Facelifts, fillers and Botox: A cosmetic surgeon on what her clients are demanding right now.

As bars, restaurants, hairdressers, retail, outdoor fitness classes, and hotels (in NSW at least) start to enjoy an increase in customers, there’s one industry that’s starting to simmer with frustration.

The beauty industry is yet to be given a “relaunch” date in some states and territories, and they’re not happy. Their profession is considered part of “stage two” of the national roadmap back to normality, and at the moment most of the country is still settling into stage one.

Dr Naomi McCullum runs cosmetic clinic The Manse in Sydney, where you can get everything from lip fillers, brow lifts, anti-wrinkle injections, facelifts, nose jobs and micro-needling. Throughout lockdown, her patients have been itching to get back in her chair.

“Our social media had the highest level of engagement ever,” she said. “We had many requests for secret home treatments. We even had one girl who asked us to come and inject a large group of her girlfriends at her home. Obviously all were denied.”

WATCH: Here’s a little peek at what Dr Naomi does. Post continues after video.

Video by Mamamia

Dr Naomi’s experience mirrors that of top New York plastic surgeon Dr Steven Levine, who wrote for The Cut about the requests he’s received in the last few months.

“I’m shockingly busy. I’m… doing virtual consults all day,” he wrote. “The demand from wealthy and celebrity clients to get work done — face-lifts, tummy tuck, breast augmentation — while no one is looking, while they have nowhere to be, is extremely high.”

Dr Levine explained that many of his high profile clients want to use the ‘down time’ offered by lockdown for cosmetic procedures.

“It seems like the perfect time to recover from a procedure like a face-lift, where you need at least two weeks to lay low,” he wrote.

Like Dr Levine, Dr Naomi believes part of the increased demand for procedures for the face, neck and eyes comes from people having spent a lot of time on Zoom.


“We have gained a lot of new patients. I think a lot of people spent quarantine on Zoom, checking out the mirror, and googling cosmetic procedures,” Dr Naomi told Mamamia.

The Manse is busier than it was pre-COVID, with a backlog of people already putting their names on the waitlist.

While Naomi and her colleagues understood the reasons for the shutdowns, they and their customers are getting more and more restless as the weeks go on and the case numbers go down.

Now, her doctors have returned after a six week break, but her therapists are desperate to “get back on the tools.”

“The government still has restrictions on beauty therapy, so our therapists are not providing services until we get the legal OK. So they are just working in admin and reception at the moment,” she said.

“There is definitely some frustration (now that there are so few cases) about our therapists not offering services, especially when hairdressers have been open the whole time,” she said.


“It has never made sense to me the hair vs beauty issue. The risk would seem very similar. Too many men in government perhaps?  Not enough beauty achievers in government, maybe?” pondered Dr Naomi.


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Can’t wait for my touch up ????. #jocelynwildenstein #dermalfillers #fillers Remix thanks @andrew.sar ????.

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It’s a confusion that’s been shared by many in the beauty industry.

“It is really frustrating how they have kept beauty clinics closed. Being a skin clinic, people have ongoing treatments which would probably be a service equivalent to hairdressing. There is a massive demand, we have so many clients ringing us just saying please do something but we can’t our hands are tied,” Beauty Studio IPL Skin Clinic Liz Pearson told the Mundurah Mail.

Dr Naomi says that there are “lots of businesses out there going crazy wanting to get back to work,” who can’t wrap their heads around the “arbitrary and inconsistent” rules.

She has this message for the prime minister, as the beauty industry remains largely at a standstill: “Cmon Scomo, come and have a laser facial when our therapists reopen, you might like it as much as a haircut.”

Feature image: Instagram/drnaomi.