With celeb rags documenting lip and nose jobs and plastic-surgery dramas playing in prime time, nips and tucks have gained a new, “everyone’s doing it” vibe. (Why, even the occasional pop singer has been known to give her nose a tweak—shortly after claiming she loved her body in the pages of a national magazine, no less!) But if you’re gonna do it, you have to know what you’re getting into—and what the alternatives are. (Just leave the hypocrisy out of it, thanks.) Here, the facts about the latest techniques.
As your skin loses volume with age, your eyelids can droop and under-eye bags can reveal themselves. The old way to do upper-and lower-eyelid-lifts often took away too much fat, says Haideh Hirmand, M.D., of Cornell Medical College. “It created the hollowed-out look we’re trying to avoid.” Now, docs don’t just remove fat, they reposition it.
People with dark circles and hollows may be able to avoid the knife altogether with the help of injectable fillers and a daring new form of sclerotherapy, in which superficial under-eye veins are eliminated with saline injections. Even better: Start using eye products now that help prevent future damage.
TREATMENT: Eyelid-lift surgery (blepharoplasty) with new, more natural looking results.
DESIGNED FOR: “People who naturally have a small eyeshadow space,” says Dr. Hirmand. Surgery is an option when your skin in that area starts to hang over your lid.
HOW IT WORKS: Drooping skin is removed through an incision along the crease of the upper lid. A small amount of fat is repositioned or removed, and the whole area is lifted and tightened.
DOWNTIME: About a week of swelling and bruising.
PROS: Scarring is minimal and usually well hidden.
CONS: If too much skin or fat is removed, you could get that “deer in the headlights” look. And, in rare cases, you may not be able to fully close your eyes. “Blepharoplasty can change the appearance of your eyes,” warns Dr. Hirmand. “Have your doctor simulate the result first by lifting and tucking your lid with a Q-tip.”
COST: About $2500 to $3500; results last at least a decade, maybe two.
STAVE OFF SURGERY WITH: A treatment product with antioxidants, such as Avon Anew Clinical Eye Lift, $28.