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Face Prepping for TIFF
That’s a photo of me taken last Monday, getting Botox (actually not Botox but we’ll get to that later) before the start of TIFF. I actually timed it a bit too late – which is why it’s the subject of today’s newsletter: the scheduling of beauty treatments. Because I think about this all time, how celebrities are always out here talking about their skin care regimes and every day there’s someone famous sharing their daily routine or whatever; but what they don’t talk about, and what would be useful, is how often they’re getting injected and what it is that signals to them that it’s time to get a top-up. Like it’s fashion week in New York right now and it will be fashion week in Paris and London later this month and celebrities are going to the shows and getting photographed and some of them are showing up for festival season premieres (if they have interim agreements from SAG-AFTRA) and part of the preparation for these events is getting their faces ready. Just like part of my preparation for TIFF, and the other major events I have covered in my career on television, is getting my face ready.
To be clear, I’m not promoting injectibles in this piece. You make the decision that is right for you. The point of this post is that for those who do choose injectibles, or are thinking about injectibles, more information wouldn’t hurt. We live in a time when so many people have been doing it for so long, the way I see it, it’s like makeup or skin care, and sharing with each other which eyeliner works for you and the best way to apply it.
My Botox Beginning
I started Botox last year, April 2022. Different people have different concerns that they are trying to address with injectibles. For some people, they’re trying to address the “eleven” – that’s the area between the eyebrows, the two vertical grooves that appear above the bridge of the nose that look like the number “11”. My issue wasn’t the eleven, but it’s that I feel like my eyelids are getting heavy and I wanted Botox above the eyebrows for a slight lift. So I ended up getting two shots on the side, just above each eyebrow and two shots between the eyebrows to balance it out. I think of it like a straight line – if you draw a straight line across your forehead half a cm above the eyebrows, it wouldn’t make sense that the two ends of the line were higher than the middle. This amounted to 26 units, what’s considered “baby Botox”.
You don’t see the effects right away, it varies by individual. For me, I start to see the results on day three, my forehead gets tighter when I try to lift my eyebrows or frown, but you can still see grooves; by day five I can no longer make an eleven when I scrunch my eyes together but there are still lines on my forehead; and by the ten day mark, I’m all set.
How Long Does It Last?
Again, this varies by individual. For me, with 26 units, I found that most of it was all gone by the end of July, so about three months. I went back for more in August 2022, which was a four month interval, and then after that in November 2022, shortening to a three month interval.
Staying on that three month schedule, and timing it for the Oscars, I was in the chair the third week of February, leaving exactly three weeks until the Oscars. This is what I meant earlier about face preparation for major events. If a Canadian television presenter is thinking about this sh-t, there is no way the movie stars aren’t looking at the calendar and making sure their injection schedules are aligned with key appearances.
So on that note, I was late for TIFF. But it wasn’t just me being lazy, it was also because I switched from Botox to Dysport to see if it would last more than three months and, for me, it did on the same amount of units. I found that Dysport went for almost five months, which means I was about two months overdue when I went in last Monday ahead of TIFF. This time, though, I changed it again – to Xeomin – because I switched dermatologists. I’m now seeing Dr Sam Hanna at Dermatology on Bloor and he only uses Xeomin. My treatment this time with Xeomin was 30 units, in the usual spots listed above, plus two more spots at the temples, and just at the corners of the eyes. It’s now been eight days and so far, from what I’ve observed in my face (and I am vain bitch so I’m obsessed with my own face), Xeomin is working quicker than both Botox and Dysport. My forehead is glass right now, lol.
We all have our own injector preferences. I know a lot of people who go to medi-spas for their injectibles, they love it, they’ve been doing it for years, and that’s their choice. My choice is that I only want to see a dermatologist for injectibles because that’s how I feel personally reassured that my face is in what I consider to be in the best hands. Again, that’s my opinion of what’s best for me, I’m not saying it has to be the best for you.
Dr Hanna knows what my goals are but I also trust that he won’t let me get out of control. I mean I don’t *think* I’ll lose perspective about my face and get too aggressive with everything but with Dr Hanna, we’re building a partnership. There’s a plan, as he says, there’s a realistic desired outcome. And that in itself is a key word too: outcome.
Because during my appointment I kept asking about the amount of units, since I often hear from people who get injected that it’s all about the units. Dr Hanna’s philosophy here is that he doesn’t focus on units but on the outcome. And his approach is to start with understanding the intended outcome instead of fixating on units.
That said, I get it why there is a question about units because of the cost. From what I’ve gathered, anecdotally, unit price at a dermatologist is higher than medi-spas and other injectors. Here in Toronto, I’ve heard that unit prices can range from $8/unit to $15/unit on the high side. So, for sure, this is a conversation about privilege; my privilege is that I can spend on the high side. And that privilege is of course exponentially higher for celebrities who are seeing the top dermatologists or plastic surgeons for their treatments. Which, obviously, they don’t talk about, even though most of us suspect that most of them are probably doing it.
This is the whole point of this post. We are way past the time when injectibles are exclusive to famous people. Every day people are getting injectibles – commonly! But for whatever reason there’s so much, I dunno if this is the right word… discretion? … around it? Like it’s a secretive thing. Like it’s embarrassing to admit to. Or it’s embarrassing to want.
Is it embarrassing to admit that I’m vain as fuck? Maybe I should be more embarrassed than I am, LOL. I’ll try to work on that. In the meantime though, in addition to being fucking vain, I also work in television, in a front-facing position, which means, like celebrities, my face is part of my job. To borrow from Madonna, I would like to keep giving good face. So I’m happy to share the choices I make about my face – and if you have any questions, let me know in the comments and I’ll try to answer to the best of my ability.
Dr Hanna told me that this round of Xeomin should take me to at least December. But I have a big trip planned at the end of November and I’m worried that it’ll start wearing off right when I need to look snatched for this family reunion. We agreed to check in right before I leave to see if I need a mini top-up because it’s possible that Xeomin will last longer for me than Botox and Dysport. Right now, going into my second week, it’s really starting to sing. I’ve been on no sleep for five straight days at TIFF but I’m still feeling pretty tight and lifted without looking jacked. And remember, it usually hits the sweet spot at around three weeks to a month. So by the time it’s my birthday on September 26, I am expecting my forehead to basically just be a sheet of glass, ha.
Keep gossiping, keep squawking,
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