GraceMed Botox and Dermal Filler Procedure First Time

In our series, So I Got This Done, we’re breaking down everything you need to know about getting a medical aesthetic procedure from injectables to skin treatments. Whether you decide to go under the needle or laser, you deserve a reputable Practitioner and honest information.

“The stigma of “Getting work done” is thankfully no longer.”

Let’s start by saying, I’ve finally jumped on the bandwagon. In fact, I’m now driving it.

Continue Reading or Watch my Botox and Filler Journey Below

Botox. Filler.

Two words you either love or love to hate. Either because you want one, or both, know someone who has them, or because you swear to everything natural those little needles will never touch your face. And can you blame the haters? Willingly pumping botulinum toxins (botox) into your face? And for what? To rid your forehead of all emotion and laugh lines? And most of you already know this is temporary, right? We’re talking on average 3-4 months temporary. Clearly, I’ve been team anti-Botox/anti-filler most of my adult life. “I’ll be the woman that embraces aging. Each wrinkle is a badge of honour to wear, I’d made it this far in life,” blah blah. Well, that all went south rather quickly when I turned 40. More on that later.

The stigma of freezing your wrinkles was still hush-hush when I entered my 30s. And I wasn’t vain enough, or maybe I should say, confident enough to even utter the word in my circle of girlfriends. But then cheeks lost their plumpness, the lines grew deeper, and my smugness on the topic started to wane. Still, I would not. Even when a dermatologist offered this unsolicited bit of advice: “You smile too much. Stop doing that if you don’t want more wrinkles.” Stop smiling if I didn’t want to worsen my wrinkles…seriously? I mean, he wasn’t wrong. But I hated him, nonetheless. I’d age gracefully. Hold on to my youthful glow for as long as I could with sheet masks and expensive serums.

As I rounded the corner into my 40’s, things changed. The question “when did I get here?” disturbed my mental space. When did the stray pieces of my hair turn white? When did my face start looking so tired? I found myself repeatedly asking “when did this happen” every time I passed a mirror. The hair was easy. I got my hair dyed every 6 months. The furrows, spots, enlarged pores, and lines were a whole other ballgame. A game that I did not want to play.

40 turned to 41 and like the universe telling me it was time, my girlfriend randomly blurted “I got Botox!” one day during dinner. It was like the weird validation I didn’t know I needed. To be honest, I wasn’t sure why it took one of us so long to get injected. Gone are the stigmatic days of celebrities taking the secrets of going under the knife and needle to their graves. Social media is unparalleled transparency. The twenty-somethings were all advertising the “work’’ they’d had done and terms like “prevention” are making me kick myself for not doing it sooner.

Listen, I didn’t decide to get injectables to improve my face for men. Nor do I hate the way I look, quite the contrary. In my thirties, I finally got comfortable in my skin.

“To me, it was about subtle enhancements, and I for one was all for that.”

And so, I made an appointment with the very experienced and very notable nurse injector, Lisa at GraceMed Downtown Toronto. The Queen of Injectables as I’d like to call her. I picked GraceMed because they had a reputation for natural beauty, taking time with each patient, and following up after treatments. Listen, I knew I wasn’t special, Botox and filler were being injected every few minutes in North America, but for my very first aesthetic procedure I certainly didn’t want to feel like I was just a number in a long line of numbers. And my biggest concern, I didn’t want to look like I had work done. I called to book my appointment and nervously counted down the days.

My Botox and Dermal Filler Journey

T-0 arrived, and there was equal parts excitement and equal parts anxiety. It was a Friday, so I had the weekend to recover if need be. But would I have to turn off my camera for Zoom calls on Monday? Would this hurt? What if I ended up looking like the celebrities I no longer recognized? As I walked through the door, I felt better. A warm space and a smiling face greeted me. I don’t know what I expected, maybe cold and intimidating, this thankfully was not that. With a complimentary bottle of organic strawberry and rose-flavored water in hand, I knew I had done good.

A quick five minutes later, Lisa was right on time and instantly calmed any remaining jitters. In her chair, she listened intently as

I went on about not wanting to look fake, and how I wanted change without actually looking like I had gotten change.

Yes, entirely the kind of ambiguous appeal all experienced nurse injectors and medical aestheticians love to hear in their chair. I proceeded to point out my forehead lines, my once-plump cheeks, and how I looked exhausted most days. And isn’t that the most unfair part of it, looking tired but not actually feeling tired? Botox and dermal fillers were what Lisa recommended and they were precisely what I had wanted. We were on a good track already.

Soon, we’d begin. My face was mapped out for both procedures, and I quietly braced myself. Lisa explained that the syringe also included local anesthetic and I remember blurting out “oh, thank the Lord.” I don’t know why but I felt the need to keep my eyes open, perhaps it having to do with always wanting to be in control. I saw the needle coming at my face and like most faces, it didn’t welcome the fact. I had to force my chin to stay put.

My first syringe of filler was injected rather painlessly, I remember smiling in my head, everybody was right, this wasn’t bad at all.

Lisa finished my chin and the only complaint I had was the crunching noise. Yes, crunching noise. My experienced nurse injector explained that it is the product being pushed through the syringe. And once I got past visualizing the needle puncturing an unexpected muscle, I was fine.

Now it was time for my cheeks. I couldn’t help but pray not to have golf ball-sized cheekbones at the end of this and calmed myself when Lisa massaged the filler, setting it into place. And when she whipped out a cannula, I had to pause. What. On. Earth? A cannula is a flexible needle with a blunt end. When it’s making its way toward your cheek for the very first time, I think it is okay to stop and ask a question. But before I could even react, Lisa in her very soothing Lisa voice, said: “This is a cannula. If you’re comfortable, it’s going to be used to inject the filler into your cheek for faster recovery”. I was on board, continue at will. Now, what did the cannula feel like, you may wonder? I could feel the slight movement under my skin, and because I don’t regularly have objects inserted there, it was a tad awkward, but not painful.

Soon after, it was Botox time. First, my forehead lines. Then my frown lines. Then the crow’s feet. One by one, I envisioned an iron going over all the creases in my face that had bothered me over time.

40 minutes later and I had conquered my first-ever aesthetic treatment.

When Lisa handed me the handheld mirror, I took a minute to digest the reflection. I could see tiny holes where the needle pushed goodness into my face. My cheeks were more defined. It is still like magic to me how within the time it’d take to watch House of the Dragon, I achieved permanent contouring. The discomfort level for me was around a 3/10, the chin filler being the most uncomfortable. Botox was a breeze and as I stare in the mirror now, I am astonished at the results.

GraceMed Botox and Filler Before and After

My friends, I am not here to convince you to follow in my footsteps and alter your face in any way. The decision is so wildly personal. But if you are like I was, on the fence, I’ll leave you with my last thought. The moment I got home and looked at myself properly in the comfort of my own home, I wondered this: “Why didn’t I do this sooner?”

Have Questions?

If you have any questions about this Botox / Filler procedure or any other procedure offered by GraceMed, please don’t hesitate to contact us through our online form.  

Click here to learn about Botox procedure at GraceMed