I haven't been around for a while; I'm so sorry. Sometimes real life interferes with the important stuff. And Dom de Luxury has also been away, as those of you who serve her know. It's been rough without her, right? You depend on her for inspiration, life instruction, goals, and to be in her amazing presence. We all become so needy, me more than most, maybe. But I know you are all suffering as much as I have been.
I've been keeping my training up as best I can on my own. But the crazy busy period is ending soon, for a bit, and I hope our Dom will return to us soon. When she returns, I hope to make some serious progress. Meanwhile, I have had some this week to explore some new things (like body modification), and I thought I would share them with you.
Before we get to plastic surgery, I want to discuss beauty goals. It's natural at the beginning that these will be vague and you will be just doing what Dom tells you out of necessity because you have no clue of your own. Or so it was for me. But one of Dom's goals is to "awaken the inner woman." I know that sounds corny, but I think it's true. Once that side of you is awake and growing, you should listen to it. That will be shaped, molded, and guided by Dom, but it will also be shaped by who you are. If you can follow this inner voice, it will help your training a lot. When I started feeling these urges, things like trying a new makeup look, or a new dress, I was afraid because I worried that Dom would be upset or not like it. None of us want to do that. But the voice was so strong it compelled me. The first time I showed up with my "look," I was worried that Dom would be angry or upset or not like it. But I have to say she loved it. The look wasn't that great because I was so new at it. But she was nice about it, and she loved that I was branching out on my own under her guidance.
My inner woman has been pushing me to get plastic surgery for a while now. I am not so happy with some features of my face, which I want to get fixed. Dom has been very supportive; she loves the "bimbo quality" of this idea. One issue with this is finding the right surgeon, and I still haven't been able to do that. I also want to lose more weight before I do it since that will affect the surgeon's decisions, and they recommend it.
On a little detour here, I have to say one thing I would encourage you all to do is to stay in touch with the people you met before you became owned by Dom de Luxury. I have been doing that, and it's been an excellent thing for me. You always worry how they will react when you tell them you have an owner, but most of them have been great about it.
Besides keeping amazing people in your life, it's also an interesting way to measure how you are progressing with your transformation. I noticed that the better I got at transforming, the more they accepted me as a woman. I could tell because they started treating me like a girlfriend. A new and very cool experience.
I bring this up now because one of the great people I have met is Alessa Crowe. She's a real wizard at makeup. Very skilled and amazingly creative. Also a pretty great person. She no longer does cams or sees clients, but we are still friends.
We have been chatting about surgery for the past while. Alessa is a great fan of Botox and Juvederm injections, and she always looks amazing. Because of her influence, I worked up the courage to try them this week.
Injections have their good points and bad points. They don't last forever. Typically six months to nine months or a year (if you are lucky). While usually considered a bad point, this was a good thing from my point of view, as someone trying them for the first time. If it looked bad, it wouldn't last forever, right? They work quickly - Juvederm works immediately, and Botox takes 10-14 days to reach maximum effect. Office visits are short.
This is a toxin. It's crazy dangerous. Many consider it the most lethal toxin known, but it takes very little to kill you. It's the stuff that periodically kills people from canned foods.
But it has a lot of medical uses, one of which is cosmetic. Muscles that have forgotten how to relax cause wrinkles on your forehead. Injecting this toxin directly into the muscles causes them to relax. You won't be able to tighten them again until the toxin 'wears off in a few months, so people who overdo it can end up with a 'wooden' or 'frozen' look. It is considered safe and is legal in most countries.
For a long time, "Botox" was the only game in town, but now another company has come out with a competitor "Dysport ."They seem to be about the same, with Dysport often less expensive.
Which to use: Botox or Dysport?
From the research I did, there seems to be very little difference between the two. I would recommend selecting the least expensive.
Juvaderm is what is known as a 'filler.' Made from hyaluronic acid, a natural chemical manufactured by your body, it has a great safety profile. You can use it to make your lips fuller, get rid of things like the "smile lines" (nasolabial folds), or add more 'cheek' to your cheekbones.
Juvaderm was the first and is the most famous. Now they have a competitor, "Restylane," which seems very good and is cheaper.
Which to use: Juvederm or Restylane?
This is not as easy to answer as for the Botox/Dysport case. Partly this is because there are many versions of each, designed for different things. It was interesting to read the comments from people who administer the injections. They were often contradictory. I concluded that injectors often preferred the product they knew best. There is probably very little difference between the result of an expertly administered Juvederm injection and an expertly administered Restylane injection. So I think the most important thing is to go with the one that the injector understands the best and is most comfortable with. I think this way you are more likely to have a good result.
The Most Important Thing.
Everyone agreed that the single most important thing, more important than which product you use, is the skill of the person doing the injection. With Botox/Dysport, selecting the correct locations is the most important thing. With Juvederm/Restylane, picking the correct injection site is important, but the injector also shapes and molds the area right after injection. These products set at different rates, which is another reason to go with a product your injector is familiar with.
My Injection Experience
While not as expensive as surgery, injections are not cheap. You pay by the syringe. The lowest price I saw for Juvaderm was $430/syringe. I will say that the people offering the lowest price were also the least impressive.
I live in the most dysfunctional country in the world for medical care (U.S.A.), so maybe things are better where you live. Plastic surgeons and dermatologists all seem to do this procedure, but it's impossible to compare prices because they won't tell you what they charge unless you come in for a consultation! A typical price for a consultation is $200. All of the doctors I spoke with said they would apply the consultation cost to the treatment, but if you need to go through a few "consultations" to find the right doctor, you can run through your plastic surgery budget pretty quickly on just consults! The one (yes, only ONE gave me a price on the phone) doctor who gave me a price on the phone was way high, around \$900-\$1200 a syringe for Juvederm. We didn't chat about Botox. Are these guys doctors or carpet salesmen? What a crazy situation!
This arrangement sucks, and I think it's not only stupid but short-sighted. I think also think it's as unethical as hell. Fortunately, you don't need to go to a surgeon with injectibles and have other choices. You can get them at "beauty spas," and even dentists offer them in some areas. I have to say, as far as pricing goes, "beauty spas" have it all over plastic surgeons. You get free consultations, and the price per syringe is lower than average costs from internet surveys of patients.
Of course, price isn't everything, but this stuff does add up, so let's be honest, it's a factor. But results are the most important thing.
Where I Went
I decided to try a beauty spa. I found one I liked after reading a gazillion reviews on Yelp. I was nervous and unsure what I would get, but after all, I was going in for a free consultation and could say no if I was uncomfortable. Price wasn't the only factor: the place I went to didn't have the lowest prices, but I thought they had the best combination of qualities and the prices were decent.
I was pretty impressed with the woman who ended up doing the injections. I asked her lots of questions, not only about the procedure but about her background. She was very open and forthcoming. She is a physician's assistant with a wide range of experience in other aspects of medicine. She had been doing cosmetic injections for about six years. She spent much time with me, probably more than a plastic surgeon would have. She paid attention to what I was unhappy about, and I was impressed with her ideas for fixing it. I thought she had a great grasp of how to shape a face and told me she used injections herself, which I liked. She also recommended starting slow, with small changes, and adding to it monthly (if needed) until I got the desired effect. She cautioned me that this first change would not be dramatic.
I went with the low-cost options of Restylane (around $500 a syringe) and Dysport (on sale for $4.00 a syringe). The total cost for the procedure was $1,800 US. I am pleased with the results. They are not dramatic, but they are in the right direction. I will be going back in a few weeks to add more volume.
There hasn't been enough time for the Dysport to take effect fully, but it's already looking much better. I told her I didn't want to lose my facial expressions, so she planned the Dysport injections carefully with that in mind. So far, it looks like she has done a great job.
Did it hurt?
Obviously, it is going to hurt. They are sticking a needle into your face, one of the most nerve-rich places on your body. But I will say it did not hurt that much. There is a numbing agent included in the injectables, which helps. For the injections into the lips, she applied a numbing paste 30-minutes before she injected my lips.
How was it after?
It hasn't been bad. My lips were swollen for a few days and slightly bruised at the injection sites. That's mostly gone now. I don't notice any other pain or swelling. I had no bruising.
My injector gave me her email and cell phone and told me to call if there were any questions or problems. She emailed me before and after photos and checked up on me. She was great and incredibly professional.
Caveats and Criticisms
I had a great experience with my injector at this place and will be returning for more.
I do want to caution you about a few things. Most of the things I read from doctors and others about injections all cautioned that you should avoid alcohol for two weeks before and several days after your injection. Drugs that can increase bleeding, such as aspirin, should be avoided for three days before and two days after the injection date. Finally, they all recommend avoiding exercise for 24 hours or so after your injections.
I did all of this and didn't even call to make appointments until I was sufficiently "purified" that I felt safe. I was surprised that no one, not even my otherwise professional injector, mentioned this to me. You would be more likely to receive this information from a plastic surgeon's office, so when you go to one of these spas, you're more on your own in this area.
I also learned that my injector is "freelance." She works for different places and isn't a permanent spa employee. That's not a problem, especially since she's happy to come back and work with me again. I can maintain the relationship now that I have met someone I like. So it seems like some luck was involved. My advice to you is the same whether you go to a beauty spa or a doctor's office: If you are uncomfortable or unhappy with the person offering the services, then say no.
I want to get more injections. They also talked to me about this thing called "threaded facelifts." I went back today and talked to the "threaded-facelift guy" (not his real name, so don't try to look him up in your phonebook). It sounds pretty interesting, and I almost had it done. But if I had, it would have kept me from doing Pammy stuff for a couple of weeks, and I'm expecting my Dom to return soon. Summers are often a time when I can see her more, so the last thing I want to do is get in the way of that!
I'm interested and will probably do it, but not until the end of September. Stay tuned; I'll let you all know how it works out.
If you've had similar experiences or have thoughts you'd like to share, feel free to write!