One thing that I have found very pleasing over the years is the gradually increasing understanding of my patients on the benefits of subtlety.
Gone are the days when a patient might stridently demand no movement from her Botox treatment. In its stead is a more refined understanding of the benefits of a gentler, more subtle approach.
We have all seen the photos in the papers of celebrities like Mickey Rourke and Burt Reynolds, and some of the more horrific examples such as the lady somewhat unfortunately dubbed the ‘Bride of Wildenstein.’ The ‘trout pout’ of Lesley Ash did unfortunately create a lot of media interest in ‘when things go wrong’, but even when things go right some people take it too far. I sometimes wish that the practitioners in question might learn to gently just say ‘No’.
There seems to be a significant contest between the thirst for glamour and those who aim for the more natural look. Breast enhancement no longer has to be ‘Jordanesque’. Lips are much better just gently plumped rather than ‘blimped’. The smooth sheen of an over botoxed brow has given way to an acceptance of a few soft lines to add character to the face, and this is all for the good.
I often say to my patients that ‘My signature’ is ‘No signature’. If someone asks where you had you botox done, we did too much. We want your friends and family to notice how well you look, how refreshed your skin appears, not how many visits you have had to the plastic surgeon.
This has lead to an increasing interest in the non-surgical alternatives, the safer, the gentler, the slightly less expensive, the distinctly more subtle. This sometimes leaves me with a little problem. Some of my best work goes unnoticed and unattributed. The ladies of Cheshire get away with looking their best without having to explain why, and for this I am perfectly happy.
One important part of this principle is that prevention is better than cure. It is easier to be subtle when you start earlier and thus there is no need for a startling transformation to occur. Botox certainly does have a preventative action for facial lines, and this happens best when started fairly early and done with reasonable regularity to prevent recovery of the muscles and further progression of the lines. Volume loss is best replaced before it has become too obvious. Lips are best tweaked gently over the years to maintain their look rather than wait for them to get too thin.
‘Less is more.’ is a very good maxim to work to. Find a doctor who understands these principles, who has a good aesthetic ‘eye’. Trust him to only suggest that which will gently enhance your appearance, and revel in the fact that no-one else knows.