Sunday, August 31st, 2008

The Surgery-Free Makeover by Brandith Irwin ($24.00) seemed like it was going to be a very interesting and helpful book. When I read the introduction, I thought I was going to learn all about which ingredients are good, which ones are bad, what treatment options I had to combat different skin problems, etc. I couldn’t wait to read it! For a book this length, I shouldn’t be able to summarize it in less than a page. It should be so filled to the brim with knowledge that I couldn’t possibly reiterate it all for you in a review, thus inducing you to purchase your own copy.

It is just not the case. The book is well-written, and there is definitely plenty of knowledge in it, but I feel like it is not quite the book I was expecting. The author pretty much recommends Botox, Restylane (fillers), and laser treatments for nearly every skin concern. I don’t know about you, but when I think surgery-free, I mostly think about creams, peels, etc.–not so much Botox, Botox, Botox. This is the message I get from the book. So, on the otherhand, if you’re interested in these types of treatments, this book is worth checking out. She gives a lot of information about how each treatment works, how it works as applied to a particular skin concern, the risks, etc. In that aspect, it is informative. I understand I went into the book with a different idea as to what constitutes surgery-free, so perhaps it makes it harder for me to be objective, but it won’t stop me from trying!

Find out what else I learned (like what over-the-counter cream is best), and why you might be interested in this book!

I wanted to learn more about what I could do with products in my budget. Botox is listed as $400 to $800 (and that’s typically for one area, like frown lines), the price ranging depending where you live (e.g., California and New York will be more costly than say, Idaho). There are also many women who don’t feel comfortable with something like Botox or Restylane; they still feel it’s too much, too extreme. What can those women do? She gives three breakdowns of what you can do for yourself depending on your budget, the lowest budget being $1,000. Those can be really helpful to put things into perspective, so you can see whether there are any options you can realistically consider.

I feel like the book tells me that most creams and beauty products are worthless when it comes to reversing the signs of aging. It is a very depressing thought that none of them work to any noticeable degree. In particular, she cited a study by Consumer Reports, where they tested dozens of creams with dozens of testers, and there was no noticeable difference — though there was a minute difference detectable by microscope. And you know what the best performing product was? Olay Regenerist.

It seems the most important things you can do for your regular beauty routine is to make sure the skin around your eyes and neck are well-moisturized, because they lack enough oil glands; and wear sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen. She recommends using products with vitamin A ingredients (e.g. Retin-A) as the cream of the crop, and then looking for products with antioxidants is a good thing, but don’t get sucked into the antioxidant craze.

I think this book is best suited for women over forty (I believe the introduction suggests this, anyway), because these options are for those who have signs of aging. It’s not about prevention, it’s about significant reduction. If you’ve thought about fillers or injections, The Surgery-Free Makeover might do you some good. You’ll definitely know which treatment is best for what area, and you can get an idea about what to expect both before, during, and afterwards.

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12 thoughts on “The Surgery-Free Makeover – Botox, Restylane, & More

  1. glamqueen

    There is something very sad about the botox-restylane-etc -industry. They seem to think that women don’t like themselves and feel the need to improve their looks. Beauty comes from within, as several commented when you asked, and it comes from being content with yourself. If you’re not content, botox will not make you feel better, or look better. I wish the beauty/industry would stop telling women that they are not good enough, that aging is ugly, and supported us in our belief in ourselves and in our beauty instead.

    • Hey Glamqueen! I don’t mind cosmetic procedures or surgeries – I think to each their own. I definitely think people should do it for themselves, but not overdo it either.

  2. Kella

    That book sounds useless to me.. common knowledge. I’ve been researching skin & ingredients for years, and I already use both Olay Regenerist and Retin A. Anybody who realllly researches would know all that stuff already. However, for someone who doesn’t, it may be a good book to sum it up.

    • I definitely think it’s helpful for those looking into cosmetic procedures like Botox and the like, not so much those just wanting to learn more about proper skincare.

  3. MissDeeCanada

    Ya to me surgery free means no needles or crap being pumped into my face! That really is in the same category to me!

    It sounds like he is being endorsed by the Botox Society to sell their product!

  4. Sadie

    I personally am all for Botox/Restylane/Juvederm. I have my lips plumped with Juvederm every 7-10 months or so (depending on how long it takes to ware off). I LOVE the results (I have always hated my thin lips). It boosts my confidence even more and makes me feel super sexy! Injectable fillers are a great, instant way to get the look you want, just know your limits so you don’t end up going overboard and looking freaky!!

    • I’m so happy to hear how well it’s working for you! :) I’m not at all against cosmetic procedures or even surgery, as long as it is about looking natural! As far as the book went, I presumed it would focus more on skincare and maintenance, rather than injections and fillers, that’s all.

  5. Sadie

    Yes, it’s easy to go from emphasised and natural looking to totally frozen faced and weird :-P
    But, to each her own!

  6. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Chantale Macaddict

    Ditto! Surgery-free to me also means only make-up/creams/treatments/masks/massages/whatever that does not involve pain or going into the underlying layers of my skin. Sadly, I really don’t think that there is such products on the market that can prevent wrinkles and the aging process. I have seen people who have taken the process of looking younger waaaayyyy toooo far and it looked freaky and soooo unnatural. It takes grace and wisdom to age beautifyully. I am trying to be wise and to learn to love the beauty in the ageing process (white hair and wrinkles) so that I don’t freak out when it happens to me. Hopefully, by then, I’ll be over it…. I think it’s the best attitude to have. Luckily, I am very fortunate in the fact that I don’t look my age. Clearly, a lot of it has to do with genetics and I can’t say that I have done anything that any of you gals out there haven’t been doing to take care of yourselves. But I refuse to go under the needle/knife.

    • I want to age well, that’s my goal. I fully expect to endure the burden of aging – but at the same time, I look forward to it. I just don’t want to do extra damage ;)

  7. Kathrine

    When my mother reached about 45 she started getting those furrows between her brows. She was also deaf in one ear. People always thought she was angry because she couldn’t hear them and she had those furrows. I would watch people be downright mean to her and she would be so confused. As she aged it got worse…both the furrows and how people reacted to her. She looked like she was angry all the time.

    I took her down and got her a Botox treatment when she was 65. The furrows nearly went away. She immediately looked 10 years younger but the best part was that people started treating her differently. I noticed waitresses calling her “hon” and people wanting to help her. Interestingly, she is also widowed and men even started hitting on her! Nothing else about her changed.

    So as I age, I’ll be the first one to pop for the Botox! I want to continue to look as calm and happy outside as I feel inside.

    To each their own.