Give me a little Pout

How to decide if you want to do a cosmetic procedure:

1. Find a good doctor and schedule consult

2. Post about it on your blog and get pro and con opinions

3. Ignore advice and do what you planned on doing anyway, which was making an appointment for restylane and maybe botox.

Okay, I did it, and….. Well, let me tell the story first. I hate needles, always have. I was the little girl at the doctor’s office wailing inconsolably while they had me looking at pretty, shiny rings to take my mind off that long, sharp metal thing the doctor was going to jab me with.

For me to willingly schedule an appointment to have needles stuck in my face without being given a general anesthetic first is just crazy. But, hey, I’m menopausal, so crazy is just a part of the day now.

I was sooooo nervous this morning, but they were great at the doctor’s office and made me feel as at ease as I was going to get. Originally I was only sure I wanted the Restylane in my upper lip. This requires just a bit of background. I’ve always had good lips. Not too big, not too small, they’re just cute and have a little bow at the top, not thin, but pretty much perfect. Over the last 7-8 years, partly because I used to smoke and partly because of age, the outer edge of my upper lip was losing its volume, it was just collapsing, leaving what looking more like a red outline before you got to my upper lip. Most people could fix this with lipstick, but lipstick won’t stay on me, just lip gloss, so that option wasn’t gonna work.

After my upper lip kept deflating around the edges more and more like a slow leak in a flat tire, and my little bow just was looking sad, I decided I had to go ahead and at least try this. I’m really not that vain, and I’m perfectly happy to get old and look old. My upper lip turning into old lady lip was just not working for me! We all have our kinks, and it’s good to know where yours are.

We talked about doing a little Botox as well, just a little to help the downturning mouth (well, while we’re there and numbed up!). They put a drop where the line from your outer mouth about gets to the chin. That paralyzes the muscle, which then allows the mouth to lift back up. Then we talked about doing Restylane in the furrow, one single line, in the forehead, but she said it would be best to use the Botox there, see how that reduced it, then do Restylane since it would likely require far less after Botoxing. I’m a little nervous about Botox in the forehead… I’ve seen expressionless people, and I seriously do NOT like it. I’d rather have 3,000 wrinkles an inch deep in my face than to wind up devoid of forehead expression. But I thought… well, it’s just a little. I’ll try it — if I hate it, it will just wear off.

Now I’m signed up for three things to do. Hmmm…. this could be how this starts.

Anyway, they numb me up with a topical cream, then they put more numbing stuff inside my mouth, followed by three injections inside the mouth to finish the numbing. It really wasn’t bad at all as far as pain since I was pretty numb from all the topical ointments. She leans me back in the chair and gives me this cold air thing to blow on my faces. She said some patients find it helpful in just helping with the discomfort. Baaaa…. I’m a sheep, I blow the cold air on my face. I have no idea if it helps with the discomfort, but it feels pretty good.

She injects the Restylane in the lip, it doesn’t take long, massages it around. She also takes a little Restylane and puts it in the corners of the mouth to help the downturn in the mouthline. Then she does the quick little Botox injections, which seriously didn’t even hurt a bit. One in each corner below the mouth (near the chin — never put Botox near the mouth). Then she had me squint, found the muscle above each eye, one injection of Botox there, one in the middle and I think two further up on the muscle? I can’t remember. They were painless and kind of fun, so it didn’t even register where they went in. All in all, the procedures was relatively pain-free.

Afterwards, it is tender and swollen, but not as much as I expected, and there is some bruising. I don’t have big old trout lips even with the swelling, so that makes me happy. Some joker at my office left me a mirror with a sign on it “Caution, lips seen in the mirror may appear bigger than they are.” Bitch. Anyway, I was told not to expect optimum results for several days, after the swelling goes down, and that it takes a few days for the Botox to work into the muscles.

What do I think at the end of the first day? This shit rocks. I easily shaved 10-15 years off my face. Now, I tend to look fairly youthful, I don’t have a lot of wrinkles, but I was looking pretty much every bit of the 46 I am. The minor lines that were pulling down from the outer corners of my mouth are gone. I now have a neutral line there. It turns a little up, but mostly just in a nice even line. This is the biggest, most significant change and the one thing I’ll keep doing for sure. The upper lip is still a little bruised, but my lip line is now filled in to where it should be, and the swelling is very minor, and I’m totally loving having my upper lip back. My lips look balanced now, like they used to. The Botox in the forehead? The jury is still out on that since it takes a few days for that to do what it is going to do.

Should someone else do it? I don’t know. I had realistic expectations for my lips and to just return them to what they were. If you normally have a thin upper lip, I think the results may be harder to get to where it looks natural. Not that it can’t be done, but I think mine were easy to get a great result on. If you have the lines going down from your mouth… that is the best thing, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend that procedure to anyone at all, it’s worth every penny. I just don’t look sad or upset anymore when I’m not. My husband took a look at me and swears 15-20 years are gone. I think he’s a doll. I can say this, I like my face again. It still has wrinkles, and I don’t look like I’m in my 20s, and I don’t think I look like I’m in my 30s either. These couple of things made me look good in my 40s, happy, relaxed, rested, it erased the stress lines from my face. Is that worth the price tag? Maybe not for everyone, but I think it’s pretty cool.

  • Sandy says:

    I SOOOOOO told you so. This stuff ROCKS! It does easily shave 10 years off – easily, and relatively painlessly. I’m due and on my way for a touch up myself….

  • Flora says:

    Bravo for you – I would never do “real” plastic surgery (as in cutting), but if I had a couple little things that “bugged” me like that (and I do!) I would totally do the Restylane, Botox etc. in the selective areas. Not the full Hollywood “I can’t move my face” job, but hey, if it makes you like your face more, go for it! I have the same thing – the one brow furrow and and some lip stuff I would like to improve, that’s about it. When you get too much done you don’t look better anyway, you just look like you had too much plastic surgery! I say start young with the little subtle things and no one will ever know why you look so “rested”…;)

  • Jenny says:

    When it’s not bad for your health why wouldn’t you do it, I think years from now on it will be “normal” to do it, and almost everyone will do it. I’m not sure I would do it though.
    I was hoping for photos of before and after!

  • gingele says:

    Patty –

    So glad to hear everything went so well for you! Just wait until that Botox really takes effect – usually a few days – I hope you will be just as pleased with the results between your brows as you are with the Restalyne.

    I had Botox for the first time about a year ago. The doc advised between the brows (what I went in for), the forehead and the crows feet (the deluxe pacakge?). I LOVED what it did for me between my brows. However, since the lines on my forhead and my crows feet (ahem “laugh lines”) didn’t bother me so much to begin with, I never redid those areas. I like those expression lines, and I’m not worried about looking my age (whatever that means). However, I was ecstatic that those deep furrows beteen my brows were gone after years of scowling back at myself in the mirror! I’m a convert! The nice thing about getting Botox in this area is that each cycle lasts longer and – at least in my case – there was no need for any fillers…the “11” just disappeared!

    Keep us posted on how you like everything!

  • Elle says:

    Patty, I’m not sure exactly what the reason is, but I suspect it may be at least partly due to the lack of Protestant guilt over artifice and beauty or luxury. The women I know really just don’t feel remotely guilty about enhancing their appearance – they take great joy from it and consider it a perfectly natural thing to do. If the money is there for procedures, then it’s just seen as a sort of natural extension of buying a great lipstick or moisturizer. The only times I’ve heard negative comments made is when someone has overdone it or had bad work done. Then the comments are mostly about what doctor did the work so that people know to avoid him – not a moral judgement on the woman (except for her bad judgement in choosing that doctor). There’s a fantastic song by Los Horoscopos de Durango called Antes Muerta que Sencilla, which doesn’t translate literally well into English, but essentially means “better dead than simple/plain.” The song is about women wanting to go out after a hard day’s work and makeup, great clothes, perfume all being part of that. In other words, screw the practical, all natural look. It’s a great, very amusing Duranguense dance song. 🙂 One of the lines has to do w/ wearing Chanel #4 because it’s cheaper than Chanel #5. Cracks me up. It’s not a song for the wealthier Latinas who have enough money to do procedures, but it certainly reflects a unified Latina attitude that extends beyond class divisions and I think explains rather well the lack of a censorius attitude over procedures.

  • Patty says:

    Hey, baby, aren’t you supposed to be working? 🙂

    I forgot to tell you, the Botox in the forehead actually has a residual effect of raising the eyebrows a bit, so it actually gives you a more rested, youthful eye area indirectly. Cool, no? I think that part of it is pretty awesome.

    Shall we make lasagna for mom this weekend?

  • Patty says:

    T — most places, you can do a consult. The best thing about the fillers and Botox, if you don’t like it, it wears off, and you never have to do it again, or you can do it differently.

    I would have never done this except for it being temporary.

  • Patty says:

    I agree, Cindy. Women, especially as they age, are criticized for looks, and if you are a tough woman, too (workwise), you get classed into another category. I don’t mind being called a bitch, but I don’t want to be called an old, haggard bitch. 🙂

  • Patty says:

    Thanks, R and Victoria!!

  • Patty says:

    Thanks, Angela!

    I may go do the IPL treatment to get rid of some broken capillaries later, though I’m still not sure about that. It seems like if you start poking at one imperfection, you find a million more if you keep trying to find them.

    Though I was told that doing IPL to get rid of the age spots on your hands is way cool, and now I’m looking at my hands going… yeah, damn, that would be sweeeet! 🙂

  • Patty says:

    Thanks, Iris! I’ve seen pictures of you at the L.a. Sniffas, and you are gorgeous, Girl!

  • Patty says:

    I agree, Justine. A few years ago, I was on the other side completely, and I would have been fine staying there, and I haven’t converted to being a big proponent of cosmetic minor procedures, but I am glad I did this.

  • Patty says:

    Thanks, Kristen. I’m glad to hear your dad’s face is falling behind his age! 🙂 My dad’s face was full of crags and wrinkles and stuff, but he was so lucky because all of his were good ones, nothing pulled down, and his face made him look content even when he wasn’t. He couldn’t take a bad picture because he had such great symmetry in his face.

  • Patty says:

    Smooches, Marina!!!

  • Patty says:

    Well said, Flor.

    I’m totally against young women doing this kind of thing, unless it’s for something that is seriously damaging how they think of themselves, like a nose job fora nose that they just can’t bear having, or if they are seriously flat chested or have too much boobage, stuff like that.

    I met a woman yesterday who is in her 20s, and she has really thin lips, and as soon as she gets her braces off, she says she’s going for Restylane because she just wants fuller lips. It sorta cracked me up… as soon as I get my braces off…. 🙂

  • Patty says:

    Elle, do you know why so many do it in Central and South America? Is it just more accepted? Even though I’m find with doing it, there’s a small part of me over in the corner with my Midwest sensibility that hears the neighbor ladies saying, “She’s had “procedures” done on her face, can you believe it?!?!” 🙂

  • The DH says:

    Patty looked great beforehand, and looks even better now. Mostly, the change was in her eyes (she now has Happy eyes). A positive attitude about yourself migrates to everything (and everyone) around you.

    Did she need it? – No
    Is she Happy with it? – Yes
    Does that make it worth it? You damn betcha!
    >>:d< (P.S. In case you're wondering, the only reason all this fluffy stuff about the "DH" got started was because she knows I'm trolling the site!)

  • tmp00 says:

    I’m glad to hear it worked out for you.

    I may just have to give a look at some of these as well, things are starting to sag a bit.

    Personally, I don’t see anything really wrong with having whatever you want done, within reason. The reason it sometimes gets a bad rap is that one ends up seeing the worst cases: i.e. so much botox the face barely moves (cough *Nicole K*), enormous trout-lips where there were none (cough *Meg R*), or a face that looks like a dog leaning out the window of a sppeding car (cough *Joan R*). What you don’t notice is that there are tons of women out there who merely look good, rested and refreshed, who use these tools as an adjunct to proper skin-care, a good diet and excercise to look the best they can. Any act can be taken to extremes, dieting can become anorexia, exercise and become obsessive. If you are fine with your natural ageing then more power to you (and I mean that sincerely) but I don’t see this as being that much different than buying creme de la mer, or for that matter, a bottle of Tubereuse Criminelle. We do what we do to be able to face the day…

    (getting off the soapbox I inexplicably found myself standing on…)

  • violetnoir says:

    All I can say, P, is right on!! You look marvelous!

    Hugs and love!

  • CindyN says:

    My 2 cents: Patty, I’m glad you went for it and even more pleased that you are happy with the results. Personally, it took me till I was 40 before I was truly understood myself and was comfortable in my skin, allowing myself to truly be the woman that I am. Now, with a little filler help I can reclaim a few of the “lost” years and feel good about it all. I think that as women, we often push to prove ourselves (especially in the workplace), nurture those around us–but forget to nurture ourselves. I believe (finally) in giving myself permission to nurture me.

  • Victoria says:

    Patty, I am glad to hear that it all went wonderfully and that you are happy with the results.

    I see Justine’s point about this debate, and I agree with Elle on everything she said. Ultimately, it is all about choice, and it is wonderful that we have various options to exercise. I have lived in various parts of Europe, and I must say that women everywhere are bombarded with the same messages and in some places have their choices further limited by the traditional obligations. So, it is not about American women vs. the collective body of women in Europe argument.

  • AngelaS says:

    I bumped my nose once and got a spider vein that plagued me. I can’t tell you how much I spent on concealer to hide it. Finally I went to a cosmetic surgeon’s office and had it lasered away. Five minutes and a mere $40, and it was gone! It was like magic. I had no idea these things could be so easy or cheap.

    Patty, I don’t know what you look like, but I have to believe with your funny, smart, kind attitude that you’re a looker. If you feel great about how you look, too, so much the better!

  • IrisLA says:

    I’m glad it turned out well for you! It’s healthy when we do these things to please ourselves, whether it’s perfuming our bodies, wearing makeup, buying stylish clothes, etc.

    Here in L.A., one sees surgically-enhanced and beauty-addicted women everywhere. I appreciate their beauty and don’t compare myself to them. I don’t feel any pressure to enhance myself. If and when I do any procedures, it’s to please me because I want to look the best I can.

  • Justine says:

    As read through Kayliana’s commetns, and then the other comments too, I am struck by how much the tone on this topic reminds me of the stay at home mommy vs. the working mommy. Topics such values, priorities, and what it means to be a woman are lobbed about. Add in what it means to age. Mix. For some reason we have a hard time saying hey, I’m so glad this works for you (be it working outside the home or Botox), if we wouldn’t do it ourselves. I think we want validation that our choice is the best choice, its the choice we all should make.

    I say, do whatchalike. I’ve had lines, I’ve had wrinkles. I’ve had botox. I like it too. If it works for you too, fantastic! If you never want to alter your face, if you plan to let your hair go gray whenever it does, and that works for you, fantastic! There’s room for both of us.

    I have a daughter and she is opionated, outspoken, strong and beautiful. She plays sports, and wears perfumes. She feels like her world is full of options, and it is. I look and her and think wow, its a great time to be a woman in America.

  • Kristen says:

    I am all for “a little work” if it helps your outsides match your insides! For many years, my dad looked quite a bit older than he was, thanks to a crappy childhood filled with bad sunburns, years of smoking (a long time ago), and Vietnam. It seemed so unfair, since he’s fun, light-hearted and hilarious, but most of the time he looked sad and tired. It just wasn’t “him.” However…my mom and I never had the heart to suggest that he get something done because we didn’t want to upset him.

    He has recently turned 60, and fortunately it seems that the aging process has, well, stopped. Now he actually looks younger than he is! Don’t we all wish this would happen more frequently? 🙂

    Anyway, Patty – good for you! You like your face again, and that’s all that counts.

  • Marina says:

    Patty, I am so glad you went and done what you wanted to do. And I hope you are feeling well. To quote James Blunt, You are beautiful…you are beautiful…


  • Flor says:

    I see nothing wrong with cosmetic procedures. I think if you are truly unhappy with a certain aspect of your face or body, you should do something about it. People who do nothing just sit around and wine and complain to their friends at every given turn about how old they look, or how ugly their nose is, or how fat they are, and what have you. I’d much rather have friends who are happy with the way they are, even if it means cosmetic procedures, than friends who are a bore to be around. I don’t need any kind of procedure yet, but when I do, I’ll have to make a decision about it. Only I will be able to decide and I will have no regrets. I know that there is such a thing as too much, but I believe I have the maturity and strength to know where that line is.

  • Elle says:

    I just wanted to say that in South and Central America I know *many* more women who’ve had cosmetic procedures than in the US. I also know many more in Spain and Italy who’ve had them done than in the US (but not to the degree they do in certain countries in South America). I have to say that many (OK, not all)of these women look fantastic. Not desperate and over stretched and tragically attempting to be 20 at 40. They just look healthy and content. I have every intention of using Restalyne and Botox at some point. We wear make-up, we diet, we get our teeth fixed…this just seems like an extension of that, as long as it’s not overdone. The key is moderation and self-awareness. OK…stepping off my soap box now. 🙂 And I totally understand why people disagree w/ that, but that ability to have different opinions is what makes life interesting and everyone can decide for themselves.

  • chayaruchama says:

    Thanks !

  • March says:

    Chaya — you are such a sweetheart.:x

    No, the Aries is not gonna make the peace … you’re right, though. In terms of Pointless Argument, cosmetic surgery is right up there with Working vs. Stay-at-Home Mommies.

  • Patty says:

    Chaya, and anyone else that wants to comment! I think this is a sensitive area. I think the opinions on any side of it may strong to quite strong, and I think everyone will just agree to disagree where we differ.

    I definitely agree, we will all have different opinions, and I love you all with your different opinions!

    Definitely don’t want anyone to NOT say how they feel, even if it is different from how I feel. There just isn’t a right answer here. 🙂

  • chayaruchama says:


    I love you !
    Don’t be defensive…
    You don’t have to justify anything.
    Oy, I can see it now…
    This is going to be a ROUGH blogday…
    Fasten your seatbelts, babies-
    We’re in for one hell of a bumpy ride…

    OK, guys-
    Let’s agree to disagree…
    We’re a family by choice,no?:((:((

    Lots of room for all sorts of opinions –
    This is a SAFE haven, right?
    Don’t make the Aries have to make peace…even if I share my birthday with the Buddha…!

    You’re gonna make me meshuggah…

  • March says:

    Okay, coming out of the closet now. I had my first cosmetic procedure done at age 11, when my mother had my Dumbo-esque pinned back, because they shamed me so much. I’ve never been sorry. I can’t ask her why she did it at that tender age, because she’s dead. Then full braces for four years as a teen, which I also consider cosmetic, and for which I am also (in hindsight) grateful. I’m perpetrating them on my own brood (although their crossbites are so severe, like mine was, that the orthodontists would say they’re to save the teeth). As an adult I’ve had lasering and Restylane, for the same mouth-corner-turndowns Patty has, along with my nasolabial folds. I did Botox once in my forehead, but it bugged me that I couldn’t frown, so I didn’t do it again, although it looked great.

    I can’t speak to what it’s like to grow old, gracefully or not, in Norway, Japan, France, or any other country. I can only speak to what it feels like to watch your own face head south. It’s … sad. It’s not horrifying, it’s not cancer, yeah, I get that. But if it’s relatively cheap and easy to slow down (notice I didn’t say “fix”) I can’t see that it’s such a huge crime. Where do you draw the line? I’ll never look 20 (or even 30) again, and I’m not trying. I think boob jobs are bizarre — but I’ll decline to pass judgement. In the end, each of us individually has to get up and look at that first projection of us in the mirror. I’m glad not to have the downturned corners on my mouth that made me look angry/sad.

    I read fashion rags all the time, and I always laugh a little when I read some 20-something actress say, I’ll never do anything to my face, it’s so unnatural, I’ll be proud of my lines, etc. I think, honey, check back with me after 20 years and 100,000 miles, when you’re getting frowny and splotchy and maybe a turkey wattle or two, when you’ve got those deep dents between your eyebrows that make you look angry all the time. Then we’ll talk.

    I’m going to look “old” whether I like it or not, if I’m lucky enough to live that long. If I can make some adjustments along the way that please my eye, I’m fine with that.

  • Patty says:

    Chaya, you are a complete doll, thank you!

    My DH is awesome, I agree. He always thinks I’m beautiful, even when I’m sure I”m not. 🙂

  • Patty says:

    Hey, Kayliana — I’m with you on the aging gracefully, except I think every person has their “thing” that they hate about aging the most a feature that they are just missing as they get older. For me, that was my upper lip. I have no worries about the lines around my eyes, my sagging butt, etc. Those things can just keep going south.

    I don’t think anyone should try and erase all signs of aging, those are the people that wind up looking plastic, but if you can identify one or two things that are bugging you and we have ways to perk them back up, I think people should do that. I’ll never do facelifts or eye lifts of anything like that, that’s too far for me, but I can understand a person whose eyelids are super-droopy and they hate it wanting to fix that because they’ve started hating looking in the mirror.

    I got to where I just thought my face was giving off an unintended look. The single furrow in my forehead that’s there whether I’m squinting or not and the pulling down of the mouth make me look angry or sad or something all the time, and I’m just not that person. I’m happy and upbeat and love to laugh.

    While I detest the overdoing of cosmetic procedures to avoid again, I just can’t be against a little something here and there to help a person feel like their best feature is still pretty hot.

  • chayaruchama says:

    I understand how you feel…

    While I have undergone much life-saving surgery, and was raised to believe that I was both ugly and worthless [apparently none of which turned out to be true], I feel differently about cosmetic procedures than Patty does.

    I agree, that it is a thorny subject !

    I am surrounded by many young women who are profoundly dissatisfied with themselves, and I see it as my personal mission to mother, and mentor them as best I can, with as much positive reinforcement as possible.

    Being a woman in America is hard- and the trickle-down effects are being felt elsewhere in the world, as well.

  • chayaruchama says:

    :)Patty, dear one-
    You will always be beautiful to me…
    I’m glad that all went well for you, and that you are pleased.
    I also think that you should definitely cover your DH’s face with swoony kisses for being such a loving, supportive guy…
    Put those lips to good use !
    More kisses !

    Have a glorious w/e, my friend-

  • Kayliana says:

    As women, will we be allowed to age gracefully? I think not. In my country of origin, Norway, they think all this stuff we have in the states is just silly. They feel that every line on the face shows that we have had more laughter and fun in our life. The more lines we have around our eyes and mouths mean we’ve been able to laugh and smile through life and therefore have lived to the fullest thus far. I love that. But now I am here and unless I move back, I too will feel the pressure to do things to my face to erase all signs of aging and a full life lived. Why is it only in America that we go to such extremes, like altering one’s face just because someone has figured out how to inject botulism in the face? I am saddened about this. Me and my husband are trying to concieve again and in many ways I am scared of having a daughter. I believe there is a tremendous amount of pressure in our country to be thin, beautiful and to always stay young. And I wonder how I can raise a little girl to believe that she is good enough the way she is? It’s scary. It’s getting worse and harder, and I am trying to figure out why? Why are we so uncomfortable being our true selves? Why are we not good enough the way we are? I do not know any French, Italian, Swedish, Spanish women like us? What’s up with America women?