So I Broke Down and Tried Botox (please don’t judge me!)

I’m a squinter. Always have been. My Grandma used to caution me, “Quit doing that – your face will freeze that way!”

In my twenties, David would affectionately tease me about my “worry line.” He would always know when something was amiss, all he had to do was look between my eyes.

Fast forward thirty (or so) years and, still, I squint on. The squinting’s worst when I’m writing – I don’t even realized I’m doing it.

And Grandma was right, my face… CONTINUE READING >> 

Before I get started, let me say a few things:

I am not a doctor, so I am not giving medical advice here.

I am not trying to convince anyone to do this, it’s just my story.

The photos are not altered. I wasn’t planning to write about this experience (I was and, still am, a little embarrassed), so the photos were originally taken for my personal comparison.

I did my best to be careful that the before and after photos were taken in the same light, the same location and on the same time of day. I also attempted to wear the same amount of mascara, and used no other kind of cosmetic on my face. Still, it’s not perfect science, I’m not a scientist (in addition to not being a doctor).

I am not being compensated in any way. No money, no free services, no nothing. No one suggested I do this. It was solely my idea and I paid for the treatment myself.

That being said, here’s the scoop…

Before Botox

I’m a squinter. Always have been. My Grandma used to caution me, “Quit doing that – your face will freeze that way!” In my twenties, David would affectionately tease me about my “worry line.” He would always know when something was amiss, all he had to do was look between my eyes.

Fast forward thirty (or so) years and, still, I squint on. The squinting’s worst when I’m writing – I don’t even realized I’m doing it.

And Grandma was right, my face did freeze like that. I had a very wise Grandma.

I was squinting as hard as I could here for this picture. See what’s going on?!!!
Before Botox

Then the headaches started. Right smack in the middle of the face butt. Mild at first, but eventually they were heavy and constant.

It was really boiling down to a lifestyle change. I would have to stop writing or go in for a drastic measure. And I didn’t want to stop writing.

I’m not going to lie and say that vanity didn’t play a part in this decision. I felt like every time I looked in the mirror (or worse, editing one of our videos!) my brow was getting more and more Neanderthal-like.

I can handle my laugh lines — they are created by happiness. But the cave man brow made me look like I was scowling. Like I was mean and angry. And I’m definitely neither of those things.

I wanted to look in the mirror and see my face reflecting my true, happy self.

So I ran my thoughts through the family.

The Piglet: Mom, I think you should do what makes you feel good about yourself. I’m going to do it when I’m older. I have a lot of friends in their twenties and thirties who already do it preventively. (ME: WHAT?!)

Decibel: You’re going to put POISION in your face? Seriously?

The Boy: I didn’t tell The Boy, he’d be no help and he’d just mock me, which is exactly what he did when he found out afterward.

David: I’m really against this idea.
Me: You’re not the boss of me (mature, I know.)
David: Fine, but I’m not driving you there.
Me: I’ll drive myself.
David: In what?

He called my bluff. The sum total of my motorhome driving experience involved top speeds of about 5 miles per hour in parking lots and campgrounds. However, his protective instinct kicked in.

I’m just not sure if he was more worried about me, or the motorhome. Either way, he ended up driving me.

The Piglet had advised me to find a really good Botox-er because people have ended up with droopy eyes and lopsided brows. She correctly assumed that was not the look I was going for.

So I found myself in a plastic surgeon’s office. My visit began with the reading of four scary pages of THINGS THAT MIGHT GO WRONG.

Then I started asking my questions. I had marked up the four scary pages with lots of questions. I learned that the droopy eyes and wonky brows can happen from the migration of the Botox to the wrong muscles. The doctor confirmed that it had happened to one of his patients and that it was temporary.

The doctor was fabulous and patiently answered my queries. After about ten of them, I started to feel a bit ridiculous. Here is a man who may have just performed a skin graft on a burn victim. Now he’s got this stupid woman in his office freaking out because her eyebrows might not match up.

I took a breath and went for it.

I never saw the needle, but it had to be tiny because I barely felt it. However, there was a more-than-slightly disturbing crunching noise during the procedure – in fact, the nurse actually called them “the crunchies” when I commented/freaked out about it.

The doctor completed his task in under thirty seconds.

For the rest of the day, I fed my panic monster. Every little twinge in my body had me convinced that it was a horrible side effect. I spent a lot of time checking up on face butt in the mirror. I searched diligently for possible infection at the injection sites (I couldn’t even find the injections sites).

After three days, I was seeing huge visual results. After five, the headaches stopped. Seriously. Completely stopped.

I made up my mind to share my story (and the fact that I tried Botox at all) mainly because I don’t trust the before and after photos I see in ads. It would have been nice to have someone I trusted give me the straight dope.

So in that spirit, allow me to show my embarrassing before and after Botox photos.

(Drum roll please!)

BEFORE: Relaxed. Note the face butt, the hook and the ridge.
Veronica relaxed before Botox

AFTER: Relaxed. One week later.
Veronica relaxed one week after Botox

Now, admittedly, the next two photos are slightly disturbing. In my head I knew what Botox did, but this was just weird.

BEFORE: Squinting as hard as I can.
Veronica squinting as hard as she can before Botox

AFTER: Squinting as hard as I can. One week later.Veronica squinting as hard as she can after Botox

Veronica, GypsyNester.com

YOUR TURN: NOW you can judge me. 😉 Have you/would you try Botox? Feel free to ask me questions!

51 thoughts on “So I Broke Down and Tried Botox (please don’t judge me!)”

  1. I switched from Botox to Dysport for my face butt.
    For me, it lasts longer and activates quicker.
    My health plan pays for it. 🙂

  2. Hi. My BFF and I are doing this on April 11. I’m a nervous wreck about it.. I will be 46 on May 8 and she 45 on April 17. I’ve been researching the crap out of this since we signed up. I loved your honesty and pictures. I’m mostly worried that I’ll look weird or different. I have a very noticeable “11” and crows feet. There are definitely a lot of other wrinkles and lines , but those I feel are the most awful. I’m also starting to get some sort of Jowell look , which needless to say is horrifying . I’m hoping this just makes me look more awake and relaxed and happy instead of angry and scowelly. Wish me luck. I’m freaking out.

  3. The moment I read the title, I knew I was going to like this post! It was entertaining! The picture of you squinting after Botox made me chuckle. I squint and frown quite a lot, but I’ve never considered botox. Who knows what the future holds, right? Lol #GFEpart2

  4. I was tired of glancing in the rear view mirror and wondering why I looked so angry. I tried the Big B. It didn’t erase years of squinting, but it helped.(I own glasses and wear them when necessary, but going without is my go-to way of having a clean house. I believe in total renovation and restoration. We reupholster furniture, restore cars, renovate buildings. A little ‘refreshment’ is a good thing! And afterward you don’t scare the livestock.

  5. So glad to see that you beat me to it! My daughter had her first last December at 29 years of age. I made an appointment a couple of weeks ago, I am scheduled this Wednesday. Looking forward to it after seeing my daughters results, even though she is young the results on her made my decision to go for it!

  6. I’m only 32 but a lot of my friends are getting Botox already for ‘preventative’ reasons. I felt too young for that but am starting to notice some fine lines around my eyes. I searched for Botox alternatives, and found there actually are some. I’m using Frownies now, which I am sure is not as strong as Botox, but for younger women like me I think it’s fine…for now! 😉

  7. I am keep making an appointment and
    putting it off but im 35 and really need my crows feet done. Just my husband doesnt know about it yet and im scared if it goes wrong and he will argue….should i wait til he agrees but ive wanted it a year now. We have a really good doctor thats being doing my older friends for years no problem.

      1. I was wondering how it turned out in the long run for you doing the Botox I’m afraid of looking strange when my face doesn’t move animated anymore I can spot people a mile away on tv if they have had allot of Botox and fillers . I will be 43 next month and have fine lines only noticed by me at top of my nose between my eyes the ridge I think from sleeping because that’s when I notice them most is in morning and very fine under eyes. No one notices but me everyone I know my age has much worse and they say I have none and I’m so lucky. But I don’t want them lol or them getting worse. Would you still recommend it. I can send you pics if you email me privately

  8. Love your account of this, Veronica — so funny! I use it, too, as I have inherited the Ukrainian super hardy peasant furrow (as it’s called in medical textbooks) plus vision that is still changing. My mother used to walk around with Scotch tape on her forehead (she was also crazy, so that factored in) so to me, Botox seems pretty darn rational.

  9. I had to laugh! My lines showed up when my children became teenagers…now they are all adults and I still have the lines. I have always wanted to try Botox but have been too nervous to do so. Thank you for sharing your experience!

  10. I think we do what makes us happy. Now you can move about and not give a second thought to the line between your eyes.

    My husband has one, and our youngest was born w/exactly the same thing and we laughed when he came out. He might not laugh when he’s older, we’ll leave that up to him. 🙂

  11. This is actually very helpful. I’m at a “certain age” where I’ve been considering doing a little touch up. How long is the initial procedure supposed to last?

    1. It took way longer for me than most people, I’m assuming, because I had so many questions in the consultation part of it! But the procedure itself took seconds. The doctor sat with me and we decided that botox was my best choice and he explained the procedure (about 20 mins), I was left alone with the paperwork (about 20 mins – mostly because I was taking notes for questions) and then the procedure. I sat with the nurse a while while holding ice to my head for about 10 more minutes, then the doctor came in for a quick check.

  12. I see it as a personal thing just for you..and if it makes you feel much better about yourself why not!! I have looked into it here but i got quoted $1200 so yours is a bargain. Mind you I must have way more wrinkle bits than you lol..you go girl!!

  13. I’ve been using it for years. Can’t say I love it, because I want perfection. It does help the squinting, as my face froze also. And the vanity thing. It took a long time to get to this point, but I now only have to do it about every 6-7 months!!!

    1. Are there any side effects that you’ve noticed, Jeanne? What about long term – does the face butt get less noticeable when the botox wears off? Or does the relaxing of the squinting keep it from getting worse?

      1. I like it. Seems longer you use it the less often you need to have it done. It has taken care of the butt crack. I really don’t notice it like before. It drove me crazy before. I have never noticed any negative side affects. If you have a good Dr. doing it, there is nothing to worry about. They are using it for so many things. Stoke victims, excesive sweating. Many things.

        1. Oh and 1200 seems like a lot. Wonder how many sections they were doing? That’s crazy. Maybe it’s the location.Out here in Vegas there are Cosmetic surgions and nurses doing botox on every corner, so prices a little better than other places.

  14. I would so do it…and want to now…but it’s so pricey. I feel like I’m scowling more too and I hate it. But like you, I love my laugh lines! My son is getting married end of September…so I just may do it before then.

  15. I have the “11” going on between my brows from years of scowling…My husband would probably never accept me getting a procedure like Botox, but I would love to try it, maybe someday when I get a lot of extra money I will rebel & give it a shot. I would then also follow it up with getting the indentations plumped up with a filler. I think you made a great decision since your headaches went away & you feel better about yourself. Its a win win.

  16. Good for you! If it makes you happy, why not? But I’m curious as to why the headaches stopped after the injection, although that is a great side effect for you!

    1. I can’t answer to that medically, or if it works for others, but in my case I believe the headaches were stemming from the actually act of squinting so much. And, yes, it’s an incredible side effect!

  17. I just had this done last week. I was tired of looking angry. The big motivation? My 18 month old grandson who was looking at me as i fed him,and he started trying to squint/frown as he looked at my face. Why did I wait so long? I would also advise going to a doctor’s office, not one of those spas, even if they say a nurse does the treatment, I have heard horror stories on that. I am super happy with the outcome I’ve had too.

  18. I must say you have beautiful blue eyes and are very young looking for your age in my opinion. Yes, I’ve thought about it but I’m more interested in Permanent Make-up. My 32 year old daughter got permanent eyeliner, which she loves. You can also get the eyebrows, lips done – but the eyeliner is what I’d like to invest in and maybe botox later… Thanks for being so opening. That is amazing!

  19. In that last photo, you look slightly drunk. Are you sure you’re trying to make the face butt, or are you just going for reader giggles, here?

    I’m a firm believer in doing what makes you feel good, healthy, and happy. And you look great!

    1. Hahaha! I kind of DO look drunk. 😉 Actually, that was from a second round of pictures – I couldn’t believe the results of the first round because it was so weird. So the second round I made sure I squinted down HARD. The results, apparently, mimic intoxication!

  20. Thanks! I love a “real life” experience from someone I (feel like I) know and trust! Yes, I’ve totally considered doing it! If I can fit it in the budget, I’m there! You are beautiful either way. But feeling better is another thing. Good for you.

    1. Awww… shucks Kay. Yeah, that’s why I decided to write about it, it would have been great if I knew someone comfortable about talking about it (not that I’m exactly comfortable!)

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