What I've Had Done
Here’s the truth: Injectables, treatments, and cosmetic procedures are wildly popular and often very effective. Another truth? We’re tired of the stigma attached to “getting something done” and exhausted with the notion we’re supposed to keep it secret. With our newest series, What I’ve Had Done, we’re laying out the details about our injectable routines, favorite lasers, and any nips or tucks we’ve tried. Then, we’re asking celebrities, founders, and influencers the same questions. No judgment, no shame—just helpful recommendations and honest information. Let’s get into it.
I've been in this industry for over ten years and through it all there's been an air of secrecy surrounding cosmetic procedures, treatments, injections, and the like. I think that's really damaging. We talk so freely about everything else—our facials, our makeup routines, our workouts, etc.—that shrouding this particular subject matter in mystery only adds to its stigma. So, I'd like to open up the conversation in this new series. I'm discussing the injections I get, the surgery I've had, the treatments I like, and the Botox schedule I follow. Below, find everything I've had done (and a few things I'd like to try).
What's Currently In My Face
I get Botox every three to four months (sometimes I'll stretch it to six months if I'm feeling lazy). I've been going to Dr. Dara Liotta for five years and I trust my face with her implicitly. She just gets it—how I want to look; why I'm there in the first place; and the natural-looking results I'm after. She injects along my brows—more on one brow than the other because it naturally sits lower—for lift, my forehead to smooth expression lines, my crow's feet, and my masseter muscles to ease chronic clenching and teeth grinding (this works aesthetically too, as it relaxes the muscles and slims the jaw over time). Dr. Liotta is fun, quick, and incredibly thoughtful. I'm squeamish and faint-y by nature and she gives me water, candy, and let's me take breaks in-between injection areas.
Last Cosmetic Treatment I Tried
I went to Joanna Vargas for EmSculpt Neo on my arms. It’s a non-invasive treatment with a multifaceted approach to body contouring. EmSculpt Neo employs the use of radio frequency (RF) and high-intensity focused electromagnetic energy (HIFEM) to tone muscle and “melt” fat at the same time. It feels relatively intense (I tried the classic EmSculpt on my stomach—it used HIFEM without RF, so you’d feel the muscle contractions without the heat—and it was more comfortable) but not at all painful or difficult to deal with. The spa recommends four sessions for best results, which will show up in around three or four months, and each session lasts thirty minutes. This week I’m scheduled for my third session so I’m really curious to see the results. I definitely noticed a difference on my stomach when I tried it a few years back so I’m hopeful the same will be true on my arms. I’ve watched the skin get a bit looser along the insides of my arms as I’ve aged, which is why I wanted to try it in the first place. So, stay tuned!
The First Injectable I Tried and the Age I Tried It
I was 28 when I got my first Botox injections. I had been to two consultations beforehand to make sure I liked the doctor and felt like they understood my vision. I ended up going for it with Lisa Goodman, the owner of GoodSkin Clinics (they have a location in L.A. and NYC). Her perspective felt spot-on with everything I wanted for myself—a natural, thoughtful approach, an in-depth diagnostic based consultation, and generally really positive vibes. As I mentioned earlier, I’m not great with needles, so, I needed to feel safe with whoever was going to be doing my injections. I absolutely felt that way with Lisa and later with her sister Lauren.
The Cosmetic Treatment I’m Dying to Try
I’ve had filler recommended to me before, but I’ve never pulled the trigger (not because I don’t believe I’d like the results, but because it hurts more—and I’m a wimp). That said, I’m dying to try EmFace, a radiofrequency and electromagnetic stimulation combo meant to lift and tighten your face and brow. It results in a needle-free filler effect, according to the brand, and elevates your brows, corners of your mouth, and mid-face (cheeks) using High-Intensity Facial Electrical Stimulation—or HIFES—like EmSculpt does for your body. It also works to make wrinkles less visible. All in all, it sounds amazing and I can't wait to try it. I set up an appointment with Dr. Jennifer Levine, a facial plastic surgeon in NYC, to try it out. It's recommended to do four treatments, one week apart, to see full results.
Cosmetic Procedures I've Had
I had a breast reduction when I was 20 and it made me feel so much more at home in my body. You can read more about it here.
The Cosmetic Treatment That’s Made the Biggest Difference
Sofwave works like magic. The treatment uses Synchronous Ultrasound Parallel Beam (SUPERB) technology to treat fine lines and wrinkles, as well as lifts the brows, neck, and chisels the jawline (and 80% of clinical trial patients saw improvement in 12 weeks). My appointment was with dermatologist Dr. Blair Murphy Rose (who I've also seen for Botox, so I was immediately at ease). I sat for 30 minutes ahead of the procedure to let the numbing cream do its thing—this is so the heat from the ultrasound waves isn’t too intense—and then we began. I treated my face and neck in about 30 minutes and, while there were times when it hurt, the discomfort was over so quickly it never felt overwhelming.
My Injectable Schedule
I get Botox about every three to four months in my brows, forehead, crow’s feet, and masseter muscle.
My Favorite Derm and Plastic Surgeon
My go-to plastic surgeon has always been Dr. Dara Liotta for all the reasons I mentioned earlier. Her focus is the face—her reputation precedes her as the “queen of nose jobs”—so, I trust her implicitly when it comes to my own face. She is always honest with her patients and is an incredibly helpful resource if you’re considering a treatment or procedure. I recommend her every time someone asks. Similarly, my dermatologist, Dr. Murphy Rose has a really calm, thoughtful energy. I was a little nervous ahead of my Softwave appointment and she put me right at ease.
Advice for Those Considering Cosmetic Procedures
Do your research. Find a qualified, board-certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist who can answer all your questions, make you feel at ease, and do a good job. While I'm all for transparency and choice when it comes to your body, there is an emotional and physical element to anything you're going to have done—make sure you're ready for that. Remember: Nothing is as easy as it looks on TikTok. Most before-and-after photos are shown after downtime and recovery. It's imperative to be informed about what will happen, how you'll feel, and how long it'll take for you to see your desired results before making any decisions.
Thoughts on the Stigma Surrounding Cosmetic Procedures, Treatments, and Injections
In a perfect world, "beauty standards" wouldn't exist. I'd love to be able to solve that issue at the root. However, as long as people are choosing to alter the way they look—for whatever reason—I'm going to push for transparency. The more we talk about it, the less confusion there is surrounding the topic and that ever-lasting stigma lessens. My goal? To have every person who reads Byrdie understand what they're seeing on red carpets and while scrolling through Instagram is not only a result of good genetics but also good doctors. That part is crucial. I also want our readers to know there are options should they want them. No judgment, no shame—just helpful recommendations and honest information.
Cheng J, Hsu SH, McGee JS. Botulinum toxin injections for masseter reduction in east asians. Dermatol Surg. 2019;45(4):566-572.
de Araújo AR, Soares VPC, da Silva FS, Moreira T da S. Radiofrequency for the treatment of skin laxity: mith or truth. An Bras Dermatol. 2015;90(5):707-721.