'I've invested more in my face than in my pension' - beauty editor on botox, Brazilian butt lifts and 'gimmicky options'
Liz Dwyer is Ireland's self-professed human guinea pig when it comes to aesthetic beauty treatments.
Having spent almost a decade as one of the country's best-known beauty editors, she has a message for women who use expensive face creams and oils: "Don't buy the myth of standard moisturisers, lotions and potions. Most just hydrate the surface." Liz says if you want to see the best results, you simply have to up your game. "If you want to keep what you have or see a genuine improvement, you've got to step it up," she says.
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Swearing by 'cosmeceuticals' (a cosmetic which has, or is claimed to have, medicinal properties) every day, she has road-tested an average of €5,000-worth of procedures a year for work during the past decade.
At 41, she has tried everything from bio-generation facial treatments to the Brazilian butt lift and estimates "by the time I am 65 I will probably have invested more on my face than on my pension".
Now many women use her as the 'go-to' for no-nonsense advice on what works and what doesn't, when it comes to looking younger and looking good.
"I will often be in the playground and get a tap on the shoulder from someone saying 'does that fat treatment really do anything' or 'do you mind if I take a closer look at the micro-blading on your eyebrows?'" she says.
For the entrepreneur, coyness around cosmetic treatments is illogical. "All women would benefit from better treatments and results if we spoke more openly," she says.
And open she is, listing her tweaks from head to toe with the nonchalance of someone reeling off a grocery shopping list.
Among the "gimmicky options" she has road-tested are vitamin drips, vampire facials and the Macrolane 'boob jab'.
The latter left her breasts with lumps the size of golf balls. "They literally had to be squashed out like a giant boil," she says.
But she credits ZLipo for ridding her of a pregnancy pouch, and points to lactic acid peels, IPL (intense pulsed light) and Botox as her "all-time favourites".
"For me, the key to Botox is tiny doses along the bands of my neck, jawline, mouth and eye area. It is far more subtle and face-lifting."
Liz is co-founder of the Future Beauty Show in the RDS on September 7 and 8, which will be attended by a number of the country's leading consultant dermatologists, consultant surgeons, dentists, consultant gynaecologists, cosmetic doctors and nurses.
She says: "I want to give regular women the access I've had to established medical aesthetics experts, to enable them to research all of the options in one place and to educate themselves as to the pros and cons of each treatment."
There is little doubt about the massive increase in popularity of cosmetic procedures.
This newspaper reported in July about the recent surge in popularity for facial enhancement procedures due to the 'Love Island effect'.
One aesthetic clinic chain has seen a massive increase in demand for lip fillers, Botox, dermal fillers and other non-surgical treatments in recent weeks, which they believe is down to the reality show phenomenon. More than 35pc of these bookings have been for men.