As many of you may already know I am pretty much obsessed with prominent cheek bones. I love full cheeks, not the fatty, puffy cheeks you see in overly fat-grafted patients, or even the natural, pudgy cheeks. But high, exquisite, chiseled cheekbones with a youthful, but not significant, fat layer on top of them catches my eye above most other facial attributes. In fact, I think one of the first compliments I ever gave my boyfriend before I asked him out (yes, I asked him out) was that he had really great cheekbones. They aren’t too bony so that his face looks gaunt, and not they’re not too plump either—they are just right. He must be incredibly tired of my complimenting him, “I love your cheekbones” as I trace my finger on his face. He just rolls his eyes and thinks I am nuts. I can’t help it.
So, if we don’t have beautiful cheekbones naturally, how do we buy them?? What does it take to create perfect, high cheekbones? Although I have pretty prominent cheekbones I have had my share of injections to make them more so. Unfortunately, it never lasts much past the swollen stage. Let’s look at the most popular options in injectable cheek fillers… •
- Radiesse: I have had Radiesse in my lips, and I don’t recommend it there, but I have seen it used for the jawline, cheeks and chin. The results have been pretty phenomenal although it did not last as long as they had hoped. It is certainly worth a look-see. The cost of Radiesse is still about $1,500. a CC.
- Sculptra: I have had Sculptra injected into my undereyes and nasolabials. I felt that it took too long to achieve nominal results for considerable augmentation. I honestly would not choose it personally, although I have seen fantastic results in those with lypodystrophy. The cost can be a few thousand over a course of 3-6 months.
- Restylane (also JuveDerm, and Perlane): Although I have not had Restylane in my cheeks, I have had it in the upper eyelid, undereyes, the nasolabials, and lips. I love it! It works. But you get a lot of swelling associated with hyaluronic acid injections and this can set you up for disappointment simply based upon becoming accustomed to larger cheeks/lips/etc. even though they are clearly larger in the after photos. I have seen Restylane used for the cheeks and feel it can give you a very nice result. It is also temporary so if you can’t stand it, you won’t have it forever. The cost for Restylane can run you about $900+ for 2 cc. but you may not need that much. Subtlety is a good way to start.
- Fat Grafting: I have had fat grafting twice and both times the fat layer disappeared in the areas I wanted to retain it and stayed in areas I did not like it. When you go slow, fat grafting can be very nice. It can enhance al already existing cheek structure, or it can smooth the harshness of implants under thin skin. Fat grafting can run you anywhere from $2000. to $6000. and may take several sessions.
- Artfil (formerly Artecoll): Microscopic beads of polymethylmethacrylate (or PMMA, the same material PlexiGlas is made from, can be suspended in a carrier and injected in several sessions to trigger your own collagen to grow. It can, however, take a considerable amount of the injectable to make a difference once the carrier is absorbed by your body. Artefil can cost about $1200+ for a cc.
- Cheek Implants: Although not an injectable, cheek implants are still an option. It can be used in conjunction with the above options for a natural result if you go to the right surgeon. Cheek implants can run you about $5000.-$10,000. depending upon whom you choose as your surgeon.
I have always been fascinated by high cheekbones so as their appeal has come and gone, they have always remained a favorite with me. I remember when the trend was to have plump cheeks. However, I felt it never made anyone look younger, rather they looked overstuffed to me (think Rene Zelwegger). When you take a stick-thin woman and fill her face with fat, it doesn’t look natural. But having a gaunt face can age you considerably. You may have heard of The Ogee Curve in facial aesthetics. This enhancement of the gentle concavity of the face, while maintaining a chiseled malar point is a delicate balance indeed. Choosing a skilled surgeon with an impeccable aesthetic eye can help you achieve this balance.
Just remember, a little bit goes a long way. Consider a temporary solution before undergoing a more permanent option. You can always go back for more, or decide on a permanent option later. I truly believe that slow and easy wins the race in plastic surgery. Reversing a bad mistake is far more difficult than avoiding one in the first place.