I’m all about embracing my natural beauty — in fact, unless it’s a super-special occasion I rarely leave the house with any makeup on my face. But as I approach 30 (I’m less than six months away from the big day!), I’ve started to pay a little more attention to my skin. While my complexion is still relatively line-free, I have noticed the inklings of teeny wrinkles forming on my forehead and around the corners of my eyes.
That’s why I didn’t balk when I an invitation landed in my inbox to learn more about — and get — Botox. Sure, I was a little skeptical about saying yes — after all, I didn’t want to end up with a frozen face, a la many of my favorite Bravo reality stars. But I decided to schedule my appointment for 6 p.m. (I could always call out of work sick the next day if I had to!) and bring my friend Kelsey along for the ride because she wanted to try it, too.
B-Day (a.k.a. Botox Day)
I arrived at Dr. Michelle Henry’s NYC office, Laser & Skin Surgery Center of New York, and had the chance to chat with her and one of her fellow derms, Dr. Cindy Bae, along with a group of other beauty editors and their friends, before being injected. At that point, I was wavering — I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go through with it. But a few of the other beauty editors said they had had Botox before — and that they loved the natural-looking results. That definitely eased my frozen face concerns.
Plus, Dr. Henry and Dr. Bae said they could inject me with “Baby Botox,” which is the tiniest amount of Botox you can possibly get. They assured me that the results would be very subtle—no one would know what I had done!
Oh, I should also mention that I absolutely hate needles and had conjured up the image of something as large as the flu shot being jammed into my forehead. That’s so not the case. Both docs said the needles used for Botox are super small. OK, I was convinced!
What Getting Botox Is Actually Like
Kelsey and I headed into one of the exam rooms to be prepped for Botox. (I asked Kelsey to stay in the room with me while I had mine done because I was nervous!). Dr. Henry examined my face and asked me scrunch my forehead so she could determine where to place the Botox. She ended up injecting me in four spots on my forehead as well as at the corners of my eyes (eff you, crow’s feet!). The forehead injections felt like tiny pin picks — uncomfortable but not painful. The injections in my eye area hurt slightly more, but they weren’t unbearable.
The whole she-bang took only a few minutes — seriously, it was over almost as soon as it began. I hopped off the exam chair with relief as Kelsey and I switched places. I had red splotches on my forehead at the injection sites (they looked like massive mosquito bites), which Dr. Henry said would subside in about an hour (and they did).
Once Kelsey was done, we asked Dr. Henry if there was anything we should avoid doing in the next 24 hours. She explained to us that it’s best to avoid exercising for the next day. You don’t want to let your head get below your heart (which would happen if, say, you were in downward dog), because blood would rush to the injection sites, and this could lead to bruising. Skip the gym? You don’t have to tell me twice…
My Botox Results
Dr. Henry said that it takes anywhere from a couple of days for a week for Botox to kick in, and that it’d gradually fade in 3-4 months. For the first few days post-Botox, my forehead felt heavy, but I didn’t notice any difference in my appearance. On Day 5, I realized that my forehead looked smoother (yay!) and overall, my face seemed refreshed. I tried scrunching my forehead with all my might, but I couldn’t do it. It was a little strange to not be able to scrunch, but two and a half months out, I don’t even think about it anymore. Whenever I tell anyone I’ve had Botox, they say they can’t tell that I’ve had any work done — which for me is a great thing!
My Final Thoughts on Getting Botox
I went into this experience with pre-conceived notions about Botox — I for sure thought there was no way it could look natural. But I came away with a totally different opinion. Of course, it’s important to go to a board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon who can expertly assess your face and give you just the right amount of Botox. Now that I know that getting Botox is quick, only minimally hurts, and can offer natural-looking results, I’m open to trying it again in the future. Now if only there was a way for me to stay 29 forever…