The “must-wear” look for fall.
New York is still buzzing from the recent fashion shows in Bryant Park. So what did I see? That fashions are always changing but one thing remains the same: beautiful models. What do all these models have in common? Spectacular cheekbones. Regardless of the trend for more “quirky” fashion faces what has remained the same for decades are those angular cheeks; they frame the face and create highlights that distinguish beauty and frame the face. Structured cheeks are also a sign of vitality. Great cheekbones highlight the eyes, too, adding overall balance to one’s facial features. Cheekbones are the foundation of a drop-dead gorgeous look.
Patients seeking celebrity cheekbones are fast on the rise. Not long ago, it required a surgical procedure with insertion of cheek or malar implants. This is still a feasible operation for those who desire long lasting results. However, with the myriad new facial fillers, I can create stunning cheeks without surgery.
The fillers that I use to create Runway Cheeks TM are hyaluronic acid: Juvederm Ultra Plus and Perlane, or calcium hydroxyl appetite: Radiesse. The procedure is performed in-office and takes just about 20 minutes. There is minimal discomfort and little-to-no bruising. You can go straight out to lunch, back to work, or shopping on Madison Avenue directly after. So, if you want to look like you just stepped off the runway, this procedure is your dream look and the right option for you.
As I perform more and more facial fillers to restore youthful cheeks, I continue to be excited about the wonderful changes we see with only one or two cc’s of filler. Most patients who are candidates either ask about treating nasolabial lines and folds (they run from the corner of the nose to the mouth). However if you look more closely at their cheeks, as people age beyond the mid 30’s we lose the baby fat that gave us youthful fullness. Remember those cheeks that your aunts and grandmother used to pinch?
Now, when I look closely at these cheeks, I often see a mound (cheekbones), hollowness beneath, then a nasolabial “mound” then the nasolabial fold. Filling just the nasolabial fold doesn’t go very far in making patients appear more youthful. What I prefer, and most patients agree, is to first restore volume to the cheeks. I use filler to restore volume under the cheekbones. Then I need only a little filler in the actual nasolabial fold since the volume restoration lifts the nasolabial folds up and out. On “beginners” we often start with only 1 cc (syringe) of filler. For more volume, 1 per side is sufficient. To enhance cheekbones, the filler can be tailored to each patients’ needs by highlighting, restoring or creating beautiful cheekbones as well.
What filler do I like to use? On a first-timer, I usually start with Juvederm Ultra. This is the smoothest, most mold-able filler and it gives the most subtle enhancement. I sometimes use Restylane as well but find that Juvederm is more mold-able. These fillers typically last from 6 to 9 months in the cheeks. For more volume and a longer lasting effect the next choice is Juvederm Ultra Plusor Perlane (basically, this is thick Restylane). These fillers provide more volume. Plus they often last from 9 months to a year. Want even longer lasting effects, especially for building high cheekbones? I will address this in a future blog. It is what I call Runway Cheeks. The next choice following hyaluronic acid fillers (Juvederm, Restylane and Perlane), I use Radiesse, for a 1 year plus result.
When patients have very hollow cheeks and require a large volume replacement. My first choice is Scuptra. Using one’s own fat for fat transfer is also an option.
So for beautiful, youthful cheeks there are many options. The best option is to come in or visit your favorite facial plastic surgeon for personalized recommendations. By the way, the same choices and process applies to melolabial folds or marionette lines that run from the corners of the mouth downward.