Looking Your Best Afterwards; Post-Surgical Makeup Techniques
You may be a little concerned about what you’ll look like while you’re still healing. Bruising, swelling, pigment abnormalities and visible incisions are common after many plastic surgery procedures. The following steps can help camouflage many of these telltale signs of surgical recovery.
- You should wait a few days, or possibly, as in the case laser resurfacing, two weeks or more. Of course, applying make-up to actual incision lines is always prohibited until stitches are removed and the wound has entirely closed.
- After you have your doctor’s permission, you’ll need to learn what type of make-up and application technique is best for you. The two basic cosmetic camouflage techniques are concealing, which hides bruises or scars and neutralizes red or yellow tinted skin, and contouring, which helps hide swelling while enhancing your best features.
- Concealing those marks and color inconsistencies can be done with two products: foundation and concealer. For your foundation, choose a thicker, heavier product for those areas that are discolored, and perhaps another, lighter foundation for other areas of the face. (It’s often difficult to find a color that looks good on the entire face anyway.)
- The best concealers are pigment-rich products that are thick and dry to the touch. (Good choices are MAC Studio Conceal and Correct Concealer Duo and Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage both available at Macy’s they are terrific too!) These are a little more difficult to apply than concealers that are waxy or creamy, but they have the advantage of staying put – and that’s what you need most from a concealer.
- To get the best color match, the two-toned concealer set is best, one concealer that closely matches your skin tone and a second concealer that has a slightly more yellow tone. The yellow tint will help to cancel out any red or blue tones you want to minimize. But don’t go overboard! Really yellow or green shades will just look like yellow or green marks on your skin!
- Under all makeup, use a light moisturizer that contains an appropriate level sunscreen. Sunscreen is essential, especially, after procedures like a chemical peel or laser resurfacing, which uncover new layers of skin. Apply the screen first, foundation second, and concealer third.
- Apply small amounts of make-up at a time, you can always add more. Adding more make-up is much easier than rubbing off excess, especially if the area is still sensitive to touch.
- Contouring, the second camouflage technique uses different shades of make-up to create illusions of highlights and shadows. Manipulating these illusions can enhance certain features while disguising swelling. You’ll need three or four different shades of foundation. Stick, powder or cream foundations work best. Simply apply lighter colors wherever you want an area to stand out, and darker shades where you want the area to seem to recede. If your shades are too light or too dark, blend one or more colors with your fingers before applying.
- The key to successful contouring is blending. If you apply too much dark make-up, it is very difficult to blend it fully so that it looks like a natural shadow instead of a smudge of make-up.
- To enhance your cheekbones you want to put the darker make-up in the hollow of the cheek (Suck in your lips, making a “fish face” to see where the hollow is compared to the cheekbone). Then add a lighter color the actual cheekbone.
- To make a swollen nose appear narrower use a small brush to draw a thin line of the dark make-up down both sides of the nose, starting at the eye socket. Then, using make-up sponge, blend the color down the sides of your nose. Be sure to fully blend, there should be no lines of make-up showing. You may add a narrow, lighter shade down the center if you want.
- For swollen eyes, use contouring make-up to give them the appearance of greater depth. Apply shadow on your eyelid from just above the iris straight out; do not follow the downward curve of the eyebrow bone. Just underneath the arch of the eyebrow apply a lighter shade of make-up. And don’t forget to blend.
If you’re still anxious about how you look after surgery, practice your concealing and camouflage techniques.
The 2014 plastic-surgery statistics will be released later today by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS). Thanks to an advance peek, I can report that butts are getting bigger, while breasts are getting smaller.
Buttock augmentations are up 86 percent over 2013. Michael C. Edwards, a plastic surgeon and the president of the ASAPS notes that most women don’t want giant backsides, they just want more shapely ones. The other big news is breast revisions, which are up 30.4 percent. Many attribute that rise to aging implants in need of replacement, along with many women’s desire to switch from saline to silicone-gel-filled implants, which may not have been available when they originally had surgery. What’s more, insiders say most of these women are exchanging their old implants for smaller replacements.
The other news in the numbers is a five percent drop in overall procedures: 10,663,607 in 2014, down from 11,419,610 in 2013. The decrease was mostly in minimally-invasive procedures like Botox and fillers. No explanation for this was offered by the ASAPS, but could it be what I call injection fatigue? Many women I’ve spoken to don’t want to return again and again for refills. Surgical procedures fell only 1.5 percent from 1,883,048 to 1,764,956, a drop that the number crunchers say is not statistically significant.
Fat—and getting rid of it—is still a high priority. In recent years the top surgical procedures for women have flipped back and forth between breast implants and liposuction. In 2014, liposuction held the number one spot, followed by breast augmentation (down 8.5 percent), tummy tuck, blepharoplasty (or eye lift), and in fifth place, the breast lift. Facelifts are in eighth place.
Liposuction may still be king (or is it queen?) in the surgical department, but non-surgical fat reduction with devices such as CoolSculpting and VASERshape rose a whopping 42.7 percent, from 94,922 in 2013 to 135,448 in 2014. That number could rise even more this year if ATX-101, an injection for fat reduction under the chin, gets FDA clearance, which it’s expected to receive.
There are a lot of myths surrounding plastic surgery and various procedures. As myths tend to be, none of them are true. If you’re considering plastic surgery but you are holding back due to something that you’ve heard, take a look at this list of popular plastic surgery myths.
Plastic surgery doesn’t help with self-esteem: While changing the way that you look can’t change who you are on the inside, nearly 88% of plastic surgery patients felt better about themselves post-surgery — that’s a pretty decent amount!
Most procedures are not affordable, and only celebrities can afford plastic surgery. While this might have been true many years ago, it is no longer the case. Thanks to new technology and practices, plastic surgery procedures are far more affordable than they were before. Some doctors will also work with patients when it comes to things like payment plans, so that’s worth looking into as well. You’ll never know how much the procedure you want will cost until you book a consultation!
Breast implants are dangerous: For some reason, this rumor still flies, though it’s not the case at all. Breast implants are not linked to cancer in any way, and the materials used for implants are constantly monitored for possible problems. The FDA has signed off on breast implants because they are, in fact, safe.
It’s too much of a risk: Any kind of surgery comes with risks, but plastic surgery risks can be minimized if you find the right surgeon. Surgeons that have experience performing the procedure that you have in mind perform the same surgery every day, and that means that these surgeons are far less likely to make mistakes. Risks that come with surgery often have very little to do with the actual procedure, and any risks associated with the procedure will be clearly outline prior to the day of surgery.
Only women have plastic surgery. This can seem true, since most of the time we read about female celebrities getting plastic surgery. The truth is that men have many different procedures during regularly as well. Maybe men just don’t talk about it as much?
You can’t breastfeed if you have implants. Many women have no problem breastfeeding after breast augmentation. Once again, this is very much a myth, and if there are any issues that could arise, your doctor will discuss these with you before surgery.
Really Putting Rumors to Rest
It can be easy to believe rumors that are spread all too frequently, but rumors also tend to breed fear. Often, people that want to explore plastic surgery options will not book a consultation appointment for fear that some of the rumors heard are true. However, the best way to find out if there’s any truth to your fears is to visit with a surgeon, ask questions, get answers, and really find out the truth behind those concerns. You can also take a look around our blog for additional information about various plastic surgery procedures.
In early March, Dr. David Santos faced an unwelcome setback at the Seattle office of plastic-surgery chain Lifestyle Lift: an eviction notice.
The letter meant his office, where he worked full time and which was paid for by Lifestyle Lift, had to quickly shut its doors. Days earlier, Lifestyle Lift’s founder, Dr. David Kent, had notified the company’s nearly 400 employees that they were out of a job and that the company would cease operations. Lifestyle Lift pioneered the mass marketing of face-lifts through its nationwide chain of around 50 surgery centers. But as The Wall Street Journal examined this week, the 14-year-old company faltered under the weight of rapid growth and an expensive advertising campaign.
To ensure the ongoing care of his patients, Dr. Santos is now working out of the office of a local surgeon, where he can follow through on already-scheduled Lifestyle Lift surgeries. “They’ll be out in the cold if I don’t,” Dr. Santos, a former medical director at the chain, said recently. “I’m trying to take care of them. I’m trying to get back on my feet.”
Dr. Santos and dozens of Lifestyle Lift’s former doctors are banding together to help make sure patients know where to go for follow-up care or with questions about planned operations. Lifestyle Lift’s signature face-lift typically cost between $6,500 and $9,000, payable upfront or through zero-interest, 18-month payment plans. Unlike most face-lifts, its procedures were done using only local anesthesia.
An attorney for Dr. Kent said Thursday that “we are working on plans at the local as well as national level” to accommodate patients, including those in line for refunds.
Separately, “the doctors have gone to great lengths to protect their patients here, to make sure they can reach us, and to safeguard the charts,” Lifestyle Lift’s former chief medical officer, Dr. Jason Swerdloff of Tampa, Fla., said. (Patients can find doctors’ contact information at this website.)
Dr. Swerdloff, like Dr. Santos, said he plans to honor payments already made by patients, which were paid to the company and not to the individual doctors. A little more than half of Lifestyle Lift’s 77 doctors worked part time as independent contractors, with the rest working full-time at the chain.
Lifestyle Lift had grown to command a major share of the face-lift market. At its peak in 2013, it brought in $186 million in revenue and performed 18% of all face-lifts done by board-certified physicians in the U.S., according to data prepared last fall by a former outside financial adviser to the chain.
Lifestyle Lift’s TV ads, some featuring its onetime spokeswoman Debby Boone, managed “to engender interest in individuals, mostly women, who otherwise were not the typical candidates for a face-lift,” said Dr. Dennis Hurwitz, a plastic surgeon who co-branded his Pittsburgh private practice with the Lifestyle Lift name. “It was the egalitarian face-lift.”
There are numerous myths about beauty and skin care that keep popping up no matter how wrong they are, yet every once in a while a beauty myth turns out to be true. Such is the case with beauty sleep. It’s a real thing, and you definitely need to be getting enough of it.
It could be you didn’t need to read what I wrote above in order to know that beauty sleep is a real thing. You know it just from looking in the mirror after not getting enough sleep. Lack of sleep causes dark under-eye circles, your skin looks less than great, and your fine lines or wrinkles appear more pronounced. In the WebMD article Are You Getting Enough Beauty Sleep? dermatologists had the following to say about beauty sleep:
“Lack of sleep causes blood vessels to dilate, causing the look of dark circles,” says dermatologist Sonia Badreshia-Bansal, MD, of the University of California, San Francisco. Sleepily rubbing your eyes doesn’t help those dark rings.
Not enough sleep can also make you more stressed, and everyone can see that tension. “It makes you look angry, tired, sad, and certainly older,” says New York City dermatologist Doris Day, MD.
What exactly is happening to your skin when you do not get enough sleep? Dr. Ellen Marmur explains in her excellent book Simple Skin Beauty: Simply put, if you sleep too little, you’re not giving your body time to repair itself. The nervous system has two states that are in balance. The sympathetic system, which is more in control while we’re awake, keeps the blood flow near the core of the body. While we sleep, the parasympathetic nervous system runs the show and blood flow shifts to the skin. Additionally, skin isn’t under attack from the sun and the elements at night. This relaxed parasympathetic state allows greater circulation and oxygen flow to the skin, or peripheral vasodilation in medical terms. This is when the skin gets a lot of internal attention and repair mechanisms go into action, much like the night workmen at Disneyland who fix and restore the rides and clean the place up before the part opens the next day. Receptors spring to life within the blood vessels and grab amino acid molecules (the building blocks) to help build more collagen, and fluid and toxins are drained.
Without enough rest, the skin doesn’t get this repair and restoration, and all that important activity isn’t being done. One example: when excess fluid near the skin isn’t transported to the bladder to be excreted, the result is puffiness. … It shows up most around the eyes because there’s less fat in that area, so water retention is more apparent.
After all this bad news luckily there is a bit of good news when it comes to sleep and your skin. According to Dr. Day our skin recovers quickly once you are able to get a good night’s rest. So just because you missed out on getting enough sleep a few nights in a row doesn’t mean that you’ve damaged your skin for good. And just how much sleep do you need? That varies from individual to individual. Some people do fine with only 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep while others need 8 or 9 hours. That is something that you have to determine for yourself.
In order to make sure you get your much needed shut-eye create a soothing bedtime routine. Stop drinking caffeinated drinks in the afternoon, keep to a set sleep schedule as much as possible, and make your bedroom a sleep sanctuary. Your skin will thank you for it.
Laser resurfacing is a generic term for a skin treatment that uses some kind of light-based technology. Photo facials (sometimes called foto facials ) have a number of different uses, but are mostly used for treating brown spots, broken capillaries, and boosting collagen.
The two main types of technology used for photo facials are LED (light-emitting diode) and IPL (intense-pulsed light). They are completely different, so it’s extremely important to understand which photo facial technology is being used. That way you are more likely to get the results you hope to achieve.
An LED photo facial is a very gentle treatment that uses narrow spectrum light to boost collagen, which creates plumper, younger-looking skin, or to kill the bacteria that causes acne. This type of photo facial is more likely to be found in a day spa with a serious focus on esthetics.
LED photo facials are painless, cool and relaxing, and (unlike IPL or laser treatments) carry no risk of burning. The best results come after a series of photo facial treatments. To begin, a series of six treatments with a one-to two weeks between is recommended. After that, maintain with a treatment every month or two. It can be part of a facial or a stand-alone treatment.
LED photo facials are a good choice for people who want to boost collagen or treat acne. Their collagen-boosting, facial rejuvenation properties have been proven with medical research. The results won’t be as dramatic as plastic surgery, but it’s a gentler, more natural, less expensive way to go.
Medical spas have IPL (intense-pulsed light), which is a type of laser treatment, a photo facial. An IPL photo facial can treat a variety of skin conditions such as brown spots, broken capillaries, spider veins, and facial redness. An IPL photo facial delivers a bright blast of light at very high energy levels through a hand-held device. While some IPLs have cooling devices, it can be uncomfortable, even painful.
An IPL photo facial is the better choice if you have brown spots, broken capillaries or overall redness, called diffused facial redness. The number of IPL photo facials you need will vary depending on the condition you’re treating, the results you want, and how your skin responds.
Photo facials work best in conjunction with a regular skin care routine that you develop with your esthetician.