When you’re a beauty editor, the words Botox and filler become a part of your everyday vernacular. It’s just a part of the job. If you’re not going under the needle yourself (in the name of research, obviously), you’re definitely interviewing experts about the process to get all the latest information for your readers. Personally, I’ve always fallen into the camp that believes getting Botox, filler, and other in-office treatments can be empowering and there shouldn't be any stigma around talking about the "work" you’ve had done. If a smoother forehead or more defined cheekbones can make you step a little lighter and help you feel more confident, why not be open about discussing it with those around you? I just never thought fillers were something I'd ever consider for myself until I met Lauren Pack, who runs GoodSkin Clinics with her sister, Lisa. Bear with me because I’m about to sound really vain.
Meet the Expert
Lauren Pack is a registered nurse and co-founder of bicoastal anti-aging clinics The GoodSkin. She has become known for her subtle approach to injectables and cosmetic alterations that have been used by several Hollywood elite.
In my mind (and even after writing multiple stories on the subject), fillers were something people considered if they wanted to add more volume in areas of their face. My round, orb-shaped face was doing just fine in that regard, thanks. One area of my face that I have thought about in the past is my jawline. When Kybella came out, I was curious if it could give me the hyper-sculpted jawline of my dreams, but the multiple treatments required, post-recovery swelling, and lack of guarantee it would even work prevented me from giving it a try. So imagine my surprise when I met Pack at an event, and she took one look at me and told me everything I wanted to hear: Apparently a slimmer, more defined jawline could be mine by simply adding filler. This was the first I had heard of jawline filler, and I was shocked and intrigued that something so non-invasive could possibly help me get the sculpted chin of my dreams. I made an appointment with her immediately.
I will emphasize here that I’ve never once considered getting filler anywhere in my face. Sure, it was something I’d maybe consider down the line when I experienced volume loss, but not something that crossed my mind currently. However, I couldn’t help but be curious when Pack shared that adding filler along my jawline could sculpt it and also make my neck look more defined. It didn't make sense to me: How could adding something to my jawline make it appear slimmer? Out of sheer curiosity, I went in for my appointment first thing on a Saturday morning (slightly hungover, I’ll admit—I didn't realize until later that you should avoid alcohol before getting filler to prevent bruising… oops).
Pack took the time to meet with me and feel my face. Yes, feel my face. As her fingers deftly pressed into my jawline and cheeks, she explained that doing this would help her have a better understanding of my natural bone structure and figure out exactly what filler I would need. Pack’s sister, Lisa, was trained under one of the top dermatologists in L.A. and also in Paris, and both women are known for the "untouched" look, so I knew I was in good hands (literally). She mentioned that with Asian women specifically, volume loss isn't as much of an issue, but we do tend to lose bone density earlier, which is why she prefers to use a structural firmer to mimic bone. When placed along the jawline, it can give the illusion of a slimmer jaw because of the structure it adds. It was all fascinating stuff, and I felt 100% at ease letting her do her thing—which would be injecting filler along my jawline using a cannula.
The actual process itself isn’t exactly pleasant. It was the strangest, most uncomfortable feeling. You can feel the filler going through your skin, like wet concrete being squeezed into your jawline (you’re welcome for that visual). Luckily, the process was over fairly quickly. When I peered in the mirror, I didn't notice that much of a difference at first, but Pack promised me the results would be more noticeable shortly after. In fact, the results can be more extreme directly following your initial appointment because your face tends to swell a bit. She sent me on my way with an aftercare kit, and I immediately snapped some selfies in the Uber home.
That's when I realized how much of a difference the filler had truly made in my face. Suddenly, my jawline had a clearly defined angle from the bottom of my ear to my chin. My chin looked more pronounced, and my face, in general, looked more angular and sculpted. It was actually shocking. I was obsessed. I couldn't stop taking photos of myself and sending them to my friends with the text, "New jawline. Who dis?" I couldn't believe that I could get results like this without undergoing a more invasive treatment and knew I had to share my experience.
It's been a few months since my appointment, and my jawline feels as chiseled and defined as ever. The result is subtle enough that no one would ever notice it just from looking at me, but the difference is definitely there; I notice it most in photos. Can my jawline cut glass? No, but there's a definition that was never there before. Did it make my neck fat disappear? No, but it certainly made my neck look more lifted and, thus, slimmer. Would I recommend jawline filler to anyone who is curious about ways to add more definition to the lower half of their face? Absolutely. Of course, it's different for everyone depending on your natural face structure. In some cases, Botox along the jawline can actually be a better option or a combination of Botox and filler. Thus, I sent Pack over some FAQs for anyone curious if they would be a good candidate. Her answers, below.
Why should someone consider an injection like filler and/or Botox instead of Kybella or a more invasive method for a more defined jawline?
"It's all about getting a proper diagnostic. Kybella only works on fat, but in some cases, it is not only an issue of fat but more about a lack of bone or muscle dysfunction. Also, filler and Botox will provide quicker results than Kybella. The client can then circle back to Kybella for permanent fat-reduction results."
How exactly does filler help sculpt and slim your jawline?
"Sometimes it can be an illusion. Your neck and jawline will look more defined if you have more of a distinction between face to neck. Filler is what replaces bone, and bone is what gives a more contoured or slimmer look."
Who is a good candidate for getting filler for a more sculpted jawline?
"A good candidate would be someone with strong bone in the mandibular region. Pretty much everyone is a candidate for either building or slightly enhancing the jawline."
What type of filler do you recommend? How much is usually needed and where is it placed?
"You either need Voluma or Radiesse—basically any structural filler that doesn't bind water and that mimics bone. If you are looking to enhance a jawline, two syringes would be best. If you are looking to build more of a jawline, you will need closer to four to five syringes of filler, dependent on what kind of result you are looking for."
How does Botox help sculpt and slim your jawline?
"For some people, the lack of a defined jawline is very closely attributed to the neck muscle pulling too much in the down direction. By placing Botox strategically in the neck, you will cause the muscle to pull up and in, and it will help define the jawline."
Who is a good candidate for getting Botox for a more sculpted/slimmer jawline?
"This is a pure diagnostic result, meaning this needs to be evaluated in-office to determine if the neck muscle known, as the platysma, is overactive and could use Botox to retrain the muscle."
How much Botox is usually needed to slim your jawline, and where is it placed?
"The neck muscle is very strong and needs enough units to properly retrain the muscle—50 units minimum and sometimes up to 70 units for a female. Males typically require 70 to 80 units."
Can a combination of Botox and filler help sculpt your jawline?
"Yes. Filler will help replace bone and give a stronger jawline line in general. Botox will help enhance. It truly is case by case and tailored to the individual."
How long do the results last?
"Filler will last a year to two years. Botox in the neck will generally last three months, but with our signature method that works to retrain the neck muscles, you either don't need as many units or you don't need Botox as frequently."
Are there any downsides to using filler and/or Botox for a slimmer/more sculpted jawline?
"Truly, no. Filler on bone helps prevent the bone degradation process. Botox in the neck is not only aesthetically helpful, but it is also great for correcting poor posture and/or headaches and also for strengthening core muscles."
If someone has a more pronounced double chin, will Botox and/or filler still help define the jaw area?
"Yes! Sometimes a double chin isn't only fat. Sometimes it's because of poor bone structure, and that can be improved with something as quick and simple as filler. Filler in this area is zero downtime and immediate improvement in jawline and profile."
Here's what happened when a fellow editor got under-eye filler for the first time.
Disclaimer: Voluma and Radiesse have been approved by the FDA to smooth moderate-to-severe facial wrinkles and folds. Check with your dermatologist or practitioner to discuss off-label uses.