Real Dubai Women on the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly Sides of Botox

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Botox is a hot topic of debate amongst us women. It’s like the Marmite of the beauty world: we either love it or hate it, we’re either for it or against it. Whether you’re a regular, tempted to try it, or just curious about the experiences of real women, then this read is for you.

Savoir Flair spoke to four leading ladies in Dubai who have all tried Botox for one reason or another and asked them to give honest insights into their reasons behind doing it, how it made them feel, and how it affected their looks and confidence. They also share their top tips for any woman thinking about booking a session. Read on to discover the good, the bad, and the ugly sides of Botox.

Diala Makki

TV Host and Journalist

“You should be doing something that makes you feel more confident in your skin and enhances your natural beauty.”

Diala Makki Botox Dubai
Photo: Courtesy of @DialaMakki

I first started getting Botox five years ago when I turned 30, although I strongly believe that I should’ve started a few years earlier; only taking care of your skin as you age is such a big beauty myth! I got Botox because of my frown lines – it helped soften my expressions, which is great for being on camera. One of the biggest mistakes I made, however, was that I listened to my old doctor who decided to freeze my entire forehead on one occasion, leaving me with zero expression! That made me suffer quite a bit when it came to conducting interviews.

Inner self-confidence is what makes you beautiful. If you lack it, no procedure and no amount of Botox will fix it!

It’s a very simple procedure and I do believe it can be beneficial. I do Botox once a year on my underarm area and frown lines, and I really do love how I look on screen because of it. My only regret is that I did go overboard one time, and that’s why it is super important to trust a good doctor, understand beauty, and do your research. You should be doing something that makes you feel more confident in your skin and enhances your natural beauty as, at the end of the day, inner self-confidence is what makes you beautiful. If you lack it, no procedure and no amount of Botox will fix it!

It helped erase some wrinkles and created a fresher, younger, and less tired-looking complexion. It also has a list of medical benefits that have nothing to do with aesthetics, such as helping with hyperhidrosis, chronic migraines, and muscle spasms. I think now – more than ever – it’s so important for women in the public eye to be honest about what they’ve had done and why, because this helps inspire, educate, and even benefit other women. They can learn about the good and the bad experiences.

If one wants to get plastic surgery or something done to enhance themselves and feel more confident, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that – but it should definitely not be done to fit in, impress a man, or just because it’s trending! I’m going to share something with you that I’ve never opened up about, but I hope it can help other women. Eight years ago, I decided to get a boob job and go from a natural C to a full D cup, thinking I was going to look more desirable for a particular man who I was in a relationship with for eight years. I felt self-conscious and wanted to look sexier, so I went to the first doctor I found and got it done without much research.

Years later, I didn’t feel like the woman who represented my ambitions, aspirations, and life goals. I was objectified because of my looks and even started facing medical issues because this doctor had placed the implants over my muscles, which resulted in the creation of so much scar tissue. I went back under the knife to remove them, and I will now go under the knife for a third time so there are no implants left. The man I did it for is long gone, and so is the image of fake beauty that I in no way affiliate myself with. Moral of the story: If you want to do Botox or go under the knife, ask yourself why, do it for you, and choose a doctor with morals!

Teresa Karpinska

Stylist

“I don’t feel or live the life of a 39-year-old yet, so I don’t see why I should look it.”

Teresa Karpinska Botox Dubai
Photo: Courtesy of @Teresa_Karpinska

I was 32 years old when I first tried Botox, so seven years ago. I used to fly as cabin crew on a private jet for one of the royal families in the Middle East. After a few years of working nonstop in the harsh airplane environment, with a lot of hotel food and not enough sleep or water due to my hectic lifestyle, I felt I looked a decade older than I do now!

I don’t feel or live the life of a 39-year-old yet, so I don’t see why I should look it. One day, if I’m blessed enough to have a home, husband, children, and heaps of other priorities, perhaps I’ll be okay with the signs of aging – but for now, I’m not. I also work in a very superficial industry, and there’s no denying that when you’re an influencer – oh, the dreaded word – looks are your working tool.

I don’t have any regrets about having Botox, not even a little bit.

I don’t have any regrets about having Botox, not even a little bit, and I don’t really worry about the long-term effects – no more than I do about global warming, the hormones in eggs served in restaurants, or sleeping next to my mobile phone that I use for my alarm! I have had lip fillers done too, as they work nicely with the Botox on other signs of aging. I’ve always dreamt of getting a nose job – since I was a teen, in fact – but I think subconsciously I don’t actually want one or else it would have happened by now.

If you’re thinking of trying Botox, you must research, research, research! I’ve tried a few clinics and, even though they offered me complimentary services, I would not go back. The dreaded wind tunnel look is no bueno! Instead, you want to look like you’ve just had a good night’s sleep.

Natalia Shustova

Fashion Consultant and Entrepreneur

“It made me feel better because my skin was completely smooth, but also worse as I didn’t feel like myself any longer.”

Botox Dubai Natalia Shustova
Photo: Courtesy of @Shoestova_

I first got Botox about three years ago because I was so influenced by everyone in the industry. I’m always meeting new people at events and whenever I complimented someone for looking fresh, their answer was almost always that they had just gotten Botox. That’s when I thought, “Maybe that’s the solution for me!” So I went to a local clinic in Dubai, one that was highly recommended by several people, and underwent my first session.

I was super scared (as you do read those horror stories about people losing facial symmetry and having droopy eyes) but excited to see the results of my first session. I was very open with everyone from day one that I had done it, and I even made fun of myself as I felt I looked really silly showing zero expression on my face! I’m a very emotional and bubbly person, so people are used to seeing me smiling and laughing, which was almost impossible to do after my first Botox session. It made me feel better because my skin was completely smooth, but also worse as I didn’t feel like myself any longer.

After my first session, I got used to looking completely wrinkle-free and, about six months later when the effects had worn off, I thought, “I have to do it again!” It was Fashion Month, so I wanted to look fantastic for all the pictures. I did it two weeks before I travelled, so it had time to settle down, but I was shocked when I saw the first pictures online. I remember thinking, “Who is that girl?!”

It was completely not my face. My eyebrows had dropped, my face wasn’t moving, but because I was trying to force a smile and facial expressions, my face looked really bumpy. So then I tried not to smile and looked super grumpy instead! That wasn’t great, and I was praying for the effects to wear off quickly.

I realized that my age was beautiful and it shouldn’t be something to hide.

I have very strong muscles and speak with my face – I like to make faces. You can tell what mood I’m in just by looking at my face! But after trying Botox I realized that my age was beautiful and it shouldn’t be something to hide.

I would say try a very light dosage and don’t go straight into that “frozen face” look. See how it affects you and whether it’s really for you or not. I also got massive migraines all the time because my muscles were not happy with being made lazy! For anyone considering Botox, please be very careful with the doctor you choose. You have to really study their credentials, who their customers are, what the media says, their experience, etc.

The idea of having no wrinkles for six months sounded brilliant initially; like any other woman, I do try and see where there’s room for improvement. You also do get affected by how perfect people look in magazines and movies, but I’ve learnt how to love myself and my face the way it is without any surgery – apart from my veneers, if that counts! Now, I just use amazing products (La Mer is my favorite) and don’t feel the need for Botox. Find the right products instead! I’m all about natural beauty, and my personal choice is to age gracefully.

Aamna Mani

Beauty Entrepreneur

“Botox wasn’t the first injectable I tried, but it is like opening Pandora’s Box because you naturally become curious to try out different things to enhance your look.”

Botox Dubai Aamna Mani
Photo: Courtesy of @AamnaMani

I was 21 when I first got Botox, and now it’s a norm in my life. My first enhancement was when I was 19; I got my lips done and loved it! They were fuller and more sultry, and I really thought I looked good. I had heard rumors about Botox and that the injections could smooth out wrinkles and prevent them if you didn’t have any. That’s why I decided to try it. I didn’t want wrinkles and didn’t have any yet, so what better time?

Finding my doctor was quite simple. I did laser hair removal in a clinic that women would call months in advance to get an appointment, so I already had my “in” as I was a pre-existing client. The next day, they sat me down and said I didn’t need Botox, but I insisted on it for preventive measures. I’m so glad I did! I’ll be turning 30 next month, and I’m proud to say I’m wrinkle-free! It was the best decision.

You’ve got to be slightly impulsive and confident that you know what you’re doing to your body. I get Botox done twice a year, once every six months. Along with Botox, I also do fillers, PRP treatments, collagen injections, and numerous facials to enhance the glow of my skin and keep it looking youthful. So far, I’ve not had a single bad experience because I’ve always done the research on my doctors and consulted with them beforehand. I always emphasize that I want a natural look and, so far, I’ve always been able to achieve it.

I have no regrets because, for a girl bordering 30, my skin is amazing thanks to Botox.

I’ve always felt good because I make a conscious effort to take care of myself. I have no regrets because, for a girl bordering 30, my skin is amazing thanks to Botox. I never worry about the long-term effects because beauty is ever-changing. There’s always going to be something new and, as long as you don’t overdo it, you have nothing to worry about.

My top piece of advice is to ensure you go to a doctor who has been tried and tested. You also want to avoid messing with your eyebrows, so I generally keep a finger’s worth of space between my eyebrows and the point of injection. Botox wasn’t the first injectable I tried, but it is like opening Pandora’s Box because you naturally become curious to try out different things to enhance your look.

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