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cosmetic surgery

An advert for lip fillers created by The Royal Tunbridge Wells Skin Clinic (RTWSkin) has been banned for supposedly encouraging young girls "irresponsibly" to get the cosmetic procedure.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) suggest that the ad insinuated that getting lip fillers are now "commonplace as getting your hair done", according to The Independent.

The advert, ran in Index Magazine, was targeted at young women and has been removed for normalising and presenting the cosmetic procedure as safe.


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The ad read "Is your daughter taking an interest in lip fillers?" and claimed that the procedure was as common as a haircut.

RTWSkin director John Sheffield stated his surprise at the decision of the ASA to ban the advert; "I'm shocked at the attitude and conclusions". The ad drew complaints in October when it initially ran.

It stated: "Dermal fillers are very quickly becoming as commonplace as getting your hair done these days and even more so within the younger age group." It also wrote that mothers often bring their daughters in for the fillers.

It implied that parents are searching to "find somewhere safe and suitable" for their children's treatment, instead of saying no and pushing their daughters or sons to "go behind their backs, blindly searching for the cheapest practitioner without realising the risks".

According to the ASA, the ad made the impression that risks of lip fillers were associated only with unsuitable practitioners, and failed to illustrate the common risks of the surgery even with an experienced surgeon.

It added: "By presenting lip fillers as normal and safe… and something that responsible parents should support, the ad was irresponsible."

RTWSkin are claiming that a 20-year-old staff member wrote the ad, so was consulted about young women and their desire for altering their image.


A post shared by rtwskin (@rtwskin) on In a statement to the ASA, she stated her peer group was "vulnerable to the messages put out by reality TV shows and social media", and believed education and discussion of the topic was vital considering the amount of negative treatments being issued elsewhere.

Mr Sheffield said "many" young women and men attended the free consultation as a result of the ad, and about 30 percent of these people went for treatment. 

"In the vast majority of cases, we were able to satisfy the person that they did not need this procedure."

"We have received several commendations for our efforts to educate and were really quite shocked at the attitude and conclusions of the ASA."


Botox and fillers for those under the age of 18 may soon be banned according to the Minister for Health.

Simon Harris claims the possible new restriction in theory would work similarly to the sunbed ban for minors.

According to Harris, certain companies and professionals are taking advantage of young people's desire for the perfect image, courtesy of social media sites like Instagram.

Doctors have also raised concerns about the increase in patients being admitted to hospitals following botched cosmetic procedures.

The Minister has requested that his officials assess the need to further regulate botox and fillers, such as a possible ban for minors. 

Concerns regarding filling material have also arisen, as it isn't categorised as a drug but as a medical device. This means that it can be bought online and used by someone without medical training.

Minister Harris expressed his concern over the consequences of this area going "unregulated or unsupervised".

A recent study by Therapie Clinic has shown that 68 percent of Irish people said that they already have or would consider getting a cosmetic procedure done.

In 2017, a teen health report showed that a shocking 72 percent of Irish young adults were experiencing body image issues. 



Beauty means something different to everyone. An episode of Sherlock I distinctly remember had the protagonist declare while giving the Best Man’s speech at a wedding; “Beauty is a construct based entirely on childhood impressions, influences and role models.”

At the time, I was roughly 16 years old, obsessed with changing absolutely everything about my appearance. During my school days, everyone wanted to look the same.

The same tanned skin, bright blonde hair which is pretty much only natural if you are of Scandinavian descent, contoured cheekbones and slender figure with a waistline that most likely requires a corset to maintain.

Being different was not only seen as unattractive, it was even feared.

It was only when I entered college and saw beauty expanding its traits that my eyes were opened to different types of aesthetically pleasing looks. As well as this, I began to understand that confidence is beauty.

Happiness is beauty, intelligence is beauty, generosity is beauty. And that beauty is often the least interesting thing about a person.


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However, the ideal of beauty which had been prominent during my secondary school years remained the same until the Kardashians exploded onto the reality TV scene, and over the course of the last decade have altered the idea of beauty as we know it.

With their bum and breast implants, nose jobs, cheek implants, lip fillers, whitened teeth among other procedures I don’t have the vocabulary to describe, somehow the idea of what was beautiful drastically changed.

Body modification became far more normalised, as well as the fact that social media gave audiences the power of knowledge.

While celebrities were undoubtedly changing their faces and bodies for decades, especially ones on our cinema and TV screens, social media and the internet now gave us the tools to recognise when ‘work’ had been done.


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One fascinating case which has attracted massive public attention in the last few weeks is that of Elliot Joseph Rentz, otherwise known as Alexis Stone.

The make-up and drag artist garnered public furore after revealing a massively drastic surgical transformation to his large social media following, uploading reveal videos to his YouTube channel which were bombarded with negative comments spewing hateful language and even death threats.

Rentz began the process on August 1 of last year, explaining to his following in a video;

“I don’t want to look the way I look today. I don’t connect with what I see. I never have. So I’m changing it all. I’ve been called crazy. I’ve been called botched. I’ve been called an addict. I’ve been called ugly. I’m told every single day that I’ve ruined my face,” he claimed, emphasising that every last cent he owned would be given to his surgical dream of metamorphosis.

“You name it, I’m having it done,” he explained.


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Alexis uploads a video titled “The Reveal”, which has since racked up over 450,000 views. In the diary-like visual film, the drag artist shows off his brand new face, which included fat grafts to his nose, forehead, and chin, as well as chin and cheek implants and an eye lift.

“This had nothing to do with vanity and everything to do with sanity,” he quotes, directly from Pete Burns’ biography.

One month later, Rentz uploads a compilation of comments, each more vicious and negative than the next. Some of them are hard to read.

Stone later claimed his so-called friends and family members often joined in on the vitriolic, with some people even telling him to take his own life, and that his ex-boyfriend committed suicide because of Stone.


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Roll on January 1 2019, and Stone reveals in a lengthy YouTube documentary that the whole six-month journey was a complete hoax – his new ‘botched’ face was a complex mask.

Working with Academy Award-winning makeup artist David Marti, a stunt mask was even developed from prosthetic facial materials to be worn outside of the house. Months of effort and secrecy had led to this, and the result was fascinating.

He referred to the stunt as a social experiment, while others called it a cry for mental health help, an attention seeking performance or even a show of disrespect for those who have undergone extreme surgery themselves for whatever reason.

So why did he do it, and what did his social experiment show about society’s idea of beautiful versus ‘botched’ surgery?

Ireland’s perception of the cosmetic surgery industry is vastly different from the reality.

Dozens of clinics have popped up all over the country – Westport in County Mayo is even the predominant creator and exporter of the world’s botox – and yet there is an element of hushed secrecy to the entire organisation.

It is rare to find an Irish person who opens up about having plastic surgery, we are a country of people who lament so-called ‘narcissism’, yet self-confidence issues remain potent within our society.

In a society that profits from self-doubt, liking yourself is an act of rebellion.

Jameela Jamil has frequently found herself in the public eye for her scathing indictment of the Kardashian family, arguing that their world is one which 'recycles self-hatred'.

Yet the reality TV clan have essentially transformed the perception of beauty over the last decade, morphing women into self-obsession with curves, plumped up lips, tanned skin and bodycon clothing.

“You’re selling us self-consciousness,” she claims, portraying her deep disappointment of the ‘double-agents to the patriarchy’. Her main issue with the Kardashians is their weight-loss product endorsements, which are basically a fancier packaging for laxatives in protein shake form.

The family have abundant riches which can afford the best photoshop, photographers, airbrushing, personal trainers, stylists, dermatologists and cosmetic surgeons the world can offer.

Even a glance over websites aimed at young women such as Boohoo, Missguided and PrettyLittleThing shows the huge changes in the beauty industry.

Their models have hyper-miniscule waists and voluptuous curves, glossy brunette locks, tanned skin and full lips, highly reminiscent of the Kardashian family’s idea of what beauty means.

The #10YearChallenge has proven at least one thing; those who have money have a greater control over their appearance than those who don’t.

Body modification has become normalised in society, whether it’s permanent or semi-permanent. Contouring, filters on our social media apps, airbrushing, make-up tutorials on YouTube and cosmetic surgery all reflect the culture we live in, which constantly tells us what we look like isn’t enough.


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And yet, if a person who changes their appearance is genuinely happier and finds improvement in their mental health and self-esteem as a result of body modification, who are we to judge their lifestyle choices?

Choice is the vital word here. Our society and law consistently shows that it believes it possesses the right to control other people’s bodies. Specifically female bodies.

If another person has the funds and is of sound mind, shouldn’t they be allowed to alter their body if it sparks joy in them, to reference the iconic Marie Kondo?

What struck me most was the understanding which the public has for those undergoing body modification for the sake of their physical health.

Whether it’s a nose job for aiding breathing, a breast reduction surgery to alleviate back pain or even just braces, the level of support appears to be significantly higher when physical health is taken into account, rather than perceived vanity.


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Yet if a person’s mental health is suffering as a result of their appearance, is this not still a health reason? On an ‘extreme’ level, is transitioning from a male or female gender to the opposite biological sex classified as body modification?

In this case, a person’s mental health would presumably suffer as a result of their appearance, should they not identify with who they see in the mirror.

Cases of body dysmorphia are higher than ever in Ireland, obsession with one’s flaws can cause great emotional pain. Yet we fixate on the reasoning for a person’s body modification, we presume we have the right to judge them for their choices.

SHEmazing spoke to a young woman named Gráinne, who underwent breast reduction surgery at the age of 19, and never looked back. She was plagued with back pain throughout her secondary school years, but the daily toll which her chest took on her confidence and mental health was the final straw;

“For my own personal experience I would say, I think my chest came in in like first year when I was 13, and got bigger after that. I’d say it probably crossed my mind, a chest reduction every once in a while. You’d be trying on clothes and things just wouldn’t fit, whether it was bikini or swimsuits or whatever, I couldn’t buy clothes that fit. You’d be thinking, ‘just chop them off and be done with it’.”

“Throughout secondary school if you had that idea, you’d just dismiss it, because we don’t do that. I didn’t take it seriously, it was a passing thought. It was first year of college that my cousin, who had a bigger chest than I did, got a breast reduction surgery done. I thought, ‘If she could do it, why can’t I?’ It dispelled the taboo a bit, I guess.”

Gráinne noticed the unspoken way which Irish people often have of burying a topic until somebody else is brave enough to unlock it.

“I hadn’t really thought about it, but that took away the wall up around it. The summer before I started second year in college, it was just getting to me. It affected everything in the way of confidence, everything I wore, playing sports just wasn’t a thing, I just felt vulnerable. My mum always compared it to wild games of tennis at Wimbledon, everything’s going the wrong direction. You’re very self-conscious about it. I was starting to get dints in my shoulders, I would have been 19 at the time so I couldn’t believe I could get them so young”

Gráinne discovered that she qualified for the surgery through the state on medical grounds, and her life greatly changed after that pivotal moment;

“I got my chest done September of 2015, so I would have been 19 when I started. I went to my GP about it, and he referred us. It was on medical grounds, I couldn’t straighten my back or stand for five minutes without a pain in my back because it just couldn’t hold my breasts. You feel like a hunchback all the time because you’re always bending over. I remember when I was going to the consultant, I was more nervous because I thought ‘If he tells me I can’t get this surgery, what am I going to do?’"

"I went in and found out I could have it on health grounds, and I was the right BMI for them to justify it. We had to wait for the insurance to approve it. The only funny thing was that they told me there would be scars. I never cared about this, I knew I could deal with them if it meant that I could have a smaller chest. To this day, I don’t care about the scars. They’re there, they’re fine, they’re healed.”

The process of the surgery itself is a journey, from the initial thought pattern, to the planning, to the operation itself and then recovery. Nobody takes on cosmetic surgery lightly, nobody does it on a whim or doesn’t think it through. They don’t think about ‘ruining’ their looks, or what other people think.

They have been on their journey for a long time, they are of sound mind, and they have ultimately made a choice and will handle whatever consequences arrive afterwards;

“Having the surgery itself, people would ask me if I was nervous. I kept telling people, ‘Why would I be nervous, I just have to lie there? It’s the doctor’s job.’ I wasn’t nervous, I was excited about it because it meant that so many other things were going to be open to me. When I finally got the surgery done, I was just ready for it. After the surgery, you had to have a week of bedrest to recover, and take care of yourself. It was fine, I had protein and scrambled eggs because the nurses said that it would help the healing of scars. I never put any kind of stress on it, I was always just excited about the chance to have it done. I can’t imagine what my life would be like without having it done, if I was still in the mental headspace of constantly being conscious of my chest like that.”

What changed in Gráinne’s life after her operation, and how does she feel today about it?

“It was just such a thing that you hid before. Everyone in my family had adapted to wearing big jumpers and scarves to hide it, we were a big chested family. I have no problem talking about my surgery, I have no problem talking about my chest size. I was never vulnerable about it, I kind of own it. Every year around the anniversary of my surgery, I think of it like a little victory. It’s an attitude, it’s another year on of not having to deal with my chest. People who knew me and knew how important it was for me were supportive."

"I wonder if there was someone who wanted implants for their chest, would it have been the same reaction? My flat chested friends always joked ‘I’ll use whatever you don’t want!’, I wonder if someone had gotten implants, would it have been the same reaction? Would people have been as supportive? Even if it was for their own mental health because they can’t stand being so flat-chested, I don’t think it would be as accepted.”

I asked Gráinne how her life changed after the surgery, in more than just a physical way;

“It definitely improved my mental health and the way I see myself. It’s made me more accepting of other parts of my body, of me as a whole. My physical health has also improved, I’m more active. I used to do so many after-school activities in primary school, but once my chest developed I stopped those. Sports bras didn’t improve it either. No one in my life ever commented on me having a big chest in a negative way to me, I don’t think. It was just something I wanted.”

Ariel Winter chose to have a breast reduction surgery following years of public and online ridicule, complications involving acting roles as well as intense back pain. Speaking about the difficulties to Glamour in 2015, she said;

“We live in a day and age where everything you do is ridiculed. The Internet bullies are awful. I could post a photo where I feel good, and 500 people will comment about how fat I am and that I am disgusting. On red carpets, I just said to myself, "You have to do your best to look confident and stand up tall, and make yourself look as good as you can in these photos," because everyone is going to see them. I definitely seemed confident; I'm an actress, that's what we do. But on the inside, I wasn't feeling so happy.”


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For Gráinne, Ariel Winter’s story deeply resonated with her;

 “I saw her on Ellen, and just understood everything she said. You’re so self conscious of it. It would have affected my confidence going on Erasmus, I always hid behind scarves and jumpers. I’m far more confident now, and whether that was just growing up or having my chest done, I feel the chest was a major contributing factor. I’m still a curvaceous figure, but it’s manageable and I’m not weighed down by it. It wasn’t about anyone else, it was about me and no one else. If that’s what someone else wants, then they should go for it.”

When asked her opinion on Alexis Stone’s stunt, Gráinne was struck by the thought of going ‘too far’, and why that seemed to offend so many people. The idea that if you transform yourself to look less like the culturally accepted beauty standards, you are committing a grave sin in some way;

“For the whole Alexis Stone side of things, I think the problem with that was, did he go too far in people’s eyes? He didn’t fit with what society wanted him to look like. Kylie Jenner’s lips, she was self-conscious about them, and had been over-drawing, she got them done, but now we forget that she ever got them done. We accept that this is her face. But with Alexis, everyone thinks he went too far. People getting things like that done are often afraid of other people seeing their insecurities. There’s a model of what society wants people to look like, and you’re either reaching that model or you’re going too far."

Image: youtube.com

"Rachel Green in Friends, it’s so overlooked that she got a nose job, because it was to fix what they saw as a flaw. If Alexis Stone pretended to get work done for what he saw as a flaw, but society didn’t, then it’s a problem. Other people didn’t know about my chest, but I felt that it was a burden for myself and how I viewed myself. It was literally weighing me down. Kylie Jenner’s lips were a flaw to herself, and she ‘fixed’ them and she’s happy. It’s about ‘fixing’ what people’s perception of beauty is.”

What a large group of people perceive to be aesthetically pleasing offers a mirror to that society itself. Sociological factors have a major impact on why we see certain shapes, sizes, faces, skin types, hair and eye colours etc as the desirable way to look. Despite the fact that millions of young women ache to look the same as the Kardashians, it’s what is unique to each person that is the inherently beautiful part of them.

What's 'beautiful' today may be off-brand tomorrow. Why try to keep up?

As well as their appearance, their worth is so much more than what they look like or what they way. What they feel, what they offer to the world, their identities, their language, their flaws, their intelligence, their kindness; these factors are often greatly impacted by appearance, but beauty is more to do with the mind than what the eye envisions.

“Society has an issue with it if it’s pointing out flaws that they see in themselves as well. If you see something that you really admire in someone else, you feel self-conscious about it yourself in some way.”


What should have been an amazing 21st birthday celebration for Modern Family actress turned sour, when body-shaming trolls attacked her weight-loss.

The gorgeous actress posted a number of photos from her birthday bash, alongside her beloved boyfriend Levi Meaden, and the comments quickly became focused on her physique.

The images show Winter wearing a plaid jumpsuit, showing off her beautiful body, but trolls claimed her slimmer figure was because of plastic surgery.


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She captioned the post: "When you see the zankou chicken on the left turn right, and then you’ll be in Marina Del RAH. Happy 21st. Love you always, I couldn’t ask for a better day."

Comments have since been disabled on the series of snaps, after horrible social media users targeted her with hate. One said; "You’re losing your thick", referencing her famously curvy body.

"Healthier? She got work done to her face. She looked 'healthier' before,” one person wrote.

“Nothing wrong with being honest and telling her we liked her better before 'the change' she was so beautiful before she started chopping up her body and if me saying so helps one girl out there to feel beautiful who's thinking of surgery then its worth it,” another person added.



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The judgemental, harsh words prompted a response from Ariel herself.

“I appreciate you wanting to help girls love themselves the way they are, but you are also kind of cutting me down,” she wrote. 

“I also didn’t get plastic surgery. That is also not being supportive of women if you’re just assuming something about the way they look," she added. She's had to fight back the haters multiple times before:

She tweeted a few months ago: "My friend sent me the funniest article that's apparently in OK Magazine about my 'super strict diet' and how I only go out to eat if it's healthy food and I don't allow sugar in the house…I eat every carbohydrate possible…"

"I make chocolate chip cookies every week," she added. YES GURL.

Winter has long been the subject of criticism online, especially since her breast reduction surgery at the age of 17 and her choice of fashion.


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Earlier in January, somebody even suggested that she binges on drugs to lose weight; "Not half as bad as all the coke.meth she uses. She literally dropped 30 ponds." After correcting her spelling of pounds (thank God), Winter fired back.

“Yup… I dropped 30 bodies of water so fast…” she said. ”And yes!! My psychiatrist switched me from my previous antidepressant that didn’t work and made me gain weight, to coke/meth!! 

Her body shouldn't be attacked by random online users hiding behind a keyboard. Keep doing what you're doing Ariel, you're slaying the game and snatching wigs left, right and centre.


Kylie Jenner is known for many things. 

Her lip gloss range, her reality TV show, the fact that she's part of one of the most famous showbiz families on the planet…oh and her now-iconic full pout. 

While she initially denied having anything done to her lips, she admitted all in 2017 on her show Life of Kylie

She told Complex magazine at the time that, ''it has been an insecurity of mine all my life. I felt like no one wanted to kiss me.”

Explaining why she had originally lied about the cosmetic work, she explained that she had panicked.

''What are all those moms going to think about me? These kids, my fans, they’re going to think I’m crazy. I didn't’ want to be a bad influence. I didn't’t want people to think you had to get your lips done to feel good about yourself.''

However, it seems that she has had a change of heart.


heat wave

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Taking to Instagram over the weekend, the 20-year-old revealed that her relationship with fillers was so done. 

She posted an image of herself with what looks like her old lips. 

Her 110 million followers were quick to notice, with some commenting, ''even more beautiful now you’ve took them out. Natural is beautiful'' and ''so totally beautiful …The natural look is so good.''


it’s our 8 year anniversary

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In the past, she admitted that she might have gotten carried away with the injections.

“When you first get them done, you’re like, ‘Oh, it could be a little bit bigger on that side.’ I’d go back and be like, ‘They went down’ and think they could be bigger. But I went too far.”

While people were purely speculating about the Insta snaps at first, Kylie then confirmed her different look by saying, ''I got rid of all my filler'' followed by worried emojis.

Kyle recently spoke about how her baby Stormi had not inherited her lips, but has big beautiful eyes. 

She told friend Jordyn Woods during a YouTube Q&A that, ''she has the biggest eyes ever. The one thing I was insecure about, she has. She has the most perfect lips in the whole entire world. She ain't get those from me. Thank her dad for those.''


One glance at social media proves that lip fillers are on the rise in Ireland, and a set of perfectly pouty lips is the most sought-after new accessory. 

However, with the rise in demand for the procedure, it is important to be completely informed about the cosmetic choice that you are making.

Here are 10 things to keep in mind before opting for the injection: 

10, Research your aesthetician

The action of administering lip fillers is a mostly unregulated practice in Ireland, meaning that anyone with access to a pack of filler and a cannula could hypothetically do it.

However, there are major risks involved with this, and only registered doctors, nurses and dentists should be administering the cosmetic procedure. 

"It angers me that people who aren't medically trained don't know what can go wrong with these procedures. I have had to correct lips that are the result of unethical practice," April Kavanagh, the trained nurse behind NurseCare Aesthetics, so ask to see credentials. 

Nurses should be registered with the Nursing And Midwifery Board Of Ireland (NMBI), dentists with The Irish Dental Council (IDC) and doctors with the Irish Medical Council

9. Don't think of it as just a beauty treatment

Lip fillers have become completely normalised thanks to social media and celebrity culture, but don't think of them as another chore to add to your beauty regimen. 

"Because fillers are available in beauty salons and hair dressing salons, it makes it look like these are beauty treatments when in fact they are medical procedures," said  Claudia McGloin, founder of The Claudia McGloin Clinic. 

8. Consider your budget

Properly applied lip fillers can cost anything from €300-€500, so ask yourself if you can really afford them. 


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7. Get informed about what they are made of

Lip fillers are made of a substance called Hyaluronic Acid (or HA), which naturally occurs in the body. 

The actual filler that is injected is a synthetic substance that mimics this, and can be found in plenty of beauty and skin care products.

The substance is very safe to use as it is naturally according, making allergy rates extremely low. 

6. Consider why you want them

"Lip injections are good for anyone who wants to alter their lip shape, or just plump their aging lips," Dr Richard Swift told Good Housekeeping.

However, plenty of girls come into lip aestheticians brandishing a photo of Kylie Jenner or their favourite social media influencer. While bringing a photo is fine, getting them for the wrong reasons is not. 

"I have absolutely turned away clients who want work done for the wrong reasons. Some people come in for a procedure, then call me up two weeks later looking to get more," said April. 

5. Watch videos of the process

Squeamish people, look out. 

The results of lip fillers may look pretty, but the procedure can involve small amounts of blood, multiple injections and an intense lip massage after the product is injected. 


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4. If a deal looks too good to be true…

If the price of a deal looks too good to be true, that's probably because it is. Beware of cosmetic cowboys. 

Untrained administrators can buy cheap filler off the internet on the international market with no clue what's really in the syringe. 

3. Consider your pain tolerance

Depending on your personal pain threshold, fillers can range from a mere pin prick to quite uncomfortable, though they should never be extremely painful.

The lips should feel slightly tender and swollen after, with and bruising or swelling disappearing after a week. 

2. If you ever get cold cores, read this!

Getting fillers can trigger a cold sore outbreak if you are prone. 

"If you are prone to cold sores whenever you have any treatment of the lips or surrounding area it may reactivate it," said Dr Tatiana Khrom, Dermatologic Surgeon, at Real Self.

"So you always have to inform your provider about your history so we can give you prophylactic treatment for the outbreak which usually involves taking a few antiviral pills."


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1. Don't be surgery-shamed

There seems to be a bit of secrecy among some influencers and celebs about the surgery status of their lips, but don't let anyone make you feel bad about seeking an aesthetic tweak.

"Lip fillers are not a bad thing," says Kerry Hannaphy, who has worked on numerous clients looking for a subtle improvement in lip volume or symmetry. 

"I've had numerous emails about how it's improved the confidence of people, they feel so much better about themselves and they don't feel so depressed."



If you've ever attempted to take a fire selfie, you'll agree that angles are absolutely everything. 

In your mind, you can go from looking like a ethereal goddess to complete swap monster with just a slight twist of your head – and don't even get us stared on reverse image cameras. 

However, for anyone who is a little self-conscious about the size of their nose, you'll be happy to know that phone camera can actually make them appear bigger than they are in real life. 

In fact, new research has shown that selfies can increase the size of our snozzles by up to one third, and the phenomenon is causing a dramatic rise in demand for nose jobs. 

Apparently it's all to do with perceptive. When taken at a distance of 12 inches, selfies can appear to change the structure of our faces, thus leading to increased self-esteem and body image issues. 

According to Metro, four in ten cosmetic surgeons say they have noticed that some of their patients wish to improve the way the look on Facebook and Instagram. 

Dr Boris Paskhover, an ear, nose and throat specialist said: "When taken at 12 inches away, selfies increased nasal size by 30 per cent  in males and 29 per cent in females"

"Predictably, an image taken at five feet – a standard portrait distance – results in essentially no difference in perceived size."

Of course, this means waving goodbye to cute close-ups, but if you don't want you face to become distorted, you're better off getting someone else to take the photo. 



One glance at social media proves that aesthetic surgery is on the rise in Ireland, and a set of perfectly pouty lips is the most covetable of all qualities.

Social media saturation, reality TV super stars and selfies are all being blamed for the trend, which has seen a massive spike on Irish shores according to Google trend data. 

High maintenance glamour is considered mandatory by some, with hair extensions, microbladed brows, eyelash extensions and lip fillers accessorising the perfect designer it-bag.

The trend skyrocketed in early 2015, just after cosmetics queen Kylie Jenner admitted to her penchant for the procedure.

However, the current obsession with lip fillers is not limited to a niche market. 

Indeed, women from all walks of life, from nurses and models to CEOs and students, are all opting to get in on the trend, but it's particularly widespread among younger Irish women.  


A photo posted by Jess Brennan (@jess_brennan_x) on

Amanda Holtz, an American student studying in Dublin, is curious about trying lip fillers for the first time.

"I think I've always been a little self conscious about my lips. Not that they're weird looking or anything but because to me they aren't perfect," she says in conversation with SHEmazing! 

Citing social media, she adds: "On Instagram everyone seems to be having a bit of work done, it's almost beginning to seem like the norm in order to be beautiful. There's this idea of beauty and it's difficult not to compare yourself to that."

"I do find myself being bothered by my thin lips and I know that I will end up trying lip injections especially because I feel that they are just a little change that could make a big difference to my confidence. And if I end up hating it, they only last a few months anyway!"


A photo posted by megan_mckenna_ (@megan_mckenna_) on

While Amanda is optimistic about perusing a procedure, extensive research is necessary in Ireland as the process is unregulated.

So-called 'cosmetic cowboys' have sprung up all over the country, administering fillers with little to no experience.

A quick Google search shows that purchasing the liquid filler and corresponding medical needles and cannulas is just the click of a mouse away.  

Some of these individuals rent out hotel rooms to administer the fillers, and as Irish suppliers will only sell to registered doctors, nurses and dentists (not beauticians) there is no way of knowing what the product is or whether the person wielding the needle has any experience whatsoever, as there are no regulations about who can perform the procedures.  

April Kavanagh, the trained nurse behind NurseCare Aesthetics, admits that "unfortunately the process is mostly unregulated."

"It angers me that people who aren't medically trained don't know what can go wrong with these procedures. I have had to correct lips that are the result of unethical prctice."

"Too much product injected into the lips can cause more swelling and can cut off the blood supply to the lips and compress nerve endings, causing permanent damage. It's someone's face at the end of the day."

A main artery runs through the lips, and if filler is injected in to or around the artery, it an cause a very serious complication called an occlusion, where the blood flow is reduced or completely stopped.

"The area of skin or other tissues that are supplied by the affected vessel will start to die without the necessary blood supply," says cosmetic specialist site Real Self

One woman who knows all too well the effects of a poorly done procedure is Claudia McGloin. 

Claudia had some fillers done four years ago which left her with lumps in her lips that would not go away. Since opening her own clinic, The Claudia McGloin Clinic, in Co Sligo, she has moved on from her "botched" job and now specialises in Dracula therapy.

She has witnessed the increase in interest in the area, and warns against viewing lip fillers as anything less than a medical procedure.

"Because fillers are available in beauty salons and hair dressing salons, it makes it look like these are beauty treatments when in fact they are medical procedures," she said.

"Cheap deals using cheap fillers also make it look affordable. Research tells us that women particularly after a break up go through a transition. Years ago it was a hair-cut or colour but today it's cosmetic surgery."

"In Ireland there are no regulations and unfortunately no rules which state who can and who cannot inject fillers. It is however illegal for anyone in Ireland other than a doctor to inject Botox so we should have broader regulations in place to stop ‘just anyone’ injecting."

"It's scary the number of non-medics in Ireland injecting at the moment and it's increasing by the week."

"I'm highly involved in Patient Safety in both the UK and Ireland and am constantly campaigning for regulation," said the nurse, who was recently awarded the Highly Commended Nurse of the Year 2016 award for her dedication to safety in beauty.


A photo posted by Chloe Ferry(@chloegshore1) on

Through her work, Claudia has heard horror stories of cheap filler procedures, with some unregulated places even offering to split a syringe of filler between two people. 

"This is unsafe, unethical and unprofessional. A syringe as clearly stated on the box from the manufacturers is for single use only. It doesn't matter if it's your mum you're sharing with – it's wrong!"

"Practitioners should also be insured and you should be able to see certificates of training and updates. Always ask questions. Ensure you see the filler coming out of a new packet," said Claudia, who has set up a campaign to educate people on making safe, informed decisions when it comes to cosmetic procedures.

Nurses should be registered with the Nursing And Midwifery Board Of Ireland (NMBI), dentists with The Irish Dental Council (IDC) and doctors with the Irish Medical Council


A photo posted by Kylie (@kyliejenner) on

April, of Nursecare Aesthetics, turns away young girls everyday who come to her practice brandishing photos of Kylie Jenner's Instagram.

"I have absolutely turned away clients who want work done for the wrong reasons. Some people come in for a procedure, then call me up two weeks later looking to get more," she tells SHEmazing! 

The registered nurse takes a strong stance against working on young people. "I would never work on a 17-year-old and have turned many away. They want a 'big pout.'

"They absolutely have unrealistic expectations because of Kylie Jenner, They come in looking for a half ml of filler expecting to look bee-stung. Half a ml is one tenth of a Calpol spoon."

With the youngest Kardashian-Jenner championing the trend, after getting her lips plumped at the tender age of 16, it's no wonder that young girls are seeking out the procedure. 

After the teenager altered her features back in 2014, the popularity of the procedure boomed, with one Irish aesthetician going from doing one procedure a month to 20 per day.


A photo posted by Kylie (@kyliejenner) on

"I've heard of people as young as 14 getting them done," revealed aesthetics veteran Kerry Hanaphy, who has completed an estimated 100,000 procedures on Irish women in the last 12 years. 

While some of us were lucky to get our nails manicured for our Debs, lip fillers are now regularly on the beauty list for young girls on the brink of leaving secondary school. 

"The legal age is 18, but I get emails from underage girls, 17, everyday saying the have their mum's consent. I turn them away," said the clinician, who also cites reality stars like Megan McKenna and the Geordie Shore girls as major inspirations for the trend.  

"Over the last 18 months because of the lip filler trend they have become 80 percent of my business. I do 20 clients a day and I could do more, but I cap it at that."

"You have to have someone say to young people enough is enough."

"One girl, she said she doesn't care what she looks like in real life as long as she looks good in a selfie."

Kerry, who fills the lips of some of Ireland's top bloggers such as Ashley Kehoe, urges people who are considering the aesthetic tweek to do their research. 

"Question the qualifications, ask who is doing the procedure, what they are putting in and where they are injecting – it's where the filler is that's key."


A photo posted by Kerry Hanaphy (@kerry.hanaphy) on

Irish super model Tiffany Stanley also spoke to SHEmazing! from her home in California, where she moved in 2013, about how casual the procedures have become.

"Lip fillers are very popular in LA. Even the majority of men here get them done. It's nothing unusual and it's not even a topic people talk about, it's just a normal part of most people's beauty regime, like getting a facial or manicure," says the Kildare native.

"The trend has hit Ireland now too, women want to look and feel their best. If it helps a woman feel more confident and empowered , I see no problem with it. I think Kylie Jenner's transformation really inspired a lot of people to try fillers. She looks amazing," said the model, who has been working in LA since landing a role in the Hollywood film Brothers James: Retribution, and has previously had some filler work done on her chin.


A photo posted by Tiffany Stanley (@tiffanystanley1) on

While fillers have gotten something of a bad wrap lately thanks to their popularity and lack of regulations, they are at the tamer end of the cosmetic stratosphere. 

There is no aesthetic involved and the results fade after three to six months. 

"Lip fillers are not a bad thing," adds Kerry Hannaphy, who has worked on numerous clients looking for a subtle improvement in lip volume or symmetry. 

"I've had numerous emails about how it's improved the confidence of people, they feel so much better about themselves and they don't feel so depressed."

"It's aesthetics, so you look better, it's not about changing your features."


A Texas-based beauty blogger has received huge criticism from cosmetic surgery experts after she chose to live stream her breast augmentation on Instagram this week. 

Ashley Devonna is notoriously open with her 200,000+ YouTube subscribers, so when she decided to go under the knife, the 24-year-old felt she needed to document the process on her various social media accounts.

“I’m going to get a breast augmentation, but not just that, we’re going to stream it live on Dr. Khan’s Instagram page,” she told her followers.

Ashley, who admits she is fascinated by cosmetic procedure videos, has said she hopes the footage will educate and inform women who might be considering plastic surgery.

The live stream was approved by her surgeon, Dr Farah Khan, who insisted it was the right move for her patient.

“It’s a new experience,” she told Pix11.

“Nowadays we live our lives on social media and I think especially the younger generation, that’s how they communicate and they want to be open with their friends, their family, their followers.”

However, according to The Independent, some experts in the UK have condemned Ashley's decision, saying that most surgeons use this type of coverage for marketing purposes.

Consultant Plastic Surgeon and BAAPs Council Member Afshin Mesahebi told the newspaper, “As surgeons we use live streaming for training purposes all the time but something like this doesn’t give the whole picture and the magnitude of the surgery and risks associated with implants.”

“Unfortunately most of these patients are given freebies and surgeons are simply doing it for nothing more than marketing purposes.”


I just want to spend the rest of my life laughing! 

A post shared by Ashley D. (@msashleydevonna) on

Award-winning cosmetic doctor, Dr Esho, of the ESHO Clinic added: “For millennials, the main source of information today is social media platforms.”

“If it is presented in a form which shows the benefits as well as the risks, if it is informative in terms of educating the patient and those who are interested in the procedure, then it is a very useful tool.

“However, if the individual’s intention is to sensationalise and simply create a buzz for themselves, this is trivialising a serious procedure which can potentially put many people at risk.”

These concerns were echoed by some of Ashely's followers, however the beauty blogger hit back, admitting that she doesn't let the negative comments get her down.

"It’s the business. The negative comments pay me the same as the positive ones."


It's safe to say that cosmetic surgery has been on the rise in the past number of years.

From boob enhancements, to botox, fillers and nose jobs, it seems like everyone and their mother has got something done these days.

And now, this could be the reason why.

According to Nuffield Council of Bioethics, the reason so many people are going under the knife is because of social media.

The report looked at what influenced young people to consider cosmetic surgery, and the contributing factors included, "increased use of the rating of images of the self and the body [on social media], for example through 'likes'; the popularity of celebrity culture, airbrushed images and makeover shows; [and] the huge growth in the use of social media."

We can all admit that we get a tad jealous when we see a gal with the perfect booty or boobs online, but does it affect us so much that we want to change ourselves?

Apparently, so.

Image result for boob implants

The report further stated that "advertising and marketing widely reinforce the belief that beauty is correlated with happiness and success.

"Women in particular are surrounded by the message that they have a duty to 'make the best' of themselves."

Are you surprised by these findings?


Now, more than ever before, the discussion around body positivity and self-love is a part of our everyday lives.

It seems like everyday another influencer is coming clean about those seemingly perfect, but ever so staged Instagram pics, and we're constantly bombarded with campaigns telling us to 'love the skin you're in' and all that jazz.

So, why is it that the pressure to look a certain way still remains?

Well, even though the body positivity movement continues to grow, so too does the world of cosmetic surgery and enhancement – and an absolutely ridiculous procedure has just come to our attention.

You know that little bit of flesh between your bra strap and armpit? The one that literally every human being has? 

Well, a number of clinics are now offering a procedure to remove this 'unsightly' feature of your upper arm and have even gone as far as hailing it a 'revolutionary' treatment.

“As women, we are constantly striving to look better,” Dr Galyna Selezneva based at the Dr Rita Rakus clinic in Knightsbridge, London told The Sun.

“To lose weight and get rid of that awkward little pocket of fat which despite spending many hours in the gym, just won’t budge, ruining the perfect fit of our clothes.”

The method uses a laser light to heat the fat cells, which then leak into the patient's lymphatics.

The liver then processes the fat particles which are finally excreted from the body as waste.

Honestly, we're not even a little convinced. 

We'll take 'bra-bulge' over lasers any day. 


One glance at social media proves that perfect lips are in, and lip fillers have never been so popular.

If you're considering augmenting your pout with a little bit of help from a cosmetic doctor, then paying attention to your lip shape could help you know what look to aim for. 

In a recent survey, Taylor Swift was found to have the most desirable lips, mostly down to her distinctly defined cupids bow.

Celebrities like Rosie Huntington Whitely, Rihanna and Megan Fox also came out on top for their plump pouts. 

Dr Julian De Silva from the Centre of Advanced Facial Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery has identified the nine most common shapes of lips, and how they could be altered if you're thinking of going for the jab. 

1. Defined Cupid's Bow 

Taylor Swift and Rihanna – the cupid's bow is a facial feature where the double curve of a human upper lip is said to resemble the bow of Cupid, the Roman god of erotic love. 

The peaks of the bow reach up to the philtral columns – the natural groove in everyone's face just beneath the nose.

Heavily defined Cupid's Bows are considered the most desirable lips in the world.

"Cupid's bow can be enhanced and further defined with the use of specific amount of filler in the upper lip to enhance the natural vertical columns that lie immediately about the upper lip. The use of a specific filler can also be used to enhance and redefine the overall contour of the lips," said Dr De Silva.

2. Heavy Upper lip – the natural trout pout 

If you have lips a la Liv Tyler, then your lips are naturally a little uneven with a heavier upper lip.

A larger upper lip relative to the lower lip can create a more duck like appearance which is generally less desirable, according to the Centre For Advanced Facial Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery.

"Often patients may look to have upper lip reduction to improve the relative balance of the lips." 

"Although there is considerable variation in lip proportions, attractive lips tend to favour proportions of a larger lower lip to upper lip ration," said Dr De Silva.

3. Flat upper lip

If you're like Julia Roberts, one of the most beautiful women in the world, then you have a completely flat upper lip with no cupids bow.

A more defined cupids bow can be achieved by a "modest and controlled amount of filler" to "augment the upper lip while still looking natural and refreshed."

"Upper lip volumisation with a hyaluronic acid filler is a common request for patients. A more permanent solution can be the use of a silicone implant that will last long-term."

4. Thin lips

Kate Middleton is an absolute beauty, and her thin lips complement her delicate features. 

Genetics play a key part here – some people are just born with naturally thin lips, having inherited them from their parents. 

If you're like the duchess but are feeling a change, Dr De Silva advises a small amount of hyaluronic acid filler. 

"For people with naturally smaller lips, augmentation with a gel filler can enhance the volume of your lips, while feeling and looking completely natural, and the amount of volume can be adjusted to your personal preference."

"Most patients who see me are looking for a natural rejuvenation, where friends and family cannot tell they have undergone treatment. 

5. Full lips

Angelina Jolie is often said to have the most perfect lips in the world because of their natural fullness, volume and definition. 

Achieving Angelina-esque lips is what most woman want when they opt for a lip procedure, and Dr De Silva warns against going over board.

"Some patients look better with slightly fuller lips. The use of filler can be adjusted to your personal preference – adding more filler to the lips can create a more voluptuous appearance."

"A fine line is required to avoid over-treating and an unnatural appearance. I use the cannula technique for fillers to avoid bruising and enhance recovery."

6. Downward turning lips 

Lips like Natalie Portman's can be considered less desirable because people with down turned lips are often unfairly thought to look unhappy. 

"Generally speaking downward turning lips are less desirable as they can create more of an unhappy appearance. The use of filler immediately below the corner of the lips can be used to elevate the lips," said Dr De Silva.

7.  Goldilocks lips

Lips like Kiera's have been dubbed "goldilocks lips", they aren't thick or thin but medium sized, and the cupid's bow does not have super-defined peaks, nor does it lack definition. 

Goldilocks lips never need much intervention, but if you're feeling the filler Dr De Silva advises: "The use of a conservative amount of filler, given by a cannula (painless) technique, results in a natural rejuvenation. This result is most desirable in patients that come to see me, and it is not possible to tell if patients have had this level of augmentation."

8. Heavy lower lip 

Twilight star Kristen Steward has been blessed with defined lips, but her bottom lip carries most of the fullness.

"The distance between your nose and upper lip can lengthen with facial ageing, creating facial imbalance.

A lip lift is a procedure that elevates the position of the lip to give a more youthful and relaxed smile. The lip lift procedure has become more popular as it creates a more attractive upper lip shape and gives improved facial balance" for those bottom heavy pouts.

9. Round lips

Round lips like those owned by Drew Barrymore are highly covetable, and this lip shape can be achieved with ease.

"They can be shaped with the use of filler in specific parts of the body of the lip. The filler can be used to enhance the central body of the lip giving a rounder more volumised look."

"There is a cultural fashion to have larger lips in many celebrities and younger patients in their 20s and 30s. This current trend defies the natural boundaries for lip enlargement by favouring larger lips that lie outside natural volumisation of lips," said the doctor.