Facial augmentation is so common these days I can’t scroll through my IG feed without seeing cosmetic enhancements. I’ll happily admit I’ve thought about going under the knife many times, but always chickened out given the fear of being on the receiving end of an infamous ‘bodge job’.
That being said, semi-permanent treatments to the face seem to be the perfect middle ground - I can explore a more youthful appearance beyond make-up whilst not needing to head to an operating table. I’m sold. So where do I start?
Call me a semi-perm virgin, I’ve never had anything done to my face. Not because I don’t need it, but once again the fear of ending up in Google’s highly ranked image search for horror stories. But after I hit 30 (boo hoo) I noticed that my laughter lines, crow’s feet and minor forehead wrinkles no longer disappear when my face is resting, among many other small details. So I decided it was time to take the plunge, and I am known for not doing things by halves.
From forehead to chin, I went all in. See below my experience and results:
Botox - forehead and surrounding eye areas
Forehead after Botox.
Considering Botox has become somewhat of a household name within the cosmetics and beauty industry, I decided to start my mission with this.
I went to Epion Clinic, a new aesthetic clinic based in Tudor Court, a little nervous and unsure of what to expect. I chose Epion Clinic because I did my research and discovered it was run by Dr Tan - a highly qualified doctor with over 15 years experience in the field. I would only trust such treatments to a doctor over a beautician. Expecting to have a consultation elsewhere and only meeting the doctor in the treatment room, it was a welcome surprise that he himself conducts the whole process from start to finish. We had a good chat about my main concerns, he talked me through the treatments, told me his background and took some 3D images of my face to show me where and how we’ll be making the changes. He really soothed a ‘first-timer’ nerves and I can’t thank him enough.
As for the treatment itself? It doesn’t hurt as such but it is uncomfortable and if, like me, you’re not a fan of needles then you’ll not exactly skip out of the room after. Numbing cream is applied first to also help take the edge off. You feel a small typical-needle sting when they insert it, and then a slight sensation as the Botulinum toxin goes in. Then the sting / pain disappears as quickly as it came.
Result? Botox takes a couple of weeks to reach the full-visible difference and I must say I am really pleased with the results. I can still move my facial muscles, I do not look plastic and the deep set lines are no more.
Would I do it again? Absolutely.
I didn’t even know this was ‘a thing’ until I sat down with Dr Tan to discuss my heavy dark under-eye circles and he told me about such fillers. The eye contour dermal filler treatment basically injects fillers into your under-eye area, lifting the skin forwards and thus reducing the shadow / dark lines. I asked many questions that included “can it blind you / can it go wrong / can it spread to rest of my face / does it actually work?” and Dr Tan reassured me on all of the above. Given my ‘all in’ attitude, I said sure, let’s go for it.
I’ll admit, this hurt me a lot. Given the placement of the cheekbones and the thinness of the skin under your eye - it is less than comfortable. I had to ask him to stop to ‘gather myself’ because I was a sweaty anxious mess with watering eyes. He only inserted the smallest amount too, given that he knew I had never had anything done before (once again, great tailored service). I was left with a little bruise under one eye from the needle insertion.
Result? Slight change to the darkness of my under-eye, but nothing groundbreaking given that we only injected a very small amount.
Would I do it again? Possibly. But I’d have to be feeling extra-strong mentally that day to take the pain.
Eyebrow embroidery and lash tint
L to R: before and after eyebrow embroidery and lash tint
Eyebrow embroidery isn’t anything new, but finding the right place you can trust is key. That’s why I headed to Browhaus. Their Brow resurrection aka ‘semi-perm brows’ uses an advance embroidery technique to create natural-looking strokes, resulting in a finer finish compared to other semi-permanent brow treatments that simply weave in parallel hair strands.
After an in-depth consultation on what eyebrow shape, colour and overall design I was after, the therapist got to work. I didn’t want anything to drastic - just overall improved arch shape and darker in colour.
The tiny hair-like scratches into your skin do not hurt and are not really uncomfortable either - the numbing cream sees to that. It’s more that you can hear the scratching than feel it, which is a little odd. After the incisions are made, the colour goes on and you can relax while it works. Given that I was also having lash tint, the therapist used the down-time to tint my lashes black-blue colour.
Result? I’ve never had my eyelashes tinted before - but it’s painless, comfortable and the result is fantastic. As you can see from above, there’s a huge difference in both my eyebrows and lashes. I absolutely love both. With embrow embroidery there’s a little after-care that’s required (which Browhaus talk you through) and you also have to go back three months later for colour touch up, as the colour ‘comes out’ over time from first session.
Would I do it again? 100 per cent yes.
Lash lift (lash perm)
Top: Mid-session of lash perm. Below: After lash tint and perm was completed.
Along with my lash tint, I was having my lashes permed too - again - never had this before. Browhaus being the professionals they are, explained to me it’s best for the condition of the eyelashes to come back for a separate session to perm. This is to allow the lashes rest from the tint, and the perm session itself is quite long (arounds 60-minutes).
Completely painless - just a little uncomfortable as you have to keep your eyes closed throughout most of it and our natural reaction is to want to open them. The therapist talked me through the stages and I spent most of the session chilling out on the bed and chatting. The photo below may look rather uncomfortable but I assure you, it’s absolutely fine!
Result? As you can see, my lashes look like I’ve got makeup on even though this is entirely natural. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who always uses mascara and wants to have ‘no makeup’ days but still look good. The perm can last up to three months depending on how you care for your eyelashes, so I try avoid rubbing them harshly when I now remove my eye-makeup.
Would I do it again? Definitely. I adore the final result.
Top: Before. Below: After lip injections.
Lip fillers are super common these days so I won’t bore you with the background to it - I opted for lip fillers too because I have a thin top lip and wanted to give myself a fuller pout. So, at the same session as my Botox and under-eye treatments, I had lip fillers injected into my upper and lower lip. Dr Tan asked me if I wanted dramatic or natural result and I opted for natural because...newbie.
I won’t lie, lip fillers are quite painful. I tilt my hat at Kylie Jenner for doing it for years - I really struggled with the pain. The lip fillers are injected around the edge of the lips and then a couple into the lip itself - the whole procedure doesn’t take too long, you just have to lie there, close your eyes and see it as an endurance test.
As with typical lip fillers, there is swelling within the first 24-48 hours and the lips will be sore, sensitive and a lot larger than the final result. I used Vaseline to soothe the lips as advised by the clinic. Try not to panic when you wake up the next day and see your lips are pretty large - trust that it’s swelling!
Result? Larger upper lip and more pronounced lower lip. I can really see the change when I apply lipstick.
Would I do it again? I certainly wouldn’t mind having it done again, but I also feel my lips are okay without. Aside from a larger upper lip, I think my lips before are just as nice.
Final verdict on it all?
I’m so happy with the results from all my semi-permanent treatments. I feel so much better bare faced and I have received countless compliments (from people who do not know) how young and fresh I look. The treatments have also shaved off time in my beauty regime - my eyebrows need minimal touch ups and my lashes look great without mascara now too.
The only thing I’d change is how I went about the facial injection treatments - I did Botox, under-eye and lip fillers all in one session and I think this exaggerated the pain for me during the session. By the end of it I didn’t want to see another needle for as long as I lived. Next time, i’ll split them up into more comfortable shorted sessions - and yes - there will be a next time.