Can’t we have both? And if so, how do you find an injector that puts you at ease?
When I started in the fashion and beauty (and social media) industry, I did it with great hesitation (and a bit of fear, to be completely honest). My “raison d’etre” for starting my business was to promote confidence and self-worth, and I worried that I would project the wrong message by taking part in an industry that has been known to do the opposite.
We’ve made strides in the fashion industry – ads now containing “real” women of all colours and sizes, photos less edited so that women are seen as they are. What was once considered “flaws” such as rolls and stretch marks are now embraced by many.
The beauty industry has made great strides as well.
But all the negatives I was worried about still rear their ugly faces. As I was inching up to my 40’s, I sat in doctor’s chairs who pointed out all the “flaws” that they could “fix”. “Look at the bunny lines on your nose, I can fix those” (me: but those are there because of how often I smile). “Look at that excess skin and fat in your lower abdomen, I can fix that” (me: the area of my body that grew 3 babes?). “You need to look as good on the outside as you feel on the inside” (me: most days I feel 70, so I guess I’m winning!).
And once they point the “flaws” out, you can’t unsee them.
That brings me to the reason for this blog.
I vowed I would age naturally. That no amount of “influence” would have me succumb to changing my appearance. I wanted my daughters and clients to love themselves, lines and all.
And then, after meeting an amazing cosmetic doctor and subsequently a registered nurse, my perception and relationship with injectables shifted. I am not changing anything. I am simply slowing down a process. I don’t have to look overdone and inflated; I can look well rested and vibrant while still having movement in my face.
This shift first started when I met Dr. Hetz from Concept Medical. I went in for a consult about a skin issue, and quickly realized that he’s doctor that does not perform anything on you unless you feel 100% confident about the reasons and science behind it. Injections to enhance or turn back the clock does not need to be unnatural or alter, it can simply be that boost you need to feel refreshed.
And then earlier this summer, another huge shift. I met a cosmetic nurse Chelsey and we instantly bonded. I’ll admit, I was very hesitant when choosing a nurse as a cosmetic practitioner (a couple bad experiences), but meeting Chelsey in person quickly put my mind at ease. Her passion and commitment to your personal health and beauty, and her quest to change industry standards (our love for politics and real change had us gabbing forever) immediately put mind at ease. And our shared commitment to uplift and empower other women had me hooked. I felt comfortable in her chair, under her care. This is not something that comes easy for me – we are taking about someone sticking a needle in your face.
She also has a gorgeous office. Walking into her bright, welcoming and beautiful (clinic) was something I appreciate when escaping my hectic life for a little bit.
Nurse Chelsey got rid of a line forming between my eyebrows and took care of some fine wrinkles around my eyes. It was so minor, my husband and kids didn’t notice (that’s always the goal for me), but I looked well rested and my skin looked smoother. I took off a couple of years of squinting at the very least. It was the boost I needed while still feeling like me.
While with Nurse Chelsey, she complimented my natural features and worked with them – a HUGE bonus and definitely my kinda gal. I use the same philosophy when working with my clients. I want them to love themselves first, then enhance their personalities, features and brand with wardrobe. Not the other way around.
The best part about my experience with Nurse Chelsey is learning about the medical cosmetic industry, and how important it is to see the right practitioner. Not just someone who is qualified on paper (did you know that physicians and nurses who can do injections are both regulated professionals with the same safety standards and obligations?), and not someone who can offer the best price. These types of procedures take skill, talent and someone who is dedicated to listening to your needs AND fears.
I asked Nurse Chelsey a couple more questions about herself and what she does, so that you all can get to know her a little. I asked her very important questions about what I considered most important:
- What is important for you when finding the right practitioner:
“What I do want to emphasize is the advantage to seeing a registered professional who has a keen understanding of anatomy (to reduce risks), critical thinking skills to mitigate complications and someone who is an expert at listening. I also feel strongly that there is an artistry to this industry that cannot be overlooked. I always say, “whether it is a needle or a paintbrush in my hand, I must be able to envision the outcome and how one simple addition affects what is existing.”
- What are your qualifications?
“I have basically been in University for a decade. I have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, a Bachelor of Science in Biology, my Registered Nursing license and current registration, a basic certification in neuromodulators and dermal fillers, two advanced certifications in neuromodulators and dermal fillers and a certification in a master injector program.
My indirect qualifications are the fact that I spent time in emergency room nursing, operating room nursing (plastic surgery) and that I teach as faculty at The Canadian Board of Aesthetic Medicine. I am their branch manager for the Ottawa stream. Furthermore, I am a member of the Registered Nursing Association of Ontario and the Canadian Nurses Association as I am committed to diving into deeper political action toward increasing the standards of cosmetic medicine”
- How are you trying to change the industry perception and standards for nurses?
“I am trying to change the industry to have everyone understand cosmetic injectables as a silo of healthcare. Not a form that will be covered by our comprehensive healthcare, but one where the standards are incredibly high. Right now, there is a disconnect between independent practices like mine and facilities such as hospitals or medical clinics. I want to change that. I want there to be policies and procedures, certifications and standards that match (or are greater than) provincially bench-marked institutions. There is a lot going on in the industry right now. The number of injectors is growing, and cosmetic parties are going on in homes. We have risks in our industry. We are dispensing pharmaceuticals. We should not be opening diabetic clinics in our homes the same way we should not be injecting injectables illegally. I firmly believe that if we do not write the legislation for this faction of medical care, it will get written for us. It will get written because too many poor outcomes have pushed governmental hands into writing it, because they need to protect the people. So, I have joined arms with our governing bodies and other thought leaders to lead the way. First and foremost, I am going to change the perception by role modelling on social media and among colleagues and community members. Most importantly, I role model this with my clients. Our consultations consist of listening to concerns versus expressing ‘what I would change about them.’ There is no cookie cutter approach to injectables, I am merely a safe place to find answers. I am not here to blow up faces like balloons. I am not here to make billboards out of humans. My intention is that it is not detectable where I have provided treatments. People can continue their lives while feeling refreshed and not concerned everyone will notice. I am starting conversations and leaving my fears of what others will think behind, because there is a new stream of cosmetic standards and philosophies coming. Conversation by conversation and barrier by barrier, I will strive to keep people safe and informed, and looking like themselves.”
- How do you choose the right product for someone?
I carry all the neuromodulator brands in Canada. Understanding the molecular makeup of each one (they are all slightly different) is the key to selecting an option for a patient. Even then, I discuss with each patient which brand I would select. That involves listening to the client and understanding their specific needs. By having all brands available and educating myself about each of their properties and clinical studies, it would be harder to be viewed as promoting one brand. Just as a physician must understand which family of antibiotics to prescribe based on the patient, we should all be informed of other pharmaceuticals we are using. As a nurse, it is mandatory to understand a drug before you give it. Did you know there are 10 patient rights of drug administration? The nurse must understand that they have the right person, medical history, interactions with other drugs, dose, action, frequency, route, education of the drug to administer and we have a duty to allow the client to refuse as well as document our interactions correctly? Injectors must be experts.
Visit her Instagram page (@nursechelseythecosmeticclinic), where she regularily posts and shares stories to educate her clients.
If you are considering a cosmetic injection or procedure or have been thinking about it for a long time, here’s my advice: do it for you and only you. Don’t do it because all your girlfriends are, or you’ve reached a certain age, or because social media has influenced you.
Once you have decided you are doing it for the right reason, DO YOUR RESEARCH. Look at someone’s qualifications, before and after pictures, meet with someone who makes you feel great, and doesn’t make you feel rushed when asking questions.
I want everyone to feel as comfortable as I did with Nurse Chelsey. If you have any questions about my experience or my decision to get an injectable, please don’t hesitate to ask.