Trying out new trends and treatments was all part of a day's work during my role as a writer for a women's magazine in London. PR executives for beauty clinics would often take me out for fancy lunches, pitching a new product or service I had to review.
As I became more established in my career, the offers got increasingly extravagant until, one day, I got offered lip fillers and Botox.
Only a few days prior had I discussed the rise of lip fillers with a friend of mine which had piqued my interest. Kylie Jenner was all the rage, and her lips did look amazing, if not a little OTT.
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The following week I went for my lip injections requesting something more natural-looking and, wow, was I impressed.
In the clinic, the practitioner also found areas of my face that he could administer Botox to, for a more 'refreshed' appearance. I went for that too.
When I got over the feeling of my new lips appearing obvious, I settled into the look and became obsessed with maintaining it.
My self-image morphed into the new me. When my lips deflated, I felt like I needed more filler to feel like myself.
I never let them get back to their normal state for the next three years. I would count down the weeks until my regular clinic allowed me to get them done again, and if I couldn't wait any longer, I went somewhere else.
There was always another clinic willing to offer free treatment in exchange for coverage of any sort, whether a review of their new skincare line or laser facial. If I needed my filler done too, they'd be happy to include it. It wasn't a big deal.