Today featured our first bowling outing with the kids and a much-anticipated blanketing of snow.

Screen shot 2012-01-15 at 6.14.43 PM

Screen shot 2012-01-15 at 6.13.57 PM

I’m filing both under A for awesome.

And now for a question that has nothing to do with adorably hugging brothers or the lovely sense of stillness a layer of snow brings to the world: what do you think about Botox?

I’ve been thinking about it lately. Sort of. Like, not in the sense that I’m about to actually make any sort of decision, but just … rolling it around in my head a little.

I have this deepish vertical line in my forehead—it’s between my eyebrows, slightly off center—and I really, really hate it. I don’t hate it because it’s a wrinkle, nor am I interested in waging a massive expensive crazymaking pointless battle against my age, now or ten years from now. I hate it because it makes me look angry or unhappy, pretty much all of the time. It’s a frown line that never goes away, and I’m bothered more and more by it when I see pictures of myself.

I generally like the lines that grow on people’s faces, the ones that show a lifetime of, you know, having a life. JB has a deepening collection of creases near the outside of his eyes (crow’s feet, according to women’s magazines) that I think are wildly handsome.

This line between my eyebrows, however, just bums me out. I suspect it’s grown worse over the last year from peering, eyebrows knit, into a laptop screen for several hours a day, but whatever the cause, it’s like my face is settling into this permanently grumpy expression. I’ve even had Riley randomly ask me if I was angry about something: “Well, I don’t know, you look kind of mad.”

So: Botox, or whatever the latest minimally invasive cosmetic whatsit might be, it’s been sounding kind of attractive. JB is thoroughly opposed to the idea, says it’s unnatural and ridiculous and also more than a little gross/potentially dangerous (BOTULINUM TOXINS! IN YOUR FACEPARTS!) and I get all that. But man, if there was a fairly easy and not unaffordable way to dial this Frowny Forehead Line back a few notches … I don’t know, it doesn’t seem ridiculously vain to want to look less pissed off, you know?

Or maybe it does. Maybe one little procedure is a slippery slope and pretty soon you’re obsessing over every other facial line and brown spot and general nearing-40 droopage, and then you start thinking about how a tiny bit of suction might reduce that immovable C-section flab, and so on and so forth.

What’s your take on Botox/fillers/similar treatments? Never in a million years … or never say never?

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Christine
10 years ago

I have that line too. And I have to say I’ve never noticed it in your photos or thought you looked habitually grumpy. So maybe your eye goes to it when nobody else’s would.

We went bowling for the first time last week, and the five-year-old LOVED it. I’m thinking about a bowling birthday party in April, perhaps.

willikat
10 years ago

I could go on and on about the finer points, but I’m gonna get right to it: Don’t do it. It’s such a slippery slope. Between the derm and other people you come in contact with…the frozen look is not good. They always say “Getting work done doesn’t make you look younger…it makes you look like you got work done.” I know it’s not the youth you’re going for, but don’t do it. For the love of womankind. Here’s what I would recommend though–find a acupuncturist who does facials. Yesssss. (Also the derm industry has done a GREAT job of making it seem like Botox is No Big Deal, but I assure you I have seen a “just once” appointment go awry.)

cindy w
10 years ago

My whole family is pretty liberal about plastic surgery. You don’t like something? Fix it! I’m the only female in my family who has their own original boobs (ok, my mom lost hers to breast cancer, so hers were reconstructive, but still).

I haven’t considered botox or anything in my face, but eh… if something bugged me, then yeah, I’d probably consider it. So I guess I’m in the “never say never” camp.

Laura
Laura
10 years ago

Go for it! It only lasts 3 months(ish), so if you don’t like it, don’t do it again. I got botox for 2 years before I even told anyone (even the hubs) and nobody knew!

BabyKMama
BabyKMama
10 years ago

I’m “never say never”… I have dealt with oily skin my whole life, and now that’s finally resolved itself somewhat instead of shine, I’m starting to freak about about the dreaded “fine lines”. I’m almost 45, and feel like I look pretty good, but if I could sort of renew the surface layer of my skin, I’d do it. That being said… so many of these procedures require a re-do every few months, and I’d be super nervous to find someone reputable. It’s kind of like dying your hair (I don’t know if you do, but I do!) Once you start, it’s hard to stop I suspect…

M&Co.
10 years ago

Never say never. I remember when I was about 18 and my Aunt had a “procedure” done where they chemically peeled her face. I’m assuming (looking back on it now) that it was to remove brown spots. At the time I thought, “oh how vain she is.” Now, and I’m probably about the age she was then, I think, “hey where do I get some of that to remove my brown spots?”

Amy
Amy
10 years ago

I had the same line and I love love love my botox. I can still move my forehead, but I look much relaxed and happier. I think there is a misconception that botox will freeze your whole face. It can but not if it is only injected into one area for one issue. I think people would be surprised to find out how many people get it done, since, usually the changes are not that drastic.

My vote is- it’s temporary, give it a shot. You might love it like I do or you might be more “Meh” about it. Either way, it will go away in a couple months.

PS. If you do decide to do it. Get the numbing cream first, it does hurt a little.

Melanie
Melanie
10 years ago

Life is too short to be constantly hating on your face because of a stupid line. So if fixing it will make the problem go away, then fix it and move on. :)

L.E.
L.E.
10 years ago

First of all, I don’t think anyone would say you “need” to get rid of this line. But this is about how you feel about your face, and there is nothing wrong with trying to fix something you are not comfortable with. BUT. What if you did it and loved the way it looked? Would you then be happy to spend all that money every three months for the rest of your life? I mean, add that up and see if there is something else you would rather spend that money on. If it were a one time thing, I would say, absolutely. Go for it. But there is some risk involved with this, and you ARE beautiful just the way you are. I vote no.

sooboo
10 years ago

Teeth whitening, laser hair removal = okay Botex, fillers, face lifts = no. I live in L.A. and I see a lot of frozen/ weirdly sculpted faces. I doubt anyone goes in to get these procedures intending to look that way but that’s the way they often end up looking. I just turned 40 and I’m not super psyched about some of the things my neck skin is doing, but whatevs, part of aging is accepting all that.

Joanne
10 years ago

I am with your husband on this one.

Sunshyn
Sunshyn
10 years ago

In “The Stand,” Stephen King calls it the “I-want” line. I always thought it was kinda cool. I have non-vertical lines. They look weird. I’d rather have a vertical one. Eventually you get more and more lines, and there’s no way any procedure can keep up. So you end up looking like plastic Madonna.

Nicole
10 years ago

I have been “joking” about this to my husband..but I don’t believe I’m really joking. I have that same line between my eyebrows and it’s depressing. I think if its something that will make you feel better and give you that boost of confidence you need-I think it’s no big deal. I’d love to try it, but also feel afraid that I’d keep wanting it every time a wrinkle crept up and end up Joan Rivers-esque.

Amy
Amy
10 years ago

But you’d have to do it again and again, right? As far as I know, Botox is more of a maintenance thing… the effects wear off, and you need more injections.

I see the appeal in wanting to do it (I cover my gray hair), but the maintenance and the risks would just turn me right off. I have to say I agree with JB. (Plus, I’ve never noticed the line, or you looking angry, in the photos you post online!)

Jessica
Jessica
10 years ago

Hmm, in most cases, I’d say that it’s not really necessary but you are doing it for reasons that are not terribly vain. Looking less angry rather than hiding your age is not a bad reason to go for it.

Shannon
Shannon
10 years ago

BOTOX for frown line between eyes- been doing this for close to 2 years now. The CREVASSE I had there before treatment was horrendous. It was all I saw when I looked in a mirror or looked at a photo and my final straw was my 4 year old daughter repatedly lightly rubbing it- asking tenderly “what happened to you-how did you get hurt here?”. I just felt it was really bad for age 38 and I wanted to try and soften it.
My next step was getting fully informed of the risks (astronomically LOW), then taking a good amount of time finding a proven, certified doctor to do it. Do NOT go to an
nailshop to get this done- find a dermatologist, trained/certified in this procedure. Get references. You would not trust any hack with scissors to do your hair- don’t let any hack with a needle mess with your face. You get what you pay for!
It hurts but only for the needle stick itself- it’s in a thinskinned area- like a bee sting or tattoo except just one needle at a time. You may have bruising (slight- cover with concealer)and/or bleeding (like from any needle- no biggie).
No prep required.
Aftercare is to wiggle your face around making faces frequently all day so you spread the meds as much as possible. Also do not to sleep on your face until the evening. Full result of treatment takes about 4-5 days to see. You will notice the area getting progressively tighter.
You do NOT need to get more and more each time or go more frequently for the same effect. The exact opposite is true. As my dermy explained- the nerves controlling the muscles become atrophied over time the more treatments you get,which means you need to get less as time goes on and *someday* you may not be able to make the movement at all and never need another treatment(this may scare some people but not me).
My first couple treatments lasted 3-4 months, now I’m up to 6-7 months between treatments and my crease has NEVER gone back to what it was beforehand. Looking back on photos now I can’t beleive the difference and that I waited so long to do something so “miraculous” for myself.
Cost- it costs me @$400 Cdn per treatment. Its an expensive one time cost but averaging over 3-7 months its affordable. I prioritize it over my once every 6 week colour and cut for my hair ($150 per salon job). I now alternate a home colour kit with salon job and direct the savings over to my Botox treatment as part of my beauty budget.
Love your blog- you are an inspiration to me so I hope this comment helps.

Donna
Donna
10 years ago

Do it! Duh, why even give it a second thought? It’s not permanent…

Christine
10 years ago

1. I think you’re stunning even if you think you look a little angry.

2. But, if it would make you more comfortable in your skin, go for it. I had a droopy eyelid that always made me look half asleep and FEEL half asleep. My opto was surprised that I could see as well as I could out of it. I had that shit fixed and havent had a single regret.

Carole
Carole
10 years ago

It’s your face and if it will make you happy then do it. : )

just words on a page
10 years ago

I think we are made to age. You look amazing even if you don’t think you do. Those lines and creases are marks of character — and I am not a fan of Botox as it’s scary when they fuck it up. Look at Priscilla Presley.

With that being said I’d get a boob job and a tummy tuck if I really wanted one — so really do what you want, if it makes you feel good about you, but don’t let them pick you apart because really you are amazing just the way you are.

Frannie
Frannie
10 years ago

I have the same line, or lines actually. I used to like to tan, and since I tan easily, I don’t use moisturizer as much as I should. If I had the funds I would *try* la prairie cream. I wish I knew more about Botox, but I don’t. I wonder if the celebrities i see do it are overdoing it or if it could look less obvious. It seems like more hassle than it’s worth, having to do it every 3 months or so. Perhaps a filler? I have looked into plastic surgery in the last couple of years for something else that affects me more than my lines, so I understand. Accept or change is really up to you. The thing with my sons is important. Sure they’ll notice, and say things, but it’s also important the message I am sending. I want to be confident, but it’s difficult when something is in the way of that. I am not trying to sound preachy and I know it’s personal. But that is also something that affects my decisions.

Suburban Snapshots
10 years ago

Is it wrong that I want you to do it so you can report back to us and I can justify doing it for myself? And can’t anyone advise you against it without adding some kind of “Botulism killed my left brain lobe” horror story? You’re gorgeous, but do it anyway. I feel your pain.

Danell
Danell
10 years ago

I am currently scheduled for a tummy-tuck…so, uh, I don’t think I’d give too much thought to Botox. But then again, I am too preoccupied with the state of my gut to worry about the lines in my face….YET.

Shawna
Shawna
10 years ago

Well, I had this weird tangle of tiny red veins in a patch on the bridge of my nose that appeared during pregnancy and never went away. I had people ask if I had sunglasses that didn’t fit or something.

I got it zapped with a laser and looking at the pictures from before my procedure I’m sure glad I did it. So botox? Probably not for me, but not because I’m against minor procedures. If you want it and can afford it and you’d be happier as a result of doing it, why not?

Jill Browning
10 years ago

I think you look great, but botox has to be a personal decision. You’re the one that has to look in the mirror every day (and/or deal with potential consequences).

ADD aside: is that your yellow house? It’s adorable!!

Kelly
Kelly
10 years ago

Come on ladies, a shot of Botox isn’t “getting work done”. Plus is really doesn’t matter what anyone else says, its about how you feel. I say if you can afford it, and want to try it then have it done! I have a few friends who do it through their Dermatologists. I’d have to assume there is less up-sell from a medical doctor.

Katie
Katie
10 years ago

Blerg. I’m not opposed to it, but my understanding is that once you start you can’t really stop. It’s more of a temporary fix and if you want it to be forever you have to keep going back. And I’ve heard people say they get really addicted to it. But, at the same time, I get it. I have the same-ish line starting.

Ella
Ella
10 years ago

I’m not opposed to it here and there, but I don’t think a frozen face would be nice. Honestly, if I COULD afford it I’d probably get some fillers around my eyes. I have obvious under eye wrinkles which are BUGGING ME A LOT. I’m not even 30 yet, so it’s stressing me a little and I hate when I put make up on it seems so obvious!

I say if you want it, go for it. Just make sure to get a lot of info on the “maintenance” and whether you’d need to do it every so often. The cost and reciprocations’ of that would worry me.

StateofKate
StateofKate
10 years ago

I’ve got one of those growing too. I put Olay Regenerist cream on every night now and pretend it’s helping…
Maybe we both need glasses/new prescriptions to STOP THE SQUINT. Donno.

bessie.viola
10 years ago

Nah. If it were me… probably not, but I am a wuss about these types of things. If it’s something that really bothers you, then feel free; however, I have never once noticed it in any of your pictures. I think that you are lovely.

Stephanie
Stephanie
10 years ago

i have a line in the same place and several across my forehead. my insurance paid for botox injections for migraines. and what it did for those lines was fabulous. i think it more ‘natural’ looking than the fillers but then i’ve not had those… yet. ;o) it doesn’t fill them it but since it prevents you from using that/those muscles that line smooths out. won’t go completely away but it’s awesomely (word?) better!

~T
~T
10 years ago

I have that line too. Now, when I read I stick my middle finger in that space. I do this in part to remind myself not to knit my brows and make the line worse and in part to tell that line to fuck off.

jonniker
10 years ago

I really like Liz’s comment and keep coming back to read it. In the day/age of acceptance, we’re supposed to just suck it up about what we don’t like about our bodies, because it’s vain to fix them. Just like — I think it was you who said it, actually — the notion that we’re no longer allowed to say we’d like to lose XX pounds because it’s about being healthy! Well, that’s true, but sometimes being healthy involves (GASP!) weight loss!

(You can tell I’m pregnant and dying to get back in to shape, right?)

We can’t win up in here. How about everyone just do what works for them and makes them happy? And if Botox is something you’d like to try, I say do it, Linda. Even if it doesn’t work, I find that sometimes these things have placebo effects. Like I said, I have seen it and did NOT notice the frozen face effect.

Jesabes
10 years ago

I don’t know about the Botox (It makes me nervous, but basically because I know very little about it. I’m not against it for moral reasons), but I can’t believe people are telling you to grow bangs to cover it like they’re no big thing. Some people look lovely with bangs (possibly you included!!), but personally I’d rather get botulism in the face.

Chrystal
Chrystal
10 years ago

Have you tried this product: Ultra-Lift Daily Targeted Wrinkle Treatment by Garnier? I have the dreaded eleven lines and I swear that this product, plus my side swept bangs, allow me to look at photos of myself without cringing. It might work for you too, and allow you to push off the Botox decision awhile.

Alicia
Alicia
10 years ago

If your main reason for getting botox is to prevent your child from being unnecessarily weary of you, I would try having a conversation about other signs of anger besides a wrinkle on the brow. For example, you might be forming a frown with your mouth, have flushed cheeks, be raising your voice, breathing heavily, AND have the frowny line thing. Just educate the kiddo on how to tell when you truly are mad and explain that people get lines on their faces as they get older. Sounds simple to adults, but could be an ah ha! moment for a youngster. I’m in the no botox camp, but it is your face and you have to see it everyday. :)

erica
erica
10 years ago

Botox: Did it. I, too, had the frowny line. I went to a “spa night” at my daughter’s hair salon where they were introducing the service, so there were several incentives to try the product. A; the model-handsome and presumably single doctors who administered treatments, B; the complimentary beverages, and C; the special introductory pricing which was so attractive that I added “upper lip” to “areas I want to discuss with the doctor.” With 4 little sticks of a needle, my forehead was done. The tiny verticle lines beginning to show around my lipline took a little more treatment, more sticks and a whole lot of self control on my part not to yelp in pain, even after the complimentary beverages…who knew the upper lip was so flippin’ sensitive? I was told to maintain an upright position for the next 4 hours so the syrum stayed where it was supposed to. If I were to lay down, I was told, the Botox could pool in undesirable areas and I could end up looking like the Michelin Man for a few months. Note to self: get Botox in the morning…not at 9:30 at night. This girl hits the hay just after the 10 o’clock news so staying awake and upright for 4 hours nearly killed me, but honestly, that was the hardest part of day 1. I looked fabulous. HOWEVER…Day 2: I was unable to purse my lips…at…all. Eating and drinking were difficult at best and done in public only if my life depended on it, which thankfully, it did not. Considering that Botox is temporary, I knew I’d be back to normal in time, and as time went on, the symptoms lessened, but more than a month I avoided social situations that involved food and/or drink. You would never know to look at me that the inner muscles in my lips were paralyzed, but offer me a drink and you were in for some Three Stooges meet the Marx Brothers, yuck-it-up, physical comedy. I could not feel the rim of a glass so liquid dribbled out the sides of my mouth. I could not feel or close my lips around a straw either so straws found their way into my nose or poked me in the eye more often than not! Food was also iffy. By trial and error I found what worked and what didn’t. If it could be stabbed with a fork, it worked. Anything smooth and creamy, not so much…peanut butter and yogurt were definitely on the “only in the privacy of your own home” list.
Bottom line: I’d do it again on my forehead in an instant; but ONLY on my forehead, and I’d pay regular price. They told me I might have to have another treatment in 6 months, or the initial treatment might be the only one I needed–every patient is different. There was such a marked improvement that I feel no rush for a booster and its been over a year. On the bright side, now I have a funny antecdote for parties, and since my very restrictive diet made me lose a few pounds, I look stunning while I tell the story.

Taryn
Taryn
10 years ago

it causes paralysis of the muscle which is why it makes your line less of a line–it has legitimate medical applications such as being used to treat voice disorders that involve vocal chords slapping against each other off-time…so it keeps one side from moving so the other side has something to bounce appropriately off of….. also a nice side effect that has been noted is that people with migraines stopped having the migraines.
the migraine reason & the angry brow line are two reason why i have considered it, i have just not done it so far, not sure why. we are about the same age–and all my life people have said things like “what’s wrong?”….nothing, man, this is just my natural relaxed face. i look mad. it kinda sucks. so i have thought about it & just not done it for no particular reason. i think you should try it out & let us know how it goes. if a reputable professional does it and doesn’t go overboard on the cc’s then it shouldn’t be a bad thing. you just may decide it wouldn’t be worth bothering. or then again you may decide it was great!

Kim
Kim
10 years ago

I’ve heard there are costs in the humane sense – that every batch of Botox requires testing that involves the suffering and death of mice. I’m not sure whether it’s true, but I couldn’t do it if it were.

Sarah in Huntsville
10 years ago

My mom recently started offering Botox at her family practice. As part of the training she went to, all the practitioners had to inject each other. When I saw her afterwards, she looked great! The same facial expressions, but with a very calm and untroubled look, as she says.

I think as long as you go to someone who’s properly trained (and can give you a real rundown on potential side effects) there’s nothing wrong with it.

Simon
10 years ago

Botox? I say NO-tox. (How’s that for clever? Get it? NO-tox instead of Botox? Get it?)

Cathy
Cathy
10 years ago

I’ve been reading your blog for about two years without ever leaving a comment (lurker much?). But I had to comment on this one — do it. How much $$$ do you spend on creams and moisterizers? Covering grey hair? How is this any different? If you hate the result, it fades away – so no long term relationship. You will love it!

Anonymous
Anonymous
10 years ago

I used to say that I’ll never botox, but that was before I got older… I think I have the same line you are talking about and once it gets too bad, I’ll seriously consider it. And I think I’d be offended if my husband doesn’t oppose it :)

Rachel
Rachel
10 years ago

The benefits don’t come close to outweighing the risks. People die, become quadrapeligic, go into comas, require skin grafts, are slower to recognise emotion in others, experience dampened emotions, develop palsy or facial paralysis – you don’t have to take my word for it, search Google Scholar for botox negative outcomes.

You are a hottie. You will notice, and percieve as negative, things about yourself that no one else will. If you really hate it, stop making that face in front of the computer. Upgrade your glasses or your monitor setup if need be.

If you do decide to do it, there are at least ways of mitigating your risks. Going to a board certified plastic surgeon is the most important thing. You want to pick one who does a lot of botox; if you can get it done on a trip to LA or NY all the better. Interview different doctors and get statistics on their botox procedures. Find out how many they have done and as much detail as possible on negative outcomes, from droopy eyelids to death. A trustworthy doctor will not balk at supplying you with this information. If they are cavalier about the risks and the reporting, they might be cavalier about your face. If at all possible, avoid treatment from a batch that has been in use for less than 30 days, that way if there is anything wrong with the batch (such as contamination or over-concentration, both of which have resulted in deaths) it will have probably become evident before it gets to you.

But I agree with JB, you don’t need it. You’re beautiful now.

spacegeek
spacegeek
10 years ago

I say try it and see if you like the results! But then I’m 42 and am looking at doing something for my neck and something for my chest to get rid of those “crepe-y” lines… I told my husband I wanted to see a derm for some “work” and suggested it should be a holiday gift. He told me that it was maintenance like mani/pedi/haircolor and I should do what I wanted. So now it is up to me–and of course it is after the holidays and I haven’t done anything yet!!

Lisa
Lisa
10 years ago

I do not judge. I’m not in the line for botox, but I just had my first microdermabrasion and laser facials this winter, and let me tell you – I feel AWESOME!! I had tons of millia (gross little hard white bumps on my face) that this has taken care of. No one really noticed but me, but having them gone has made more of a difference in my….I dunno…..joy?….than I ever expected. Go for it if it makes you happy!

goingloopy
10 years ago

My best friend has it done every 6-9 months — just a little squirt in the forehead. It’s very subtle, and unless you know, you wouldn’t know. Except for the time she got a little too much and had the weird frozen eyebrows for a month, but she hasn’t repeated that mistake. If you want it, go for it. And please show your faithful readers before and after :) I’m your age and have the same line, and I need some justification. Heh.

maureen c
maureen c
10 years ago

Go for the Botox. I was never ever going to have plastic surgery or work done but then I got the hair lasered off my legs as part of a promotion where I get my facials and BANG! I am a covert to what the laser can do for my middle age mess of a face. I haven’t spent much money and people keep telling me how much more relaxed I look. I am a college professor and deal with 18-24 year olds every day so being confident and feeling pretty is important. Sometimes you just have to do something for yourself. As always, your kids are cute!

Tatiana
Tatiana
10 years ago

I have the same line. I hate it but it has inspired (necessitated?) that I think more about my expressions. I spend a lot of my day with my bitch-face on.
Share what you decide. I’m torn between a filler (so I stay expressive) and botox (to avoid having a FILLER in my face).

Tracy
10 years ago

I’m chicken, so I’d never do Botox but wouldn’t judge you if you did it. Consumer Reports says Olay Regenerist Regenerating Serum is mildly effective at reducing the appearance of lines, but I can’t confirm since I forget to apply it most nights (I love the irony of forgetting to apply the old lady face goo).

I have that line but it’s not always noticeable. I’ll never forget when the light in a B&B’s bathroom hit my neck just right so that I noticed my neck lines for the first time. Talk about ruining a vacation. Those lines couldn’t have emerged over night, but I never noticed them before that trip.

All this to say, I hear you.