I Quit Saving Lives To Give Women Botox, And I Don’t Regret It

Vanity gets a bad rap – it’s important to like the way you look, and what I do is an art form. 

I Got A Liquid Facelift And The Result Was Life-Changing

I didn’t want to go under the knife, so decided to turn to injectables. 

Rose McGowan Tears Journalist To Shreds For Critiquing Renee Zellweger’s

“You are a fucking idiot, Owen Gleiberman. Good hire, Variety magazine!”

I Got Botox Injected Into My Jaw To De-Stress

There’s more than one use for injectables. 

FDA Approves Injectable That Gets Rid Of Your Double Chin

Unsurprisingly, there’s a huge waiting list.

Botox Blues: Does Anyone Go Au Naturel Anymore?

Have you ever had a mini-panic moment, when you looked around and wondered if you were only person not having work done to their face? I recently attended a fashion festival and was immediately struck by the plethora of super-shiny, unlined faces around me.

Was everyone else lining up to get Botox aside from me? I mean, not that there’s anything wrong with that – if that’s what blows your hair back, do it I say. But how did this become the norm in certain sections of the community? And is it a societal faux pas for a woman like me to be in her 40s and – gasp – leaving her house without a trace of injectibles? Is it now so commonplace to get Botox – an alleged safe and effective anti-wrinkle treatment – that we’ve lost sight of what it actually is? Why is it now commonplace to pay top dollar for poison – aka Botulinum toxin – to be injected into our faces, to plump out our wrinkles and make us appear less like ourselves?

No longer just for TV types and A-list celebrities, Botox is positively mainstream: it celebrated its 13th anniversary this April after being approved for the treatment of lines between the eyebrows in April 2002. And nowadays, the number of people who get it continues to rise; by 2018, the global market is forecast to hit $2.9billion.

I’ve previously written several features about the rise and rise of the plastic fantastic Botox age, which even saw me get my face jabbed full of injectibles once in the name of journalistic research. I have to say – I didn’t hate the results – and this is what scared me about it. I could see how easily you could become addicted to Botox – it’s a totally weird, yet wondrous thing to see lines on your forehead erased, if you ask me. And, being on a newspaper journalist salary at the time – you’re never going to earn a millionaire’s wage – I had better things to spend my money on, like say food, running my car, a mortgage, books, travel and shoes (always, the shoes).

Botox, anti-wrinkle treatments, health and wellness, vanity

Besides which, I had some ethical and moral misgivings about Botox – is it so wrong for a woman to let nature take its course? Did I want to come one of those super-vain types who can’t let themselves age gracefully? Would I really want to erase all those – dare I say it – lovely laughter lines that give our faces such beautiful life and character? And did I want my children to not be able to play with mummy’s face – eyebrows/frowning games amuse them no end – and not know when I was truly happy, sad, or angry? Thankfully, my husband would also kill me if I ever touched my face – not that it’s up to him – but I imagine life would be so much harder if your significant other was constantly begging you to get work done, as is the case with some heinous men I’ve heard of.

Some of my closest friends and numerous acquaintances have succumbed to the pressure to get Botox and it makes me a little sad and disappointed every time I witness someone’s newly frozen-face. I know and understand that if Botox makes women feel better about themselves, I have no right to judge. But for me at least, a more natural beauty is what I aspire to. Mind you, I’m constantly told I have very youthful skin for my age so I have my mum’s good genes to thank for that, for she too looks a lot younger than she actually is.

I foresee that the dangerous vanity of Botox – the never-ending search for the fountain of youth – will be a horrid conversation I’ll have to have with my daughters, in time, and I’m already dreading it. How do you explain it? I want to raise two proud feminists who constantly question society’s determination of what constitutes beauty, just as I do: that it’s far from OK for male (and female) plastic surgeons to decree that a woman’s smile/laughter lines and those fabulous crinkly bits around your eyes are unattractive – ugly, even.

And then, there are the safety concerns: do you really know what Botox is doing to your face, long-term? Is it really safe to get done at parties? And what if the nurse/doctor/surgeon who does your Botox has a bad day and makes a mistake?

Botox, anti-wrinkle treatments, health and wellness, vanity

While it’s fair to say the number of Hollywood celebrities who Botox the f*** out of themselves far outweighs those who haven’t had the jab, it’s refreshing to find in my research that some brave big names in the entertainment biz are still allegedly refusing to adopt the frozen-face trend. Among them are Salma Hayek; our “own” Cate Blanchett; Gwyneth Paltrow; Angelina Jolie; Jennifer Aniston; Tina Fey; Lady Gaga; Kate Winslet (pictured above); Sofia Vergara and Julia Roberts (pictured below).

Pretty cool, huh? I mean, it can’t be easy for A-list female celebrities to be bucking the trend in such a sexist, misogynistic industry as Hollywood. I adore luminous beauty, actor Kate Winslet for one – and love her even more after I found this delicious, feisty quote: “It [Botox] goes against my morals, the way that my parents brought me up and what I consider to be natural beauty. I will never give in.”

Botox, anti-wrinkle treatments, health and wellness, vanity

Here, the last word must go to the the ever-wonderful  Julia Roberts who recently said of Botox: “It’s unfortunate that we live in such a panicked, dysmorphic society where women don’t even give themselves a chance to see what they’ll look like as older persons. I want to have some idea of what I’ll look like before I start cleaning the slates… Your face tells a story… And it shouldn’t be a story about your drive to the doctor’s office.”

What do you think? Are you all for or against getting Botox?

Images via generationnext.com.au, medicaldaily.com, sheknows.com, popsugar.com.au

The (Sometime) Joys Of No Makeup

Do you find that the more you age, the less inclined you are to wear really heavy makeup? It’s proof that mother nature has a sense of humour – that the older you are, and more comfortable in your own skin, the less inclined you may be to wear a full face of makeup, even though this is when the beauty industry tells us this is when we need their lotions and potions the most!

But instead of splashing out your cash on the latest “anti-ageing miracle cream,” does wearing less make-up actually make us look more youthful? In addition, isn’t there something really beautiful about natural beauty? A woman so comfy in her own skin that she’s OK about showing her true self to the world?

As we age, our faces inevitably reflect the fact that we’ve lived more, cried more, laughed more and endured more. And I find these lived-in faces to be more beautiful and interesting than the alternative – Botox be damned, I say!

And that pretty, natural makeup look continues to be a hit both on and off the catwalks these days. Check out the luminous J-Lo (pictured above) and Taylor Swift (pictured below), who both look amazing both with and without makeup.

no make-up, natural, Botox, aging, positive self-image

Now, I love makeup, don’t get me wrong – and I’m still fortunate to have crates of Chanel from my former life as a beauty/fashion editor, which both myself and my toddlers absolutely delight in using from time-to-time. Date nights with my husband are my favourite occasion to dabble in these 200 or so shades of eyeliner, eye shadow, lip glosses and lipsticks of old.

But I find the older I get, the less time, energy and inclination I have to spend hours doing my daily makeup – unless I have a special event. And, I believe this is also about having a more positive self-image. Over the years, I’ve learned to accept my dark, under-eye circles, embrace my freckles and my fair “English” skin. Sure, I’ll do my best to make the most of what my mother gave me, but I’ve even shocked myself lately by posting near-makeup-free shots of myself (with my babies) on Instagram.

And while I’ll still never leave the house without first applying concealer, crème blush and lipstick/lip gloss – this is a far cry from the days in my youth when I felt I had to have a perfect face of full make-up before I stepped out the door. Hell, I used to sometimes happily blend five different eye shadow colours before I felt my makeup was perfect enough to brave the world – those were the days, as a time-rich singleton!

My makeup collection and lip gloss/lipstick fetish are both sizeable, but I just don’t feel the need to hide behind my make-up so much anymore.

Popular US author and fashion blogger Leandra Medine, best known for The Man Repeller – a humorous website for serious fashion – recently wrote about this topic herself. I find Leandra to be very beautiful, but she wrote a recent customarily fabulous and feisty post about her penchant for no makeup in response to a male website founder describing her as thus: “She is ugly as fuck tho. Truly a man repeller.” What a horrid human he must be!?

Leandra, who says she also gets lots of haters on her blog admonishing her for her lack of “war paint”, wrote: “I am comfortable with how I look. I don’t hate what I see when I look in the mirror. Even if legions of others don’t agree.” High five, sister!

And high-end retailers are jumping on the no-makeup bandwagon, too. Super chic Sydney shoe/handbag and clothing retailer Sambag urged customers to join charity movement Makeup Free Me: Let’s Lift the Mask on Friday, August 29 to raise awareness of negative self-image. Customers were encouraged to pop into their nearest Sambag boutique; receive 10 per cent off the collection, remove their make-up, enjoy refreshments and shop for a cause.

Sambag then donated 10 per cent of all nationwide sales to The Butterfly Foundation thanks to Melbourne charity @makeupfreeme, which aimed to raise $250,000 for the foundation’s work to combat negative body image and support those affected by eating disorders. Sambag raised a total of $2420 (all donations go directly to The Butterfly Foundation).

What do you think? Do you wear more or less makeup as you age?

Main image via theurbanarchives.com and secondary image via tasteofcountry.com

Milestone birthdays: How To Age Gracefully (Or Disgracefully)

I’m turning 40 this week and it’s a mark of how much I’m struggling with this momentous milestone that I can barely say the “F-word”, as I’m calling it. It’s not that I’m unhappy with my lot in life, far from it: I have a husband and children whom I adore, fabulous friends and family and a great, new and interesting job (thanks, shesaid.com!). And, sure my bits aren’t as perky as they used to be, post-two babies, but I don’t even have a problem with the aging bit in itself.

It’s just that 40 (shudder – even typing the number makes me cringe) is my “scary age”. And when I happened to mention this angst to the straight-talking psychologist in the family (who shall remain unnamed), she was typically less than empathetic: “What’s the alternative? Would you rather be dead?” she snapped. Um, no thanks, not dead, just a little less exhausted, jaded and broken!

So, how do we age gracefully (or disgracefully) come milestone birthdays? Should we just drink to forget? Or what about writing a list of all the things we’re grateful for? I could start mine with: “I’m not dead…” And are the 40s really the new 30s, now that we’re all living longer, or is that just a silly statement a 40-something dreamt up to make themselves feel better?

Social demographer, KPMG partner, keynote speaker, social editor/columnist The Australian, Bernard Salt, says if we reach the age of 60, we typically have another 25 years of life expectancy. Interestingly, Mr Salt believes women age better than men. “Women tend to lose their partners in their late 70s and have 10 years of widowhood. Women cope much better in retirement than men because they have better social networks. Women can blossom whereas men can retreat – that whole ‘grumpy, old man’ stereotype rings very true.

“Men don’t age well when they are forced out of the workplace – it’s more of a social, psychological issue – whereas women struggle with aging due to losing their youth and beauty. Botox can hold things together, but you can do it to excess, and there comes a point when it just looks sad, it just looks plastic.

“The trend we see now is towards narcissism and self-promotion – a whole generation (Gen X) who deal badly with the loss of youth and beauty. This generation has made the most of their 40s and 50s through good diet and exercise and reinvented what it means to be that age.”

Mr Salt says our increased life expectancy has also had an interesting impact on our relationships. “There’s a new breed of Gen X-ers who no longer accept a bad relationship, cut their losses and go it alone,” he says. “We’ve also seen the rise of ‘companion relationships’ popular in the 1920s and 1930s when a whole generation of men died going off to war. Companion relationships are non-sexual, same-sex relationships. And pets also often come into play as a human substitute.”

My top three signs I’m ageing:

  1. I’ve had to Google strange, new Twitter acronyms, such as ICYMI, FTW and TFTF just to find out the lingo meaning.
  2. When a Gen Y texts me in their native language: “OMFG hun, dat’s obvs totes ridic,” I have to take deep breaths to quell my rage.
  3. After a misspent youth wearing 16cm heels all day/night, I have developed degenerative joints on one of my feet. I really am old!

How do you cope with ageing?

Image via etsy.com

By Nicole Carrington-Sima

Robin Wright Admits to Getting Botox Twice a Year

She’s one of the most beautiful and stylish on-screen characters in her role as Claire Underwood in House of Cards, and now Robin Wright is revealing her youthful glow is thanks to twice-yearly Botox.

When asked if she does Botox, Wright, 47, told the UK’s Telegraph: “You bet. Everybody f***ing does it.”

The actress admitted using Botox but apparently not as much as other women.

“It’s just the tiniest sprinkle of Botox twice a year. I think most women do 10 units, but that freezes the face and you can’t move it. This is just one unit, and it’s just sprinkled here and there to take the edge off.”

She then joked: “Perhaps it’s not wise to put that in a magazine? But I ain’t hiding anything.”

Wright also revealed she keeps her incredible body in shape by doing Zumba. “Oh my God, Zumba is the greatest invention ever for women. I like to exercise, though I do nothing consistently because I get bored and impatient. With Zumba, you’re dancing, you’re moving your hips. So much fun.”

Wright recently became engaged to Ben Foster, 33, after meeting on the set of Rampart in 2011.

“Ben and I have a connection between us that just feels right. I don’t know any other word for it.”

Wright has two children from her marriage to Sean Penn –  daughter Dylan, 22, and son Hopper, 20.

Have you tried Botox?

5 Things To Consider Before Having A Facelift

A facelift, or rhytidectomy, is a surgical procedure that smoothes out some of the signs of ageing on the face and neck, including sagging, creases, loose skin, fatty deposits and slack muscle tone. This procedure is often combined with eyelid surgery and a brow lift.

Here are five things you need to know before committing to a facelift.

A facelift is major surgery

This procedure is done under general anaesthesia and takes several hours. In a traditional facelift, an incision is made inside the hairline allowing fat to be excised from the face, neck and jowls. Muscle and deeper layers are repositioned, then the skin is re-draped and the excess cut away.

A facelift requires after care

You don’t get to run into the doctor’s office, get a facelift and go home. Following a facelift, the patient needs to spend time in an aftercare facility where they can be monitored for complications and receive pain medications. The stitches must be removed and time is needed for the patient to resume normal activities.

It’s expensive

In Australia, the simplest procedure addresses only the layers of skin and is called endoscopic facelift. This lift ranges from $6,500 to $12,000. The standard lift, or SMAS (superficial musculo aponeurotic system ) facelift and neck lift generally costs $17,000–$25,000. The most complicated lift is the deep plane facelift, which is priced at $20,000–$30,000.

These costs include fees for the surgeon, assistant surgeon and anaesthetist, hospital costs and follow-up visits. Facelifts are usually considered to be cosmetic procedures and are not covered by insurance.

There are serious risks

Post-surgery problems can include numbness, excessive bleeding and infections. Unfortunately, there are even more serious problems that can be fatal, like respiratory failure due to toxic levels of anaesthetics.  Minimsze the chances of complications by choosing your plastic surgeon carefully and thoroughly investigating the risks before deciding to have a facelift.

There are less drastic solutions available

While a facelift is the best solution for major sagging, there are alternatives to a complete lift. One is a chemical peel that burns off the damaged outer layers of skin to reveal the baby-soft new skin underneath. Another is laser treatment that can remove outer layers of skin and tighten muscles.

Still another is Botox, which is popular in Hollywood for both men and women. Botox weakens or paralyses some muscles and nerves, making for fewer lines and wrinkles. Although there are non-medical sources offering Botox injections, these injections should really only be done by a doctor.

If you have small problem areas and don’t want to go for the complete facelift, there are minor surgeries available targeting certain conditions. Consider a cheek lift, upper brow lift or neck lift to refresh your appearance without resorting to a complete facelift.

What do you think of facelifts?

Why Salmon Is Better Than Botox

We know we should eat oily fish for our health, but did you know eating salmon is one of the best things you can do for your skin? We chat with APD nutritionist and dietitian Ngaire Hobbins on why salmon really is the ultimate anti-ageing food.

Why is eating salmon beneficial to good skin, especially during winter?

Salmon is considered to be one of nature’s superfoods as it’s such a rich source of Omega 3 and other nutrients. Just two serves per week provides the recommended intake of Omega 3, essential for maintaining moisture in the skin during the winter months.

Tell us why Omega 3 and antioxidants are good for our skin?

When we eat oily fish such as salmon we load up on essential fatty acids including Omega 3 and antioxidants, helping our skin hold off damage and maintain moisture.

Antioxidants combat the everyday wear and tear that skin cells suffer constantly and Omega 3 fats also help nourish skin and help it retain vital moisture. These help protect our skin from whipping winter winds and drying central heating. Antioxidants are found in all sorts of foods but are generally highest in those which are intensely coloured. The key is getting as many different antioxidant substances in as natural a form as possible. All antioxidants work together to fight oxidative damage which damages skin from the inside. Moisturisers and other products applied to the surface of the skin can only do so much. It’s the work done by antioxidants and omega 3 fats from the inside, or through the foods we eat, which have the potential to help your skin most in the winter.

What about the Vitamin D in salmon?

The UV light from the sun fast tracks the ageing of our skin by affecting collagen, which reduces elasticity, causing lines. As a result any sensible woman nowadays should be avoiding the sun if they want good skin. But less exposure to sun means our bodies makes less vitamin D – a big problem for our bones, skin and other body systems.

In winter especially, with shorter days and much more time spent inside, any food which can supply vitamin D is of great benefit for our health. Fortunately oily fish, like salmon, is one of the best natural sources of this vitamin which is not found in many other foods. In fact, one portion of Tassal Atlantic salmon (150g) contains 8mcg of vitamin D, which is over half of the recommended daily intake for adults.

Click here for a delicious skin-loving recipe for Roast Pumpkin Salad With Feta And Spinach Salad by Kevin Horgan, Tassal Research and Development Manager and trained chef.

Botox :The Upshot

Botox. Everyone seems to be doing it. Celebrities faces are all looking pretty ironed out and smooth these days. So smooth in fact that we all want a little bit of what they?ve got, but some of us just can?t work the whole thing out. You know it can get rid of wrinkles and that?s a bonus, but what is it really?For a start, Botox is Botulinum Toxin Type A. It comes from a deadly bacterial toxin. This toxin is found generally in canned or preservative food. It has, over the years been purified for beauty and cosmetic use. It works something like this: the wrinkle in question is injected and temporarily paralyses the muscles around it so it can?t move anymore. Really the upshot of this is that if your face can?t move, then it can?t make that annoying wrinkle you?ve grown to despise.

Botox is performed, in most

cases on the wrinkle at the top of the nose-the furrowed brow between the eyebrows. There are other places – the forehead, other lines and crow?s feet around the eyes. It takes approximately ten minutes, there is only a slight sting – like a bee stinging the skin and it?s effects last three to four months. The difference is obvious almost immediately and oh yes that bit?it costs around $400. You?d also probably want to know that the celebs who love it are Madonna, Cher and Meg Ryan. As if you can?t tell anyway!This is the good news about Botox. The bad news is that there are possible side effects: possibly headache, respiratory infection and nausea. Sometimes there can be faint bruising or a dull ache around the site of the injection. Also there have been instances where weakness has occurred in other muscles. In even rare cases, temporary drooping of the eyelid has occurred. All of the side effects of regular use are not apparent now?we?ll have to wait until they all get old to see what happens to their faces. The choice is yours, but we think prevention is better then a cure, so here are some products if you don?t fancy $400 a pop every four months.

Prescriptives Magic Invisible Line Smoother:

Gel-based, soothing and it does what it says it?s going to do. Approx $71

Origins Grin From Year To Year, Brightening Face Firmer

The best for dry, and losing its lustre kind of skin. Soy bean and rice bran oils offer a natural solution. Approx $54

Another absolute must is to wear sunscreen everyday and remember?DON?T FROWN!!!