Mar 22, 2018

Those Red Carpet Looks

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By Eileen Spatz

After sitting through one awards show after another recently, one might begin to ponder all the extra “work” that might go into the celebrities achieving that absolute perfection displayed on the red carpet. I mean, really—nary a crows foot in sight! Lip-lines, forget about it. Love handles: masterfully hidden, or magically removed? While some may kick back and admire the stars, the gorgeous gowns and chic ‘dos, others might focus with laser (pardon the pun) precision at those lineless faces wondering how these people never seem to age.

Displays of the highest caliber noninvasive cosmetic interventions prancing across the red carpet might beg the question, “How much suffering is involved in all that perfecting?” While pain tolerance is a very individualized experience, there must be some measure of potential pain involved in all that pricking and prodding. So, here is a highly unscientific rundown of the hierarchy of pain intensity suffered by celebs before making their red carpet grand entrance, from the least painful to the most.

  1. Botulinum toxin, aka Botox, can make a world of difference with the least amount of pain inflicted.  This neurotoxin is derived from Clostridium botulinum, and acts by paralyzing the underlying muscles in the face.  The effects kick in about 4 days after the injections and last about 3-6 months.  Careful though…too much Botox can make your face look really scary-frozen.  Patients will experience minor pain from the prick of the needle and the solution itself during the procedure.
  2. Microdermabrasion uses a diamond tipped appliance to gently exfoliate and resurface the skin, requiring 6-10 sessions for best results, two weeks apart.  Microdermabrasion can even out skin-tone, reduce the appearance of fine wrinkles and acne scars, and leave skin glowing.  Recovery time is about 2 days, and the pain is considered to be minimal.
  3. Hyaluronic acid fillers, aka dermal fillers such as Juvederm or Restylane, are used in a multitude of ways to plump up, accentuate, or minimize various facial minor imperfections.  In recent years, dermal fillers are popular for plumping up lips, which can minimize lip lines and replace lost lip volume due to aging.  The fillers can also be used to enhance cheekbones, soften “laugh lines,” and add volume under the eyes.  There is moderate pain, bruising, and swelling involved in dermal fillers, which can take 2-5 days to resolve.
  4. Deoxycholic acid, aka Kybella injections are used to improve the appearance of the double chin.  This naturally occurring substance can actually help the body absorb fat cells where strategically used.  Typically 6 treatments are recommended, one month apart.  There is moderate pain, bruising, and swelling involved with Kybella, taking a few days to resolve.
  5. Body contouring procedures, such as SculpSure and CoolSculpting, are non-surgical options to liposuction that can make an impact on stubborn muffin tops, back fat, and belly fat.  Body contouring with these treatments either uses laser to heat fat cells (SculpSure) or CoolSculpting freeze the fat cells.  The body then metabolizes these now defunct fat cells over time, and voila! ready for the red carpet.  Body contouring requires 2-3 treatments, six weeks apart.  Pain intensity is a bit steeper with these treatments, with cramp-like sensations experienced by patients and CoolSculpting being more painful both during and after the treatments.
So there you have it, the tricks of the trade ranked by the trade-off in pain vs. reward.  Celebrities who are so inclined to utilize these beauty-enhancing procedures can select from the menu of noninvasive options, targeting whatever zone they believe needs fine-tuning before a red carpet appearance turns the media microscope on them.  Not a bad idea, since the 72 hours following the event will consist of intense nit-picking dissection of their every little flaw all across social media.  Why not be proactive and give the trolls less to criticize, right?

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