Please be advised: this blog post contains graphic images
So l have been very vocal about turning 40 and more recently very vocal about wanting to try Botox and Anti-Wrinkle Fillers.
Being in the beauty industry l get asked a lot what l have had done. I think with thanks to all the filters on Snapchat and Instagram that can make me look a whole lot of 30 instead of 40. But honestly l have never had ANYTHING done. Until a month after turning 40.
I think the best sales pitch l have ever heard was when l booked in for a consultation at Laser Clinics Australia in Watergardens Town Centre and the young girl booking me asked for a $50 deposit. I said to her “Oh no, l’m only booking for a consultation." In which she replied that the deposit was just to secure the booking and would be credited to service if l had it or returned. She then also threw in, "Anyway, you’ll probably walk out having it done in the 'consultation' as most women come in just to find out about it and usually walk out spending three grand BANG just like that!”. Of course, l started to daydream, ‘would l be that woman?’.
Well that was not quite what happened to me. I had a whole 24 hours in between consultation to service! To be honest, l found it hard to concentrate on understanding the difference between Fillers and Botox. But essentially, any area that needs a muscle relaxant like those strong frown lines on your forehead and between your eyes need Botox. Anywhere on your face that needs literally to be 'filled’ in like those deep hollows under your eyes they refer to as troughs, need Fillers. Ultimately, my highly qualified cosmetic nurse Kate Robins said that most faces need a combination of both.
So with some nervousness l post these images of me having it done approximately 2 months ago. I wanted to wait a while to post the after shots, as l really wanted to let you all know what the reaction has been from people. It's crazy how torn l am about the fact that NO ONE NOTICED! Let me tell you, l walked in asking Kate the nurse if she could lift one of my Brows a little, remove the angry frown lines between my Brows and perhaps a tad of filler in my lips as l love a full glossy lip.
She ended up advising me that she could also ‘freshen’ my look with adding some filler in my upper cheeks, smile lines, under eyes and most importantly on the upper part of my forehead to balance it all out. I was like - DAMN did l need that much work?
So after 2 months and no direct compliment to me about it, would l recommend it?
100% YASS! You see, l learnt later that if someone did say something to me along the lines of, ‘did you get work done on your face’, can be seen as an insult. I have received numerous compliments on my ‘skin’. At which point l tell them about meeting Kate at Laser Clinics Australia and My Oh My did the questions come rolling in. Seems we all want to get this done and thanks to accessibility being opened to us average folk, we can pretty much walk into most shopping centres across the country and have reputable companies perform these treatments at somewhat affordable rates.
But let’s be honest, we are not talking about having your legs waxed. If you go to an inexperienced or ill trained facility you will REGRET IT. I cannot recommend Laser Clinics Australia enough (this is not an Ad).
It is a bit like choosing coffee in the USA as a tourist. You can walk into a small cafe hoping to get your caffeine fix, but if you do walk into a chain like Starbucks, you can pretty much guarantee that you will get whatever coffee your heart desires. There will be a process to make sure your order is met and if all else fails, you know they also have systems in place to rectify a negative experience. Now you may think there is no synergy between coffee and laser cosmetic injections, but my friends what l am referring to is ensuring you pick an ‘organisation’ to do the all mighty process of handling your FACE.
Think twice about your friends neighbour who does it from their upstairs studio above their garage. People you need to be in the medical industry, you need CONSTANT training, you need to have an Artists eye and you need to have the real deal products (fakes exists in all industries).
So below are the top 5 questions l have been asked about this process. I would love to hear back from you. If you want to see what my face looks like before and after ‘make up’ since having the procedure, watch one of my YouTube Beauty tutorials.
Be kind, l am not a model, nor am I 20 years old… l am a 40 year old Boss Lady Y’all!
FAQs Cosmetic Injections:
Is Botox better than Dysport?
Laser Clinics Australia had both Botox and Dysport as their muscle relaxant and Kate said that it’s best to try both and go with the one that gives you longevity. Because they are stored in different unit size metrics, you may think one is cheaper than the other, but in the end, the same amount is actually used and prices therefore end up costing almost the same.
Does it hurt?
Ummmm yes! Look you get to have numbing put on your lips. But all the other areas on the face is pointless to have numbing as surface level injections as they are referred too cannot be numbed, so ladies and gents you just have to suck it up. What l can say is that, it is bearable and it is not something that was a deterrent. It just is uncomfortable. But l must say, when having your troughs done, the sound is absolutely fascinating. If you have it done, let me know if you were just as intrigued by the ‘crunching’ sound as l was!
How long does it last?
Fillers last approximately 18 months and Anti-Wrinkle injections last approximately 3-6 months. As previously mentioned, some people will get more longevity from one brand over the other when it comes to Anti-Wrinkle, so it is a matter of trialling them before you can really know.
What’s the difference between Fillers and Botox or Anti-Wrinkle Injections?
The way l simplified it is to look at Fillers as just that - an area that you ‘fill’ in. The most obvious place would be your lips, but the one that l have found to have the biggest impact is your troughs. That is the hollow sockets that happen under your eyes and really is what makes people look tired and aged. So this has been my favourite ‘refresher’ on my face without the need to go under the knife!
Anti-Wrinkle Injections made famous by the brand Botox, is literally a muscle relaxant. So those strong lines you see on your forehead or the crows feet around your eyes are ultimately muscles that are all tensed up. Once injected with a relaxant, they do just that.
The reason most people need combination of Fillers and Anti-Wrinkle, is because often once you have relaxed the muscles, the skin can look loose or tired. This is where Fillers come in to combat that.
Can people tell you have had work done?
Ultimately that depends on how much you have done. I wanted to ‘refresh’ my face and therefore l didnt want that crazy scared lady look. So no one directly asked me if l had any work done, but l have had lots of compliments on my skin and l do believe that is because of result of my work with Laser Clinics Australia
How much does it costs?
2ml Dermal Filler packages start at $890 at Laser Clinics Australia. One of their most popular services is Lip Filler at $389 thanks to the #InstaLips craze led by Kylie Jenner. Wrinkle treatments packages start from $349, but you can get smaller units that start from $3.95 per unit. For more pricing view thier menu.
Last week Melbourne Central held the highly anticipated Unicorn Festival - 2 nights of rainbow delights to brighten Melbournians' streak of Winter weather.
During Melbourne Central's last Centre Update (a quarterly meeting to keep retailers in the loop with what's happening), the Marketing team gushed about the 19,000 people who expressed their interest in attending the festival on the Facebook event page.
Sure, there's a difference between being 'interested' in an event and actually attending - we've all got those friends who bail on the party last minute, or give an enthusiastic "maybe!" but know their night will be spent rugged up watching Netflix.
But having said that, Melbourne Central knew this was going to be a big deal, everyone loves Unicorns!
Since the event was just upstairs from Ottoman3, I decided to check it out with my 8 year old sister, who was super excited, and informed me on the drive there that Unicorns are her "favourites of the mythical creatures".
As we got closer to the event, anxiety started to kick in as the magnitude of the crowd became clear - the Link Bridge was a mosh pit of families struggling to push passed each other. I felt sorry for the little ones dressed in their unicorn onesies, who couldn't see past the person in front of them.
It was kind of scary! As my sister and I lined up for what I assumed was fairy floss (we were too far away to actually see what the line was for) security guards informed us that the current wait time was an hour and 20 minutes! Did we want fairy floss that badly..? Nope.
They also offered glitter face painting and a photo booth - both with minimal staff and huuuuge lines.
This comes just a week after MAC Cosmetics copped serious flack for their 'National Lipstick Day' giveaway. The international promotion went viral, and even news and radio stations were hyping up the day - only to disappoint customers who lined up for their free lipstick when only about 40 units were made available.
Some U.S MAC fans posted photos of the crazy-busy stores on the day.
Surely with so much press coverage comes the realisation that demand will far outweigh supply, and leave lots and lots of angry customers.
Both MAC and Melbourne Central have been in PR overdrive responding to frustrated customers on their social media platforms - but it's worth noting the reason these customers were so mad is because they're passionate about the offer/event.
The balance is a hard one to get just right. Here at Ottoman3, one of our biggest challenges came after dropping the appointment system, and using a barber style structure.
We wanted to ensure that our Brow Artists weren't spending too much time on the phone taking appointments, and instead be on the 'tools' and focusing on what's most important - your Brows!
As a result, wait times are something we keep a close eye on eyeryday, and analyse each week to ensure we are staffed up enough to meet the demand of our Brow Babes.
These days we have managing wait times down to an art, after all, we have done over half a million brows! And while we do experience 30 minute waits on the odd peak time, our company standard is 6 minutes.
Because at the end of the day, those customers who are lining up for you love the brand! Make sure they feel the love back and have an experience like they're the only one in the salon/store/festival!
We all face the same challenges in business, and hopefully you can find your own equilibrium between demand and supply!
I must had Googled a hundred times “how to travel with a 16 month old?” - “what you can pack when flying with a baby?” - “how much milk or liquids can you bring when flying with a baby?" etc etc. The amount of conflicting information that l found was so disheartening and what l was left with was going on my first international trip with my baby with 5 suitcases and no knowledge what so ever.
It was hideous l tell you, just hideous.
What l can tell you now is that l have all the answers to those questions about getting through security with a baby, because l can assure you l asked every security guard both here and in Fiji the same questions and the answers were all the same. So ladies and gents, if you are lucky enough to be prepping for a trip that requires a plane and a little bubba under the age of 3 - here is all you need to know!
PS: once you know the rules, travelling with a kid under 3 means VIP service BABY! I am going to miss it when she turns 4!
Read on, you’ll see why!
Question: How much liquids can l take on the plane when travelling with a baby or toddler?
The simple rule is ‘UNLIMITED’ as long as your kid is under 3. The security guard said to me, that if you do get any push back from someone about your water supply, you just tell them that they water is ‘distilled’ for your baby. As you know you cannot make formula in advance, so l needed to bring my perfectly tempered water to mix with my formula on the plane. l would have to say this was the biggest stress leading up to this trip as l would have died if l was forced to lose my thermal water bottle.
When leaving Fiji at their airport l purchased a bottle of none other than Fiji Water and the guy at the counter said to me to make sure l drink it whilst we were at the gate as there’s another round of security before getting on the plane. However, l knew that now l had found this miracle travel partner, my ‘baby’, that l could bring the water on board with me for her ‘formula’. And l did and when they went to check my bags just before walking on the plane, l said l had water for my baby and they didnt even bother opening my bag.
Question: Can l bring homemade food for my baby or toddler on the plane?
YES you can! No special sealed packaging is required as long as it is for your kid under 3! Bring on home cooking!
Question: How do l get through airport security with a Baby or Toddler?
Now this is when the Gods started to smile when we got to the airport. As soon as we hit that silver sliding door at Tullamarine airport to get through to security, the guard looked at my little baby and said “Y’all can go left”, whilst everyone else was going right. This is when l discovered the VIP line for familias! I could not believe it. You all know what it’s like going through security when the guy in front of you has a back pack and bumbag and they ever so slowly empty the contents of their bags and pockets and locate their laptops and you are thinking “for the love of God, could you not speed this up, l have a plane to catch?”. Now imagine that guy is 2 parents and a baby with a pram, 3 over head luggages that are filled with liquids and food. Mate l was already feeling sorry for the poor people that would be waiting impatiently behind us. But this never happened. We had our own guard, our own security line and an endless amount of owwwing and ahhhing from the staff at my cute kid. I thought, this was too good to be true, wait till we get to the Immigration line!
Question: How do l get through Immigration at the airport with a Baby or Toddler?
You guessed it - we got our own Family Line!!!!!!!! After 20 odd years of international travel on my own, l never knew this VIP service existed when traveling with babies. Guess what - it gets better.
So now we are at the gate early and l am trying to tire my 16 month old out, so she passes out on the plane. And as soon as the airline staff arrived at the gate, they came up to me and let us in front of the queue so we would be the first on the plane. No queues here either!
So a couple of tools of the trade when flying:
Try the Mountain Buggy Bag rider - it does not hold much inside as only one side is available for storage, but boy oh boy will your kid love riding on this thing in the airport. Also, it will immediately make you one of the cool kids, as you will hear a hundred “OMG look at this kids ride!!”
If travelling with a second adult, try booking the aisle and window seat and pray that no one books your middle seat. We were lucky on both legs that the middle seat didn't get taken and it was a god send.
If you airlines has it, try upgrading to economy X or +. For an extra $59 we got the additional leg room with Virgin Airlines and this allowed our kid to play around our feet for a couple of hours. In fact on the way home, we had the wall in front of us and l made up a bed for her. These things all add up to a manageable international travel experience.