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ESC: Hollywood Faces

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Confession: It's my job to religiously track celeb beauty habits—and I love every part of it.

It's no secret to me that celebs love their Botox and filler, and although I've never had anything done myself, I'm the first to buy into the idea of it. You can't deny the results. Even though I'm surrounded by it (living and working in Hollywood) and it feels like the norm, sometimes I wonder: Is the emphasis on beauty actually making us more insecure?

I had to find out how those in the spotlight oftentimes deal with this pressure, so when I got the chance to meet with a highly-coveted celeb skin expert, I immediately nabbed the appointment. And let's just say, I left with more than a boosted sense of confidence.

Now this was not your day spa experience. At first, I felt more like a science project than a customer. It was a stark yet stylish office with glitter paint on the walls and attendants dressed in white lab coats. They took my picture on an iPad for my client profile as I patiently waited for my consult.

Next I was escorted to the back room where I was finally going to meet the woman that was about to change my life: Jamie Sherrill a.k.a. Nurse Jamie. Now, as a lifelong acne-sufferer, I initially booked my consultation to address my acne scars, redness, etc. Much to my surprise, that was the least of my worries: Everything I once thought about my skin was shattered in an instant. Nurse Jamie examined my bare face.

"You know you don't really have an acne issue, right?" she said.  

Mind blown.

According to the pro, all the redness was really just broken blood vessels caused by over-exfoliation and pimple-popping gone wrong. The only way to get rid of both the scars and broken capillaries was to go in with a high-tech N-Lite Acne Laser, which was basically a thin, sharp needle with what looked like an electric current running through it. The yellow-colored laser stimulates collagen beneath the skin, opens the pores and eliminates redness and acne scars. It felt like needle pricks, but the pain was minimal.

When she finished with the laser (about 30 minutes later), she took a look to survey her work. Staring intently at my freshly-pricked face, she casually dropped the line, "Have you ever considered filler?" In theory, yes, sure I had. But was I ready to get injections right then and there? When in Rome, err, Hollywood. 

To be honest, I trusted her more because she was direct and clinical. Apparently, one side of my face was fuller than the other (something I'd never noticed before, nor did I think it was in the realm of possibility). She wound up injecting Restylane into my chin, which was dented from a teeth clenching habit. Almost immediately, my right jaw and under eye now matched the plumpness of the left side. I took a before-and-after photo and noticed a slight difference—slight being the operative word here. Also, other people noticed, but only after I told them, and believe me I told everyone.

"Welcome to the dark side," she said to me at the end of our time together. I have to admit: A little part of me felt like I had just been inducted into an exclusive Hollywood club.

Listen, I get how this sounds: No one needs filler and what you look like on the outside pales in comparison to who you are as a human being. Hearing someone be so blatantly honest about your appearance (especially if your job depends on it, like celebs' do) can be brutal, but only if you place your self-worth on your looks. I can see how attaining this "perfect" image would promote unrealistic standards for celebs and non-celebs alike. But beauty is not always so smooth and symmetrical and is, indeed, in the eye of the beholder. I'm able to separate who I am from what I look like. That being said, I want to be clear: I still fully enjoy investigating the ins and outs of vanity—for my job and as a hobby. And why shouldn't I if it makes me happy?

For me, this particular experience of enhancing my beauty was confidence-boosting, not life-changing.