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 never been a needle girl—until recently, that is. Growing up, my parents had to hold me down to get pricked by the doctor. The debacle I'd cause after routine bloodwork or a flu shot was embarrassing, and not even extra stickers from my pediatrician could calm my nerves.
So it's safe to say that I didn't think I'd sit here years later with eight tattoos (and counting), writing a story about all the injections I've stuck in my face. I'm unsure when my fear of needles disappeared and when my pain-tolerance threshold suddenly increased, but somehow it did. It's probably much credited to my career as a beauty editor.
Being exposed to different treatments and services is part of my job and one that I found fascinating when I started. Over the years, I've adopted a "don't knock it until you try it" attitude when testing various treatments, which has taught me some lessons the hard way. Still, it's also opened me up to a world of cosmetic services I thought I'd never try, and overall I've had great experiences. Ahead, find everything I've done (and a few things on my list to try).
What's Currently In My Face
My last service was in August 2022, a solid five months ago. I visited Russak Dermatology to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Botox Cosmetic, where I got the neurotoxin injection in my forehead, and I also got Juvederm filler in my cheek, nasolabial folds (the lines around the sides of my nose to the corners of my mouth,) and chin. Before I get into my experience at Russak Dermatology, this wasn't my first time trying Botox or filler, but it was—by far—my favorite result. In the past, I've gotten Botox on my forehead, specifically at the center of my brows, where I tend to scrunch.
For my recent treatment, I saw Dr. Amanda Doyle, M.D., FAAD, who treated the same area and gave me a Botox poke along my brow bone. It was my first time working with Dr. Doyle, who was amazing at listening to my concerns and previous experiences. She took a conservative approach to Juvederm injections, which I loved. In the past, I've felt like filler enhanced my face in ways I didn't necessarily want until it was too late. Dr. Doyle carefully applied the filler in specific areas of my cheek, chin, and a pinch around my nose. She was quick, kind and helped me feel informed and empowered about my treatment.
My entire treatment (consulting, numbing, and icing afterward) took about 45 minutes. There was no downtime, and I even made it to dinner with my co-workers that evening. My face felt like it had been poked up by needles, but the soreness disappeared within a day. In the past, I've experienced horrible bruising with filler (I am prone to bruising). This time, bruising was minimal and didn't look more than a subtle scar where the needle was inserted and was completely gone within a few days.
Last Cosmetic Treatment I've Tried
In addition to Botox and Juvederm, I've also gotten my teeth whitened professionally for the first time last year with Dr. Sharon Huang at Les Belles Dentistry. At Les Belles, Dr. Huang and her team use a super customized teeth whitening approach that is impressive. In addition to the in-office treatment, Dr. Huang created custom trays molded to my teeth and a special whitening formula (also tailored to my teeth), so I could continue the process at home. My main concern going into teeth whitening was sensitivity. I've used at-home systems that caused discomfort, but this in-office treatment was amazing and wasn't painful or uncomfortable at all.
The First Injectable I Tried and the Age I Tried It
My first injectable was "baby Botox," which I tried when I was 25-years-old out of pure curiosity. I went to Dr. Michelle Henry, who was super conservative and gave me my first taste of the neurotoxin between my brow area.
The Cosmetic Treatment/Procedure I’m Dying to Try
I've tried laser hair removal on my armpits only once, and I'd love to try it again, this time committing to multiple sessions to see long-term results. I'd also be open to trying a different fat-blasting treatment for my double chin area.
Cosmetic Procedures I've Had
I haven't had any procedures outside of injectables, but one worth mentioning is Kybella, a series of injections designed to destroy fat cells under the chin. I completed two treatment sessions with Dr. Henry about four to five years ago, which was interesting. Kybella is injected into multiple areas under the chin and works to blast fat over time. While downtime is minimal, I did find that the sensation of the liquid being injected was slightly uncomfortable for me (I can best describe it as a tingling burning sensation when the treatment is injected), and I was somewhat swollen (like a cute frog) for no more than 48 hours after the treatment. While I am happy I tried Kybella, I can't say I loved the process enough to try it again.
The Cosmetic Treatment That’s Made the Biggest Difference
Filler has—hands down—been the most transformative treatment I've tried thus far and has shown me the power it has to change your face for better or worse. It's an incredible treatment when done correctly.
My Injectable Schedule
I am not on a schedule with injectables. With our jobs, we're fortunate enough to be invited to experience different injectables regularly, so I usually opt into various experiences when it works with my schedule (or when a particular a dermatologist is available).
My Favorite Laser
I'm pretty green in the laser department and haven't tried more than a treatment at Skin Laundry on my face since nearly six years ago. Still, if I had to pick, I'd jump at the opportunity to commit to laser hair removal on various areas of my body.
My Favorite Derm and Plastic Surgeon
Dr. Michelle Henry will always have a special place in my heart for being the calmest, most inviting person to introduce me to my first big-girl injectables (Botox, filler, and Kybella). She's seen my skin through many phases, and I've always felt safe in her care. Though I've only worked with Dr. Doyle once, her attention to detail with my most recent treatment made me trust her wholeheartedly with my face and skin, and I'd 100 percent see her again and recommend her to others.
Advice for Those Considering Cosmetic Procedures
While I keep an open mind to most beauty services and procedures, my two biggest pieces of advice would be to 1) do your research beforehand and 2) don't be afraid to ask questions and speak up. The latter is super important because even if you read studies and watch videos, sometimes things come up in the treatment room that can completely change your mind or outlook. Don't be afraid to speak to your board-certified dermatologist or surgeon if you're unsure, curious, unhappy, or not feeling good about something. It's their job to ensure you're well cared for and informed to make the best decisions for your face (and health).
Thoughts on the Stigma Surrounding Cosmetic Procedures, Treatments, and Injections
We live in a society where you're damned if you do, damned if you don't—especially in the beauty world. My philosophy is: Do what you want but do it informed and empowered. So many things can sway the decisions we make for ourselves, but I've learned that when it comes to our bodies, no one knows you better than you. Don't be afraid to ask questions or research if you're curious about a treatment, but don't be shy to speak up or disregard trends and fads if something doesn't feel authentic to you.