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Roadtest: Focus Cosmetic Medicine

Ashleigh Went

When it comes to cosmetic medicine, I’d always been ‘team natural beauty.’

However, as I approach 30, I am beginning to notice the effects of time and gravity on my face.

Before you scoff, I recognise that 27 may seem to some like an early age to consider cosmetic medicine. But as I examined the wrinkle that had set up camp in between my eyebrows, I realised that this might be the perfect time to take some preventative measures.

So, when the opportunity arose to try anti-wrinkle injections from Focus Cosmetic Medicine, I planned on facing the offending crease with the full force of injectables.

The opportunity to get some dermal filler was also discussed, and while my mind went immediately to my lips, I was cautious. I’d seen so many lips done badly; with tell tale lumps or an overly upturned upper lip. I like my lips and I didn’t want to change them, I just wanted to accentuate them. The truth is that I’d always lusted after bee-stung lips. Before the Jenner girls reached puberty, I’d admired the beauty of Brigitte Bardot and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.

When I met with Dr Kate and Dr Camilla, I began to feel a lot more confident. Naturally, I had already done oodles of research on both doctors. I knew that both had impressive careers in medicine—Dr Camilla has a career in emergency and trauma in Africa and Australia, while Dr Kate is a doctor and neuroscientist. I felt very comfortable trusting them with my face, though I still had questions around the procedures and products.

The other thing that I really appreciated was that my consultation was in person with both Dr Kate and Dr Camilla, and that the doctors would complete my procedure. This is different to many other clinics, where there is a consultation by a doctor often over Skype, and then a nurse administers the procedure.

“We need to meet you because we need to see how your face is moving” explains Dr Camilla, “because everybody’s face is unique, and I want to know how your face is moving before I decide to change that.”

“We’re trained in anatomy and we’ve spent time training specifically in anatomy relating to anti-wrinkle injections and placement, and then we’ve done quite a lot of training in the actual use of anti-wrinkle injections. Along with the fact that we’re doctors of course, and are trained in dealing with the emergencies and the repercussions and are able to prescribe the medication should you suffer any of the side effects, and understand why they’re happening. That’s a big difference between us and some of the bigger clinics.”

In my head I’d imagined a scene like you see in the movies: having my face examined while a doctor outlined my flaws with in black marker. Fortunately, this couldn’t have been further from reality.

One of the first questions that Dr Kate asked me was “what bugs you about your face?”

“In the end” she explains, “we’re not trying to make you beautiful to us, we’re trying to make you beautiful to you.”

Once we’d decided on an approach—a small amount of lip filler and some anti-wrinkle injections along my eyebrows, the formal part of my appointment began.

I won’t lie, having the side effects explained in detail was intense—nobody likes hearing that there’s a chance they could have a lazy eye or dropped eyebrows. But my fears were assuaged by the fact that both Dr Kate and Dr Camilla were available to speak with at any point after the procedure, and of course, I was able to ask questions as the side effects were explained.

Dr Camilla also explained to me exactly how the anti-wrinkle injections work in your body, while Dr Kate told me that there are fewer side effects with anti-wrinkle injections than there are with common painkillers.

One of the things I was most concerned about was having ‘lumpy’ lips—where you can tell someone has obviously had their lips done because there are visible pockets of filler. Both doctors explained that this really comes down to technique. Rather than injecting a high-density thick filler at various spots, a softer, low-density filler is injected in lines which gives a more natural look.

I felt informed, supported, and—to be honest—a touch nervous about what was to come next.

I lay on the bed in the treatment room and Dr Kate and Camilla got to work. They had smeared numbing cream on my lips earlier, so I’d lost a lot of feeling. Nonetheless, Dr Camilla warned me that it would still hurt—and it did. I was given a squishy pouch to clutch and told to wriggle my toes to distract from the pain, but it definitely still stung and I could feel the filler going into my lips as Dr Kate injected it with a long needle.

Luckily, the whole thing only took a few minutes and then Dr Camilla quickly injected the anti-wrinkle injections. Compared to the filler, this was a walk in the park and I barely felt a thing—the pain level was similar to having an eyebrow wax.

The whole procedure took less than 10 minutes—perhaps even five. I walked out feeling a little swollen in my lips, but pain-free and with plenty of instructions for aftercare: no massages or facials, no exercise for 24 hours, to rub my lips if I felt lumps forming (I didn’t), to take pain killers for any pain, to not lie down for four hours, and of course instructions on who to contact should I experience any side effects.

I was told there might be some bruising on my lips and there was: this didn’t surprise me in the slightest as I bruise from the slightest of bumps or knocks. I took the rest of the day off work but was able to return the next day, albeit with my lips covered in a deep red lipstick that successfully hid the bruising.

The bruising and swelling only lasted for a few days. I’d read before my procedure that a lot of people could feel the filler in their lips afterwards. However, once the swelling reduced my lips felt perfectly normal—just bigger!

 

 

I honestly got so many compliments post-procedure—almost everyone said that they couldn’t put their finger on what it was that was different, and I got a lot of people asking if I’d had my hair cut. I think this is the ultimate goal with cosmetic medicine and I was chuffed with the results.

Dr Kate and Camilla had told me that the effects of the anti-wrinkle injections peak at the two-week mark, and sure enough, right about then I found myself completely unable to frown. One of the things that I’d been nervous about was having a ‘frozen’ look where I wouldn’t be able to show emotion. The placement of my injections, however, means that I can fully raise my eyebrows—I just can’t frown. Before my injections, I had a frown line that remained even when I wasn’t frowning. It’s been about six weeks and the line has completely disappeared.

Two weeks after the procedure I met with Dr Camilla for my follow-up appointment. We spoke about how I was feeling about the results (fantastic) and whether everything was looking symmetrical (spot on).

In terms of how long the effects last, the anti-wrinkle injections last three to four months on average, while lip filler lasts about four to six months, depending on how fast your body metabolises the filler.

Would I get these procedures done again? Yes—although not in the near future as I’m satisfied with my results for the time being. It’s also important to note that these kinds of treatments aren’t cheap: mine cost around $900. But I’d much rather pay a little bit more to have the procedures done by a qualified professional whom I trust.

I love that I still look like me. It’s nice to know that you can have small adjustments made to your face without looking ‘plastic’ or like you’ve obviously had work done. Dr Kate told me that her oldest ever client was 89, and that a lot of their clients are young professionals or mums with school-aged kids who want to look refreshed.

The fact is that we all have busy lifestyles and want to look our best. I now realise that when administered by professionals and in the right amounts, cosmetic medicine can very much be part of the regular grooming process.

I’m so happy that I had these procedures done, and especially that I had them done by Dr Kate and Dr Camilla. I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending them to my nearest and dearest, including my mum—which for me is the ultimate test of trust.

At the time of publication, Focus Cosmetic Medicine are operating from Enhance Skin Care on Allara Street, Canberra City. However, an exciting new location will be announced soon.

This is a sponsored post but opinions remain the author’s own. The author received her treatments free of charge from Focus Cosmetic Medicine for review purposes. It complies with the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission’s guidelines on Online Reviews. Read our Sponsored Post Policy if you would like more information.

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Ashleigh Went

HerCanberra ACTIVE Editor Ashleigh Went has a passion for all things health and wellness. As someone who loves champagne and cheese almost as she loves a sweaty workout, she's all about living a healthy, balanced lifestyle. She can usually be found with her nose in a book, planning her next adventure, in the gym or updating her Instagram @wentworthavenue. More about the Author

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