Normally when I approach Irish celebrities to be part of a feature for the Sunday Independent they're delighted to be included. Some, you might say, would bite my hand off for the opportunity.
The reaction when I asked our brightest stars to discuss the cosmetic surgeries they have had done was quite different.
Never before have so many people mysteriously disappeared from the radar, refusing to return texts, calls and emails. Of those who responded, a sizeable number claimed they were away/too busy/too ill to talk. Then there were those who insisted they never had anything done, although it was as plain as the noses they used to have on their faces that this was a little porky pie.
No matter, happily some of our most talented and beautiful people were willing to fill us in on the cosmetic beauty procedures they've had that help them to shine even more brightly.
"I have had Botox for the past seven years, but I believe in moderation as I don't want to look plastic. I had my lips done once and really liked it, but the doctor only put in a quarter of what the young ones are getting now. But hey, if it makes you feel good, then knock yourself out kid.
"I had a breast reduction four years ago in the Avoca Clinic as my boobs kept getting bigger. This was one of the best things I've ever done. If I had left them, I would have been like a freak show by now. They were a double G and I went down to a small D. I'm back up to an E now as they keep on growing, so I'll need another reduction soon enough. I just have very active breast tissue, or else my husband is willing them back.
"The other thing I want is to have the varicose veins ripped out of my legs. I like to think I'm a few years off a facelift, but I would be all for it. I know many women who have had it done and are thrilled with the results."
"I'm a huge believer in non-surgical treatments and tipping away as you go. I get an amazing tightening treatment called Pelleve in River Medical, which uses radio-wave technology to heat the deep layers of the skin. This stimulates your body's natural renewal process and makes the skin contract and tighten and produce new collagen.
"I broke out in red veins on my nose and cheeks six months ago, so I'm having a course of six IPL (intense pulsed light) treatments with Patricia Molloy at The Derma Clinic. It really rejuvenates your skin and it also shrank my big pores. I have a Skinceuticals gel peel with it and I use their drops every day and night, and I'm really happy as my skin has never been better.
"I'm a bit concerned about my cellulite at the moment, so I'm going to get Venus Freeze for that as it just irons it off. I would never say never to having any cosmetic surgery when I'm older - we'll see how I feel in 10 years?"
Age 27, model
Procedures: Breast augmentation, Botox, lip filler
"When it comes to having work done, I'm only short of having 'Made in China' on my foot. We all have the exact same 'Wallace wrinkle' in my family, so I had mine fixed through Botox at 21. I had lip fillers a year later, just a little bit as mine were already big, and they looked so much better.
"I had my breasts done three years ago, as I lost four stone but my boobs weren't the same. They were an A cup or small B, and I wanted to feel better about myself and had just started modelling with Assets.
"I had them done at the Avoca Clinic, and now I'm a D or double D. I was doing fashion shows and bridal work at first, but after I got my boobs done, it closed some of those doors. It opened up a lot more in the lingerie world though. It was painful for the first two weeks and I had to wear a support bra for six weeks, but I was back to work after three weeks. It was a huge confidence boost as I used to feel like a little boy in a bikini."
"I had the vampire facial (PRP) the day before we did Xpose Live, which wasn't a good idea. I was red raw and had dots all over my face, so I'd be wary of the whole lunch-time procedure thing. My skin was good after it though. I tried IPL and enjoyed it as it kicks the collagen into action and two days later, your face looks alive.
"I had a cross frown line that I wanted to get rid of, so I had Botox, but I'm careful and only get a jab there every two years if I'm beginning to look tired and cross. I was born with 'creasy' eyes and crow's feet so I told the doctor to jab there and get rid of them once, but it created this 'dead fish' look around the eye area and looked weird for a good three months. I leave that area alone now.
"I think, with Botox, you should just get that one area done that bothers you, as a frozen face looks peculiar.
"I only started it when I became a mum because I looked so wrecked, and you want to put your best foot forward."
Lorraine Keane in the hallway of her Monkstown home
Age 40s, Fashion expert
Procedures: Ultherapy and IPL
"My motto is no injections and no knives, so I chose Ultherapy, which is an ultrasound with a higher frequency that is applied to the face. It makes your body produce its own collagen to the level it would have done naturally when you were in your 20s. I get it done in Renew Clinic, and I like that it's non-invasive and natural, and one session lasts for almost two years .
"It makes you look more rested and brighter, and I get so many compliments on my skin when I get it done. The ultrasound also reduces the pores in your skin and improves your skin tone too. I suffer with broken veins and rosacea so I've had IPL laser treatment at Monkstown Laser Skin Clinic. The bonus is that it reduces fine lines and helps pigmentation and I think it's fantastic. The whole Botox thing doesn't work for me as I have a lot of expression in my forehead, and I want to keep that and look natural."
"Your smile is really important as it's the first thing that people notice about you. I had a problem with four of my teeth as they were crumbling and breaking up a bit as I got older. I'm quite conscious of my teeth. as I don't want to have a row of derelict buildings in my mouth. I decided to go to Budapest and had them done at the Kreativ Dental Clinic.
I had four porcelain crowns done over there, and it was all arranged by Mary Flanagan who works from Dublin. The clinic was absolutely amazing and the prices are much cheaper than they are here. It was five-star quality all around and I was really happy. The thing I believe is that you only have one set of teeth and you have to look after them, or else you'll be facing dentures down the line."
"I was always an A cup and genuinely had nothing there, so I had the first of my four breast surgeries when I was 24, the year before I went into the Big Brother house. I got a new set of implants and went from a 32C to a 34D after they were left uneven after breastfeeding, but unfortunately they were the faulty PIP implants.
I got new ones, but about eight months later, I fell and woke up shortly afterwards to one of my breasts being huge. I panicked so I had them removed and didn't go near breast implants for three years.
The years without them were weird as my body looked very different, so I had them done again in 2015 in Enhance Medical in Belfast. I'm probably a small C cup now and I'm really happy with them. The other thing I have done is Botox, which I love. I pay for two areas and get it spread over three."
Brent Pope, Sallyanne Clarke and Gerry Hussey at the launch of the first ever 'Mental Health and Wellbeing Summit' in Ireland Photo: Paul Sherwood
Age 54, Proprietor of L'Ecrivain restaurant:
Procedures: Vampire facial,Venus Freeze
"You know the saying that after 40, you have to choose your face or your arse? I chose my face - which means I have extra weight on my arse.
"Cosmetic surgery is not for me, but I had the vampire facial done for the first time in 2013. They take your blood and put it into a diffuser, which separates the blood from the plasma, and they inject the plasma into your face. It takes six to eight weeks to show, and everyone kept telling me: 'Oh my God you're glowing, your skin looks amazing.'
"I have it done in the Otto clinic in Limerick with Ita Murphy. She also treated the scar from my knee surgery, which was 'fugly" and the difference was incredible. I have also just finished a course of Venus Freeze in Mayo, a radio frequency treatment that firms up the skin on your face and plumps up the collagen.
"It's fantastic because when you get older, you lose that elasticity and plumpness in your skin. I don't want to look ten years younger or mutton dressed as lamb. I just want to look good for my age."
"I don't have a regular beauty routine, and have never done anything particularly ambitious when it comes to skincare, but as the old saying goes, 'Prevention is the key.'
"I read that using Botox before wrinkles form into lines is a bona fide treatment to a "younger-looking you," so I gave it a go. To my surprise, the results were very encouraging.
I didn't do anything aggressive. For me, starting with a conservative approach worked well. I had some Botox to combat the frown line between my eyes and I really liked the results. I went to Enhance Medical who were very helpful,
The procedure itself was fast and painless and the results exceeded my expectations. The treatment supposedly lasts around four months, but, for me. it has lasted for almost a year so I'm delighted."
"I've had lines on my forehead from my early twenties, because I'm so animated when I talk. I get Botox every four months because it always makes me look fresh. An added bonus is that it helps with the tension headaches I get in my forehead from looking at a computer screen and stressing out. I get mine done in my dental surgery, Perfect Smile, and am very happy with it.
I have had chemical peels done, but I wouldn't be in a rush to get one again. I've also had a bit of lip filler put in because I've had no top lip. I've been colouring my hair since I was 12 because I found grey hairs the morning of my confirmation.
I don't believe in growing old gracefully. I'll do it disgracefully, so when my boobs start sagging, they will be getting lifted, and if I start getting cellulite, I'll get liposuction."
Alan Hughes and Karl Broderick at the CARI charity Christmas lunch at the Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin. Picture: Brian McEvoy
Age 40s, Ireland AM presenter
Procedure: Hair transplant
“I had become very conscious that my hairline was receding, and as we had a new HD studio coming to TV3, I felt I’d better do something about it. I got advice about hair transplants from other people who’d had it done, like Louis Walsh, and decided to go ahead.
“I went to Dr Nel in Therapie, Malahide, 18 months ago, and he was very good and supportive. He took a strip of skin from the back of my head containing 2,500 hair follicles, and re-planted them individually in the front. It took 11 hours, but I had plenty of little breaks.
“It was kind of painful because of the strip, but it was so worth it. After three months, fuzzy ‘baby’ hair began to grow, and as I got it cut, it strengthened and thickened. I’m really happy as I have a much fuller head of hair now. It gave me confidence, and I’m going to go back in soon to get a little follow up done.”
Age 40s, PR queen
“I started having Botox a good few years ago, but I don’t get much done because I don’t like that raised eyebrow look. I get it done by David O’Donovan — just enough to take a couple of lines out and give my eyes a lift, because if you get too much you look startled, and I don’t like that.
“Nobody really notices when I get my Botox done, but I notice when it starts to wear off. It’s not like anyone ever tells me I look shattered, I just think I look better with it. I also get my hair extensions, eye lashes and nails done, and all of those bits help.
“I’ve never had lasers on my skin or fillers, but I absolutely would have a facelift when I feel I’m ready for it. The thing is to find the right surgeon, because it’s your face and you can’t just let anyone go at it. I would want to see the faces they have already done first.”