Meet our new beauty editor, Gail Wilton!
Yes, this is Gail, a top Perth makeup artist, after she’s just had a facelift. In her first article for The Starfish readers, Gail tells us candidly what she was prepared to put herself through in the name of beauty. In future weeks, Gail, who has made up supermodels and celebs, will be sharing her top beauty tips with you, answering questions from readers, and showing us new makeup products. But first, in her own words, Gail tells us about her facelift.
To undertake a facelift takes a lot of consideration. Being a makeup artist, making faces look beautiful for a living, I’d thought about it now and then. I was noticing that time was marching on and it looked like it was marching straight across my face. After spending my money on everyone else, I was starting to wonder ‘when will I be able to spend some on me?’
Finally, I made the decision to go through with it. I knew that it was going to be a one – time thing and felt that doing it in my forties, rather than my sixties, was the right time for me. I am not interested in looking ‘plastic’ when I’m older as I still (believe it or not) like the idea of growing old graciously. There is nothing gracious about looking like a wax faced caricature of yourself in your 50’s and beyond. In my line of work, I often see that Botox and fillers can make you look ‘scary’, so I decided the surgical option was best for me.
I found a doctor whom I had heard good things about. I liked the fact that he was a reconstuctive plastic surgeon, who volunteered in third world countries and also specialized in helping children. I felt very confident with him. I had seen him a couple of years earlier, and I was able to negotiate a 25 per cent discount so my job cost $15 000 instead of $20,000.. Not all doctors will do this, but it’s always worth asking.
The operation was full on. Five hours in theatre and I awoke feeling like my head had been hit by a truck. My vision was blurred for quite a few days, which was a blessing as I looked horrendous.
A week later the doctor removed the 14 staples in my scalp resulting from the brow lift (think Frankenstein’s Bride!). They were a shock to me and they caused my hair to fall out around the area. (This eventually grew back, though I still have bald spots along the scar line.)
By the third week, once the bruising and swelling had subsided, I began to see what a marked improvement it had made. I had no flab under my chin and my jaw line was smooth, my eyes were as they used to be when I was in my twenties, and I really enjoyed putting makeup on again. To be able to blend my eye shadow without having to pull the skin tight was a real buzz. My first day back on the job, I was making up a client and was speaking of my 26 year- old daughter. She said ‘hang on, you can only be in your late thirties!’. Wow, if I’ve gained back 10-15 years of ageing, then it was all worth it!
The worst thing to endure was three years of an itchy, numb scalp and very severe surface headaches. My scalp’s surface was numb and the itching was beneath so I walked around constantly tapping my head with my fingernails trying to stop the itch. This irritated my partner no end as I sometimes did it in public. The brow lift was to only part of the operation I wish I hadn’t had done.
All in all, when anyone asks me, ‘was it worth it?’ I say ‘yes.’ It did make me look more refreshed and youthful and gave me a small amount more confidence. Now I can grow old gracefully, but with just a bit of cheating.
However, I do believe that if you think surgery will help you with your self image or self esteem issues, think again, because those issues will still exist afterwards, and you run the risk of doing what many women do – going back for more and more work. There is nothing attractive about a woman who looks plastic and false. True beauty really does come from within!
Subscribe to The Starfish (it’s free) to keep up with all Gail’s fab beauty tips. If you have a query – about makeup, mascara, or how best to conceal some wee flaw – write to Gail at firstname.lastname@example.org – she wants to help us!