Style Beauty

Saturday 21 July 2018

From fillers for fitness fanatics and 'The Melania': How Irish woman approach cosmetic surgery

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Stock image
First lady Melania Trump (R), stands with Ivanka Trump as a parade passes the inaugural parade reviewing stand in front of the White House on January 20, 2017
First lady Melania Trump (R), stands with Ivanka Trump as a parade passes the inaugural parade reviewing stand in front of the White House on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC. Donald Trump was sworn in as the nation's 45th president today. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Ivanka Trump talks with first lady Melania Trump before a joint statement between U.S. President Donald Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Rose Garden of the White House June 26, 2017 in Washington, DC
Model Christie Brinkley attends Harper's BAZAAR 150th Anniversary Event presented with Tiffany & Co at The Rainbow Room on April 19, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew Toth/Getty Images for Harper's BAZAAR)
Model Christie Brinkley attends Harper's BAZAAR 150th Anniversary Event presented with Tiffany & Co at The Rainbow Room on April 19, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew Toth/Getty Images for Harper's BAZAAR)
U.S. first lady Melania Trump and Ivanka Trump watch as U.S. President Donald Trump speaks in the Oval Office of the White House, in Washington, DC, U.S. February 28, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
Caitlin McBride

Caitlin McBride

We’ve come a long way from whispers about who had a boob job or whose nose looked suspiciously straight after a “lengthy holiday”.

We're candid, open and we’re even sharing tips about what we get done (and who is the best). Our peers in Britain and the US are reportedly rushing to surgeons for fillers and botox, keen to mimic the features of the first lady Melania Trump and her stepdaughter Ivanka, who both have suspiciously smooth foreheads, cat eyes and full cheeks. Requests for  “The Melania” and “The Ivanka” is growing by the day, if reports across the pond are to be believed. But how do Irish women fare?

Ivanka Trump talks with first lady Melania Trump before a joint statement between U.S. President Donald Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Rose Garden of the White House June 26, 2017 in Washington, DC
Ivanka Trump talks with first lady Melania Trump before a joint statement between U.S. President Donald Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Rose Garden of the White House June 26, 2017 in Washington, DC

Dr Peter Prendergast, President of the European College of Aesthetic Medicine and Medical Director of Venus Medical, said it’s “extremely rare” for clients to request specific features of celebrities – in fact, most Irish women just want to look like themselves, albeit a younger version.

“From my experience, it’s extremely rare,” he told Independent.ie Style.” It would almost be the other way around, that they don’t want to look like somebody else. It might be a cultural thing – I would question some of the articles about people wanting to look like Melania Trump or anyone else.

“They may point out people they don’t want to look like – celebrities who’ve had their lips done that look too done, too obvious or too unnatural. Mostly, I get women with photos of themselves 10 years, or a few years ago, they tend to really be quite clear to look like themselves, but younger and fresher.”

Similarly, Anna Gunning, CEO of the Laser & Skin Clinic, said Irish women prefer a more natural look when it comes to boosting their appearance.

"Irish clients are very into natural volume restoration,” she explains. “A lot of my clients would say, 'I don’t want to be perfect, I want to be natural. I don’t want people lookng at me thinking I had something done, they’ll say, Bring me back five or ten years and restore the volume I had in my face'."

And they’re steering away from going under the knife in favour of quicker, more discreet work.

"I don’t know whether it’s the Irish clients are still very conscious about people noticing they’ve had something don,” Anna explains. “Statistics are showing surgical facelifts are decreasing and non-surgical treatments like Ultherapy and volume replacement with fillers is increasing all the tim.

“They want everything but the surgical procedure, which involves the downtime, the scar -if you have a facelift, you have a scar around your ear and there is a lot of recovery. If you’re still in the country, not something you can hide that easily.”

Model Christie Brinkley attends Harper's BAZAAR 150th Anniversary Event presented with Tiffany & Co at The Rainbow Room on April 19, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew Toth/Getty Images for Harper's BAZAAR)
Model Christie Brinkley attends Harper's BAZAAR 150th Anniversary Event presented with Tiffany & Co at The Rainbow Room on April 19, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew Toth/Getty Images for Harper's BAZAAR)

Ultherapy is the hot new treatment, least of all because legendary supermodel Christie Brinkley, who appears to be ageing backwards, revealed on Wednesday that she credits the non-surgical facelift with her ever-glowing appearance.

“Ultherapy is where we tighten the muscle of the face and neck using ultrasound, it’s the only system in the world we can visualise your anatomy while we’re treating you; we can get down to the depth of the surgeon without cutting your face."

Both experts agree that social media is still the impetus behind the younger generation’s desire to enhance their appearance. And Irish medical practitioners aren’t as heavy handed as those in other countries.

“Yesterday, a young woman who lives in Dubai, comes back here for her botox. She doesn’t want to do it there because everyone looks the same and has a frozen face,” Dr Prendergast added.

First Lady of the United States Melania Trump during a Bilateral meeting with Prince Harry at the Sheraton ahead of the start of the 2017 Invictus Games in Toronto, Canada
First Lady of the United States Melania Trump during a Bilateral meeting with Prince Harry at the Sheraton ahead of the start of the 2017 Invictus Games in Toronto, Canada

“It would ring alarm bells with me if someone wanted to look like someone else. I would question the motive of what they’re trying to change and why, the underlying psychological aspects and that they’re not happy with their life.

“On the whole, it’s probably moreso in America that younger women are being influenced by celebrities and social media. A lot of younger people may actually be…you wouldn’t know where they’re getting their fillers done. In some cases, they’re doing it themselves or at someone’s house as part of a deal or party and I recoil a little bit when I hear that.”

Now, as Generation X continue to fill your feed with their out-doing each other weight-lifting and boasts about how many kilometres they’ve run, a healthy lifestyle can bring one surprising downside – a hollow face.

“I have a lot of men and women PE teachers, runners and weight lifters; you can see they’ve lost all their fat in their face and look quite gaunt. They are very healthy inside, but on the outside, they look a bit tired and people will ask if they’re okay,” Anna adds.

“They are fine, we give them back their mid face volume and automatically look healthy. This concerns men as well when they have that gap in the middle of their cheek, that hollow, they look unwell. When people start mentioning it to them, they become conscious and come in and feel the need to do something.

“Once you lose weight off your face, you can’t gain it back.”

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