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EV reviews…Cheek Augmentation

Can dermal fillers chisel your cheekbones while smoothing lines and wrinkles? We put the procedure to the test

While I’ve always been perfectly happy with the position of my malar bones aka cheekbones — thanks to them being in closer proximity to my eyes than to the bottom of my nose — I was no stranger to the makeup trick known as contouring. I coveted the definition it gave and I’m not the only one.

For centuries we humans have had a love affair with chiseled cheekbones, with studies showing that we find those who are blessed with a more sculpted and defined pair both trustworthy and more attractive. And while I’m no stranger to dermal filler injections — or other injectables for that matter — accentuating my cheekbones never crossed my mind. In fact, the day I visited Dr Sophie Shotter, I’d booked in to smooth my nasolabial folds, and simply thought that this would be the area she’d inject.

Amerley before dermal fillers However, Shotter had other ideas. "Using fillers to augment the cheeks, not only creates the illusion of stronger or higher cheek bones, it can also act as a replacement for bone lost with age, and support the tissues of the lower face. So, when you treat the cheeks you are addressing the cause of the nasolabial fold, rather than the line itself. If one re-treats the nasolabial fold repeatedly, especially in patients who haven’t had their cheeks supported, it can lead to an ape-like appearance, where the mouth area projects forwards from the rest of the face. Treating the cause first, and just gently refining the fold if needed, will allow for natural results," Shotter explained as she applied numbing cream all over my cheeks.

Numbing cream was applied for 20 minutes pre procedureI was a little nervous, part of me relished the idea of 24/7 definition that couldn’t be wiped off with makeup remover, but I also wondered if my cheeks would end up looking too big. Shotter put my mind at ease explaining that there is no cookie cutter way to inject in this area, and while on average she can use anywhere between 2-4 ml of Juvederm Voluma — a stronger more sculptable filler — on her patients, she carefully analyses each face and ensures that treatments are bespoke and offer a natural, realistic result.

Shotter began the treatment, using a combination of injection methods. For ‘anchorage’ she placed the needle deep into my skin to inject the filler directly on the cheekbone. Then, for more definition and to make the apples of my cheeks more symmetrical, she used a cannula in the upper layers, checking results as she went to make sure my lower cheek never looked hollow or gaunt.

The procedure was quick and painless thanks to the numbing cream, and Shotter used a conservative 1.8ml in total. I was amazed at how much smother the centre of my face was and I was instantly in love with my Angelina Jolie-esque definition. Shotter warned me that there would be swelling – that for some may well be more of a swelling that you feel rather than see. She also shared that bruising is also relatively common when using needles, and that while allergies, inflammatory reactions, and vascular occlusions are possible, complications are uncommon in experienced hands.

Results post dermal filler injections on the cheeksThere was no bruising for me to contend with, however, my cheeks did swell, but thankfully not to hamster proportions. It took around two weeks for the swelling to go down and for me to see the final results. I then went back to Shotter for her to see if any more filler was needed. By this point I quite liked the extra definition the initial swelling provided, and Shotter pointed out that I needed a little more lift on one side. "The goal is not to create a mirror image of one side, as absolute symmetry can actually look strange, but bringing the face closer to a symmetrical state can be used to align a person’s face to our modern beauty ideals," explained Shotter. However, before retreating the area, we discussed what she envisioned the final result would look like. A practice she believes is imperative; as while people with all skin tones can make for the perfect candidate for cheek filler, it is often the case that people of different ethnicities, cultures, countries and even cities can have different beauty ideals, and it is important to consider this when treating patients.

Amerley one month post procedureI couldn’t be happier with the results. My cheekbones are ‘permanently’ defined without looking razor sharp and unnatural. While my nasolabial folds are smoother and softer, which is exactly what I had wanted. Plus, I was left with a little more support at the tails of my eyebrows, which has helped to lift my eye area slightly too. Filler generally lasts six months to two years, but to maintain my new look I’ve gone back around every six months for the last two years.

Many of our Être Vous practitioners offer this procedure—visit our practitioner finder for one near you.