I was recently contacted by my friend, Erica, asking me for an update on my facelift, after two years. We had originally done a four part series on my procedure for her wonderful website – I Spy Fabulous. I wanted women to get a first hand report on what the experience was really like. Seeing before and after pictures taken in the surgeon’s office didn’t tell the whole story, and that’s what I was interested in.
Keeping a diary enabled me to document everything I was going through––before, during, and after. It became the basis for the four part series. I took lots of pictures, many scary and unflattering, the kind doctors won’t show you. The purpose was so women could make a more informed decision when contemplating a facelift.
Collaborating with Erica allowed me to share my facelift experience and to connect with a community of women. Through emails, I have been touched by their questions, hopes, and fears. Some women said they weren’t planning to tell others they had had a facelift, but the candor expressed in the articles encouraged them to be honest. I’m grateful that many found the series helpful in their own facelift journeys.
For those of you interested in learning more about the facelift experience, please click the link to I Spy Fabulous to enjoy the condensed and updated version regarding my procedure.
Have you ever thought about getting your eyebrows tattooed? I never had either, but then a couple of unimaginable events occurred. I reached a “certain age” and the pandemic hit. This one-two punch left me dazed and altered my thinking.
First I must tell you, I went gray at an early age. It had never occurred to me that as I got older my once brown eyebrows would collude with the hair on my head, and go their own shade of silver. If that wasn’t enough, my eyebrow hair thinned, as if an evil genie plucked them randomly while I slept. And never from an area that needed plucking.
The combination of gray hair, slight brows, and pale skin started a constant battle with looking washed out. My facial features faded like the aging of an old photograph. This unwanted look made me do what others had done, I bought more and more product and spent hours penciling in my brows. I seemed to lack the skills necessary to create a proper eyebrow. I struggled with color and drawing a decent shape. I’d heard repeatedly that eyebrows were “sisters not twins” and it was obvious mine were adopted and feuding.
Add to this––the pandemic. If I wasn’t washed out before, now I was almost nonexistent. The mirrored vision of mask, eyeglasses and no eyebrows had me running for my laptop and got me to Googling.
While researching, Microblading came up first. The various sites talked about a fine tipped instrument that put pigment into the upper layers of skin. The tip was capable of creating individual hair strokes and the process was semi-permanent. I looked at hundreds of pictures and some of them caused a cold shudder to crawl up my back. The horrifying photos revealed eyebrows replaced by black caterpillars, not only large but dead. It wasn’t a look this bug loving gal was after.
While checking the Microblading sites, I also noticed that I couldn’t find pictures of women my age––early sixties. Didn’t older women get their eyebrows done? I had to keep digging because I wanted a softer look and I didn’t want to keep fussing with my brows.
My next search led to Powdered Brows. This was a more permanent process that could last 2 – 4 years, was recommended for “mature” skin, and gave a powdered makeup look. The cost might run $400.00 – $800.00. This procedure seemed more what I had in mind, even though I couldn’t find before and after photos of women my age.
Now to find a place that did powdered brows. I contacted a medical facility/salon I had gone to in the past because it was clean and professional. I was informed they did have a Permanent Makeup Artist at only one of their locations. The drive was a bit farther than I would have liked, but it was a reputable place and that was a priority. I scheduled a free consultation and once off the phone began to list questions I wanted answered at the first appointment. (It’s important to know that I’ve never had a tattoo, nor have I had my eyebrows waxed or threaded. I probably had more questions than some of you might.)
The medical facility was spa-like, clean and classy. The Permanent Makeup Artist I met had been doing eyebrows for 20 years. Hers looked lovely and what I was hoping for. She told me she had done them herself and that they were powdered. (Powdered brows, I discovered, weren’t just for older women.) The makeup artist was kind and patient, and calmly explained the entire procedure and answered all questions.
My biggest concern was the shape and color. I didn’t want to go too dark. She said she would start by penciling in my eyebrows and I had to approve the shape and look, prior to any pigment being applied. She stated that to shape my brows she might need to wax them, which I was fine with. I wasn’t worried about the pain as she said she used a numbing agent, and after childbirth, I figured I could handle a little tattooing.
I was glad to learn I would keep what brow hair I had left. I was also advised that after the initial tattooing, I would come back in four weeks to get a touch-up and to make sure the eyebrow color was to my liking.
I felt very comfortable with the knowledgeable Permanent Makeup Artist, so I booked an appointment. On the day I was scheduled, the two feelings that bubbled up were excitement and nerves.
After being greeted by the artist, I was ushered into her private room within the salon. While perched on her table, she worked on my eyebrows with a pencil I’d brought from home. It took some time to get the shape just right, and when pleased, I gave my approval. The actual powdering/tattooing procedure came next. I laid down on the cushioned table and she began to numb, draw, wipe, scratch and needle my brows. Even with the numbing agent, the process stung some but nothing I couldn’t handle.
The artist warned me again that my brows would be too dark the first week and to please not panic. She assured me they would flake and get lighter. Then she sat me up and faced me into the large mirror attached to the wall. Wow! To go from washed out to dark brows within an hour was startling. To quiet my rising anxiety, I reminded myself the color would lighten within a week. I found delight in knowing I would not be penciling in my brows and I did love their new shape. My eyebrows had finally become sisters, if not fraternal twins.
I was given supplies to apply to my brows for the first three days, Hydrocortisone Cream and Aquaphor Ointment. I was instructed to not get my eyebrows wet for the first week which made me ponder how I would wash my face and shower. You all know the answer . . . very carefully. The makeup artist did say if my eyebrows got wet to pat dry and not wipe. Before I left the salon with my new eyebrows, I scheduled a four week follow-up appointment.
Everything I had been told had come to pass. My eyebrows were sore and tender the first few days. They got itchy and flaked towards the end of the week. I resisted the urge to peel the flakes as I’d been cautioned this could remove some of the pigment. Over the course of a few weeks, my brows lightened up. There was absolutely no downtime while my eyebrows healed. When I returned for the follow-up appointment, I shared that I didn’t think the color was quite right and I needed more of a true brown. The artist agreed and she worked her magic once again. The new color made me happy as it reminded me of what they had looked like when young.
Having my eyebrows powdered was the best decision. It’s a treat not putting makeup on and plucking got easier because I now have a template to follow. I’m truly ecstatic over the results, especially when wearing my Covid mask. Powdered brows might be something to consider if your hair is sparse or gray. It’s amazing how a small procedure can bring about so much satisfaction and joy.
“Your soul is requesting that you take a break from the chaos of the outside world, and urges you to go within. Answers do not always lie outside of us. This card asks that you unplug from electronic devices, and spend some time getting quiet.”
“Spirit brings the Inner Strength card to you when you are facing a challenge. In the past, you’ve called upon your inner reserve of strength, and it’s time to do so again. The qualities of courage, willpower, and compassion will assist you in handling anything you find troubling. Take a deep breath, and know that within you carry a steely resilience.”
“Is there a specific area in your life where you feel there has been no movement, like you’ve been submerged in a tar pit? Have you been ‘playing it safe’ by staying in an unfulfilling job or relationship? This card presents itself when it’s time to ask these questions and more.”
“The two people shown reflect an image of a traditional relationship, but we know our hearts have the capacity to love in many different ways. This card indicates that a romantic partner is about to enter your life. If you are already in a relationship, feelings could deepen. You discover a better, and more authentic way to communicate with your partner.” (That’s Why You’re Here Oracle Deck)
To those who have been following along, this is the final part of my facelift journey. Thanks for sticking around for the reveal. (If you are just jumping in, see Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.) I hope you like the pictures and the results. I do, and that’s what counts. I’m grateful to live in an age where cosmetic surgery is an option.
I am still healing from my procedure. The numbness experienced on different areas of my face and scalp continues to dissipate, and I feel more normal each day. I have an area on my right eye that may need a small correction and I’ll discuss this with my doctor during my next appointment. Considering how much work was done, it’s a small thing.
In my opinion, elective cosmetic surgery shouldn’t be done to please another human being, and it’s not about perfection. It’s one pathway open for a person to improve their looks. For the best possible outcome, one must consider the variables such as a doctor’s abilities and medical experience, and an individual’s health and their healing abilities. A facelift is invasive and isn’t for everyone.
I’m grateful for medical advances, where people have the option to change physical attributes that affect their self-esteem. As a result of being open about my facelift, I’ve been blessed to hear stories from people who shared how certain surgeries transformed their lives for the better.
Before doing this series with Erica, I went round-and-round whether I should go public with my facelift. I worried that some friends and family would think less of me, and I wondered if I could handle being so exposed, especially when it came to the pictures that showed me stitched, bruised, and swollen.
When I spoke to surgeons, I was only shown before and after pictures of their previous patients. I wanted to know the real story, what happened in between those pictures, and that’s what tipped the scale to share. I thought there might be others who would want to know what the first couple of weeks were like after cosmetic surgery, so I kept a diary and took pictures of my face.
My photos were raw and difficult for me to see, but they are the truth of the procedure. Up until this surgery, I didn’t spend much time looking at my face. I’d brush my teeth, wash my face, and be off to greet the day. But after the facelift, I checked everyday to make sure the swelling was decreasing, and the stitches stayed in place. I didn’t want to come apart at the seams.
During my examinations, I began to notice how asymmetrical my face was. When given my information packet prior to surgery, I read how our faces are not symmetrical but didn’t give it much thought. Now, I’m well aware that my nose is off, one eye is bigger than the other, and so on. What will I do with this new awareness? Nothing. It is––what it is. Again, there is no such thing as perfection.
My facelift journey started because I’d lost 20 pounds and managed to keep the weight off for two years. With no elasticity, my facial skin appeared to be melting off like beige candle wax. My neck became a wattle and I found it disturbing. I knew I had options to make it go away, if I chose. And I did.
For those who have read my book, you know I mention what a great sense of humor my Higher Power has. That sense of humor has continued with this facelift. I have a beautiful new face, but to go out in public I must now cover it up with a mask! How is that for irony? No one anticipated Covid-19, so due to the lockdown very few friends and family have seen my results until today. All I can say is that I am happy with the results, and for me, I made the right decision.
I want to thank Erica again, for her willingness to partner on this series. Her website, I Spy Fabulous, contains a wealth of helpful information. Please pop over to see and more after pictures and our Q & A at The Finale.
Warning: The Pictures May Be Disturbing To Some, Please Proceed With Caution.
First off, thanks to all who have been so supportive and receptive to this cosmetic surgery series. I have appreciated your interest and kind words, especially those who have said I look great––having yet to be shown a final “after” picture. (If this is your first time to the series, you may want to visit Part 1 and Part 2.)
So I have to confess, the second week after my facelift surgery proved to be emotionally difficult. It was prior to our shelter-in-place orders, and I disliked not feeling great and wasn’t accustomed to being stuck at home. (Little did I know, I would soon become a champion stay-at-homer.) During the second week I was by myself, and had way too much time on my hands. I ended up freaking myself out thinking I wouldn’t recover.
I’ve learned a normal part of the healing process is to have a moment (or days) where you feel your decision to have surgery was a mistake. It’s also common to get a bit weepy or depressed. Hang in there, this too shall pass! Realize your face and body have experienced great trauma and they need time to heal. Be patient.
For me, one of the strangest parts of a facelift is the numbness felt on my scalp, forehead, and ears. The information packet I received from the doctor spoke to all this, it’s just something else to live it. (Feeling has returned slowly.)
As I indicated in Part 1 and 2, I’m collaborating with my friend, Erica Jabali, on this cosmetic surgery series. She has the most professional looking website I’ve seen, called I Spy Fabulous. (You have to see it.) Erica is a Mommy and Beauty Blogger. I’ve given her additional recovery pictures and my actual diary entries for the second week of recovery. Please click over to Erica’s Beauty Blog for: Recovering From Cosmetic Surgery – Erin’s Journey Part 3.
(WARNING: PICTURES BELOW MAY BE DISTURBING TO SOME – PROCEED WITH CAUTION.)
So the day of surgery had finally arrived. And even though having a facelift was scary, I felt that my odds were good since I take care of myself with diet and exercise, and I don’t drink, smoke, or do drugs. I thought those behaviors would make me a good candidate for surgery. And they did.
My “after” pictures may disturb some, but this is what recovery looks like. (Please know I don’t look like that today.) To deal with any surgery, a strong resolve and planning for the down-time is necessary to get through the first few weeks. I’m unaccustomed to not feeling great, so the first week of recovery was difficult. But once you are home after surgery, there is only one direction––and that is forward. Healing was my highest priority.
If you decide on cometic surgery, you will need the help of a friend or relative. I have to thank my friend, Andi, who cared for me and drove me to and from surgery, and to several medical appointments. Andi has been by my side through many adventures, my facelift being the most recent. It was comforting to know that she was watching over me, making sure I ate and took my meds. I was so out of it the first twenty-four hours, her presence was needed. So make sure you have a caring individual to watch over you for the first several days.
As I indicated in Part 1, I’m collaborating with my friend, Erica Jabali, on this cosmetic surgery series. Erica has the most professional looking website I’ve seen, called I Spy Fabulous. (You have to see it.) She’s a Mommy and Beauty Blogger. Erica has more “after” pictures and my week one diary entries. Please pop over to Erica’s Beauty Blog for Part 2: What Recovery Is Really Like.
Prior to the onset of COVID-19 and the advice to cancel elective surgeries, I had a facelift. There were many reasons for choosing cosmetic surgery, but at the forefront were my interactions with the public, and the desire to feel better about myself. Due to weight loss, the droopy saggy countenance that was reflected in the mirror, and in photos, didn’t match my youthful insides. I’m active and go to the gym. I wanted my face to match my joyful insides, and I felt cosmetic surgery could help me achieve that.
Since I travel to fairs and festivals doing Tarot readings for the public, and have authored a memoir, my life has become much more public. My book, That’s Why You’re Here, requires that I do speaking engagements to promote it. To reach clients out of the area, I’m on FaceTime and Skype to deliver Tarot Readings. I talk to others about deserving good things, and it became clear, it was time to invest in myself and to put my best face forward.
Once I researched, had my consultation, and had scheduled the cosmetic surgery, I contacted my talented friend, Erica Jabali. She owns and operates a fabulous website called I Spy Fabulous. The site is filled with wonderful tips and ideas regarding beauty, family, career, shopping, and so much more.
I sought out Erica to see if she would be interested in collaborating in telling the story of my cosmetic surgery, the before and after. I believed our readers would want to hear, first hand, what the experience was like. Erica agreed, and was onboard immediately.
I’m excited to have you read and see the results of our collaboration, and for you to walk this cosmetic surgery journey. If you’re considering surgery, may you find the series helpful.