Go on, how many expensive mistakes have you made when it comes to your beauty cabinet?
From creams and serums to facials and tweakments, the opportunities to spend huge sums of hard-earned cash on your face are endless – but the solutions that actually pay dividends are harder to come by.
Enter Jo Jones – beauty industry brand consultant, co-founder of Beauty Banks, and our new guinea pig for all things aesthetic. She’s joining The Flock to turn her expert eye to the treatments you’ll be led to believe you need, asking do they actually work? Or are they just another way to leave you feeling lacking. First up, the non-surgical nose job…
When I was 15, my friend Amanda teased me about my “big snoz” in French class.
It sounds untrue, but up until that day, I had no idea my nose was ‘a thing’. A big thing, apparently.
I burned with shame as I laughed along, pretending I was ok with ‘the joke’. In reality, though, that moment kicked off a decent period of self-loathing and anxiety, lasting throughout my teens. Simply put, I began to obsess about this nose of mine.
Back at home, following ‘big snoz gate’, I asked my dad for his opinion, thinking he would say something kind and reassuring. Huge mistake. It was the early nineties, and parents didn’t coddle their kids or support their emotional needs and wellbeing as we do – and obsess about doing – now. At least, my dad didn’t anyway. Yes, he told me, I had a big nose, but what did I expect? I came from a family of big-nosed humans, I’d just have to get on with it. After all, other people had bigger (thanks dad) things to worry about.
I took his urge to stop whinging on the, er, nose, but secretly promised myself I would get a nose job when I turned 40. Problem was, when I got to 40, I didn’t love the idea of the rhinoplasty procedure. It was invasive, involved a general anaesthetic, bone shaving (bleurgh) and a few weeks of recovery because of the bruising. Not something you could style out at work. Also, we needed a new kitchen.
So, that was that… until I learned of a thing called a non-surgical nose job, promising a better nose and a happier, more confident me.
Syringes, not scalpels
The non-surgical nose job procedure uses dermal fillers to create a gentle restructuring and evening out of the nose, minus the invasive surgery bit. The results last anywhere from a year to a year and a half, so not permanent – but not terrifying either. I was keen, so I booked myself in to see Dr Renee Hoenderkamp at The Non-Surgical Clinic, who specialises in such cosmetic procedures.
Dr Renee was quick to explain, honestly, that she couldn’t make my nose smaller. What she could do, however, was reshape the contours of my nose, lifting my downturned tip, straightening out my bump and evening out my asymmetry. If you’ll pardon the pun, the idea had me hooked.
Dr Renee took several pictures of my nose – not delightful when you don’t love it – and showed them to me from every angle (oh great, thanks), talking me through what she could achieve and what my expectations could be. She then injected filler – she uses Restylane – one small injection at a time into my nose, stopping for feedback and showing me pictures from every angle before adding more filler if I was keen on the next step. It felt very collaborative, like I was in control of the procedure. And the results were immediate, which was very satisfying.
Afterwards, my nose felt sore for a few days – a bit like, I’d imagine, recovering from being punched in the face. It was red and swollen. Then, as the week went on and the puffiness eased, I started to see the difference. It was subtle. So subtle, in fact, that no-one noticed – not my husband, not my kids and not my friends. But I noticed. I could see the difference every time I looked in the mirror and that was more than good enough for me.
My nose no longer turns downwards, it isn’t wonky, and it’s lifted, rather than hooked over, from the side view. I like it a lot. It was money well spent.
But my most significant discovery from this whole process was something altogether unexpected. I realised that no-one was scrutinising my face as closely as I was. No-one, at least no-one I care about, was staring at, or even remotely focused on, my nose. They see the whole of me and while that includes what I look like, it also takes in what I am. And I am not my nose.
So, would I get it done again when the filler wears off? Hmmm. Ask me in a year’s time…