I started doing filler and botox when I was 27-years-old. I’d just gotten a new contract with MTV HD and my agent was shitting herself that the content was going to be, well, VERY HD. My skin has always been various degrees of terrible so off I trotted to her “top ten best in the world” botox doctor in Kensington, safe in the knowledge that if he didn’t think I needed anything I wouldn’t have to do it.
“I’ll be fine” I thought “I don’t need fucking Botox”.
As I sat in the fancy consultation room, that looked all weirdly futuristic and space age, I started to panic a bit. I imagined all those terrible pictures you see of frozen over-inflated celebrity faces and wondered if I was doing the wrong thing. What if he completely fucked up my face!?
The doctor looked me up and down. I was sweating. “Who recommended you?”
“Erm… my agent. She’s one of your clients?”
“Is she? I don’t know her. Go sit over there.” He gestured to a treatment table that might as well have been a morgue slab. I gingerly perched on the edge.
“How old are you?” He asked.
“27.” I mumbled.
“Hmm.” He lifted my chin to take a good look at my face. “What do you do?”
As quickly as I could say “I’m a TV presenter” he had scribbled all over my face with some kind of magic marker. “You need this, this, and this. By the way your skin is terrible, you need to see our beauty therapist.”
“Are we doing this now?”
“Yes. Try to relax otherwise it will hurt more.”
“Yeah, filler isn’t very pleasant.”
“Filler!? I thought I was getting botox!”
“You are - but you need tear duct filler too to get rid of your eye bags.”
Resigned to my fate, I lay down to get injected… and in the end I was surprised to find that the botox felt fine - more irritating than painful - like a tiny rubber band snapping, but the filler was vile. The only way I can describe filler is like having to squeeze a spot BACK IN. Horrible.
I walked out of that place £750 lighter (I had to ring my agent to pay half of it - I had no idea aesthetics were so expensive) and after the treatment I spent about four hours wandering around Hyde Park having a massive panic attack feeling like the botox was pulsating under my skin like worms in a sci fi movie (which it kind of was). I thought I had poisoned myself and I was gonna die. I didn’t know what to do, and it wasn’t until I finally got home and showed my friend over Skype what I’d had done that I started to calm down. It would take a week or so for the botox to kick in but the filler already looked REALLY GOOD. That summer, when I travelled the world attending music festivals for MTV, is the best I have ever looked to this day!
Obviously my botox experiences since then have been a lot better, and I did go back to that same doctor a few times (he was abrupt but very very good). However, once I quit my TV presenting career I stopped doing it altogether, as I was mostly skint and didn’t really need it. Then, a couple of years ago when I got back into content creation and had to start looking at my stupid face again, I ran straight back to the botox clinic.
Now I am not advising every creator to go out and get botox - what you do or don’t do with your face (or body) is completely up to you. It is not necessary at all. But if it’s something that will make your life easier or make you feel more confident then go for it. I am 38-years-old now, nearing close to 40, and I wouldn’t say I NEED these treatments exactly, but I do them now by choice as both a time-saving exercise and as a boost to my mental health. Shooting as much content as I do, the less time I can spend looking at myself and editing the better. The way I see it, those regular trips to the skin doctor give me time in the bank that I can spend with my family, which is way more important to me.
That doesn’t make filler any less grim tho.
SIMMY’S TOP TIPS
DO YOUR RESEARCH - Research your botox doctor heavily, and try to go to the best one that you can find. This is not something you should be penny pinching on (or doing yourself at home!) as if it goes wrong, it can go really wrong and you will be out of work for a while!
TELL THEM IF YOU ARE SCARED - If you are nervous or faint at the sight of blood (or needles) - do let your aesthetician know so they can book you in for a longer appointment.
STAY ORGANISED - go back for check ups (I am shit at this) and book your next appointment in while you are there so you don’t forget.
My current skin doctor is Dr Pradnya at SKIN SOUTHWEST. She is Exeter and London-based and I really recommend her as she does an amazing job. Not gonna lie, I have fainted a fair few times in her office (I’m not good with blood or needles) and she has been super good about it.