Every now and then I go into the kitchen, get a pack of frozen veg out the freezer, and press it to my mouth for 10 to 15 seconds. The dog is definitely puzzled.
Hands up any reader who remembers the completely agonizing shock of the first time you tried to pluck your eyebrows? (or, worse, had a ruthless friend behind the tweezers) – the frozen disbelief that one tiny hair could have been wired to the mains of your brain, and routed via your deepest pain centres? Well, I found a worse shocker today. No, seriously.
Quick background. In the last three months, I have lost two and a half stone (35 pounds or approximately 15 kgs) (work-related stress, long story) which I was pretty pleased about as there’s this little wedding event coming up which I may have mentioned, oh, only 20 or 30 times since last year. Apart from the fact that I keep having to change my mother-of-the-bride outfit, I’ve been quite chuffed about it. However, I noticed a few days ago that the new creases from my mouth to my chin make me look like a cross between Deputy Dawg and Charlie McArthy. The pretty name given to these is Marionette creases. Aw. That’s sweet. Not. THEY HAVE TO GO.
So I went to Twitter—as one does—and shrieked for help and lovely Jacqui said just stay animated and nobody will notice (it is a twelve hour wedding. I doubt the bride will manage to stay animated for twelve hours, but her feeble old mum sure as hell won’t) and lovely Charlie suggested Juvederm. As a joke.
So, here’s what happens with dermal fillers. You register your phone number and a clinic calls you back and gives you a nice low appealing quote for which price you will be turned into Cinderella for 6 to 9 months. Then you go in and the Marchioness de Sade who is about to do the work triples that quote. You need, she says, cheek plumpers (£700) and lip filler (£180) and marionette crease fillers (£370) You haggle. You end up paying more than you wanted for an effect that will last for a shorter time – 3 to 6 months. Then the sadist giggles fiendishly and says ‘this may nip a bit.’
I’m no stoic. My shrieks and howls for mercy probably reached Australia. I still have nail-shaped crescents in the palms of my hands, three hours later. I told her she could stop but she said I’d paid for the whole injection so I might as well have it.
No, no, let me inject the rest into you. Please.
There’s that nasty moment or two when she looks startled, gets cotton wool, puts it to your face and says ‘just press on that for a minute or two’, that was also fun.
Okay, wild exaggerations aside, it does indeed nip a bit. It nips a lot, and you don’t get used to it. Despite anaesthetic cream, and a mild anaesthetic built into the product, it stings like buggery. That dentist jag that stings for a second or two? More. For longer.
Then you get up to look at yourself in the mirror and all is instantly forgiven. The skin may be red and fetchingly dotted with the occasional spot of blood, but Deputy Dawg has been told to voetsek and Charlie McArthy is no more.
Those mild anaesthetics wear off as you drive home and right now I’m not smiling, talking or eating. No makeup allowed before tomorrow. The redness, bruising and swelling, despite all the frozen vegetable smooching, is ongoing although I sneakingly rather like the trout mouth, I think it suits me. But in a week, two at the most, I will be looking exactly the way I did before, as far as the rest of the world is concerned, just a bit more rested. And that’s fine. If I just look the way I did in the mirror straight after the procedure I’ll be ecstatic, it took 10 years off and is worth every penny. I recognized the woman in the mirror as an old friend I haven’t seen in a good while.
She said at the end that the next time we should try the £700 cheek plumpers. NEXT time? Aye, right. They could pay me £400, or £700 or up to £1000, I won’t be doing it again.
(Okay, over £1000, I’m probably listening.)