Disclaimer: We do not recommend any specific approach or esthetician. Rather we’re just reporting on some of the local ways to modify your appearance in 2014.
Skin, Face, Double Chin
Elemis Pro-Intense Lift Effect Super System
Alias :: Double chin mask
The Good :: This clinically trialed system gives visible results after just one month. It combines plant stem cells, nutrient-rich lipids and specialized face masks that minimize the appearance of a double chin.
The Bad :: Precision is key. You’ll follow the Elemis regimen for 30 days before seeing a more contoured look.
The Ugly :: The main complaint is that the Pro Intense Life Effect Jowl and Chin Masks (yes, they refer to that pesky sagging skin under your chin as a jowl) that you wear each week resemble jock straps that you wrap around your face. The mask’s straps hook around your ears and “hoist” your neck in position for 20 minutes. Although your chin does feel more defined, another downside is that the effects wear off after a few hours. So it’s perfect for an evening event but remember, just like Cinderella, the spell ends at midnight.
elemis.com :: nordstrom.com
Alias :: Laser-assisted neck liposuction
The Good :: The Smartlipo surgery uses a tumescent laser making it less invasive than traditional liposuction. There are also no sutures.
The Bad :: Some swelling inevitably occurs after the procedure and in most cases you will wear a chin strap (also called an elastic compression headband) for a few days.
The Ugly :: Once the swelling goes down, you may still need to wear scarves or a turtleneck to hide some of the residual “signs of surgery.” Another uncomfortable – and unsightly – side effect is the fluid drainage from the incisions.
Alias :: Skin shaving
The Good :: The technique’s results are often compared to a chemical peel. But, unlike deep chemexfoliations, the esthetician does not use carbolic acid (phenol), which makes the procedure safer for pregnant women and has the added benefit of removing unwanted facial hair. Dermaplaning experts tout that the procedure creates a more even skin tone and in some cases may reduce acne blemishes.
The Bad :: The results only last for approximately 30 days. So most people are encouraged to return each month for follow-up treatments.
The Ugly :: The most off-putting aspect of this procedure is that the esthetician takes a sharp surgical blade and literally shaves off the top layer of your dead skin. So visit a trusted professional because one false move and it’s a nick you’ll never forget.
Juvéderm Voluma XC
Alias :: Facial filler
The Good :: Created by Allergan (think Botox and Juvéderm), Voluma XC is the first FDA-approved facial filler to fix age-related cheek volume loss. Newport Beach-based plastic surgeon and Allergan advisory board member Dr. Rami Batniji has performed more than 40 procedures during Voluma’s trial phase and also trains other surgeons on how to properly use the filler. He’s a great resource since the FDA only just recently approved Voluma in October 2013.
The Bad :: It is clinically proven to last up to two years, which means that repeat injections are in your future.
The Ugly :: In some cases, side effects may include lumps or bumps, discoloration and bruising at the treatment site. These uncomfortable reactions could last up to four weeks.
juvederm.com :: drbatniji.com
Brazilian Butt Lift
Alias :: Butt fat injections
The Good :: This technique uses your body’s natural fatty tissue to enhance your derriere. Translation: Fat is sucked out (via liposuction) of one unwanted area and transferred to your buttocks. Typically the fat is extracted from other “problem areas” like the thighs or the abdomen.
The Bad :: After the procedure, your activity will be limited. Swelling and bruising is also common.
The Ugly :: In some cases, the fat does not remain in the desired location and is reabsorbed by the body. So the lift that you see immediately after the procedure may not be permanent.
Alias :: Butt enlargement surgery
The Good :: The surgery typically takes about two hours. The implant is made of silicone so it’s supposed to be more durable and appears firmer like real muscle.
The Bad :: A pocket is created for the implant between the connective tissue around the buttocks muscle. Typically the implant is inserted high above the area where you sit. It’s a fairly invasive way of achieving that J.Lo/Kim Kardashian booty.
The Ugly :: Recovery time could take up to six weeks. The worst-case scenario is that the implant moves out of place causing an uneven appearance or odd-shaped looking backside.
Zerona Body Slimming
Alias :: Laser lipo
The Good :: Billed as the non-invasive body slimming treatment for the waist, thighs and hips, Zerona utilizes a low-level laser to disrupt fat cell membranes below the skin’s surface. Fat deposits are broken up and eliminated through the body’s lymphatic system, which results in lost inches throughout the lower body. Zerona is also painless and there is no downtime.
The Bad :: Don’t sign up for Zerona unless you have some uninterrupted time in your near future. The procedure requires at least six treatments, every other day, that last for 40 minutes. If more than 72 hours passes in between treatments, fat may be taken up by the cells again.
The Ugly :: Zerona isn’t a permanent solution to weight loss – it’s what the company that makes the laser calls a “jump start” to the new you, provided you maintain a healthy diet and continue to exercise to keep the weight off. Further, excessive weight loss could result in loose skin, which can require further surgeries to correct.
Alias :: Body lift
The Good :: If you’re looking for a complete overhaul, body contouring may be the procedure for you. Used to reshape the body after significant weight loss due to gastric bypass or to start the renewal process from scratch, body contouring actually consists of several procedures that can involve the neck, upper arms, breasts, abdomen, back, thighs, knees, and ankles. The procedures can sometimes be accomplished in one surgical session or may require several surgeries.
The Bad :: Since there are many surgical procedures involved, which can last anywhere from two to five hours, scarring is guaranteed. Scars are usually located in the inside of legs, under the arms, and across the stomach and hips. They may fade with time.
The Ugly :: The stay in the hospital can range from one to eight days, and recovery can take up to eight weeks. Complications from surgery can include blood clots, infection and skin laxity, which occurs in the weeks and months following surgery.
Alias :: Liquid nose job
The Good :: There’s no need to go under the knife if what you’re looking for is a quick fix involving a drooping tip, a crooked bridge or a bump camouflage. Radiesse, which is injectable, is the most commonly used filler, and typically breaks down within one year. For more permanent results, Artefill can be used since it is not absorbed by the body.
The Bad :: Depending on the filler, results may only last up to six months. Further, non-surgical nose jobs are only recommended for those looking to make minor changes to the shape of their nose. Consult with your plastic surgeon to be sure that your issues will be adequately addressed.
The Ugly :: Be certain in choosing a qualified professional to inject fillers. Poorly placed filler can result in lumpy spots or bumps where there weren't any. Computer imaging before the procedure is a good way to envision what your new nose will look like, and to compare to the “after” results.
Alias :: Barbie-line rhinoplasty
The Good :: Medical tourism is alive and well. For those looking to transform their schnoz into a shape reminiscent of Barbie, there are plenty of surgeons lined up in South Korea who are happy to make your fashion doll dreams come true. Billed as the all-purpose nose, this procedure results in a straight bridge and a pointy tip, with no upturned end. And you don’t even have to stay overnight.
The Bad :: Full recovery takes up to two weeks. And because of individual factors, not everyone will achieve the same result. So if you’ve been lusting after Barbie’s nose ever since you were a little girl, you may want to tailor your expectations to fit an earthly face, not a plastic doll. Make sure to do computer imaging before getting the surgery.
The Ugly :: Besides the temporary bleeding and bruising around the nose that typically occurs after any nose job, there can be complications resulting from anesthesia, and infection may arise due to open wounds. Even worse, an unskilled nose job could result in holes to the septum (the wall that separates the nostrils) or necrosis of skin tissue in the surrounding area.
mcneillderm.com :: newportplastic.com
Alias :: Kiss plump-up
The Good :: If the thought of needles makes you queasy, consider the non-injectable way to get bee-stung lips: lip plumpers. They’re widely available at drugstores and department stores, and the results can yield the coveted Hollywood-esque pout. Lip plumpers come in the form of balms, glosses, serums, or gels and can be clear or tinted, and in addition to perking up your kisser, the shine enhances shape and makes lips look fuller. Look for plumpers containing hyaluronic acids, which can trap water from the environment onto the skin, making lips appear fuller.
The Bad :: Results are very temporary – as in, the bee-stung look lasts only as long as your gloss stays on, which in most cases is not very long. In the best-case scenario, the results will last a couple of hours due to the efficacy of ingredients such as cinnamon or capsicum (a compound found in red peppers that gives them their spiciness). Check the ingredient list before buying.
The Ugly :: The effective ingredients in lip plumpers can also make them uncomfortable to use. Tingling and burning are common sensations, and overuse can actually cause lips to dry out and become scaly.
Alias :: Smile Lipt
The Good :: Leave it to South Korea to come up a winner once again. For your next venture east, consider the trend sweeping the world of lip alterations: the Smile Lipt. Designed to take that frown and turn it upside down, the procedure, which combines the words “lift” and “lip,” turns up the drooping corners of the mouth and produces a gentle perma-smile.
The Bad :: Different from Western procedures, which generally involve lip augmentation using a variety of fillers, the Smile Lipt is a surgical procedure that works by severing the jaw muscles that pull downward. Removal of too much muscle, however, could result in complications or in distorted results.
The Ugly :: While most patients are after a slightly upturned smile, overzealousness with the scalpel can result in a Joker-like expression or even speech complications.
Alias :: Laser spot removal
The Good :: Hand photorejuvenation uses intense pulsed light to reduce dark splotches. Since it’s a non-invasive procedure, most people return to their normal activities immediately after each session.
The Bad :: In most cases, people feel a temporary sunburn sensation for a few hours following the procedure. The typical schedule is one treatment for five consecutive months. So your blotchy spots don’t immediately disappear.
The Ugly :: The red and brown areas on your hands will begin flaking off a few days after the laser treatment. Also, skin pigment matters with this procedure. People with darker complexions are less likely to see a difference with photorejuvenation, and typically these patients experience the worst negative side effects like bleeding or bruising.
Alias :: The hand lift
The Good :: Immediate results are the best part of these injections. Since Radiesse is also used on the face (specifically the chin and cheeks), most people feel safe getting the serum injected into their hands.
The Bad :: Each hand requires its own syringe filled with Radiesse. In some cases, a third syringe is used. The procedure takes approximately 20 minutes.
The Ugly :: The results only last for one to two years. So you’ll have to return to the doctor’s office for “maintenance” visits. Otherwise those pesky veins and hand ligaments will pop up again.