In our latest Bride Chores installement, guest blogger and just-married Lili Stemson reveals the procedures she underwent before tying the knot...
Planning a wedding is stressful enough, but in between catering menus and invite samples, it's important to factor in some 'me' time - ie: making 'me' look as good as possible. Sure, I was prepared for the standard pre-wedding rituals - teeth whitening, facials and upping of the gym - but I realised the photo most likely to pass through the generations is of my wedding day. That's a scary thought, no? It was time to look into more, umm, intensive beauty treatments.
I did my research on the best non-invasive cosmetic treatments from a touch of botox to fat being injected into your voice chords (it stops you sounding old, appaz) and that's how I ended up having a consultation with Dr. Angelica Kavouni at Cosmetic Solutions (www.cosmetic-solutions.co.uk). Angelica told me brides are now more likely to be in their early 30s, compared to their 20s a decade a go, so have more expendable cash to spend on treatments. In fact, brides-to-be are spending more on looking good for their Big Day than they are on a wedding dress. Yes, really!
If you're tempted to give it a go, let me be your guineapig. I tried a series of non-surgical procedures before getting hitched and have documented how I got on especially for Grazia Daily. Needless to say, the photos turned out marvellously.
COST: £300 PAIN: 3/10 www.cosmetic-solutions.co.uk
Ideally, you pop in for treatments over three months - I had 8 weeks so I started on Botox there and then. I had it applied through an injection on the corners of my eyes, two small injections on my forehead and between the eyes and on my frown line. It took about 1 minute and although I was nervous, it really wasn't as painful as expected. It took 5 days to have an effect and rather than a frozen forehead, it was an oh-so-natural result.
2. Clear & Brilliant
COST: £400 per treatment PAIN: 2/10 www.clearandbrilliant.com
This is designed to deliver powerfully precise laser energy to give your skin a refreshing boost. The laser induces trauma to the face, encouraging the skin to heal itself and boosting collagen stimulation. Gel was applied to numb my whole face, which took 20 minutes to take effect, before a small laser was applied. It feels like tiny spikes running over your skin, which can be uncomfortable, and the resulting feeling is like being sunburnt. I was also bright red and it took a few days for the colour to fade, during which time I was told to avoid the sun and my skin felt like flaky sandpaper. So no client-facing meetings for me! Angelica recommended I have at least 3 treatments and I noticed a difference immediatley. Each treatment takes an hour so I recommend factoring in almost two hours for the whole procedure.
COST: £750 per area PAIN: 9/10 www.cosmetic-solutions.co.uk
Simply put, this is non-surgical liposuction. Liposonix can be performed quickly with no cuts, minimal discomfort, no anaesthetic and no downtime, making it perfect for a ‘lunchtime fix’. Sound waves are delivered at high intensity and frequency to essentially blast targeted fat cells. It began with the nurse measuring my stomach and noting my weight. Next, she drew a grid system on my stomach and we decided to concentrate on my 'muffin top' ready for the impending honeymoon. If I was initally confused about being given a stress ball, it quickly became clear! Each section is gone over three times, which adds to the pain factor, like being branded by the farmer's cattle stamp. It was a burning, searing pain, like I'd gone 10 rounds with Amir Khan, but the nurse used water to relieve the intensity and it wasn't so agonising that I couldn't go back to work afterwards. My stomach started to bruise after a week, but this was gone within a few days, as was the surgical pen. As for the result, I could already see a major improvement after two months, but considering the cost and pain factor, I wondered whether surgical liposuction would've been just as worth it.
COST: £3,000 PAIN: 2/10 www.cosmetic-solutions.co.uk
This treatment is all about encouraging collagen production to improve the texture and elasticity of the skin using radio frequency waves. It starts by having a gridded transfer applied to the face and a pen-esque instrument releasing a cooling gel and vibrations like a drill - but not in a painful way! It was more uncomfortable if anything. The redness went within 24 hours and I noticed an instant result with people commenting that I looked younger and less tired. Result!
5. Perlane fillers
COST: £1,700.00 - 4x Clear & Brilliant (once a week) + Botox
This injectable filler is used to soften wrinkles, but I wanted to try it for a bit of lip plumping. My mouth was numbed with anesthetic creme and filler was injected in very small doses - I was allowed to check what I looked like at regular intervals. Just like Botox, the treatment lasted only a couple of minutes and my lips were iced straight after. Small blood spots on point of entry were visible, but nothing too awful, and I was very conscious that my lips looked too swollen and uneven. After two days, however, they settled and I'm incredibly impressed with the results. No trout pout here, thank goodness! And it meant I couldn't stop beaming when it came to my Big Day.
If you're a bride-to-be looking for some non-surgical treatments - or even if you're not planning on walking up the aisle and just want a tweak - your best bet is to visit Angelica Kavouni at Cosmetic Solutions. She really does work wonders. Hop on over to www.cosmetic-solutions.co.uk for more details.