I’ve always been conscious of my side profile, particularly the size of my nose. In my family, we have a running joke about my dad’s nose being his most "prominent" feature (always said with love, of course). The unspoken truth is that I definitely got his nose over my mum’s.
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 renowned medical aesthetic specialist has appeared on the likes of This Morning and recently launched his own clinic in London's Knightsbridge neighborhood. Up until the day of the appointment, I was wary of going at all. 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 clinic and met Dr. Taktouk, whose 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 nose. And so we decided that, as well as my lips, I’d get a little filler in my chin, all in the name of the trending, aesthetician-approved procedure sweeping the world of injectables: profile harmonization.
Put simply, profile harmonization is the process of making the facial profile seem more "in line" and balanced by injecting filler into any of the following areas: the lips, nose, forehead and chin. The technique 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 harmonization (also known as face-balancing filler) has become increasingly popular in recent years, with many of us now looking at our faces as a whole, rather than honing 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," Dr. Taktouk explains. "Because of this, we aren't able to step back and see our face as a whole, and sometimes patients don’t realize that treating a totally different area can create a harmony in the face."
For that reason, those who visit a clinic often won’t do so with the express intention of having profile harmonization, much like myself. However, it can be a highly successful approach, and Dr. 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, because there's minimal downtime: A few days of bruising, swelling, redness, and tenderness is usually the worst of it. "Surgical changes are too permanent, and not liking the result can [create] a longstanding sense of disappointment and regret," Dr. Taktouk says. "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 Dr. 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 harmonization, 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 creates a more harmonious profile, without even treating the nose," Dr. Taktouk explained after injecting 1.2 ml of filler into my chin and 0.6 ml into my top lip for a subtle but noticeable result. Crucially, Dr. Taktouk used what he describes as the "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 Dr. 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 out of 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 harmonization 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 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 Dr. 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. Once you've found a practitioner you trust, a consultation before the procedure is a must in order to discuss the process, understand realistic results, and to make sure you're on top of aftercare and follow-up appointments.