Whether by living in the age of Youtubers, holistic influencers or the Internet in general, education on good skincare has never been more within our reach. This is a good thing— in fact I applaud it. If young teenagers today could learn to stay up to date on using their SPF everyday and washing their face with the right cleanser, they wouldn’t be dealing with bad pores or free radical damage like me or other humans of my generation desperately freezing our jade rollers in the fridge to make our puffy eyes go away every morning whilst microneedling at night.
As a writer who’s earned her fair share of wrinkles— through working late nights on the computer, laughing, crying, doing my share of Toke of the Week research, more crying, and aging, I was bound to land with some laugh lines here and there. But acne scars, dark spots, and sagging skin? At 30? My Google search history has been awash with searches on the best hyaluronic acid moisturizers, collagen eye creams, other anti-aging miracle workers.
Lo and behold, news of CosmetiCare‘s BeautyLand event crept up in my inbox. As a popular Newport Beach plastic surgery and medical spa, CosmetiCare has been the go-to place for well-to-do ladies and gents in and around the Orange County area looking to turn back the hands of time, with Real Housewives of the OC cast members Kelly Dodd and Shannon Beador among their famous clientele (I ain’t afraid to say it, I’ve been locked in on a lot of Housewives drama for the past couple years, it’s great. Love ya, Bravo channel).
CosmetiCare was opened in 1982 by plastic surgeon Michael Niccole, M.D., and he and his team of board certified docs and nurses have been nip/tucking clients with fabulous results ever since: Niccole has even won our Reader’s Poll’s “Best Cosmetic Surgeon” a few times, securing his status as one of the most sought-after and acclaimed surgeons in the County. (A few more scrolls in the Weekly archives and I discovered an old story about CosmetiCare’s contest where the winner gets a free tattoo removal of an ex’s name off their body— a valuable service indeed).
BeautyLand, which was held last Thursday night, invited the public to an open house event where they can visit the center and see the myriad of services offered: cool sculpting, facials, plastic surgery procedures like rhinoplasty, breast augmentation, vaginal rejuvenation, botox, laser hair removal, liposuction, and others. That and with the draw of hors d’ouevres and drinks (who would turn those down, tho?) attracted many a local, from elder matriarchs to young twenty-somethings, and even Real Housewife Kelly Dodd herself.
I was intrigued to visit to learn as much as I could about procedures I have been looking into myself, such as dermaplaning facials, but the pleasant treat that locked in my RSVP was the complimentary Botox and/or fillers. I visited CosmetiCare a few hours before the event for a consultation where I was told I’d be a demonstration model for guests to witness an injectable procedure. Thanks to the friendly staff and nurses, I was given the lowdown on how to properly prepare for the injectables I was to receive that evening— Botox on my forehead, and Juvederm derma fillers on my cheeks and lips. “Welcome to your new addiction!” one of the nurses cheekily remarked.
Once there, I was immediately escorted to prepare for the demonstration. With my face buzzing from the numbing ointment, I was asked to sit in the middle of the room while a chill nurse’s assistant stood by. My injectable nurse was Kat Mohammadi, a longtime injectable nurse with over fifteen years in the game. She calmly talked me through the entire process and checked in occasionally to ask how I was doing (for those wondering about the pain, Botox and other injectables don’t hurt much after you’ve been numbed, but you’ll feel a slight pinching sensation, of course. The alcohol that was smeared on my face right before each shot pierced my skin made me way more uncomfortable). Afterwards, she discussed proper aftercare to heal completely, and that the full results of my fillers would show after two weeks. (The results of fillers and Botox last up to a year to fourteen months, per Google.)
Every room at the center hosted a doctor discussing information around a specific service they offered by CosmetiCare, from breast augmentation to face lifts to financing, et. al. The clever thing about the way BeautyLand was set up was that guests were given a stamp card at the beginning of the event and told if they scored over eight stamps from each room, they could enter a raffle for a free procedure of their choice, or a discount on their preferred surgery. (This wasn’t one of the options but definitely worth mentioning: hormone replacement therapy is to be an offered service in 2020).
All in all, getting plastic surgery, or any type of physical work done, is a personal choice. Whatever stigma hangs over it these days, people should realize that we all deal with our insecurities differently, and that updating our physical selves is less about reaching an ideal standard of beauty than it is making a difference in our appearance that helps build one’s confidence and self-worth, whether the change made is big or small. My tips in going through it: do your research beforehand, ask lots of questions come consultation time, and plan for plenty of downtime afterwards.
As for me? I’m gonna relish making my friends jealous for the next year and give my microneedling roller a rest for while. Helloooo, 30!
Aimee Murillo is calendar editor and frequently covers film and previously contributed to the OCW’s long-running fashion column, Trendzilla. Don’t ask her what her favorite movie is unless you want to hear her lengthy defense of Showgirls.