Lunchtime beauty fixes:
“Would you like a flawless forehead with that sandwich?”
Cosmetic beauty treatments were once time-consuming procedures that required lengthy downtimes. Today, busy women are popping into the local clinic or salon in search of a quick beauty fix that will take less than an hour. “There is a growing range of treatments available and no one treatment is right for everyone,” says dermatologist Dr John Sullivan. “It is good to do your own research, however a proper considered professional consultation is important.”
Minor procedures during your lunch break can be effective, but Dr Sullivan warns against being misled or coerced into accepting a dodgy treatment if you’re time-poor or under financial pressure. “Signing up for a limited-time special offer, package of treatments, or basing your decision on an advertisement’s before-and-after pictures can risk you choosing a treatment that does not best address your own specific needs,” he says. “You don’t want to be rushing to make your appointment on time with your heart rate and anxiety levels up.”
If you wish to refresh your look or remove a few lines from the forehead, around the eyes or lips, anti-wrinkle injections such as botulinum toxin (Botox) or Dysport work by temporarily relaxing muscles. According to Sonya Hatangadi, Training Academy Manager for Caci, anti-wrinkle injections remain one of the more popular lunchtime treatments.
“It’s quick and simple, and takes as little as 15 to 20 minutes; you can go back to work with no one even having to know. Some people may experience a little redness, which may be apparent for a brief time, but this will subside quickly.”
Super-fine needles are used to soften facial lines like frown lines and crow’s feet. It’s ideal for a lunchtime treatment as long as you don’t plan to then head off to the gym or for work drinks.
“Slight bruising can happen, depending on the client, but most often no one will notice,” says Sonya. “In fact, most people say their family and friends comment that they look more relaxed and can’t put their finger on what’s different.”
Anti-wrinkle injections are relatively pain-free and quick and easy to administer by a professional. Visible results usually take a few days and can last up to four months. Risks include drooping of the eyelids, mild bruising, headache, redness and swelling at the injection site. Skin tightness or numbness may be felt within the first day after the procedure.
Price: Prices range from $150 to $2000, depending on the area being treated, the type of muscle freezer and the clinician.
Dermal fillers are made of an injectable gel used to restore your facial skin’s volume, improve the appearance of wrinkles and soften facial folds. It can also be used to create the appearance of fuller lips. While there are
You don’t want to be rushing... with your heart rate and anxiety levels up.
slightly differing products available, the gel is most often made up of hyaluronic acid, a naturally occurring substance in your skin. While the injections are easily administered, you should expect a clinician to spend time examining the proportions of your whole face and discussing with you what effect the fillers might have on the areas you’d like to focus on. They will then determine how to ensure the result looks natural and balanced. The good part is, you’ll see results right away.
“The aesthetic effect after dermal fillers is immediate and recovery time is quick, with minimal downtime,” says Sonya. “The procedure itself may take from 30 to 60 minutes, and most often you can return to your usual daily activities.”
Like most medication, the possibility of side effects does exist. “These may include redness, swelling and bruising, which are temporary, and will resolve on their own usually in one to three days.”
Dermal filler typically lasts between 12 and 24 months. Like any injection, you can expect some discomfort but an experienced dermatologist, surgeon or clinician can minimise this with careful administration. They will also be able to determine which product, such as Juvéderm and Restylane, is best for you.
Price: From $750, depending on the area and product being used, but can exceed $1500.
In-chair teeth whitening treatments are becoming more common because the results are visible immediately. Unlike at-home whitening gels and strips that can take weeks or months to see results, patients who have a teeth-whitening procedure may notice their teeth are up to eight shades whiter after a one-hour session. “The in-chair treatment is quick, safe, and suitable for almost everyone,” says dentist Dr Luke Cronin. “Most importantly, it delivers a superior whitening result and provides patients with a predictable cosmetic outcome when compared to over-the-counter whitening products.”
The Philips Zoom treatment is an accelerated whitening procedure using 25 per cent hydrogen peroxide whitening gel. “The light activates the peroxide in the gel to safely and predictably accelerate the whitening process, and reduces sensitivity that is sometimes associated with teeth whitening,” explains Dr Cronin. Results depend on the individual and their lifestyle choices; smoking, coffee, wine and tea can all cause discolouration. People with high sensitivity, tetracycline stains and composite or porcelain veneers are not good candidates. See a dental professional.
Price: Up to $1100. Philips Zoom Whitening starts at about $450.
New treatments claiming to reduce stubborn body fat are popular in clinics around New Zealand and Australia. These include CoolSculpting, a non-surgical, fat-freezing removal technique that destroys fat cells, and SculpSure, a laser treatment which was approved for non-invasive lipolysis of the flanks and abdomen in Australia in 2015 but is not yet available here.
It shouldn’t be considered an overall weight loss solution but for the right patient, ChillSculpt, as it’s called at Caci, can be very effective, according to Sonya Hatangadi. “It’s ideal for people who have a healthy BMI but stubborn, unwanted fat that cannot easily be removed through diet and exercise. The process uses cryolipolysis technology, which freezes and reduces fat cells. Once the targeted fat cells have been treated they gradually disappear naturally through the body’s normal metabolic process, resulting in a reduction of fat tissue in the area.”
To undergo the treatment, after a consultation, controlled cooling is delivered via an applicator to the area being treated. As the cooling and vacuum begins during the first few minutes, there is a pressure and intense cold but these soon dissipate and most people return to normal activities immediately afterwards.
“It varies between people, but generally you will notice slight redness or bruising to the treated area,” says Sonya. “Aside from taking the day off at the gym, you can return to your daily routine without any downtime.”
Results can take up to 12 weeks as the body takes time to eliminate the disrupted fat cells and most people
It’s ideal for people who have a healthy BMI but stubborn, unwanted fat.
need several treatments in order to see significant changes.
Price: ChillSculpt treatments cost from $450.
If you are tired of drawing on brows or using brow powder, brow tattooing can transform those sparse arches above your eyes into fuller-looking brows in around an hour. Feather-touch brow tattoos are waterproof and can last from nine to 24 months, depending on skin type (oily skin generally doesn’t hold the pigment well and will fade more quickly). This means you can have well-kept brows without relying on make-up. At Lash Noir Ink in Auckland, owners Rebecca Hutchinson and Britney Ackland have perfected the art, with their packed schedule and sometimes months-long waiting list attesting to their signature natural-finish semi-permanent brows.
Following a consultation about your skin, brow shape and colour, a numbing gel is applied to the skin before treatment begins.
“This treatment uses a tiny row of needles to scratch carefully crafted lines into the skin to mimic natural hair growth,” explains Rebecca. A pigment chosen to complement your skin type, tone and texture and natural hair colour is then applied.
“Less is more – Feather Touch must be layered in a series of (usually two) sessions for a natural, believable result. The brows will appear deeper in colour for two to three days after each session, then heal and reveal a much softer colour.”
Rebecca says it shouldn’t hurt. “We use a triple action numbing cream for this reason. While the sensation is slightly uncomfortable, the treatment is over and done with quickly.”
As with all tattoos, there is a small risk of infection and allergic reaction. Speak to a professional to ensure you are a candidate for the treatment.
Price: Feather Touch brow tattoo starts from $295 per session.
Brows are important for both symmetry and definition in the face.