So why a Liquid Facelift? Let’s start with the anatomy of what ‘ages’ our face – over time we lose fat from our cheeks, our lips, our chin. At the same time the bones that one defined our features also gradually shrink, which is why, over time we become slightly deflated, less defined versions of our 25 year-old selves.
The Liquid Facelift uses injectable dermal fillers to restore volume to the face, reduce fine lines and enhance the jaw line. But let’s be clear: this is the sort of thing you want done by a highly skilled expert, so that you avoid the ‘trout pout’, ‘angry eyes’ and other travesties of the unregulated injectables industry.
My goal is not to look like a Kardashian, but just look a healthy, refreshed, ever-so-subtly better version of myself. Like I said, my husband doesn’t notice. But his family and our friends sometimes say I look really great for my age.
I almost skip with enthusiasm into see Dr Joseph Hkeik at All Saint Clinic in Sydney’s Double Bay. The chic corner terrace has no signage, not even a brass plaque on the door. If you know, you know. The only tell is the constant parade of models, celebrities and international stars that pour out of the glossy black front door. (Exactly who? Check out Dr Hkeik’s’ Instagram)
Dr Hkeik is warmth, charm and discretion personified. “What are we doing today?” he asks. I guess some clients have very specific ideas about issues they want corrected or tweaked. For me, I’m not blessed with glorious cheekbones – and since coming here to see Dr Hkeik for the last few years I can see my face has more attractive contours than it used to. But I don’t have to ask. Dr Hkeik has the trained eye of a sculptor. So I say simply “I’ll leave that to you”.
With the back of his pen he gently traces along the naso-labial folds, those lines between the nose and top of the mouth, which become more pronounced over time. And he asks me to frown and studies the lines across my brow, and then stands back. “Are you happy for me to do 2ml this time?” That’s quite a lot of filler, but like I say, it’s a trust thing.
Deep intake. “Sure!” I say. I hop onto the white fur-topped treatment couch. Yes, everything about treatments here evokes a feeling of pampering.
Dr Hkeik proceeds with two injections to each side of my face – one is just below the cheek and, using a canula, he sculpts the filler into my check area. The other jab is just above my jaw line and he sculpts the filler to remove my jowls and give me a firmer jawline.
Does it hurt? About as much as a dentist injecting anaesthetic. I’m a sook, so I grumble. “Well it’s an injection!” he chides warmly, and flicks the treatment bed to vibrate so the rhythmic pulsing deflects my attention from the needle. (Heaven help me if I ever have PDO threads the hot influencer trend where barbed threads that are placed under the skin and gently lift your features ).
There’s a further jab between my eyebrows and tops of brows with Botox to remove the frown lines.
“Now”, he says, “I’m going to make you smile”, and with that, there’s a quick shot to each corner of my mouth which transforms my downturned resting face into naturally smiling one.
Another happy customer of Dr Hkeik
It’s all over within 20 minutes. As I leave, the only giveaway I have had anything done to my face are the tiny red needle marks to either side of my face. For the next day or two I can feel the filler, especially when I wake up in the morning. It’s a bit like the pressure you feel from a blind pimple, not painful, just there. But it subsides over the next few days.
I like the new me – it’s a fresher-looking, warmer version of the real me. No, hubbie still hasn’t said anything. But when I look in the mirror, I can see the contours of ever-so-subtly rounded cheeks, the lines from my nose to mouth are much less pronounced, the frown lines have gone and my face feels as if gravity has been defied. The outer edges of my eyes also smile instead of sag. I’m happy. I look happy.
How much does this cost. As a general guide, upward from about $1000 depending on how much filler and Botox is used to create your non-invasive facelift.
I know this is not for everyone. But for me, it’s a great confidence-booster. The only downside is that the fillers gradually dissolve over six to nine months. So I’ll be back – I’m banking on it.