Oh you handsome devil, with your fancy beauty tweakments
Right blokes, are you ready for your Botox and fillers?
OK, hands up: who has looked in the mirror and imagined what your face might look like with a few improvements here and there? Wondered whether Botox might be the solution to frown lines, or if fillers could give your lips a bit of a boost? Non-surgical “tweakments” are becoming more and more popular all the time.
There’s a very good chance the man in your life has thought about having them too. Men, especially ones of the middle-aged variety, are just as wracked by insecurities about their appearance as women. Thinning hair, wrinkles, man boobs: they all conspire to eat away at our precarious self-esteem. What’s more, thanks to the rise of social media and dating apps, and the burgeoning wellness trend, in 2019 the pressure on men to look good feels more intense than ever.
According to a study published in the journal Body Image, fewer than a third of men say they’re satisfied with how they look – which probably explains why everything from beard transplants to ball lifts (yep, you read right) are now available for men with deep enough pockets and high enough pain thresholds.
However, it’s the minimally invasive “tweakments” that men are now turning to, with the likes of Simon Cowell, TV presenter Rylan Clark-Neal and fashion designer Tom Ford all unashamed fans.
“Men usually make up about 10% of the patient group at a clinic, but some doctors find that up to 40% of their clientele is now male,” says Alice Hart-Davis, author of The Tweakments Guide: Fresher Face. Unlike surgery, most tweakments are quick, require no anaesthetic, and there’s very little recovery time.
Having tried Botox myself, I can attest that it’s neither as terrifying as a wet shave nor as eye-watering as a back wax. There’s also far less chance of ending up looking like “human Ken doll” Rodrigo Alves (unless you really want to).
“Only a small minority of the men who come to my clinic want pumped lips or a frozen face – most are after results that are visible but not overtly noticeable,” says aesthetic technician Kay Greveson, who cites Botox, lip enhancement and microneedling – puncturing the skin with tiny needles to stimulate its repair process – as men’s top treatments.
The triggers driving men through the doors of clinics like Kay’s are varied: some want to stay competitive in the workplace; others just can’t bear the idea of looking in the mirror to see Keith Richards gazing back at them. A recently separated pal of mine confessed he’d had Botox in readiness for dating again – in an act not dissimilar to splashing out on new undies to make yourself feel sexy. Some men simply do it to boost their self-esteem.
I suspect our access to digital filters, like those available on Instagram, is having an effect too. At what other time in history have we been able to see what we might look like with a smoother, plumper, less haggard-looking face at the tap of a finger? Whatever the trigger, when men try a tweakment or two, many end up smitten – and can be remarkably open about what they’ve had done. “So many men these days are posting the results on social media for everyone to see,” observes Kay.
It’s not all perfectly chiselled chins and frown-free foreheads, though. Given the woeful lack of regulation that the tweakment industry is subject to, go through the wrong door and you could easily walk out looking like Mr Spock (inexpertly applied Botox can lead to “alien” eyebrows) or, if the practitioner is especially cavalier with the needle, a hard-boiled egg. Which is why it’s important to do your research before committing to any form of treatment.
Looking better doesn’t have to mean looking younger. Making the most of what you have will always be easier – and ultimately more rewarding – than desperately trying to turn back the clock. And that’s where today’s little tweakments for men, with their focus on improvement rather than radical alteration, really come into their own.
Five of the top tweakments for men
The most popular tweakment with men, used to combat crow’s feet, frown lines and lines between brows. It can also soften lines around the mouth. You’ll need top-ups (it generally lasts for three to four months) but forget fears about looking like a billiard ball. “If you opt for ‘sprinkle Botox’, where small doses are injected into multiple sites, lines are relaxed without freezing the facial expression,” says dermatologist Dr Stephanie Williams.
This involves puncturing the surface of the skin with a roller made up of tiny needles – the idea being that the pinpricks stimulate the production of collagen and elastin, the stuff that gives skin its plumpness.
Injected into the skin, dermal fillers – usually made of hyaluronic acid – are used to fill out hollows, plump up cheeks, boost lip size and re-contour the face, and last between six and 18 months.
Non-surgical nose jobs
Here fillers are injected to reshape the nose – which can take as little as 15 minutes – and last about a year. “You can correct humps and bumps, make the nose look straighter and even elevate the tip,” says Williams.
A 40-minute procedure, “miraDry” involves having the sweat glands in your armpits permanently disabled via a device that fires thermal energy at them. You’ll never suffer sweat-stained shirts again.
– © Telegraph Media Group Limited (2019)