Updated: Feb 12, 2019
First things first, I'm not pushing every gal to go get botox or fillers of any kind. I think every woman is beautiful just as she is. If you want to be all-natural, I think that is fantastic. If you want to get lash extensions, lip injections, botox, etc. I am here for all of it, too. Do what makes you feel good. Regardless of anyone's opinion, it's your body, you have to live with it - no one else. I know I am not an ugly woman. I know I don't NEED any of this stuff BUT it makes ME feel good and that's truly all that matters. I don't want to change my face, I just want to enhance a few things.
With that being said, botox and fillers are great when you go to a great injector. Not all injectors are created equal and not all products are created equal. It's imperative to do your research. The biggest differentiation in services is the injector. They make or break your face, literally. A girl I know had botox done in Houston. The injector wasn't great and froze one of her eyebrows in a downward motion while the other was lifted up. Let's just say she looked like she was constantly in a state of confusion. Thankfully, she was able to find a good injector who fixed the mess. Don't mess around with cheap injectors or cheap products. In my video below, Dr. Trad talks about warning signs of diluted botox, what to ask of the injector and tips on getting the best results.
I first had my lips done two years ago when I lived in Salt Lake City. My girlfriend went a few times and I decided to try it out. That first injector was a Nurse Practitioner. She was fairly new into the injection space and had just left a job at the hospital. I chose to start small with a mini-lip and got half a syringe of Juvaderm. She did a weave method of injection in my lips. Holy hell it was painful. She would pierce my lip with the needle and weave it in and out of areas of my lips. It was a long process and my eyes were streaming they were watering so bad from the pain. When I left my lips had a nice shape but were very swollen and I bruised badly. She was an injector who encouraged massaging. I was supposed to massage my lips every few hours but the first day they were so painful, I hardly touched them. I had lots of bumps in my lips from this method - you couldn't see them when looking at my lips, but I could feel them and hated them. My ex-boyfriend and I were scheduled to drive a few hours south to his parents house in Hurricane, UT immediately after my appointment. My lips were in so much pain. I took some ibuprofen and kept the ice pack pressed on my lips. I laid down about an hour into the drive. Big mistake. I remember my lips feeling painful and feeling like they were stretching. I sat back up after thirty minutes or so and I was horrified. They looked like they had doubled in size. They were so big and so bruised. Let's just say I was mortified spending a weekend with my exes parents with the way my lips looked. Side note- if you've read my old article about living in Utah, you know his family was awful and his mom made fun of me behind my back. I will say that with this experience, I am a little more cognizant of any upcoming events I have scheduled when planning lip injections and botox. I definitely don't want to be photographed or seen much in the first 48 hours. Thankfully, after a few days of icing, they went down and were a nice size. I have learned that in the first few mornings following lip injections, your lips will be larger. It's just natural swelling. Something happens when you lay flat and they are always much bigger in the mornings when I wake up. I don't know the science of it all but don't be freaked out when it happens.
The second time I got my lips done, I went to the same place. This time, the owner of the med spa injected my lips. It was a night and day experience. He did a micro droplet method. I got an entire syringe. I barely had any bruising and they weren't nearly as painful. This was a much better experience.
The third time I had my lips done was this past summer. I drove to Tulsa from Dallas to have my friend do them. He is an invasive cardiologist but he recently co-launched Blank Med Spa at the Tulsa Boxyard. He had a med spa previously as well so he knows what he is doing. Obviously, his day job as an invasive cardiologist gives him an eye for detail.
Dr. Trad received his board certification in Internal Medicine, and has a 7 year experience in aesthetic and minimally invasive cosmetic surgical techniques. He was the medical director and co-owner of Mod Skin Nutrition, Ltd. Co. from 2011-2013 in Tulsa, OKlahoma. Dr. Trad has received his Botox and Dermal Fillers certification from the Association of Aesthetic Medicine and Surgery (AAAMS), in BeverlyHills, California in 2012 and has mastered the anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology of aging skin. Dr. Trad is an exceptional injector of Botox® and dermal fillers. He also has achieved an advance treatment technologies certifications from the Physician Care Alliance, in Scottsdale, Arizona.
In 2010 he attended various treatment courses in Laser, IPL, Ultrasound, Radio Frequency, LED, and microdermabrasion. Dr Trad is a long time believer in PCA skin products and has in-depth experience in the pathophysiology of hyperpigmentation, acne, rosacea, and aging skin. Dr. Trad has also studied the science of chemical peel formulations and biocompatibility within the skin.
The other two ladies who are co-owners of Blank are also superb injectors. Blank Med Spa has the coolest vibe. It's very sleek and sexy. It has a spaceship vibe to it. You definitely feel like you stepped out of Tulsa and into LA for your services.
(Photos from Shila Pratt Photography)
Last summer when I drove to Tulsa to have Dr. Trad inject my lips, I decided to also add in some botox. I have been scared to get botox and knew how important the injector was in this situation. I was only getting botox if I trusted the injector. My grandma used to jokingly tease me that I had more wrinkles than she did. She has always followed a strict face care regimen and her skin looks fantastic for being 74. While she was kidding, there was some truth. My forehead wrinkles were very deep and very noticeable. They have been since I was a teenager. I don't know if it's from being overly expressive or squinting but they looked terrible and I was very self-conscious of them. TJ injected about 60 units of botox into my face. He walked me through what he was injecting and why. He also explained where to inject in order to keep expression in the face and brows. He finished up with about 3/4 of a syringe of lip filler. I believe we did the Restylane this time in my lips. I was going through a ton of stress and a few changes and my lips wore off about 2 months in. Previously, they always lasted about 6 months so I was surprised. However, I know it was because of the way my body was breaking them down this time. Many times if someone tries a new product and they have a bad experience, they blame the product or the professional but it's important to remember our bodies are complex. Whether you are trying out a nutrition supplement, a hair care product or something like lip injections, be cognizant of your body and any changes going on because it can play a role in the outcome.
Fast forward to Christmas this year. I went in to do a botox upkeep and get my lips redone. This time we did a whole syringe of Juvaderm XC and I am obsessed. My lips were massively swollen the first 48 hours but after the swelling went down, I'm obsessed. We also did about 50 units of botox this time throughout my forehead. He went a little higher towards my hair line this time. That was definitely a bit more painful but thankfully, he uses tiny needles. He also breaks the botox up in multiple needles to keep from over-inserting the same needle. By continually using the same needle, you are dulling the needle which is more painful and will lead to more bruising. If you are going to get botox, ask your injector how many needles he plans to use. The following day or two, your lips might look huge, especially when you wake up. Don't freak out. Ice them and you will be fine.
Many women want to get aesthetic services done but they don't know what to get or where to go. Since many are embarrassed to talk about it for fear of judgement, they end up getting botched. In order to help answer any questions and ensure a quality result, we filmed Dr. Trad giving my injections at Blank Med Spa. In the video below, you can watch the process as he injects and answers countless questions about fillers and botox.
Lastly, there is a progression of my results over a couple of weeks. Lip injections give you instant gratification but the botox takes a while to settle in and show up. I always love my botox injections the best on day 5 or 6. I'm not a fan of how my face looks the day after botox. Again, don't freak out. It will settle in and look good. The botox injections will last about 3 months and the lip injections last an average of 6-8 months. As you continue to get botox, the less and less you need because of muscle memory. If you start out needing 60 units, eventually you will need much less every 3 months for maintenance.
My top tips for injections or botox: 1. Research - Make sure you do your research on the place and the injectors.
2. Start slow - Don't go in trying to do all the things. Start slow. You can always add more later, it's harder to take away.
3. Communicate with your injector - ask them the right questions, their opinions and tell them your biggest issues.
4. Take makeup with you - They remove your makeup for the injections. If you're just going home, leave it off. If you need to go somewhere an you don't want to be red and a little swollen looking, take a bit of makeup with you.
5. Ice, Ice Baby - Ice your lip&/or the injection sites for the next few hours and the next morning. I often try to sleep with the ice pack on my lips the first night due to pain and swelling.
Here are my photos before botox - peep the deep forehead wrinkles.
Between my first botox this summer and December
Night of botox - about 3 hours after
Day 1 - Without makeup early a.m. followed by day 1 mid afternoon
Day 4 - 7 after botox
Two weeks after botox and lip injections
For any of my Tulsa area readers, you can get 20% off all services at Blank Med Spa when you use the code "BAILEY20." Additionally, Blank is offering $9/unit for botox every other Monday. Check out their other work and stay up to date on any specials they're offering via Instagram.