• botox & filler – my experience

    why & how I’m going down swinging

    If you don’t know by now, I am an open book type of person. I just wasn’t born to be private (holla at ya Lady Gaga!) I did take a long pause before sharing this blog post about getting botox and filler. Because after all, things live on the internet forever. However, I chose to share this with you all. Why? Because when I first started getting botox almost five years ago I wanted to learn as much about it as I could. I wanted to know where friends went, how much did they use and if they liked it? I wanted real life examples and experiences. And because I love you all, I’m sharing my story about my recent botox and filler injection experience.

    Disclosure: I am not endorsing this for anyone nor suggesting anyone get facial injectables. I don’t get them to please anyone but my damn self. My husband is sweet and never suggested I needed some, nor has anyone else. To each his own.

    Getting botox and filler is a personal choice I’ve made. I love it and will continue getting botox and filler because it makes ME happy!

    I began getting botox when I turned 35. At that point I only got the tiniest bit to help with crows feet. I never touched my forehead with botox for years. I felt it looked too forced and that my natural lines weren’t harsh enough to make me want to smooth them.

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    botox experience


    • Doctor offices either charge for botox by the area or by unit. For example, my dermatologist charges $400 for the forehead area only. However, my plastic surgeon charges $12/unit. So if you’re getting a little bit, then it’s obviously much more affordable to go to a place where you pay by unit. A unit is the percentage of the needle/solution that is used.
    • As you start to use more botox (darn you aging) then it may make financial sense to pay for the area.
    • If I recall (and it’s been awhile) I only got 8 units on each side when I first started. Obviously, I get more now!
    • Whatever you decide, make sure you visit a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon or Dermatologist. An aesthetician or licensed cosmetologist is not the same thing. I personally only trust my face with Board Certified doctors. Again, to each her own.
    • The doctor will numb you with numbing cream around the areas you’ll be getting botox. This stays on for a 20 minutes.
    • For visual use I asked him to mark where I would be getting the botox injected and how many units he was putting in.

    How much botox should I get? A before and after botox review.

    does getting botox hurt?


    • If you’re getting it done by someone who knows what they’re doing, it shouldn’t. You will feel a slight pinch but it’s not bothersome or painful.
    • Also, don’t move. The last thing you want is your face wriggling around needles! So don’t be squirmy for goodness sakes!
    • I don’t find it painful in the slightest. It doesn’t even hurt an hour after getting it. There’s so residual tightness or anything.
    • Following the injection they’ll give you an icepack to use on and off throughout the day to minimize swelling.
    • You also won’t be able to lay down for a few hours to ensure it doesn’t travel where you don’t want it to go! So no napping after getting botox!
    • The rest of the rules can be shared with you by your doctor. I am not, so this is just my overlying experience with botox.

    when does botox start working?


    • It takes around two weeks for botox to start smoothing out your wrinkles. When it kicks in, boy will you know! When it starts kicking in I start wondering what miracle eye cream I’ve used because man! My skin is glowing and youthful looking again! 🙂
    • It lasts around three to four months. I go every four because I don’t mind letting some of the wrinkles come back, and it’s more cost effective.


    All pictures were taken by me, or by Nurse in the office. I chose to not have these professionally photographed. All were only editedfor lighting correction. My goal was to show as close to real life as possible! Do it right, or don’t do it at all, right?

    How much botox should I get to smooth my forehead and crows feet?Does getting botox hurt? My experience getting botox injections.Does botox work and is it worth it?


    I began getting fillers a few years ago. I did it to help with my undereye circles. I’m genetically predisposed to dark under eyes. Add three kids born in three years, a few sleep disorders and you have a recipe for circles that no concealer can match!

    When I first started using filler it was injected into my cheekbone only. The goal was to give my cheek a lift to help push up the circles to diminish the hollow look. It worked fine and I liked how my face plumped out like it did in it’s youth.

    I am almost 40 years old and time is catching up with me. Truly the only real fix is eye surgery but I will never have that done. That just isn’t for me.

    So this time around he added filler both in my cheeks and in my under eye/trough area. I love the effect of this. I couldn’t be more pleased!

    types of filler I used


    • Juvaderm Voluma was used in my cheekbone area. This is a lot of people’s go to filler because it’s made by the same company who makes Botox, Allergan. When you buy any Allergan product you accumulate points to cash in towards coupons or free Botox. So a lot of people choose it for this reason – plus, it works.
    • However, my doctor felt like the Restalyn Defyne would suit my eye trough area best so he used that in combination with the Voluma.
    • We discussed that this, after all, MY FACE, so points shmoints, let’s do it right.


    the filler experience


    • Much like botox, filler injections aren’t painful. However the needle does feel larger and a bit thicker going into the skin. It also has a weird sound where you can hear the filler being injected. Almost like a squirting sound. I admit, this part is strange. But I deal in the name of beauty!
    • If you’re sensitive to pain, you will find filler more intense than a botox injection. But it’s not bad at all, for me.
    • Be absolutely positive you have someone who has major experience with this. Ask for photos of past patients, interview them about their training and ongoing training. Go with your gut.
    • After the filler is injected you’ll ice a well for the day.
    • It will feel hard and almost angular in your skin for several days. It will progressively soften so it eventually feels like yummy, mushy youthful skin. So don’t panic if at first it looks like noticeable bumps!
    • I did bruise a little bit but it was easily covered by makeup and was gone within five days. My husband didn’t notice even without my wearing makeup.
    • Fillers last around a year. It is much more expensive but lasts longer.

    What do fillers do and what type of fillers should you get.Where should I put fillers and what do fillers do for your face.

    before and after pics!

    After getting botox in my forehead and crows feet and filler in my eye area and cheeks.

    What do you think? Too much, just right? Can’t tell? Think I’m crazy? Would love to hear what you think!

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    1. Nicole
      March 27, 2018 / 8:40 pm

      Hi Kelly! Thank you so much for posting this. I’m always inspired by people who arent afraid to be beautifully real. I just turned 40 and YES I use Botox too…AND I’m going next week for my 4 month maintenance 😉 Take care girl.

      • Kelly
        April 8, 2018 / 9:30 pm

        Thank you, Nicole!!!! I appreciate that comment so much! Happy maintenance visit, ha!

    2. Jen Z
      March 27, 2018 / 8:56 pm

      ❤️ you and your honesty! Such a great, informative post!! 😘😘

      • Kelly
        April 8, 2018 / 9:29 pm

        Thanks, Jen. I appreciate your support! Putting it all out there, girl…

    3. Allison
      March 28, 2018 / 8:21 pm

      Love your post and have been wanting to go down the Botox path for about a year… I’m finally ready!! Will you share your dermatologist? I am local to Atlanta and would love a recommendation!

      • Kelly
        April 8, 2018 / 9:29 pm

        Wonderful! I hope you enjoy it!!!!

    4. Colleen
      March 29, 2018 / 10:54 am

      I just started following your Insta and it couldn’t have come at a better time. I just turned 37 and have been contemplating Botox. I have 3 kids under 4. So I’m a prime candidate:)). I’m not sure where to start or how! Thanks for the tips. And you look amazing by the way… Vibrant and awake!

      • Kelly
        April 8, 2018 / 9:28 pm

        Yay! Welcome!!!! And girl I’ve been there with kids that age. I started when I was 39 because I looked like I felt – tired! HA! Let me know if you end up getting some! You’ll love it!

    5. Stacy
      March 29, 2018 / 6:32 pm

      There is certainly no denying you are naturally beautiful without any enhancements but I get it and I’m with ya sista! I often say, “if the barn needs paintin!” I intend to fight it every step of the way. I have certainly considered injections and fillers but my husband was against it and then there’s the cost factor. Thanks for being so transparent and informative! I believe you achieved what I call JND (just noticeable difference) and I think you nailed it, you look naturally youthful, and not over done. Most people probably wouldn’t even realize you’ve had anything done… well at least not until you went and posted it on the internet! LOL

      • Kelly
        April 8, 2018 / 9:29 pm

        Barn Needs Paintin’ — HYSTERICAL! And yes, the gig is up to anyone who reads this that I get help. Then again you know me and know I tell people anyway!

    6. Dana waier
      March 29, 2018 / 10:09 pm

      Beautifully done!!! I always get nervous doing botox for crows feet because I feel it flattens my smile.
      I do frown lines and filler. Almost 60 and have been doing botox for 15 and filler for 10.
      It’s my own personal I do it for me thing. And as you it makes me happy once it’s settled and looks fresh.

      • Kelly
        April 8, 2018 / 9:27 pm

        Thank you, Dana! Glad to hear you like it – that’s interesting about the crows feet flattening your smile. I like that expression and may consider doing less next time because of that! Thanks for sharing!

    7. April 15, 2018 / 12:07 pm

      What an honest, sincere, succinct post. Congratulations on being yourself, like your dad wonderfully put:) Much love from NYC!

      • Kelly
        April 17, 2018 / 1:00 pm

        Ivy, THANK YOU!!!!! I appreciate that so much! So based on your comment I take it you follow me on Instagram? Wise words from my Dad! I appreciate you reading and taking the time to comment!

    8. Tani
      April 29, 2018 / 8:12 am

      Thank you for posting . I’m 43 and getting Botox and fillers for the first time. Soooo excited . Not looking to look 20 just to look not so tired! Your post help confirm I can do this!

    9. Jenn
      May 23, 2018 / 7:56 am

      I’m 43 and getting Botox Friday for the 1st time!!!
      I’m so nervous, but excited!!!!

      • Kelly
        May 23, 2018 / 3:01 pm

        Hi Jenn! Ack! Have so much fun watching it do it’s magic! Let me know what you think after you get it done!

    10. DMR
      June 21, 2018 / 2:14 pm

      Thank you for writing this Kelly. I am going tomorrow for my 3-month maintenance. I am 37 and just started getting Botox this year. I’ve also tried Fillers once for the under eye area and smile lines. I am such an advocate for both. I do it for myself and I would highly recommend the procedures. I love the results. I also have tried lip injections (not “duck” lips) which I love too. My opinion, as long as you do it for the right reasons (yourself/preventative maintenance) and can afford it, why not? Great article-love your honesty!

    11. Sarah
      June 25, 2018 / 3:18 pm

      Very honest and informative! Thank you for sharing your experience. You look gorgeous!

    12. Robin
      October 6, 2018 / 12:07 am

      Hello Kelly,
      Thank you so much for sharing your experience and showing us photos! I’ve been doing some research and trying to figure out if Botox is something for me. I am terrified of needles, which is why I’ve been so hesitant, but reading your blog does help a lot about the experience and expectations of getting it done! Thank you once again for sharing!

      • Kelly
        November 15, 2018 / 3:19 pm

        Hey, Robin! I was once afraid of needles too but the results have been so good I don’t even care anymore! They really don’t hurt either. I think you’d enjoy the effects of Botox. For me it’s the pick me up I need when I look in the mirror. I feel a bit better about myself, and don’t all women deserve that?! Let me know if you try it!

    13. White Smith
      October 15, 2018 / 11:50 am

      Thank you for sharing this story All in all, every time I have opted to go under the knife or altered my appearance with injectables, it was done from a healthy place. I found a skin specialist Dr. Valaie, MD in a social site, last month my wife goes for Botox it will be a better treatment now she looking so beautyful.

    14. Danielle
      October 22, 2018 / 12:13 pm

      Wow, the results are amazing! Thanks for sharing! You look beautiful!! I had my first botox, 32 units forehead and furrow lines. Then Vollure deep laugh lines. I had great results that lasted a long time. My questions for you is, you mentioned you got fillers to help the hollows of your eyes. I asked my Aesthetic for injectables in the same area, to help fill my tired hollow eyes. She said I’d only benefit from the blepharoplasty surgery. I know this eye area is delicate but I really don’t want to have surgery and wanted the filler. The place I go is pretty credible and probably her opinion. She is an RN. What do you think of this?

      • Kelly
        November 15, 2018 / 3:15 pm

        I’ve been told the eye surgery is really what I need, too. I just don’t see myself ever doing that. The filler has made a difference for sure. While it’s not as effective as eye surgery, it is helping!!! I would see what she says – worth a try???

    15. Samantha
      October 27, 2018 / 12:48 am

      Great post! I love how you have detailed your experiences, and your opinions are appreciated. Some things I think it is important for readers to know, you are correct, filler needles are larger than botox, as is the product being injected. The size of the needle is dependent on the viscosity of the product as some products contain larger molecules than others. From there, the provider may choose to change the size of the needle for a variety of reasons. And like you said, to each their own on choosing a provider. But also like you said choose someone with a lot of experience. For me I do not care if the provider is a physician or not. I do believe the individual skills have a medical background, so minimum education/credentialing requirement is a registered nurse in my opinion). Regardless at the very least, a person who knows their product, anatomy, and how to handle an adverse reaction. Most physicians, whether a plastic surgeon or a dermatologist do not provide such services as often as some of the nurses, nurse practitioners, or physician assistants. It is not to say they do not know how to do it or do not do an okay job but the bottom line in advice i can give: go to the person who does it all the time, hence has a lot of current experience. Most plastic surgeons and dermatologists will usually delegate to other staff because more money is generated doing other things such as surgery. Also go to one with a great aesthetic eye and that is not just going to try to upsell you. If you have a provider that can tell you no and educate you, you probably have a good one. Thank you again for the great post!

      • Kelly
        November 15, 2018 / 3:14 pm

        You’re welcome! So glad you enjoyed reading it! I totally agree with all you said. Thanks for taking the time to comment, Samantha!

    16. Lou
      November 17, 2018 / 12:19 am

      I began using Volume in my cheeks age 44. I already look very young, but I was looking gaunt. Then I looked awake again. Age 46 I began filling my chin and getting botox in my chin for marionette lines. It’s amazing girl. I also use a board certified dermatologist. I pay more and it looks natural.

      I’m looking into asking her about my eye hollows and maybe a tiny bit of botox for my forehead.

      I’m 47, white and blonde. I’ve always stayed out of the sun with spf 60. Always worn hats in direct sunlight. Always wear sunglasses. I lift heavy weights and stay active and healthy. I swear to God, people guess I’m 34- 36 years old. No lie.

      When I was 20, I looked 20. When I was 25, I looked 25. When I was 30, I looked 25. When I was 35, I looked 28. When I was 40 (with small children) I looked 35. Then at 44, my age and sleepless nights caught up with me and I looked about 38. I then turned back the clock 5 year’s with injections and now I look 12 years younger than my age!!!

      • Kelly
        November 24, 2018 / 5:29 pm

        YES! Love to hear this! Way to go on the sunscreen. I’m not in the same boat as you…Florida girl who thought she could tan. Bad idea! So glad you’ve had a great experience and love how you look. Self pride is EVERYTHING! Thanks for your comment, Lou!

    17. Grace
      November 22, 2018 / 8:44 am

      Thrilled to read this…. I am 38 and definitely do Botox and am dying to do filler but fearful. I love the results of Botox but am a naturally skinny person and so is my face so with age there is significant volume loss. Giving me inspiration to do it as it definitely doesn’t look like too much. 🙂

      • Kelly
        November 24, 2018 / 5:27 pm

        Oh I think you’ll be super pleased with filler! I worried, too but I love it. In fact I should do an updated before and after my recent Juvederm! Let me know how it goes!

    18. April
      November 26, 2018 / 4:13 pm

      Kelly – thank you so much for sharing! I too have been getting Botox for some time and began getting filler this year. So many of my friends say, “you don’t need any of that stuff,” but that is only because I get it and look younger because of it. LOL. Next week I will be getting some filler on the sides of my lips to help with the mouth dents. I can’t wait.

      • Kelly
        November 26, 2018 / 7:02 pm

        Oh I’m so glad you enjoyed this, post April! It’s making me so happy to hear all the women feel inspired about it and unashamed about feeling good about themselves. I’m sure the filler will look great! Thanks for taking the time to comment.

    19. December 17, 2018 / 7:49 am

      Hi, Nice post..
      Thank you for sharing your experience and it is helpful for new users.

    Please share your thoughts!


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