Cos­metic surgery: the celebri­ties’ go-to woman

When celebri­ties and the su­per-rich want an un­der­cover nose job or a facelift, Shan­non Lee­man or­gan­ises it for them.

Australian Women’s Weekly NZ - - CONTENTS -

My phone rings at 2am. An A-list ac­tor in LA wants to talk. He is anx­ious – his jaw­line is look­ing slack and he’s get­ting a dou­ble chin. What can he do to fix it? We dis­cuss a sub­tle neck lift and some mini li­po­suc­tion. He wants the best. Will I set it up – un­der a false name, of course? (We call it a dou­ble file.)

A lead­ing ac­tress Skypes me from the set of her lat­est film. She has seen her­self close-up in the di­rec­tor’s raw footage and is pan­ick­ing about the lines around her eyes. I sug­gest some fast laser treat­ment and ar­range for my favourite aes­theti­cian to meet her in her trailer.

I have a con­sul­ta­tion with a singer. Her stylist has picked a strap­less Ver­sace gown for her to wear at the Gram­mys, but it is not fit­ting well. What can she do? I tell her about the Ky­bella in­jec­tion that melts away fat around the armpits. The treat­ment takes eight to 12 weeks to work, so she has time.

She is also con­sid­er­ing a fat trans­fer from her waist to her butt to amp up her curves. Will she have time to re­cover from that pro­ce­dure, too? Her agent will send me her tour sched­ule.

I am flown to Saint-Tropez to meet a chief ex­ec­u­tive on his su­per-yacht. His wife is un­happy with her breasts. She has lost her con­fi­dence wear­ing a bikini. I sug­gest she meet Louis Benelli, a sur­geon in Paris fa­mous for the shape of his pert, neat lifts known as the coupe de cham­pagne.

While I’m there, the chief ex­ec­u­tive asks me to book him into a clinic to ad­dress his thin­ning hair and whis­pers to me, who is the best guy to take care of his “moobs”?

Un­der the radar

If asked my pro­fes­sion, I call my­self an anti-age­ing ad­viser. What I re­ally am is the best-kept se­cret of the rich and fa­mous. At a time when there have never been so many anti-age­ing pro­ce­dures, peo­ple hire me to tell them where to get the best and to hold their hand through it.

And se­cret I am. Of­ten, I’ll walk into a restau­rant or pri­vate mem­bers’ club in Lon­don,

Los An­ge­les or New York and bump into a client who will pre­tend they don’t know me.

Re­cently, I spent months pre­par­ing a big Hol­ly­wood agent to look his best at his 50th birthday party, but he didn’t in­vite me. My clients send me fab­u­lous thank-you pre­sents – the­atre tick­ets, de­signer hand­bags, flow­ers, choco­lates – but it is their per­sonal as­sis­tants who sign the cards.

Among friends, how­ever, I am a pop­u­lar lunch date. I’ve done many an on-the-spot con­sul­ta­tion in the loos in Annabel’s, Mor­ton’s and Clar­idge’s in Lon­don. One was while beat­ing on a pheas­ant shoot. Yet usu­ally the way I work is this. First, I’ll get a call from a PA who says, “My client would like a meet­ing.” This is ei­ther at my Lon­don home, or their home, or via Skype. Some­times I won’t know who re­quires my ser­vices un­til they ar­rive. When they walk in, I try not to do a dou­ble-take if they’re very fa­mous. Then I like to guess their is­sue be­fore we be­gin. Of­ten I’m wrong, which has taught me not to make sug­ges­tions.

If some­one asks me what, on their face or body, I think they should fix, I tell them that is for them to de­cide. My job is to make sure they get the

best re­sults and they are safe.

Of­ten my con­sul­ta­tions are like ther­apy ses­sions. We look in the mir­ror, do a lot of talk­ing. Clothes come off. Then I present the op­tions. If a client wants to go un­der the radar, I set up af­ter-hours ap­point­ments in my name or ar­range for a sur­geon to come to their home.

I am not cheap. An hour’s per­sonal con­sul­ta­tion costs $700. If you have me on a re­tainer, we are talk­ing thou­sands a month. Yet for many of my clients, their ap­pear­ance is their most valu­able as­set. If they mess that up, ev­ery­one will be talk­ing about it.

My clients want to be on “best­dressed” lists. They don’t want to be the poster child for plas­tic surgery.

Not all my clients are in Hol­ly­wood. I see peo­ple from Europe and the Mid­dle East – heads of in­dus­try and their wives, girl­friends, moth­ers and daugh­ters – but also peo­ple who have saved for years. Re­quests in­clude ev­ery­thing from Bo­tox, fillers and laser work to nose jobs, breast lifts, fat re­duc­tion and gyno­plasty.

At the mo­ment it is all about the cheek­bones – ev­ery­one is us­ing fillers to re-cre­ate that round­ness of youth. Lips are big, too. You can ac­cen­tu­ate the bor­ders and get that lit­tle bit at the front plumped up to give you a pout.

Many women ask me how they can get rid of the creases on their up­per lip – I call them “bar­codes”. I usu­ally sug­gest a com­bi­na­tion of treat­ments, in­clud­ing der­mabra­sion, lasers, fillers and freez­ers.

Try be­fore you buy

In the US, the non-sur­gi­cal nose job is the new trend. Der­mal fillers are used to straighten ar­eas or cor­rect a hooked pro­file or tip pro­jec­tion. In 10 min­utes, you can have a new nose. It’s a good way of try­ing one – it lasts only a year – be­fore a per­ma­nent sur­gi­cal so­lu­tion.

At least a quar­ter of my clients are men. They come about their hair, jaw­line and waist­line. Since the re­ces­sion, I have seen a lot of men afraid of los­ing their edge at work. They sense younger men bit­ing at their heels and they want sharp jaw­lines and a full head of hair to look young and vi­tal again.

Then there are the brides-to-be who want a con­fi­dence boost be­fore their big day. We say, right, we’ve got six months un­til your wed­ding, this is what you want to do, and we’ll make a sched­ule. I call this my “pre-nup and tuck” ser­vice.

For some, be­ing given the op­tions is enough. Oth­ers want hand­hold­ing through the process. I go with them to their first ap­point­ment to make sure they’re not be­ing pushed into any­thing.

Top cos­metic doc­tors are run­ning mul­timil­lion-dol­lar busi­nesses, so they may not be what I would con­sider im­par­tial. It’s not un­com­mon to go in for Bo­tox and find your­self fac­ing a laser ma­chine. I never take com­mis­sions from clin­ics or doc­tors. My clients have to trust me 100 per cent.

If they are hav­ing surgery, I sit in on the op­er­a­tion. I am there when they wake up and I take them home. I ar­range body­guards, chauf­feurs, a 24-hour nurse, a chef.

I call in ther­a­pists to do lym­phatic

Cos­metic surgery is a gory, rough busi­ness.

Shan­non Lee­man’s con­sul­ta­tions are of­ten like ther­apy.

GWYNETH PAL­TROW re­vealed, “I would do it again, it took five years off my face”, af­ter un­der­go­ing a laser treat­ment.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.