Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Mommy Makeover Part 3

I can't believe it's been three weeks since the last update! A lot has gone on since then! I have to first just thank Rhonda, Pam, and everyone else at Aesthetic Rejuvenation Center, and Sobeida and staff at Illuminada Studio in Englewood. They've all been so amazing and fantastic in this transformation. I feel like "The Swan" from that reality show in the early 2000's.

Ok. So after the Ulthera and Dermapen, I had to wait two weeks to do anything else to my face. A week ago I went back to Pam for another session of Dermapen, which Rhonda okayed on Pam's recommendation. We're trying to eliminate my acne scars as much as possible in this short amount of time in the least invasive way possible. Pam felt I should do another session so that's what we did. She also did one session of Microdermabrasion and IPL (Intense Pulsed Light).

It's funny- I felt like Pam was really concerned about the Ulthera and the Dermapen hurting, which I didn't feel at all. It was totally fine. She used so much LMX 4% (numbing cream) that I didn't really feel my face at all. I would say the IPL was a little more painful. Not painful where it was real PAIN, but just if you were to compare the Dermapen/Microdermabrasion/Ulthera to IPL, I'd have to say- I "felt" the IPL where I didn't feel the others. It certainly wasn't unbearable or anything. I think maybe it's just the little light jolts are like tiny sizzles. That's the best way for me to describe it.

Not that it matters. I'd do it all again. I can't even BELIEVE how my face looks. I guess I never really inspected the sides of my face. I knew I had the acne scars, and those were the most bothersome. Maybe I ignored all the brown spots? I knew I had brown spots, but I didn't know how many and how prominent they were. I've also always been somewhat tan from indoor tanning, all winter, every winter since I was fifteen years old. I think the tanning definitely had to obscure some of the brown spots since the rest of my face was at least somewhat brown. I haven't been indoor tanning since around Thanksgiving, so this is the whitest I've been since I was pregnant. The brown spots were everywhere.

Now, NOW, they're almost ALL GONE. Literally, gone. It's so amazing. The IPL really targets the brown spots. What it does is zap them, they crust up, and just flake off. Whatever is left, you just exfoliate off. I don't normally wear make-up to work anyway, except concealer. But without it, my skin apparently looked terrible. I would just use the pore minimizing "blur" stuff from L'Oreal. Sometimes I'd throw some kind of loose powder on top. I could totally use nothing right now and I wouldn't look like a troll.

With my acne scars, they aren't totally gone. I knew that going in. I think I'm going to save up to try to do a Dermapen treatment on them again in the future. I am SO impressed with how much they've been plumped up. It's like night and day. It's hard to get a good picture, but *I* know how deep they were before. I didn't look like Crater-Face from Grease, but they were definite indents that really bothered me. Now, they're not really noticeable probably except to me. Especially with make-up on. I don't wear heavy make-up ever- I use Almay Smart Shade Anti-Aging, which to me, is sort of like a cross between a tinted moisturizer and a BB Cream. When I put that on, and a loose powder, I really think having had the Dermapen twice, makes a world of difference. More important, I can go without make-up and not feel like- "oh well, you can really see the acne scars...".

I'm beyond in love with Pam's work. I highly recommend her. You don't want to let just anyone just touch your face with light zaps and needles. I trust Pam implicitly. Not just because she's pretty and her skin is perfect, but she clearly knows what she's doing. And you know, once I have my person, I have my person. I don't seem to have any good before pics, but these are the after. I will see if I can find better before ones.

Today's face with hardly any brown spots and less acne scarring
 I also went to Dr Freund (at ARC), last Thursday for Xeomin. It's another kind of "neuro-toxin" (sounds great right?) that paralyzes the muscles that cause wrinkles. Like Botox, which I've had cosmetically and for migraines. Xeomin is cheaper. I'd done it once before, but I don't think as many units as Dr Freund was doing for me. I was actually kind of wary that it was Xeomin and not Botox, because the time I had it done somewhere else, I didn't feel like it worked that well. However, this time, I do feel like it's definitely lessened my wrinkles.

I am posting a before and after- the spot by my temple is a bruise from the needle, which happens often and has happened to me before. It goes away in as long as any regular bruise. He said he wants me to come back to see how it worked and then decide if I need filler. I think I need the filler because no Botox/Xeomin is going to do anything for those bottom of the eye-socket wrinkle. I know that from two plastic surgeons I've seen for Botox prior. Maybe a little more of the Xeomin would help, but it still wouldn't eliminate those wrinkles.

Before & After Xeomin
 I told Cunningham about the filler part. She's my person when it comes to beauty treatments. She always looks like a supermodel, she researches all this and I don't, so I'm going with her recommendation. She told me the only one I should agree to do is Belotero. She said it's thinner and can be fixed easy if it's too much. She did it- I went and watched until I had to leave. I'm a little afraid of doing filler but I do want to try it and this is my chance. I'm just going to make sure to ask for this specific one. I saw Stein get Juvederm once and I could tell it hurt like a mother. I think because it's thick. I don't know but I'm not doing that. I don't want Lisa Rinna's lips under my eyes. Not to mention that B will FLIP if I mess up my face. That was his only concern of this whole thing.  

Speaking of my person, part of this makeover is getting my hair done. So I'm having to cheat on Don, my hairdresser of over twenty years, and trust the team of Illuminada. I went to meet with the owner, Sobeida for my consultation. She and her staff put me at ease immediately. In fact, Sobeida and I ended up chatting well after the shop closed for the night and we became fast friends. Time flew. I'm putting everything they're doing in their hands, and all I'm doing is bringing photos for "Hairspiration".

I will do a whole write up on my experience at Illuminada after it's done. I'm actually going there tomorrow for the better part of the day. I know I'm doing an "express keratin", a full head of highlights, and a cut, but not really sure exactly what that's all going to amount to. I trust them though- the salon is IMMACULATE. Like, it looked like it was camera ready while they were working. The sinks shined like the top of the Chrysler building. Everyone was super friendly, and I think it's going to be a great experience.



My thoughts on everything so far:

Beauty treatments are addictive and expensive. Expense is all relative though. I needed all these treatments more than I need new shoes. If I had the money, I'm thinking I'd put it in the face stuff. That's the first thing people see. That's why in the 80s and 90s we only teased the front of our hair- that was your hair entrance. Seeing the amazing results on my face has me, ME, seriously considering wearing sunscreen at the beach this summer on my face. I know that's common sense for most people, but that's like a lifelong anorexic saying she's going to eat cheeseburgers daily. It's a TOTAL change of mindset. I want to keep these results though and I'm already trying to figure out how I can do other things. I've always hated my big pores, like on and around my nose. So I'm thinking there has to be a treatment for that too. Although, my next stop is a dermatologist to see about fixing this weird red spot under my right eye. I was told that needs to be looked at by a dermatologist.

I'm almost at the end of the total makeover at Aesthetic Rejuvenation Center. I'm happy to have my stuff done, but bummed to be leaving them. I really feel like they're invested in the end result, not just because of how it makes them look, but because they're really into seeing my transformation. They seem really genuine about me being happy. They could've been really whatever about it, and really nit-picky about sticking to whatever the cost of the treatments they wanted to give. They assessed me and then made a whole treatment plan tailored to what would make me look best. Then they tweaked and added where necessary or where they knew I'd benefit, and didn't make me feel like I was wanting too much. I don't even know what any of these treatments cost besides the Dermapen and the Cool Sculpting- because I specifically asked, in conversation. And they didn't make me feel like I had to keep to a tally.

I have the hair stuff tomorrow, then Rhonda is having me come back to get my teeth whitened. I have to make an appointment to get my teeth cleaned at my dentist though and no one has any idea the level of dental fear I have. So I'm just psyching myself up to make that phone call and appointment today. Or tomorrow. I'm going to do it because I want my teeth whitened. But the anxiety of going for the cleaning might kill me first. I'm more afraid of the dentist (any dentist, not my dentist) than I am of cool sculpting. If I do the filler, it will be the same day. We shall see!

The previous blog entries about all my treatments:
Part 1:
Part 2:

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