My skin had started to feel like it really needed some TLC. I think it was a combination of my age (31 years), along with all the mask-wearing, the extra stress we’ve felt this past year and a half, and our lifestyle naturally being more indoors and sedentary. I wasn’t the kind of girl who had ever spent much time pampering myself or trying out treatments – in fact I had only ever had one facial before, years ago – and it was starting to show! That’s when I turned to 8 West Cosmetic Surgery & Skin Clinic in Vancouver, to help me get my glow back after lockdown life!
I first heard of 8 West Cosmetic Surgery & Skin Clinic in 2019, when I was researching rhinoplasty procedures and costs. Dr. Buonassisi of 8 West, is a Board Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon, and widely considered a top rhinoplasty surgeon. I have always dreamt of having a nose job to remove a bump from the bridge of my nose, and after careful research, I learnt that Dr. Buonassisi had such a wonderful reputation that I’m not sure I’d trust anyone else! Of course I would still be nervous to ‘go under the knife’, but with something as important and obvious as your face, I believe it’s sensible and gives you more peace of mind to go with the very best!
In 2020 I had a phone consultation to enquire further about rhinoplasty details. Paddy and I had recently got engaged, and having a nose I feel my most confident with on our wedding day would be an absolute dream. I imagine standing in front of everyone, side-on to say our vows, and just feeling so insecure. And of having those photos to treasure forever, but not looking how I’d like to in them.
Then last month I went for an in-person consultation with Dr. Buonassisi, where he explained everything, and also showed me computer imaging of how my nose could look with the hump removed, by different degrees and from different angles. I was on board with everything Dr. Buonassisi said, and felt very excited and at ease. The expected recovery time was a lot shorter than I had anticipated, too!
It is a tough decision purely from a financial perspective at the moment, with our wedding to pay for over the next 12 months, but it would be a real shame to have to have the surgery after our wedding day, so I have a lot to think about now!
I soon realized that 8 West not only specializes in surgical rhinoplasty, but in a wide array of skin rejuvenation procedures and treatments. I decided to book in for a Chemical Peel to begin with. This is the perfect non-surgical facial treatment to help revitalize your skin and act as a ‘clean slate’ for any further treatments. Chemical Peels help to balance your skin out, and your aesthetician can select a peel to target your specific concerns.
Senior Medical Aesthetician at 8 West, Suzanne Power, chose a Lightening Lift Chemical Peel for my skin. The areas I wanted to treat included pigmentation, enlarged pores, redness, and fine lines. Peels are not painful, and the facial massage you’ll receive during the treatment is very relaxing! They are also suitable to have at any time of year as you have little downtime, and only need to avoid the sun for a few days.
First, a chemical solution is applied to the skin, which removes the top layers of skin cells. Your skin will feel tight and look more red after the treatment, and it will peel for a few days from around day three. Then, the skin that grows back will be smoother! I was given some products to help with the dryness, so I only experienced a little peeling around my chin and jawline.
After the Chemical Peel, my skin looked refreshed and felt much smoother. The visible pores and redness were still there, but it felt good to have pampered by skin with a treatment, and to commit to using high quality products at home as well.
A few days later, I decided to try Lip Filler for the first time! I had been curious about this for a while, but was nervous it would look ‘too much’ – we’re all too familiar with the terms trout pout and duck lips. 🙈 However, I trusted the expertise of Lisa Roberge, Advanced Nurse Injector at 8 West, to deliver natural results that suited my appearance. And she did just that!
My aim was to add more volume to my lips – particularly my upper lip – but for the finished look to be subtle and to follow my natural lip line. Lisa injected 0.8mm of filler into my lips on the day, and added a teeny bit more during my follow-up appointment the next week, just to even everything out.
Getting lip filler does sting a little, but you will have numbing cream applied half an hour beforehand, plus an ice pack to press against your lips, and a vibrating device to hold against your cheek or jawline to help distract your brain from the pain!
As I bruise easily, Lisa provided me with some Arnica to take for a few days following the procedure, to help minimize any bruising. Arnica is a natural supplement that you can also take after surgeries to support the healing process. I did still bruise, but this can be covered by lipstick if needed, and it only lasted for about a week. Many people don’t bruise at all – lucky!
I’m really happy with the results. My upper lip is now more visible when I smile, but you wouldn’t think I’d definitely had lip filler if you saw me in the street! My mum and dad even approve, which I was not expecting! They both love the look, which means a lot as they never want me to alter my appearance in any way!
Lisa also injected a small amount of Botox to help calm laughter lines around my eyes – otherwise known as crow’s feet. I wasn’t concerned about wrinkles elsewhere on my face, but my eyes were definitely looking more scrunched and tired – particularly as I am a very smiley person! 😆
She was careful to not go overboard, and again the result has been very natural and subtle, still maintaining my character but just looking slightly fresher and more youthful!
You can have small amounts of Botox as a preventative measure too. It can help fine lines to not progress to deep wrinkles, which is great for people in their late 20s to early 30s.
There is no down-time for Botox, it was almost pain-free, and I did not bruise afterwards. Results can be seen from about one week after treatment.
The following week, I popped back to 8 West for a Microneedling appointment with Suzanne. Microneedling is great for a wide array of ages, and a wide array of concerns! It can help with fine lines, pigmentation, enlarged pores, and redness.
A numbing cream is applied to your face, so this treatment doesn’t hurt at all – despite it looking rather gory in this photo, with the blood being swirled around my face! To me, it felt like an electric toothbrush was being pressed against my skin. When we got to the nose area, I had to hold my breath and try hard not to sneeze, as it tickled so much!
After the Microneedling, your skin will look very red, like you have bad sunburn, and this lasted for around four days for me. My skin also felt tender and tight. Around days four to six my skin peeled a little. It’s really important that you stay out of the sun during this recovery time, and that you wear a high SPF and a hat if you do need to pop out!
Suzanne gave me some nourishing skin cream and gel samples to help soothe any redness or tenderness. The SkinCeuticals Phyto Corrective Gel was great for cooling my skin down. I used these products for the first five or six days after the treatment, before moving on to the longer-term skincare routine that 8 West had recommended for me (pictured at the bottom).
To continue caring for my skin at home, I was recommended some specific products by Suzanne at 8 West. I have been using these day and night for the past couple of weeks, and have loved the results so far.
Below you can see my morning skincare routine, in this order. I also use a fragrance-free toner. In the evening, my regime basically looks the same, minus the Silymarin CF and the UV Clear.
Here are the exact products, all of which can be purchased online at JoyVIVA by 8 West , or in-person at the 8 West clinic in Vancouver, BC:
SkinCeuticals Simply Clean Gel – Cleanser
SkinCeuticals Silymarin CF – Antioxidant
SkinCeuticals Discoloration Defense – Daily Serum
ZO Skin Health Daily Power Defense – Anti-Aging Moisturizer
ZO Skin Health Growth Factor Eye Serum – Anti-Aging Under-Eye Serum
EltaMD UV Clear – SPF 46
I hope this has been useful for anyone considering heading to 8 West Cosmetic Surgery & Skin Clinic, and for anyone hoping to get their glow back after lockdown life! 💗
You may also enjoy reading my tips on How to Care for Bleached Hair.
Disclaimer: The treatments I received at 8 West Cosmetic Surgery & Skin Clinic were gifted to me, in return for content creation. I was not paid for this work, and I only ever promote services and brands that I genuinely use, love, and would recommend to my closest friends.