Dear Squawkers, 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.
My esthetician wants me to consider baby Botox to address "the eleven" forming on my forehead. I am a little scared to do it, so this is exactly the kind of practical info I need!
Well, going from Jessica DeFino's latest Substack post to this gave me whiplash. The 'I do it for me, you do you' approach ignores the impact your actions have in contributing to a culture that normalises spending hours upon hours and thousands of dollars on injecting your face (which, if our world wasn't so fucked up, would horrify us). Your enhancements raise the bar of 'acceptable appearance' for the rest of us - you do you indeed but don't pretend you do it in isolation from an extremely harmful beauty culture.
Why do we reduce this vanity?? WHY are we vain? Because that’s part of how we are evaluated. For women especially. Appearance impacts pay and opportunities. This is about more than vanity. Yes it sucks. And still...
I respect and appreciate your transparency! I started doing stuff to my face two years ago and decided to just be open about it if people asked. While I haven’t tried Botox (yet?), I’ve had BBL laser and injected Hyperdilute Radiesse at my jawline to strengthen it, and am so happy with what both have done for me.
Off topic: my husband is a Tottenham Hotspur supporter like Jacek. I just enjoy knowing they like the same team.
I love this thread BECAUSE I don't have any friends who talk about it. At all. And I'm 50. And just left New York City after 27 years... well, honestly, I stopped needing wanting to put the time and thinking into this. BUT part of that is b/c I have a rare neuromuscular disease that is legit stated in the commercials for Botox as DO NOT DO THIS. Saying I have a rare disease feels as "private" as talking about Botox. But put the two together and WOW do people I work with never want to talk about it. (TL:DR myasthenia gravis is a disease where your nerves sometimes don't want to send messages to your muscles, so you get super fatigued. So, for anyone getting Botox, you can get why MG patients can't have it. P.S. I wanted it for my armpits to reduce perspiration, which is one of the HUGE reasons I only where black and navy on top. Perimenopause made the sweating even worse. Ugh!)
So, this is my personal - and privileged, since my health insurance covered all of my infusions for IVIG for seven years which is expensive AF!! - intersectional experience (or non-experience) with injectibles, rare disease, and the interest in looking the way you feel presents you at your best in public and private. (Two things I am delighted I no longer pretend I don't care about!!)
Started doing Botox at age 47 after my husband said I looked tired and "one" (just one) of my eyes looked really tired. Welp, that was just my face after 17 years of being married to him :) Tried Botox on forehead, crows feet, and "elevens." Love it. Have been doing it for 5 years now. But recently a friend said, "your skin looks great, but what are you doing about this (and pointed to my marionette lines)?" I feel at a disadvantage not starting it all in my 20s, like they all do now (even my gorgeous 34 yo yoga instructor told me she started in her 20s). I hate that I have succumbed to giving a fuck what others think of MY face.
Quick note. Dr. Hanna's office corrected the spelling for us in case any of you ask your provider about it. It's Xeomin and not Xeumin. Post above is corrected.
THANK YOU! This is exactly the stuff I want to know.
I wish celebs would just be honest. You don’t look amazing because of olive oil and sleep, JLo!! Give me the name of your doctor!!! (Side note: my doctor is in Beverly Hills and he just nonchalantly drops that she’s had two facelifts (I’m guessing partial).) Anyway there’s a great IG account that dissects what people have gotten done, including Mr. Bradley Pitt, who is almost 60 and looks ridiculous. The account is @igfamousbydana if you’re interested
Great post - I started injections a few years ago and love it. I remember reading a NYT article about how tough it is to research why people stop doing it bc so many people love it and don’t stop. I actually am a Dysport user since that is what my nurse injector recommended. I go in every four months. I think I get about 50 units or so on my forward, crows feet, and elevens. I started injections late enough in life (when I was about 40) that I still have “static lines” as my injector calls them. I actually like that you can see them on my face so I don’t look too porcelain doll smooth. I feel like, for me, it makes me look normal, but refreshed - like I got a great night’s sleep while on vacay. Lol.
I also have tried micro needling for texture and acne scars, but didn’t see much in results. I recently tried BBL and do feel like it made my skin look better. My esthetician recommends Skin Science products and the Mystro serum combined with the BBL has made a world of difference for my texture. I otherwise use mid-range skin care products (Paula’s Choice and Maelove are my current faves).
Love this topic! My close friends and I discuss, but no one else does. I also feel like everyone else who I know MUST be doing it just claim they have good genes or look young. Lol. I wanna be like, “I have met your parents. Your genes and skin are not that magical naturally.” I feel like I am the only person I know who admits I have aged in accordance with the years I have been alive, including my teens and twenties when I was convinced I would get tan if I just stayed in the sun long enough. Hint - it didn’t work. I just got sunburned and more freckles.
I love your candor around your vanity and around what you do in service of it. I am moderately vain but I made a conscious choice in my early 20s to only wear make-up for special occasions, because it seemed to get me taken more seriously in a male-dominated tech workplace. Also I have feminist objections to make-up being required vs optional. I took care of my skin, got good haircuts, and occasionally I'd get my eyelashes tinted. Now that I'm approaching 50 I'm starting to feel like my eyes need something more -- makeup or injectibles, I'm not sure yet. And I totally agree that more information sharing would be super helpful.
Thanks for this post. It's really refreshing to see injectables talked about with transparency.
Thanks Lainey. I am 37 and starting to consider Botox because my crows feet mean that sunscreen gets into my eyes all summer and it is ANNOYING AF. There is definitely some guilt around this still and stigma even though sooo many people get it - as usual it’s like we are expected to look as young and fresh as possible but not talk about how we maintain that - so this was a good explainer for me!
I know I will sound like a lunatic, but I've been doing botox since I was 27. I went to undergrad in LA with a lot of young men and women in their teens and early 20s who were already doing injectables. While I also side-eye the Kardashians for their unrealistic beauty standards (and that scary "LA face"), I can attest they are just a symptom of growing up privileged in LA. Anyway, that's a lot to unpack, but the point is that people I went to school with were open about it and discussed it with each other (much like I am sure celebs do!), and that made me feel comfortable being open about it. I am now 39 and have incorporated some light filler to my usual botox routine - I do filler 2x/year and botox 4x/year - it's subtle, but I love how it helps me look and feel.
I have always discussed it openly and been willing to answer every question someone asked me. That has led some other people I know to feel comfortable trying it for themselves. While I understand there is internalized ickiness behind why I, as a woman, equate "looking young" to "feeling good" - discussing it openly feels good too. It isn't something shameful or even very unique amongst my friend group these days, which is very different to how celeb culture treats it. For me, it is empowering to be able to say, "I do this for myself and I can talk about why I do it, and how, if others want to know." Taking a leap here, but after reading "Burn it down" (so good- TY LG for the reco!) - I do wonder how busting the walls down on something as seemingly innocuous as what procedures all the celebs are doing to look they way they do, might help open the door to bring other "shameful" aspects of the business to light.
Thanks for the candor! Grateful to hear an honest conversation among smart women about such a secretive (but obviously very common) intervention. Perfect use of a Substack. Glad I subscribed. Squawk on!
Anyone in South Florida, I love Dr Tran in Pembroke Pines, I find her affordable (she's a plastic surgeon AND injects you herself) and skilled. I did the same thing as Lainey, raising the brows ro lift the heaviness of the lids, and I schedule it 1 month before a big event. This last time I also did Kybella for chin fat and jowls- 1 unit at 800$. It took 4 weeks for the results but i love it. Online estimates will ssy 3 vials are needed but She 100% pushes for the less expensive, more subtle route and always says we can do more if it's not enough later. The one vial was absolutely enough to make a difference, she was right.