I had a feeling people would realise that there was something a little different about my face in my most recent video.
If you follow me on facebook, you would know that the past weekend I went to Sydney with my boyfriend Jack, my friend and her boyfriend for a 'weekend away'. We stayed in a nice apartment in the Fraser Suites and had a great time shopping - but the reason we went up in the first place was to visit Dr Drielsma in Bondi Junction.
If you've been watching me for a long time, you might remember a video I did in response to Pixi2woo's Megan Fox inspired tutorial, I mentioned there that I wanted my lips done. This was over a year ago and this has been on my mind for at least three years.
I've always been self concious of my lips. I adore full lips and have always hated that my own lips weren't beautiful and plump. I have a naturally very full bottom lip, but my top lip was always very thin and 'flat'. I felt that I didnt look good with lip products on and often didn't even bother wearing lip products for this reason. It definitely got me down more than you would think.
My lips before.
The main reason I never got it done sooner was the cost. Generally, lip injections cost upward fo $600, and I just didn't think it was worth it, I always wanted to save for it, but it never happened. When I got my tax return this year I thought 'that's it, I'm going to do it!' So I did a lot of research to find a cheap and reputable clinic have a consult at. I searched 'Canberra Cosmetic Surgery' and found the website of Dr Drielsma, who apparantly used to travel to Canberra to do injections. The woman told me that they had a 'SPECIAL' on and said that they could offer me 1mL of Restalyn for $400. This was cheaper than anything I'd found so far, but had hoped to get Juvederm rather than Restalyn.
I did some reasearch and it seemed that the reviews were split, there was no reason for me to think Juvederm was better than Restalyn. However apparantly Juvederm is softer, but less noticable. Restalyn makes more difference but is firmer. I booked in the date for the 20th of July at 1.30 for me and my friend, and paid a $50 deposit.
When I went in to see Dr Drielsma on Friday, the appointment was for 1.30... well, ONE HOUR later we were in his office discussing what we wanted done to our lips. We were pretty annoyed at the delay but anyway... he was ok, but he was a very 'short' probably because things were running overtime and there were patients after us too. He was not apologetic about us having to wait a whole hour later. I told him that I wanted my symmetry in my lips, that from the side, I wanted volume. He explained that this could be done, got us to sign a form explaining that we were aware of the risks, and asked if we wanted dental block. He tried to talk us out of getting the dental block because although it numbs your lip area, you can't talk properly for a number of hours and you have to get the initial injections anyway. There is also anesthetic in the Restalyn too, so it shouldnt hurt too bad especially after he has begun injecting it. I see now in hindsight that I feel he probably didnt want to give me dental block because it would mean we would have to wait for it to set in and he was already so late with appointments.
I decided I might be able handle the pain and I trusted him so I said I wouldn't use the dental block. I went first into the small 'surgery' room and lay on the bed while he prepared the needles.
He began injecting the needle above my lip and put the restalyn into the top edges of my lips. About 6 times. It definitely hurt a lot and I was paralysed with fear because the needles were actually in my face! It wasnt an agonising pain, at all, but it was so uncomfortable, painful and upsetting because you can completely feel the needles being inserted and the product going in. I was crying a lot and writhing my legs... I was very upset when Dr Drielsma laughed that I was crying!! WTF! I think I was very worked up but looking back I feel it was unacceptable that Dr Drielsma told me that it wouldn't hurt. It wasnt immensely painful but the sensation was unbearable, feeling the needle in there... feeling the RESTALYN going in... :(
After he had injected the top parts he did about four right into the centre of my top lip. I could feel the restalyn going into my lip in little balls and I could taste blood! Dr Drielsma massaged my lips quite firmly to spread the product out and shape them. My lips looked sore but he let me check the shape and I was happy. Here is a photo immediately after the injections:
These are photos of my lips immediately after the injections, photos were taken in Dr Drielsma's office. You can see the injection sites, there were more than I expected.
The doctor advised me that I would need to massage my lips to spread out the restalyn and shape them a bit. But my lips felt so strange I just didn't want to touch them. I was very aware of the foreign substance in my face and it was really uncomfortable, BUT I did feel really confident in the shape and that I now had plump lips as I'd always wanted!
After me he did my friend Kim. I felt he was actually rude to Kim with some necessary remarks.
We left Dr Drielsma and went to pay.
I should note that Dr Drielsma seemed annoyed we had got the lip job for such a cheap price...
We had already paid a $50 deposit so I paid $350 and the nice, but overly plastic woman at the reception gave us an icy pole tube to hold to our lips to prevent swelling. I really didnt care that we were walking around with the icy pole to our lips because it felt soooo good to numb the area since it was hurting!
We walked around the shops a bit and headed back to the hotel, our boyfriends had gone to the gym so we settled in and had our showers and just relaxed. The boys got back and we told them all about our experience, Jack said he liked how they looked, but that's because the swelling hadn't really started yet!
Photo in the cab on the way to the hotel and then in the hotel after having a nap.
You can see how it began swelling.
I had a nap while they all went to get some food, I woke at around six and my top lip was swollen quite a bit. I was still happy and almost wanted them to stay that big - but they were Rosie Huntington-Whitely sized! We did our makeup and got ready because we were going out to dinner - fun! I felt so confident when I was ready, I'd literally never felt prettier and used more lip gloss than ever, Jack was laughing because while it was swollen it looked really 'plastic'.
We had a delicious dinner near the harbour in Sydney, the ability to eat isnt hindered much, I was just careful not to put any pressure on the top lip because it was very sensetive. We wera also told not to drink alocohol because it will make the bruising much worse, so we stuck to mocktails. Later we headed back to the hotel, it was FREEZING, I took off my makeup and we went to bed. I spoke to Jack a little bit about my lips, because I felt like he was acting funny; and realised I'd never asked him what he had thought of me getting it done. He said that he never objected to my decision because he knew how much it meant to me, but he said that I looked so different and it would take some getting used to. I was pretty upset that night because I thought I had made a mistake.
That night I slept ok, but woke up early. I noticed immediately how swollen and firm my lip felt, I went to the mirror and the top lip was HUGE! It hurt to touch and the little round injections of restalyn were lumpy and uneven. I started panicking, thinking that by now the swelling should have subsided, I was so worried they were going to stay that way! I found some ice and iced them for a while, which did help a little bit. I lay in bed with the ice, and cried because I was s scared I would look like a pathetic plastic Heidi Montag... I remembered that Dr Drielsma said the swelling stays for over 3 days so I reminded myself this is surely temporary.
I was really pouting here... but you can see the swelling and a little bruising. This was taken while shopping so they deflated quite a bit from when I first woke up.
I only bought one thing on our shopping trip; A pair of gorgeous Tony Biancos from Wanted Shoes. My friend didnt buy anything but Jack bought a little Hugo Boss wallet so he doesnt always have to carry his main one around. When we had finished our shopping, we decided to leave for Canberra. Poor Jack had been dragged through every single shop with out hardly complaining. He's so cute :)
We were back in Canberra by 5.30pm and I relaxed in Jacks house before I had to ready to work on the door at a bar in the city. I was excited because I felt this would be me and my lips' first 'outing' together in public haha! I wore MAC 'Impassioned' lipstick and got so many complients on my lips, but no one suggested that they were fake! I was very happy by this time although they still felt tender and I could no longer 'roll' my lips together comfortably like I used to.
I took this photo while a work. I had 'overdrawn' the lipstick just by habit so they look massive. They look so great with lipstick on now and I got compliments on my lips!
I was almost going to wait a week before uploading a video, I wasn't sure I wanted to tell you all about this, as it is obviously a very personal decision. When I was filming the 'Pinup with a Modern Twist' video I didn't mention it, but one of the first comments was someone asking if anything had changed about me. I of course explained what happened, I don't want to lie to anyone even though i think that I should be entitled to keeping some things to myself about my private life. I knew some people would be against it and might be nasty about it but so far the response has been great. Most of you think it looks nice on me and I'm so happy to hear that!
This is the video tutorial that people noticed my lips were different.
It still feels slightly lumpy but it's barely noticable and my lips look very natural in my opinion. Its not painful any more but it still feels a bit strange to me and I definitely need to get used to it some more!
I can expect this fullness to last for 6-8 months, but they will never revert back to the way they were before. I don't yet know if I will need to get them done again - possibly!
Anyway that is really all I can share for now, I went into as much detail as possible. To conclude, I would not recommend Dr Drielsma to my friends. The result of my lip augmentation was great but I did not enjoy the experience at his clinic.
What do you think of lip injections, have you ever thought about getting it done?
**UPDATE AS OF MARCH 20th 2015: my lips the first time I got them done only lasted 3 months before they went back to being small... the second time I went to Dr Ash in Brisbane and was much happier with his professionalism and result. I got juvederm ultra instead of restalyn - which lasted 6 months as promised. I have a video of it here. Ive had my lips done an additional 3 times since this blog post and recommend Dr Ash, in Brisbane and Dr Sara in Melbourne at the VCI (video here).