Botox: It’s Just a Couple Shots in Your Face
By Michelle Kennedy
My friend Kristy and I have known each other for about fifteen years. As you can imagine, we had a whole lot less wrinkles back when we first met. Lately, worry lines between Kristy’s eyes, and wrinkles on my forehead and around my eyes have been bugging us. We’ve had a lot of fun in the sun together, but unfortunately, father time bit us in the face for real, so we decided to get ourselves some Botox.
I researched around and found Shawna Chrisman, owner of Destination Aesthetics in Sacramento, had superb reviews online. Her patients call her “professional” and rave about her work, so Kristy and I scheduled an appointment with her.
The Destination Aesthetics office is located in the Pavilions shopping center, on Fair Oaks Blvd in Sacramento. I don’t know about you, but just driving in there makes me feel like a real housewife, minus the husband. The office is just as nice as the property.
We walked in and Shawna and her assistant greeted us with smiles and warmth. The place is clean and smells good. A nurse practitioner, Shawna, has long black hair and a smooth angelic face. She is incredibly professional, confident, and knows what she is talking about. She is the exact type of person you would trust to stick needles in your forehead.
She answered all of my hypochondriac questions about the procedure, which I will paraphrase below because I’m sure a lot of you are wondering the same things.
Michelle: “Could my face get paralyzed forever?”
Shawna: “Absolutely not.”
- Answer breakdown: I researched and could not find one case of Botox permanently paralyzing anything. The amount they use cosmetically is miniscule and generally very safe.
Michelle: “Is it like shooting poison in your face?”
Shawna: “No, it’s actually a purified natural protein meant to weaken the muscles.”
- Answer breakdown: It makes your muscles relax. Doctors have been using Botox for decades for, among other things, to help people with Strabismus (cross-eyed). (Shawna taught me that word, because like I said, she is smart.)
I went first. Shawna had me ice my face to numb it a bit. Then she made me make a mad face and squish my muscles together so she could see the wrinkle lines. This helps her determine where to put the shots. I got several: all over my forehead, between my eyes, on the sides and below my eyes to straighten out my crow’s feet. Dammit I feel old writing, “my crow’s feet.” They are “my” crow’s feet. I am aging.
The shots did not feel great. They were quick (about three minutes), but come on, shots hurt. Overall though, the needle is really small, and I’m a baby because Kristy didn’t complain. Her’s involved just a couple of shots between her eyebrows. My forehead hurt a little afterwards but it was not that bad.
While we pigged out at Bandera across the street for a post-Botox dinner, I really did watch Kristy’s worry lines smooth out right before my eyes. Maybe it was that Oreo ice cream dessert, but I do think that Botox was working its magic at our table. And I don’t want to make this two separate reviews, but really, is there a better restaurant than Bandera? We think not.
Back to the Botox. I felt that by the end of dessert, my forehead started to smooth out too. Shawna said that we would have to wait several days for the Botox to “peak.” For us it took about a week.
My forehead is so smooth, it’s actually shiny. It really worked. While I’m smooth, I will also say I look ever so slightly different. Because the forehead muscles chilled out and relaxed, the shape of my forehead changed a bit because how could it not? I’m sure I’m probably the only one noticing these tiny frontalis nuances (self-involved), but I’m wondering honestly if I like my forehead this way, or the way it was, wrinkles and all. I’m not sure yet. Whatever I decide, we got what we asked for; the transformation for both of us is kind of astonishing.
Botox units anywhere usually cost around ten to twelve dollars each. I needed a lot, so my bill landed around $400-ish. In the beginning, since the muscles are still pretty set in their ways, people need to get the Botox again after a few months. After that, when the treatments are more regular and the muscles get used to relaxing, you shouldn’t have to go as much. How will I afford to keep this habit up you ask? I might get a paper route. Kristy only got a few shots, so her bill was around $100-ish.
Overall, this was a great (and expensive) experience for both of us. Kristy looks way less worried, and my smoothed out forehead looks way less like Venetian blinds. Shawna Chrisman is our Botox angel. If you want to go to someone who will do a fabulous job and put you at ease, I highly suggest Destination Aesthetics. Make a reservation for your post-Botox dinner though. Bandera fills up, even on a Tuesday night.