Tag Archives: Beauty

Facelift Reveal

Cosmetic Surgery – Before & After: Part 4

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. 

Erin G. Burrell Facelift Reveal

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.

Recovery & Healing: Part 3

Cosmetic Surgery – Before & After: Part 3

Facelift Recovery – Week #2

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.  

Facelift Recovery

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.) 

Facelift Recovery

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.

Facelift and Recovery

Cosmetic Surgery – Before & After: Part 2

(WARNING: PICTURES BELOW MAY BE DISTURBING TO SOME – PROCEED WITH CAUTION.)

Cosmetic Surgery - Before And After

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. 

Facelift Recovery

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. 

Facelift Recovery

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.

Facelift Recovery

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.

Cosmetic Surgery – Before and After

Part 1:

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.  

Cosmetic Surgery - Before And After

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. 

Pop on over to Erica’s blog for a more pictures and to read Part 1: Why I Got a Facelift. 

Facelift Folly

Have you ever contemplated plastic surgery? I have. I’ve reached the “wisdom” stage in life, and this sage knows the “e” has fallen off, leaving behind a shriveled sag. The condition is evidenced by a drooping neck that appears to have been tugged repeatedly by an impatient toddler. I’m not talking a mere double-chin, I’m talking a flap that functions as a bib.  

Hoping to erase decades, I did what other wise-women have done––I called a surgeon.

The Day of my Facelift Appointment:

On the day of my appointment, I entered an opulent office hidden within a strip-mall. A chandelier shimmered, expensive artwork adorned the walls, and a fountain bubbled. Everything dripped money. My hand shook as I signed in. I waited and listened. No tortured screams drifted from the rear, so I relaxed some. (Watching Botched the previous night hadn’t been prudent.)  

A door opened, and a taut-necked older woman ushered me into a tastefully decorated room. A white-coated doctor introduced himself and sat me on a stool in front of an oversized silver-framed mirror. He stood behind me and said, “Now for my assessment.” He placed his practiced hands on either side of my neck, and pulled the skin back as if reining in a frightened horse. He shook his head and clicked his tongue. “This won’t do it. The neck won’t be enough. You need a full facelift.” 

I knew it was bad, but not this bad. The doctor proceeded to stretch my cheeks towards my ears. A mole, once centered on my cheek, now rested on my earlobe. With one tense squeeze, the doctor had fashioned a new stud earring. I admired the look, but then he let go. My mole, like a bug, crawled back into place.     

The surgeon said, as he spread them like wings, “If you want to lose the jowls, then a facelift is mandatory.” 

I stared at my jowls and wondered how I’d transitioned into a portly English gentleman. Was gout next?

But the doctor wasn’t finished. He positioned fingers to my forehead and lifted toward my hairline. “A brow lift is also recommended.” My expression shot past deer caught in the headlights to parent caught having sex by a curious kid. 

The surgeon released my forehead and my brows sank into my sockets. “See my assistant for a price sheet,” he said. The exam was, like the movie: Gone In 60 Seconds.  

Once I got in the car, I opened the estimate. My brows lifted in horror. (One less procedure.) This sag/e pondered cheaper facelift options, and it didn’t take a prophet to see––it was turtlenecks and duct tape for me.      

Inspired Thoughts – The Tool

After having recently moved, my daughter discovered she had way too much stuff and asked if I would store a few boxes for her. I peeked into one container and glimpsed a blowdryer. The sight of that contraption got me thinking about the arsenal of beauty tools and products I’d tortured myself with through the years. They had all promised astounding transformations, but most didn’t deliver. But there was one apparatus I wished I’d had as a teenager, it could have changed the course of history, or at least mine.  

First, I must tell you what it was like for me. When I grew up, girls complained about their rod-straight hair. They told of the daily horror of living with limp locks, and resorting to stinky permanents and body-waves to acquire the loveliness they sought. While they complained about straight, lifeless hair, it was something I prayed for. I dreamt of stick-straight strands flowing past my shoulders; a mane worthy of a shampoo commercial, or maybe a horse’s tail.

Unfortunately, my hair had a mind of its own which bordered on lunacy. Some people tried to be kind when they spoke of my curls, but, in fact, the curls were beyond my control. I was no Curly Sue or a Shirley Temple. (Does anyone remember Shirley Temple, or must she be Googled?) No, my hair displayed a strange clump of springy tendrils attached to the right side of my head. That clump was often mistaken for a hairpiece in search of an escape route.  

The rest of my head was an unsightly crop of straight tresses lost among unruly waves. I suspected my hair follicle genes had been shaken, not stirred, while I was in the womb, resulting in my miss-matched do. Mutation was the only possible explanation.        

The best way to describe the hairstyle of my youth was that it resembled a Picasso painting during his Cubism period, and it received similar reactions. People stared at it perplexed, and wondered what to make of it.  

If my hairdo, or lack thereof, wasn’t bad enough, it could worsen with the addition of one element . . . moisture.

My first encounter with this demon occurred when I was a young girl of twelve, while visiting my Uncle Jimmy in San Francisco. One evening, we walked through a thick mist to reach his favorite Italian restaurant. I’d never been in an establishment such as this. Perched on our red-checkered tablecloth was an empty, twine covered wine bottle that held a candle. Wax dripped artfully down the sides of the bottle and begged to be picked and played with, and I obliged. 

During our dinner it was necessary to use the restroom. While washing my hands I looked into the mirror and couldn’t believe the vision. The fog had frizzed my hair into a large circular mass. I had the world’s largest Afro, and I might have carried it off, if only I’d been born black. As it was, I looked ridiculous. In desperation, I slapped water onto my ‘fro, hoping I could reduce its volume. Why had the Hair Gods punished me so? I soon learned showering in the bathroom sink only made my situation worse. I left the restroom, head down, and hoped my Uncle would remember that silence was golden.    

Over the years, what sprouted from my scalp was a constant cross to bear, and did nothing for my self-esteem. I gradually acquired some techniques to manage my mop of madness. After a shower, I would rubber band my hair at the crown of my head and split the ponytail into three sections. Each section was then wrapped around a gigantic pink curler. This absurd look gave the impression I was either trying to pick up signals from outer space or attract alien life forms. Since looking beautiful for boys was my goal, attracting alien life forms wasn’t a stretch.    

The endless hours devoted to taming my tresses could have been avoided, if only I’d owned a Flat Iron in high school. This one device could have been my salvation. It had the power to flatten and smooth the most obstinate ringlets, and could even defeat a frightening frizz. (Back in the day, some girls achieved straight hair from using a clothes iron, but I couldn’t bring myself to it, especially after seeing burns and scabs on the foreheads of my friends. It was too barbaric, even for me.) 

The Flat Iron would have been the magic wand that made me feel attractive. With a flick-of-the-wrist, I would have gone from being “the nice girl with a good personality” to the “cute girl.” Just imagine what paths my life might have taken with a head full of gorgeous hair. But I’ll never know. My sweet takeaway is the friends who loved me in high school embraced the true me; it was never about outward beauty.    

These days, I use my Flat Iron regularly. It’s been a godsend. A shallow thought maybe, but I don’t think I’m alone in appreciating something that makes me feel better about myself. Now . . . if only there were a Flat Iron for wrinkles.

Written by: Erin G. Burrell 

Author of: That’s Why You’re Here