo (deep burgundy), Grazie, Violet (violet), Orange Mio (bright orange) and Roma Red (tomato red).

Mary Kay Matte Lipsticks Mary Kay Matte Lipsticks

Each shade goes on quite opaque and the colour does wear well.  The colours are very bold, so if you like wearing bright shades, then this is definitely the collection for you.  Are these any different though from other matte lipsticks out there? To be honest, they didn’t really awe me. I have so many matte bold lipsticks in my collection and these compared to others out there. I wish they would have included a nude in this collection since that’s so easy to wear, especially when it’s a traditional lipstick formula, but I guess they were going with a theme in this collection and they stuck to it.

If you are looking for a bold lipstick to change up your routine and like Mary Kay products, then I would look at giving these a shot. They do what they are billed to do, but they aren’t anything too unique. The colour does last a long time on the lips and although they are matte, they are very comfortable to wear.  You can order them through a Mary Kay seller and they retail for C$20 each.

Mary Kay Matte lipstick swatch in Grazie, Violet Mary Kay Matte lipstick swatch in Orange Mio Mary Kay Matte lipstick swatch in Puro Mirtillo Mary Kay Matte lipstick swatch in Red Roma

Do you like Mary Kay lipsticks? Will you be picking up any of these matte shades?

Please note, products provided by PR, all opinions are my own.

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