Photo Credit: Joe Darrow/Muppets/Walt Disney Prods/Cobalt/Shutterstock

Since around 2016, millions of people have gone to dermatologists to put things on their faces with one specific goal: to look better. Children of lust. The way they got this was by fillers – generally acid and fat injections. This era of fillers created a unique aesthetic with heart-shaped faces, teeny tiny noses, and full, puffy lips and cheeks.

Recently, faces have started to go the other way.

“I can’t remember the last time someone asked me for big, plump, plump lips,” says Dhaval Bhanusali, the doctor behind Martha Stewart’s ageless skin.

If you recognize famous faces, the transition can be described as follows: “Everybody wanted to look like Kylie Jenner. Now they want to look like Bella Hadid,” says British makeup artist and beauty influencer Matthew James, who has been using fillers for a decade to look “a little plump”.

One reason for the change? They weren’t the fillies that young people wanted to be. Over time, many filler enthusiasts find that the substance migrates around the face.

“It was marketed as something dangerous,” says Carly Ray, a 20-year-old Toronto-based content creator. She had a common experience: the solvent traveled and created a lump on her lips that various surgeons described as “Juvederm’s beard,” “duck lips,” or “Homer Simpson’s face.”

Filler can be stored anywhere. “I used to smile and I had little bumps on my cheeks,” says Rosie Genute, a Jersey-based makeup artist, of her under-eye twitches.

Reye and Ginute, like the other patients, were led to believe that there were minimal risks and that migration, if possible, was unlikely. Moreover, patients are often told that the filler wears off quickly. It’s not always like that. “We say that saturation only lasts for one year, but that is completely false. Sagar Patel is the face of Beverly Hills Plastic surgeon.

Why now all this new information about fillers? Everyone – from providers to patients – simply doesn’t seem to know that much about the first thing. And maybe they still don’t. Hannah, a graduate student in New York, described spending the first several months of 2021 as a filler. She wrote in an email: “I was the most beautiful I’ve ever been, then at month five my whole face was swollen and it wouldn’t go down.

She said she got “wildly conflicting” explanations from about 20 doctors she saw in the months that followed. “When the doctor who did my filling saw my face, she told me that such a reaction was ‘impossible’ and that she had ‘never seen anything like it before.’

Hannah was prescribed dozens of medications to relieve inflammation. When none of that works, she – like Ginute and Ray, with their displaced fullness – decides to dissolve.

But dissolving filler, like filling in the first place, is not a silver bullet. It is done by injecting hyaluronidase, an enzyme. Many doctors say that, while it’s medically safe, they avoid using it except in emergencies or — as Simon Orion, Kim Kardashian’s surgeon, Megan Fox and various Victoria’s Secret Angels say — when “things are really, really weird.”

About face: Kylie Jenner on the very “pillow”. Bella Hadid was so “snatched.” Photo: Victor Virgil/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images (Hadid); Stefan Cardinale/Corbis via Getty Images (Jenner).

About face: Kylie Jenner on the very “pillow”. Bella Hadid was so “snatched.” Photo: Victor Virgil/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images (Hadid); Saint…
About face: Kylie Jenner on the very “pillow”. Bella Hadid was so “snatched.” Photo: Victor Virgil/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images (Hadid); Stefan Cardinale/Corbis via Getty Images (Jenner).

Orion and many other suppliers say this is because hyaluronidase can dissolve not only your fillers, but also some of your natural tissue. Moreover, many patients describe weaning as an uncomfortable – and in some cases very painful – process. “Imagine snake venom or pure acid,” said one patient.

But pain can be a very good condition, judging by the many internet support groups devoted to hyaluronidase complications. I spoke with a dozen dead people. They all describe their post-hyaluronidase skin in disturbing terms: “spongy”, “soft”, “jelly-like”. A woman in her 20s said, “The skin doesn’t seem to stick to my face.” Another shared a photo of herself pulling a handful of loose cheek skin to the side of her face.

Patients who have had no problems with filling and dissolving will spend $2,000 to $6,000 on the procedure, but even those who have completely dissolved report scarring at the injection site. Those who have had complications — and tried to fix them — say they’ve spent up to $70,000 between travel, sick leave, surgical facelifts and various treatments.

The sheer number of people in online support groups is a testament to how widespread fillers are. “A few years ago, some doctors were learning how to do fillers. “You overdo it and stuff your face, chasing every line, every sign of aging,” says Orian. “And people were paying for these procedures with syringes, so there was a tendency to just keep getting better and better results.”

He added: “Now everyone realizes it’s a bad look to look like a chipmunk.”

Some surgeons have pointed to the rise of chain clinics and medical treatments as being responsible for improperly filled faces. “People take an eight-hour course and then go and start injecting,” says Akis Ntosos, who runs a boutique clinic on the Upper East Side. One surgeon called overstuffed faces a “rookie mistake,” while a dermatologist described MedSpan as “chop shops.”

For the most part, though, it doesn’t seem to matter where people go for these procedures—the results are mixed at best. Alice, a Vegas hostess, had her lip fillers dissolved by a famous Beverly Hills surgeon for lip augmentation surgery. Alice is a fake name – worried that the practice will take revenge, she complains of cold sores, deep pits around her nose and mouth, rashes and pink boils all over her body. Her lips.

When she called the clinic, the surgeon suggested that she had a virus removed, and if she went in again, she could buy more filler to repair the gouge.

Many patients reported being pressured, dismissed and frustrated by providers. I spoke to a retired utility worker in his 60s who went to a medical spa for advice on his acne scars, “but they oversold me and started putting fillers everywhere,” he says. His skin was swollen and broken. It got worse: “The solution spread over my cheeks and turned white. The skin is slowly coming off, and I can’t see with my eyes.”

“It basically ruined my life,” he said.

As their fillers dissolve, customers looking for a more angular face are now lining up buccal-fat removal.

“Instead of cute lips and small noses, we’re seeing defined jawlines and cheekbones,” says Patel. “In 2017, it was to look young and beautiful, but now people are like this. I don’t want to look like I’m 15, I want to look like I’m 28 and sexyHe said. There’s a name for this new face: plucked.

“You build the mountain by filling, and you dig the valley by removing the grease,” Patel explains.

“People want to look more ripped without drawing attention to themselves,” says Snookin, Some New Jersey Housewives and My Cousin, a Manhattan surgeon. .

“It’s a beautiful look, if you will,” Orian said. “It’s a cracked look. You have nice high cheekbones. You want to look like you’ve done nothing – you naturally look good like that.

A Los Angeles surgeon with a waiting list until 2025 offered to do my face “whenever you want” for free. Technicians would just go into my mouth and slide a pad of fat under each cheekbone, and for $5,000, a little filler would be swirled around my cheekbones and I’d look like Bella Hadid — for a few years.

I’m tempted, after doing everything I’ve just heard, even when I think of the patients who say they’re hooked on fillers. “It’s really addictive,” British makeup artist Matthew James told me. “Anything wrong with your face feels like it can be fixed,” he says. “And then all you see are flaws, and you’re like Well, I’ll do it – It is the pursuit of perfection.

Matthew James reports on filler removal.

“Once you get fillers, it’s easy to overdo it. All of a sudden, you look flawless,” says student Hannah. “Then a few months later, it looks gone. And you’re sad. So you get more. Even if you spend more than $60,000 to repair the damage from your fillers, you’ll get them from the trip.” Even though she knows injuries, she says she’s not sure she’s shaken.

would i be I stood in front of the mirror and drew my cheekbones, then took the contour stick I’ve used from 2016 to 2019 to make my face heart-shaped and followed the instructions of beauty influencers with the #modelcheekbones hashtag, applying blue shadows under my cheekbones. I thought it was cute. A dermatologist said that my colleague who was not brainwashed for a month while looking at the changed faces, “I look like Corpse bride.

Regardless – with a quick visit, I can make this my new face. And if the next trend is cherubic cheeks? Surely one can gain the fat back somehow.

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