A little while ago, I was sitting in a large meeting and one of my colleagues appeared with significant scabs under his eyes. He’s not a chap with a particular reputation for cage fighting or street brawling, so it raised eyebrows… After the meeting, he told me he’d had an allergic reaction to some eye drops the optician had used, during a contact lens trial. Remember this excuse; it may come in useful for you, too!
I had agreed to be Helen’s guinea pig on her plasma blast training course. I liked the idea of being a guinea pig. I had even practised squeaking, and eating hay. Turns out, I needed none of those things. I just needed to lie down, and bring my wrinkles. I had plenty of those!
The training course was in Warrington, and I spent a happy morning pootling around a shopping mall, drinking coffee and people watching – there are a lot of very orange people in Warrington…
At lunchtime, I returned to the college and Helen came downstairs to inspect my wrinkles. I had deep sleep scars on my forehead, ex-smoker’s lines around my mouth, a whole flock of crow’s feet and a significantly hooded right eyelid. Helen thought she might have time to have a go at most of them, and so she smothered me in anaesthetic cream, and I was on my own for 45 minutes, while my face (metaphorically) froze.
Upstairs, face frozen, I was laid on a bed – Helen even provided a pillow, and a very attractive white disposable mop cap to keep my unruly hair out of the way. The experience couldn’t have been more relaxing! I was, I’ll admit, a little nervous – Helen is always very steady handed, and I’ve had a number of procedures done by her – including tattooed eyeliner, which really does require a high level of trust and confidence! But even still, we were working in some sensitive areas. Helen started with my upper lip, as that’s the most sensitive area of the face. The work was quick and interesting – I felt nothing more than a little ‘ping’ of sensation with each application of the pen (which never really touches your skin). On a pain scale of 1-10, I’d say it was no more than a 4 at the very most. There is an very distinct smell of burning – I guess the singeing hair – but otherwise, nothing very remarkable. Helen worked on 4 deep creases on my upper lip, and then moved to my crow’s feet.
The crow’s feet were also very comfortable; very quick and not at all painful. Next, she worked on my eyelid. This was a little more sensitive, although I think a lot of my sensitivity was psychological – the thought of a burny thing working on my eyelid was very weird. Helen worked on quite a wide area of my eyelid, and then moved on to the sleep scars on my forehead.
When she had finished, the areas Helen had worked on were covered in tiny little pale brown dots. But apart from that, there was really nothing remarkable. What was immediately obvious was that my eyelid had lifted. Even with the mild swelling following the procedure, the eyelid was much less droopy than it had been.
Helen ran through the after-care – keep it dry, don’t pick, use aloe vera, basically – and off we went.
The healing process was interesting. It was, in all, about 8 days before the scabs finally fell off. I am an inveterate picker, but I was super disciplined about not picking these scabs – nobody wants scars on their face, right? It was hard to keep the eyelid dry; the scabs were right in the crease, and it was the height of the hottest summer in 20 years. The eyelid was just moist at the end of every day – but it dried out afresh each night. Having a dry, stiff scab on your eyelid is an interesting sensation.
The scabs on my lip were the first to fall off, and the results were incredibly impressive. I’ve gone from having a top lip that Hilda Ogden would have been proud of, to a smooth, flat upper lip. If you’re considering lip treatment, I’d say go for it!! It works a treat. The only real learning I’d pass on to you is: wax your lip before you go for treatment. The combination of scabbing and a moustache is not an attractive one – even if you are the only one who notices it!
Next to go were the crow’s feet scabs. These areas are perhaps the most impressive of all. My partner has only just stopped marvelling at the smoothness of my under eye area – the plasma pen result has been almost miraculous! The scabs left no redness – not picking really is the key, here, and I genuinely have lost at least 30 years from my upper cheekbone.
The eyelid healed next, and then the forehead. The eyelid is significantly better than it was – for the first time in my life, both sides of my face are the same! It’s a remarkable change. The forehead has also healed well, although the sleep scars aren’t completely eradicated – they were by far the deepest marks on my face, and I do still sleep with my face pressed into a pillow. They’re radically improved, but not quite gone.
The most significant lesson I would pass on to you would be this: the healing is only about 8 days long, but it’s significant. On days 2 and 3 (and possibly even 4) the swelling will be significant, and the scabs are very obvious. If you can, take time off work and take the opportunity to hole up somewhere. I was surprised how much it got to me, having people stare and ask what had happened. If you can’t take time off work, big shades are your friend! I lived in huge sunglasses and made full use of my full fringe!
Was it worth it? Yes, it absolutely was! Would I do it again? Yup. No hesitation. It’s a seriously impressive procedure.
Would I recommend you contact Helen and ask her to do it for you? I honestly can’t think of anybody I would rather trust with my face than Helen. She knows what she’s doing; she takes the time to understand you, and what’s important to you; she is kind, gentle and careful. You couldn’t be in better hands.
Guest Blog Post : So I’m A 50 Something Professional Woman (I Never Dreamed I’d Have Botox!)
So. I’m a fifty-something professional woman. I’m a pretty low-maintenance, no daily make-up, casual clothes kind of person. And that’s fine. I’ve never really thought about it, to be honest.
But – because obviously there’s a but – as my fifties approached, I began to review my health and appearance. I come from a long line of… shall we say solidly-built women? In my family, we tend to thicken round the middle, broaden round the backside, pucker round the lips and eyes and grow hair in places hair didn’t ought to be. And nobody wants to end up looking like their mother, right? Right.
I started seeing Helen many years ago, for reversible standard beauty treatments. She used to shape my eyebrows, for example, and one afternoon the pair of us ended up in hysterics when she compared me (unflatteringly) to Dennis Healey. She wasn’t wrong! And nobody wants to end up looking like their father, either… (not that Dennis Healey is my father, you understand).
So a few years ago, I took the plunge and asked Helen to tattoo me some decent eyebrows. So that I had a proper shape to follow, and could just keep my own eyebrow hair trimmed (back to Dennis Healey again) and in shape. I was a bit nervous, as I have seen other tattooed brows that just end up making their face look like a bad drag queen. But I trusted Helen, so we went ahead and did it. She drew me a shape, showed me her colour matching proposal (my hair hasn’t been its natural colour for over 40 years, so we had to find something that matched a whole rainbow of potential shades) and off we went. The result was superb. It really lifted my face, and took years off me. So I went ahead and asked her to do my eyeliner. She was a bit surprised when I wanted it done in purple – apparently this isn’t a standard request! – but having checked I was in my right mind, we went ahead and did that, too. And that also looks fabulous. I’m not going to lie, it was sensitive, but it was well worth the very temporary discomfort.
Roll forwards a few years. As a youngster I had been a heavy smoker, and I have very, very dry skin. My job got more and more senior and complex, my forehead became more and more furrowed, and my upper lip folded itself uncharmingly into deep crevasses. I looked as though I had my mouth permanently clamped around a cigarette. Combined with that unfortunate hair growth gene of my mother’s and on a bad day, it was a seriously unfortunate look! I got in touch with Helen.
We thought long and hard, and she talked me through my options. She was incredibly reassuring and professional, and totally understood my reservations and misgivings. In the end, we decided on botox for the forehead and filler for the upper lip, which would plump it out and smooth out the wrinkles at the same time. I was really nervous about this – we’ve all seen the photos of Lesley Ash, and nobody wants that. But Helen took it slowly, talked me through what she was doing, and let me pause to check progress after every single injection. Her patience is really unparalleled!
So thanks to Helen I’ve hit my 50th year in better shape than I was in my 40th! I look younger, I feel less scowly and grumpy, and I am more confident. My partner is amazed at the change in my face and demeanour. And Dennis Healey is banished into the recess of dim and unfortunate memory!