As an 18-year-old growing up in a digital climate infested with Instagram models, beauty gurus, and airbrushed commercials, I spent a significant amount of my young life analyzing my appearance. Information overload gave me new things to worry about every day: Are my nail beds too short? Is my neck too long? Are my ankles too wide? Insecurities of all kinds bubbled up in my head all day long. Now, the debate of what to do about those thoughts is complicated and polarized. Many people believe that body neutrality and acceptance are the path forward; which I agree with to some extent. Of course, you should learn to be neutral about your appearance and work towards realizing that your physical state is simply the least important part of your being.
However, I am also of the mind that improving your appearance in your own eyes and mind can be empowering. That’s not to say that spending tens of thousands of dollars every year to upkeep an impossible beauty standard is reflective of the new age of feminism, but treating yourself to things that make you feel good on the outside can improve how you feel on the inside.
Growing up, I had very inset eye bags (or tear troughs). Eye bags that are developed from lack of sleep or stress are usually puffy and convexed on the contours of your face. My troughs, however, were quite the opposite. Because as much as my lifestyle habits were maybe not ideal for the appearance of my eyes, my bags were hereditary. Both my mom and my grandfather both share my deep tear troughs and while some might say they look distinguished, I was always vehemently against them. As a kid I tried every trick in the book from cucumbers to tea bags to cold spoons; all in the hopes of remedying my bags. But alas, nothing worked, because they were genetic and they were not going anywhere. After months of research and discussions online, I came to the conclusion that cosmetic fillers were my best bet to banish my bags. That is why I made the decision to get a tear-trough filler.
What is tear-trough filler?
Tear-trough filler is an injection of hyaluronic acid dermal filler (like Juvederm or Restylane) injected into the depression under your eyes through either a sharp needle or cannula technique. The sharp needle technique is a standard filler technique which is essentially several small, concentrated injections. The cannula technique is a rounder, blunter needle that allows for fewer injection sites, less bruising, and reduced risk for things like skin necrosis and blindness. In my case, my doctor used the cannula technique and deposited the filler using only two injection sites: One under each eye. Before injection, the area is numbed for your comfort. Results of the procedure are immediate, but final results occur about two weeks after the injection.
What was it like?
I was a little nervous before my filler. I have never gotten anything done prior to this, so this was my first time experiencing anything with a cosmetic doctor or nurse. I had my procedure done by the lovely Dr. Javidnia at AestheteMD in Ottawa, Ontario. Prior to my appointment, I filled out a simple intake form that inquired about my goals, my research, and my medical history. I brought this form with me to my initial consultation and had all of my questions and concerns answered by the nurses at the practice.
I waited in a consult room with my leg shaking, but my nerves were swiftly calmed by sparkling water and lots of reassurance from the staff. When the doctor came in, she corroborated that my inset eyes were genetic and I was a great candidate for filler because of the hollowness in my troughs, my health, and the age of my skin. She told me that because I was young, the elasticity would be very forgiving and I wouldn’t have much bruising, which was a huge relief for me. After my consultation and signing some forms, we decided to do the procedure the same day.
I have a fear of needles. Did I mention this to Dr. Javidnia? No, I did not. I simply braced myself for impact and closed my eyes. The procedure started with a numbing agent that knocked out from just under my eyes to below my cheek. After a couple of minutes, we were ready for the filler. She made a single injection under my left eye and all I felt was a minor pinch similar to a bee sting, but not nearly as painful or as prolonged. Even though with the cannula technique the needle was in my skin for a while, the pain was brief and did not last the entire length of the deposit. She repeated those steps on my other eye and everything was said and done within about 20 minutes.
Directly after the procedure, I was able to resume my day. I was cleared for driving, washing my face, working, etc. I was only advised to refrain from applying makeup or touching my eyes too much for the next 48 hours to avoid displacing the filler. Now, for the part you’re probably wondering about: How much did it cost? I had one mL of hyaluronic acid injected between both eyes and it ran me about $700 CAD after taxes. In general, you can usually expect to pay between $400-650 per milliliter pretty much anywhere in Ontario, but prices vary depending on the injection site, the difficulty of the injection, experience of the nurse or doctor, filler type, and many other factors. For procedures near your eyes, I would recommend a more experienced (and consequently more expensive) injector so you don’t end up with lumpy and misplaced filler; or worse, serious medical complications. All hyaluronic fillers are temporary (around 6-12 months), but under-eye fillers tend to last on the longer side of that because the muscles are used less compared to areas like the lips.
I have no regrets about my decision to get under eye filler. It was a solution to big insecurity of mine and I’m more than happy with my results. I think that as long as you’re able, to be honest with yourself and others about what altering your appearance means to you, change can be great! I don’t know if there are more fillers in my future, but given my experience this time, I would certainly consider them again. Cosmetic surgery and major alterations can be scary and I would still recommend being cautious, but if you’re able to research and feel comfortable, I would definitely consider looking into it. For more stories like these, make sure to check back to Femonomic next week and remember, you’re beautiful inside and out no matter what! 🙂