It dawned on me about a year ago that I never get asked for ID anymore. I thought that perhaps this was owing to my burgeoning sophistication and DDs, but it was only when I spotted myself in the background of a photo that I was directed to a new face annoyance: my “hectic smile crease thing,” AKA the newly-sprouted nasolabial folds that had taken up residence just above my mouth. A regular person will accept and even flourish when faced with Father Time’s old tricks, for ageing is growing, and that can be an incredibly empowering revelation. I, on the other hand, prefer to feel my ageing in an internal, I-genuinely-enjoy-the-lifestyle-channel kind of way. 

After some ~extensive~ Internet research, I was led to, where I booked a *free* consultation with their leading nurse, Di. I had nervously planned my exact words in the same way one would memorise a pizza order when Di informed me of the fact that she was turning 50 soon. Her face, along with that of everyone who works at the clinic, was smooth and plump. I started to feel like a crusty towel in comparison, but was instantly put at ease by how casual the entire interaction was. In about 5 minutes, we had covered exactly what I wanted: “filling out” the dent of my nasolabial fold.

I booked in for two weeks’ time and said goodbye, buzzing with excitement at the thought of my hot new face while also weeping for my future self and the potentially financially unnecessary habit I had just forged. Alas, I soon found myself back in Di’s chair, holding a cold pack to my face while discussing which filler we would use. Di had decided to go with the Princess filler as opposed to the classic Restylane. She told me this was designed and made in Sweden and I thought, “Oh yeah, that’s nice.” She suggested Princess for its “softer” appearance, explaining that Restylane can have a stiffer and less elastic finish. As it was my first time, I agreed it would be better for me to ease into the world of fillers with the least obvious lük possible.

Seeing a needle advancing towards your face can conjure an out of body experience. While I had prepped for an unknown amount of pain, I was met with what felt like small fireworks being injected into my face. The procedure took 10 minutes, and was less painful than when lemon juice finds its way into a paper cut. I was told there would be bruising and a little swelling for a few days, and to keep the injection spots as clean as possible—no makeup. I found that after just one night’s sleep, all stiffness and weird feelingness had gone, with almost zero bruising. After taking my 700th “after” selfie, I was extremely delighted with the results: subtly obvious. An oxymoron I am happy to pay for. My nasolabial crease will never not be there, but all its harshness has been greatly softened. I look F-R-E-S-H, which is all I can hope for in life. 

Maybe I just think it’s a great deal, or maybe the beast in me has awoken—either way, I will definitely be back for ~refills~. If this new habit I have can make me smooth and dewy, I might just be able to put to rest other habits that are making me weak and dry. FYI: 1ml dermal filler in nasolabial folds at Cleanskincare on Sydney’s Clarence Street. $389. Pictures above were taken before and after.

Photographed by the author.