Revanesse. Liquid Facelift. Juvederm. Sculptra. Contour Thread-Lift. These are just some of the latest cosmetic treatments, all of which sound so delectably, well, non-surgical. Most of us love the idea of fine-tuning our faces (and other vexing areas), but get the yips at the thought of scalpels, anaesthetic and gauze bandages. Anticipating our aversion to the medical aspect of cosmetic alteration, surgeons are now pushing alternatives to the knife en masse, and naming these procedures in the manner of Ponce de Leon.
Our conundrum is simple: We want to look better, but we have very little time and even less heart for any tenure in the O.R. On the other hand, our conundrum is complicated: Women – and the many men who are starting to contemplate makeup’s extreme (surgical) extension – are working more and working harder than ever before. As a result, we often look exhausted, drawing heat from both the snippy and the competitive: “You look tired. Is everything okay?” As we know, moisturizers and concealers can do only so much; they are to cosmetic surgery what Spanx undergarments are to liposuction, what a bandana is to a wretched hair day.
Intrigued by the idea of appearing less tired while working tirelessly, I met with three cosmetic plastic surgeons and a cosmetic dermatologist, all of whom offered me exciting and sometimes frightening alternatives to the skin’s normal reaction to life’s wear and tear.
By the time I hit Avenue Road, Toronto’s plastic path, I’m seduced by a doctor who is so posh, one could never imagine bleeding gauchely in her presence. Dr. Lisa Kellett of DLK on Avenue is a 40-something woman who looks like Diana Krall’s granddaughter. She is currently using Revanesse in her non-surgical practice, and her clinic looks and feels like a girlie pyjama party (with the bizarre option of surgical needle fun). “You’re so cute” is the most used phrase among Kellett and her assistants, who deploy the term like super-nice cheerleaders at every opportunity, and who are also trained in the art of making an intimidating procedure feel like a chummy pedicure. DLK’s office is sparkling clean and whimsical: Kellett sells floppy sun hats that also function as maximum sun protection, along with lotions and potions in dropper bottles.
I have a few shots of Botox and Revanesse while lounging on a duvetlike litter, listening to light jazz and having my hair pulled into a surgical scrunchie. Kellett’s philosophy is that her patients look refreshed, not worked on, and I can attest to her craft. I need virtually no recovery time from the injections and have no bruising or pain, and the procedure (to treat lip and forehead lines) costs approximately $1,000, which, in girl math, is two pairs of shoes in exchange for a placid brow. (Again, prices are adjusted according to patient needs). The look lasts up to a year, depending on how much or how ardently you use your mouth.