Cosmetic Enhancement – fake or flattering?
By Chantal Cooke.

I recently joined Fake Club. Normally we never talk about Fake Club, but then this would be a very short read.

I have never been a fan of cosmetic enhancement – it all seems a little, well, fake.

But the reality is – what’s the difference between false eyelashes and mascara? Breast implants and a padded bra? Pencilled lip liner and semi permanent lipstick? They all aim to enhance our beauty or hide our “less-than-perfect bits”.

So I decided to put a few of the gentler enhancements to the test … starting with eyelash extensions from JINNYlash.  http://www.jinnylash.com/

This takes approximately an hour and all you have to do is lie there as longer, thicker individual lashes are attached to your own. It’s completely pain free and the results are stunning. Instantly you have long, thick, gently curled lashes framing your eyes.

They looked so good that for the first couple of weeks I didn’t need to wear any make up. They fall out naturally as your own lashes shed, and look good for about four weeks.

From temporary let’s go to semi permanent. My Mother, who is in her 60s, was concerned that she had very sparse eyebrows that required a lot of pencil work to look good. So we headed off to Tracie Giles for a set of semi permanent ones.   http://www.traciegiles.co.uk/

Using a very fine needle, coloured minerals are pushed just below the surface of the skin. It’s like a mild, fine version of tattooing – but unlike a tattoo it’s not permanent, its not painful, there’s no blood and the colours don’t turn a greeny-black. It takes two sessions to get the final result, but even after the first one my Mother was thrilled. The new eyebrows framed her face and took years off her. Her only complaint – they are semi permanent, not permanent!

So having upped the ante on the cosmetic enhancements, I decided to try some surgery. I am far too chicken to go for breast implants but gum implants seemed more manageable.

Alloderm is a procedure to repair receding gums – it’s healthier for the teeth and improves the look of your smile. Dr Simon Darfoor  http://www.drsimondarfoor.com/simon_darfoor.php is one a few specialist dentists offering this. It involves slicing into the gum and inserting a small skin graft which is then stitched into place. After about four weeks the gum is completely healed and the roots of your teeth are once more hidden.

The procedure is done under a local anaesthetic and although I could hear lots of scraping and poking, I couldn’t feel a thing. Simon recommends having the graft done on a Friday and then using the weekend to rest. I concur. My face swelled up a lot and I did need to rest but by Monday it was already reducing and I didn’t need painkillers.

A couple of weeks later the stitches were out and a fortnight later I was declared finished. The graft had done its work and the gums were lower and plumper – and I looked a little less “long in the tooth”.

These cosmetic enhancements may well be “fake” but they did their job – they enhanced. And in some cases, they did it better than the “natural” alternatives.

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