Big Botox mistake Aussies are making
BOTOX is our most popular cosmetic treatment, with Australians spending upwards of $350 million on it every year.
But while these muscle-paralysing injectables might be available at every local shopping centre, good results can be hard to come by, especially if the focus is on just one area. For too many women and men, the mistaken belief that all they need is a tweak between the eyes, is quite literally letting down the rest of their face.
"Many people tend to focus on the wrinkles on their forehead and unfortunately this is an area which, if over-treated, can look quite unnatural," said Natalie Abouchar, registered nurse and founder of Privée Clinic in Sydney's Bondi Junction.
"If too much product is used in the forehead it can give the frozen look and may inhibit the patient from being able to lift their eyebrows and have natural expression," she said.
You've likely seen the overly arched eyebrows on a couple of reality television stars, and even a politician or two. It's known as "Spocking" - because the eyebrows arch up like Dr Spock on Star Trek.
A decade ago, Nicole Kidman's shiny forehead and arched eyebrows had many guessing about how much Botox she might have had done. At the time, she told a journalist she was "completely natural" but has since admitted to dabbling.
But while very few are making the rookie mistake of "Spocking" these days, the telltale signs of injectables are still there, because they continue to ignore the rest of their face.
"Some people are nervous to do too much and treating the forehead is a good starting point," Ms Abouchar said, "as Botox is considered less invasive than fillers."
People tend to zero in on that frown line, or think that a few smoothed crow's feet won't be noticeable, but what they don't realise, according to Ms Abouchar, is that for certain people, this can make the lower face appear worse by comparison.
Shane Warne is one example of a person who might have gone into overdrive with Botox and fillers, even enhancing his lips, while forgetting that the neck is not immune to the signs of ageing. Warne admitted in 2016 on I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here that he had copped flak for the amount of injectables he had used, saying he had no issue admitting to it.
Similarly, Renée Zellweger turned up to Elle magazine's Women In Hollywood Awards in 2014 with wider eyes and a smooth forehead, but the rest of her face appeared not to match. Zellweger denied she had done anything, attributing her line-free look to the fact that she was simply "happier". Donald Trump is another who looks as if he has had his entire face lifted, but his neck has been left untouched.
Cosmetic nurse practitioner Katherine Millar-Shannon from the Duquessa Clinic in Melbourne, told news.com.au that the issue is that they're treating "problem areas" instead of taking the whole face into consideration.
"We know women want to look their best, but it's just not subtle" she said.
Ms Abouchar agreed.
"When I'm assessing a face, I divide it into thirds, top, middle and lower" she said. "It's important to treat each third of the face (if required) to give an overall natural appearance with an aim to have each third looking the same age."
But if fillers are a step too far for you, there are alternatives to ensuring your entire face looks the same age.
"If patients do not want to use fillers, other treatments such as skin tightening or resurfacing can be used to improve the skin in the lower face" Ms Abouchar said.
Another alternative to avoiding the "half done" look, is taking every cosmetic enhancement down a notch. Ms Millar-Shannon recommends using "baby Botox" - a smaller amount that lasts for six weeks, instead of the usual three to four months.
"Small amounts of injectables (including fillers) can enhance the lips or fill out expression lines" Millar-Shannon said. "That way, the lines visually recede without removing natural expression. It's totally undetectable."
Natalie Reilly is a freelance journalist. Follow her on Twitter: @thatnatreilly