As an organic beauty fan, I have slathered my face in various natural creams and oils over the years, but there comes a time when the avocado oil just doesn’t cut it any more.
As a 30-something year old beauty-lover, I wanted to try a product that offered immediate, visible results, and so what better product to use than good old, tried-and-tested Botox?
I was wary of going near injectables due to my severe fear of ending up with a scary frozen face (and being injected in the face repeatedly), yet after my first session at the Cadogan Clinic with Dr Libbie Wallace, I was pleasantly surprised. After the subtle application of botox and fillers, my face looked naturally “fresher” and perfectly contoured.
Did I worry about what others would think or try to keep my newly rejuvenated face a secret? Hell no. In such an image conscious world, I think it’s important for women to share their experiences of facial enhancement, especially if they are famous faces or adorn their social media feeds with photos of their lusciously plumped lips.
We should be able to know where the best doctors are, and younger girls idolising such figures need to know that beauty is not always “natural” and can sometimes be enhanced. We don’t all have a perfectly full pout or line-free foreheads, so sometimes we choose to get a little help, and there’s nothing wrong with that. When Kylie Jenner was finally “outed” by sister Chloe about her lip fillers after insisting for years that it was “just good makeup,” appointments for the treatment skyrocketed all over the world, with a 70 % increase in the UK alone.
Even in this day and age, for some, plastic surgery or aesthetic beauty treatments are still taboo. Women are constantly criticised for their appearance from men, and more disturbingly, from women. Ether they’re called “fake” for getting their faces tweaked and using filters on Instagram, or they’re mocked for bravely deciding to “grow old gracefully”. It seems we can never win.
A year after my first injectable beauty treatment at The Cadogan Clinic in London’s chic Sloane Street, I returned to have a summer beauty boost by the celeb-adored Olivier Branford – famed by his supermodel-clientele for his natural, yet effective results.
Boasting over 110k followers on Instagram, Olivier Branford regularly posts photographs of his picture-perfect patients. After scanning the array of beautiful faces on his profile, it didn’t take much convincing to book an appointment with the man himself.
Known to be “the best in the business”, Olivier’s impressive medical background further reassured me I was in the best possible hands. Graduating from Cambridge with a Masters of Arts in Natural Sciences, this face-perfecting maverick continued his studies at the Royal Free Hospital of Medicine, followed by University of London, Royal College of Surgeons of England, where he received his PhD in tissue engineering in plastic surgery.
The proud winner of numerous awards, including the William Marsden Scholarship, Olivier is also an editorial board member and is on the specialist advisory panel at the Royal College of Surgeons of England and a scientific peer reviewer for a multitude of journals including PRS – the number one worldwide plastic surgery journal, where he is consulting editor for social media for the open access version of the journal.
As soon as I walked into his elegantly minimalist treatment room, Olivier Branford made me feel instantly at ease. He asked me what I wanted and I told him I was seeking a younger, more relaxed, yet natural look.
I felt my cheeks and lips were not as full as they once were and could see tiny dehydration lines on my forehead which bothered me.
Olivier told me he liked enhancing natural beauty, and could determine what needed “tweaking” just from looking at me. Within minutes of my consultation I was laying on the treatment bed and closing my eyes as a syringe loomed towards my face, Botox was applied around my eyes, between my brows and on my forehead. A tiny amount (0.4mg) of Juvederm Volbella XC filler was injected into my lips as well as my tear troughs and nasolabial folds. To plump up my cheeks, another type of filler called Juvederm Voluma XC was injected. This same filler was also used to help contour my jawline and chin for a more streamlined, symmetrical look.
I’m the type of beauty coward who cries when getting my eyebrows threaded, so I’m not going to lie and say there was no pain throughout my treatment. It was however, a lot more bearable than I thought. I found my lips to be the most painful area, whereas Botox was a painless piece of cake.
The end result was striking. Straight away I could see a youthful plumpness to my cheeks and more defined cheekbones. My under eyes looked smoother and brighter, my jawline more contoured and my lips pleasingly, yet not obviously fuller.
I particularly liked the flattering shape of my lips after Olivier worked his merry beauty magic on them. I was scared to end up with a trout pout or the dreaded duck lips, but instead I was presented with well-defined, plump lips when I stared into the mirror post-treatment.
Four months later and although the effects of my beloved Botox are only just starting to fade, the effects of the Juvederm have pleasingly remained. To any one interested in enhancing what they’ve got (or haven’t) The Cadogan Clinic’s Mr Olivier Branford is the man to see.
Just prepare to mince past a supermodel or two when you visit.