Over the course of my life, my nose has been the butt of several jokes — an ex-boyfriend used to call it the 'whop', short for 'whopper'. (Yes, really.) I now know that my nose isn’t actually that 'large' at all but once you’ve got an idea in your head about the way you look, it's hard to shift your viewpoint.
Funnily enough, it wasn't my nose (or chin and neck area, which I’m also not a huge fan of) that brought me to the office of Dr Wassim Taktouk. The much-loved medical aesthetic specialist has appeared on the likes of This Morning and recently launched his own clinic in Knightsbridge. Up until the day of the appointment, I was wary of attending. I've always been in two minds about filler, having seen and heard horror stories, but I was also curious about having a little injected into my top lip for fullness.
My mind was quickly put to rest when I arrived at the swanky west London clinic and met Taktouk; his warm manner and no-BS approach to consultations had me at ease right away. After discussing what I wanted done (just a tiny bit of filler into my top lip as my bottom lip is already quite plump), the attention turned to my chin area. "Are there any other areas of your face you’d like to balance out?" he asked and I pointed — without a second thought — to my neck and my nose. And so we decided that as well as my lips, I’d be getting a little filler in my chin, all in the name of the trending, aesthetician-approved procedure sweeping the world of injectables: profile harmonisation.
Put simply, profile harmonisation is the process of helping to make the facial profile seem more 'in line' and balanced by injecting filler into any of the following areas: the lips, nose, forehead and chin. It often involves bringing forward the lips or chin to make the nose or forehead area appear smaller or the neck more extended, as in my case. Profile harmonisation (or face-balancing filler) has become increasingly popular in recent years, with many of us now looking at our faces as a whole, rather than homing in on specific features. "We tend to fixate on parts of our face (generally from a young age) and decide that that certain part needs to be corrected or improved," explains Taktouk. "Because of this, we are not able to step back and see our face as a whole, and sometimes patients don’t realise that treating a totally different area can create a harmony in the face."
For this reason, those who visit a clinic often won’t do so with the intention of having profile harmonisation, much like myself. However, it can be a highly successful technique and Taktouk says it works for most people. "This is ideal for anyone who has concerns about their nose, chin, lips or forehead," he explains. It's also a great route for those who don't want to commit to larger surgeries such as rhinoplasty (aka a nose job) as there is minimal downtime: a few days of bruising, swelling, redness and tenderness is usually the extent of it. "Surgical changes are too permanent and not liking the result can [create] a longstanding sense of disappointment and regret," says Taktouk. "This offers a good temporary alternative." How long the treatment lasts will vary depending on the area of the face. Injections into the nose and chin can last up to two years, according to Taktouk, while lips have a shorter span of around six months as this is a much more mobile part of the face. As a result, the filler is 'burned through' more quickly.
For my profile harmonisation, the goal was to bring my chin forward a little so that it appeared more in line with my nose, therefore making my nose look less prominent. The small amount of filler in my top lip helped to balance things overall. "This created a more harmonious profile, without even treating the nose," explains Taktouk, who injected 1.2 ml of filler into my chin and 0.6 ml into my top lip for a subtle but noticeable result. Crucially, Taktouk used 'game-changing' Teoxane filler, which is made from Resilient Hyaluronic Acid (RHA). "This stretches and moves with your features so that it looks totally natural," he says.
I was in the chair for no longer than 40 minutes, then met Taktouk the following week for a quick follow-up, where he added a little more here and there for the optimum result. Both times, I had cancelled all my plans for the coming week for fear that the side effects would be too dire to show my face outside but all I experienced was a little swelling and bruising the next day. Two to three days later, things were pretty much completely back to normal. The results were so natural too, which is exactly what I wanted.
All in all, I’m thrilled with my profile, and with the magic of profile harmonisation in general. My nose looks a little more in proportion and my neck and chin are elongated so there appears to be less excess jawline skin, which I had previously been so aware of and self-conscious about. I've often thought about having a nose job so I'm happy I've discovered a technique that's far more affordable and has way less downtime.
At first I was hesitant about getting filler in my chin (even joking with Taktouk that I didn't want to leave the clinic with a new career as a 'chinfluencer') but I’m so glad I went for it and think the results speak for themselves. It’s important to note that I decided individually that this procedure was best for me and it is by no means a decision to be taken lightly. If you're thinking of having 'work' done, do your research and consider what's best for you. Save Face is a great website for connecting you with qualified practitioners. Those offering cosmetic procedures will also be accredited by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA), while medical doctors will be listed on the General Medical Council register. Once you've found a practitioner you trust, heading along to a consultation before the procedure is a must in order to discuss the process, understand realistic results and to make sure you're aware of aftercare and follow-up appointments.