I am giddy to have partnered with Dr. Connie Hiers and her team at Dr. Connie Hiers Plastic Surgery and MedSpa to receive Botox and Volbella Lip Filler in exchange for sharing my experience and opinions on Alamo City Moms Blog. This is a sponsored post.
I turned 40 this year, and my face is starting to show all four of those decades. I’ve tried several skin care regimens, ranging from drugstore products to high-end, and have yet to find that miracle product that makes a significant difference in my wrinkles. (And, yes, I’ve tried Beauty Counter and Rodan + Fields, so please, for the love of smooth skin and network marketing, don’t send the BC and R+F reps my information!) I like to think of myself as a relatively healthy, reasonably crunchy, “try natural remedies first” kind of person. Yet, despite my natural leanings and mostly clean living, I’ve been curious about more medical-grade cosmetic procedures and products.
Enter Botox. Yep, that process where you get botulism toxin injected into your face. Can one who swears by yoga, Epsom salts, probiotics, and herbal supplements get a TOXIN injected into her face with a clear conscience? Yes—yes, I can. And I’m rather exhilarated by the results.
On a rare rainy August day in San Antonio, I joined a few other San Antonio bloggers at the Sonterra/Stone Oak office of plastic surgeon Dr. Connie Hiers. The office is lovely and soothing, with a much more spa-like feel than most doctors’ offices. We were given a brief overview of the procedures that she and her team offer in both the medical practice and the MedSpa. You can read more about their services here. Dr. Hiers and her staff patiently answered our many questions and thoroughly explained the Botox treatment and Volbella lip filler we would be receiving.
Botox is an injectable, purified form of botulism toxin. Botox injections cause the muscle under the skin to relax, which smooths out the skin. It is typically used cosmetically for facial wrinkles: crows feet, forehead lines, and between-the-eyebrow wrinkles. Each Botox treatment lasts between three to six months. I received 20 vials of Botox, split among my crows feet and forehead. Botox is usually around $12 a vial, and a typical application is at least 20 vials. You can watch a video of the injections here.
Pain-wise, I’d rate it a 3 out of 10. Waxing and/or threading is more painful than Botox injections. There is no numbing or pre-procedure preparation. Lying still as someone approaches your face with a syringe was a little nerve-wracking, but I loved that Dr. Hier’s nurse held my hand, and Dr. Hiers was very calm and soothingly explained what she was doing throughout the whole procedure. Post-Botox, a patient is encouraged to abstain from exercise or any motions that bring the head into a position that might allow the Botox to seep into the wrong muscles or facial areas. For yogis like me, that meant no downward dogs or inversions for about 24 hours. It can take up to seven days to see the full results from Botox. The middle part of my forehead and between my eyebrows does feel a little numb because the muscles are Botox-weakened, but I’ve gotten used to the sensation.
Next came the lip filler. I received a vial of Volbella split between my upper and lower lip (majority in the upper lip). Prior to the injection, we had our lips numbed with a topical lidocaine cream. The numbing itself was uncomfortable, and drooling on yourself with numb lips is not so awesome. Volbella is lip filler designed to give a more subtle boost to the lips and to smooth out vertical lip lines. Frankly, it’s not the filler of choice if one is looking for duck lips or Kylie Jenner lips. Results can last for up to a year, and it is generally around $500 a vial.
Pain-wise, I’d give this a 6 out of 10. It hurt. I had to tap into my yoga breathing and count down from 10 a few times to stay calm. It also left me with tender lips for three days and noticeably bruised lips for about a week. We were warned of the tenderness and bruising, and it is an important side effect to note if the lip filler is being used to prepare for a big day or event. Don’t do it two days before your wedding or high school reunion!
When one posts her entire injection procedure on the ACMB Instagram Feed, one gets multiple texts and messages from friends for details and photos. Turns out I’m not the only one curious about the cost, process, and results of Botox and lip fillers. My lucky friends got this picture about three hours after the procedure:
The lips were a little “ducky,” and bruising was already setting in. As expected, the wrinkles were unchanged. My daughter and husband immediately noticed my lips, and my daughter was not a fan. Unbeknownst to us, there was some lip swelling that would down in about 48 hours. There were no visible signs of the Botox injection sites, and I never had any bruising from the injections.
Here’s an awkward, no-makeup car selfie about one week post-treatment showcasing the huge decrease in crows feet:
And a few Before and After comparisons, noting that the Before photos were taken in indoor, overhead lighting in Dr. Hiers’ office and the After photos were taken in a parking lot in natural light about a week post-treatment.
I’d like to tell everyone reading that you are most certainly welcome for all those photos of my face. And I feel like I should promise not to post any more selfies for six months as a penance for the sheer number of face photos in this post.
My lips are not something that I’ve been self conscious about, and while I’m enjoying the added fullness, I don’t know that I’ll prioritize my lips over my wrinkles with my limited “cosmetic enhancement” budget. Botox, however, is something that I’m hoping and planning to fit into our budget. I’m thrilled with the results and the way it not only made my wrinkles significantly less obvious but also made my eyes look bigger and brighter.
Dr. Hier’s office has a special offer for our readers who might be interested in Botox and/or lip fillers! Mention ACMB when you book your appointment for the following prices:
Botox: $11/unit (normally $12/ unit)
Vobella: $50 off (normally $550)
Juvederm: $100 off (normally $650)
Expiration: October 31, 2017
Thanks again to Dr. Connie Hiers for the opportunity to try Botox and Volbella!