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Why I’m a Beauty Editor Who Won’t Support Trends in the Aesthetic Industry 

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Welcome to The Beauty Debrief where beauty editor and nail tech Tori Crowther shares her musings on the latest beauty trends, buzzy treatments and misinformation. Today, she’s getting real on injectable trends and why she isn’t a fan of them. 

Trends in aesthetics and plastic surgery are damaging the industry and I truly believe that. I’ll be honest in admitting that it’s an industry I find incredibly fascinating and have huge respect for those at the top of their fields, but it’s also one I find ethically challenging. 

On the one hand, I believe that it contributes to a society in which we’re told where we fall short in today’s beauty standards, before being sold the solution to our manufactured vulnerabilities. On the other hand, I also believe that if someone is self-conscious of a certain aspect of their appearance which is stopping them from living their fullest life- and there’s a relatively easy and safe solution- then why shouldn’t they seek that option? 

I’m all for body confidence (or neutrality), but I also live in the real world knowing that there’s huge demand for these treatments and people will continue to get them so making content around them factual and safe is important. 

Despite toeing the line fairly neutrally, one thing I can’t get on board with is aesthetic or injectable trends. Think: Fox eyes, brotox (men’s Botox), blowtox (scalp Botox), russian lips, lip flips (injecting near the cupid’s bow to lift the top lip up). 

Once upon a time, when visiting a clinic, a consultation would run in a wonderfully repetitive nature. By that, I don’t mean boring and redundant — quite the opposite. But it would flow with a familiarity; you would tell the doctor or surgeon what was troubling you and the results you’d like to see, then they’d offer various solutions, or with impeccable bedside manner, tell you if you were being ridiculous. The same questions would be asked, a back-and-forth ensue and an agreement (often compromise) met. 

But I’ve personally seen a change in how many aesthetics consultations are operating. Now, many patients- many of whom are far younger than the demographic these treatments are designed for- go into appointments knowing exactly the procedure or trend they want to get (often as a result of what they’ve seen on TikTok), not even entertaining a discussion on whether they’re a good candidate for the treatment. Now, I hope it goes without saying that this isn’t all aesthetics appointments, but it is many, particularly those outside of London. 

For example, I’ve seen a huge influx of women below 30 getting thread lifts. Thread lifts are designed to be a minimally-invasive alternative to a face lift; lifting skin that’s lost the collagen scaffolding preventing wrinkles and laxity. Influencers have posted experiences with the procedure for a ‘snatched’ look only to regret it soon after (I respect their candid nature sharing this).

See, thread lifts were not designed for people so young. Despite being minimally-invasive, the thread lift procedure isn’t a walk in the park and isn’t easy to remove. Most of the time, the fact it was trending was enough to encourage people to give it a whirl. Unlike makeup trends, a thread lift can’t be removed with a swipe of micellar water

 

@drpremtripathi

#greenscreenvideo #greenscreen you aren’t a fox #fyp #browlift

? 556 (Green Tip) – Jace!

We can’t deny the impact that the lack of aesthetics regulations has on this topic. I recently wrote about where we’re at with cracking down on unlicensed injectables in England and although progress is happening, the way the industry is currently operating is terrifying. As someone who visits clinics and gets appointments from top aesthetics practitioners, it’s hard to believe that the industry is run mostly by those without any form of medical background. 

In my local area alone, I see flyers on telephone poles offering too-good-to-be-true deals and 2-for-1s encouraging excess treatments before a consultation has even taken place. I hear of back garden shed set-ups and see social media posts that people should try the new, trendy ‘lemon bottle’ fat dissolving injections. (For context, unlike other fat dissolvers on the market, we haven’t a clue what is in the lemon bottle injection; it is completely unregulated). I’ve seen Wowcher deals for trends like Russian lips and hip dip enhancements. I even saw one clinic call lip filler “Insta lips”. 

This isn’t to shame anyone. The state of industry regulations is a complex and nuanced one but it is worrying and I have no doubt it contributes to the encouragement of problematic aesthetic trends. 

Now, none of this is new of course. Beauty trends have been in our lives since, well, forever, but social media has made this more overt than ever. I fear we’re becoming desensitised to invasive procedures and treatments because they have a cutesy name. 

I have people asking me about the latest ‘fox eye’ trend (which is hugely problematic in itself), thread lifts or lip flips, not because they particularly have a problem with how their lips naturally sit or that their face needs ‘snatching’, but because they’ve seen their favourite influencer do it. These are grown-up and successful women who are being easily sold to and misled.

Then there are trends proving popular because of the results akin to beauty filters — a standard we, quite literally, can never live up to. 

I’ve seen fandoms make their way into aesthetics, too. Take Barbie; we’ve seen ‘Barbietox’ and ‘Barbie injectables’. It’s all well and good playing with a clothing aesthetic for ‘Barbiecore’ but making changes to your appearance in pursuit of a literal plastic doll? Too far. I’ve been offered treatments simply because they’re trending and new, despite not ‘needing’ them or expressing a desire to change that particular aspect of my face. 

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As a beauty journalist who interviews countless aesthetics practitioners, plastic surgeons and dermatologists, I’ve actually found the trustworthy ones are those who say no. Those who don’t entertain every want or wish to change your appearance. Instead, they work to enhance natural features, give soft results and carry out thorough consultations. 

Trends should be fleeting and fun, injectables should be neither. 

 

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Contributing Beauty Editor

Tori Crowther is a beauty and health journalist and qualified nail tech. The former beauty editor of Popsugar UK, Tori regularly write for titles like Allure, Glamour, Marie Claire, and Women's Health and is Contributing Beauty Editor at Live That Glow. When she's not interviewing derms or writing features, you can find her seeking out the best coffee outside of London.

Expertise: Nails, skincare
Education: Nottingham Trent University
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