Madonna has been a fan of facial fillers for many years. Picture: Angela Weiss/AFP
Madonna has been a fan of facial fillers for many years. Picture: Angela Weiss/AFP

Madonna’s ‘beauty’ routine makes you look old

IF YOU watched the Emmys this week you probably saw a lot of what cosmetic nurses call "non-surgical enhancements."

Two decades ago, full facelifts were the only way to tighten ordinary sagging skin. But times have changed and celebrities don't need to go under the knife now to achieve stunning results.

The only problem? Not knowing when to quit.

Case in point: Lily Tomlin. She's 79, but her face looks a little flat, a little puffy - like she's wearing a cat mask.

Or, maybe you've seen Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible - Fallout. At 56, Cruise is still doing his own stunts, but that beautiful face just doesn't look the same - and it's not because he's older. Cruise looks like he maybe had too much MSG in his honey king prawns the night before. His once-chiselled visage seems a little bloated, a little mask-like.

Could he be using dermal fillers?

Cuba Gooding Jr seems to think the Top Gun actor has certainly dabbled.

When asked by Andy Cohen on Watch What Happens Live if he thought his Jerry Maguire co-star had had anything done, Gooding Jr replied, "Absolutely!"

"I don't know what he's had done, but I remember I surprised him at his house one day and he had all of these dots all over his face and I was like, 'You all right?' and he goes, 'I didn't know you were coming' and I was like, 'I can see why.'"

If Cruise is using fillers, he's certainly not alone. The treatment, which involves injecting hyaluronic acid directly into lines around the mouth and nose to minimise wrinkles, is Australia's second most popular treatment, behind Botox.

It's favoured by Courteney Cox, (who publicly announced last year she had them removed) Jennifer Aniston, (who has also said she's sworn off them) and of course, Madonna, who's devotion to them earned her the nickname "pillow face" among plastic surgeons for her overuse.

"As we get older, our face loses structure and tissue volume, altering our facial contours and causing subtle changes. Dermal fillers replace this structure and tissue volume, minimising the changes that age us," said cosmetic nurse practitioner Katherine Millar-Shannon, who also thinks Cruise has had filler treatment.

So what went wrong?

"Inexperienced injectors can treat clients by overcorrecting an area, sometimes by using the wrong amount of filler, or injecting the wrong area," she said.

"Cosmetic injectors, like their clients, have different ideas of beauty," Ms Millar-Shannon said.

And, here is the awful truth: Too many of them have seen so many clients, they now have a skewed idea of what looks normal. Ms Millar-Shannon named one famous Australian celebrity in particular who has gone too far.

"I bet a man did her face!" the nurse said. "Some men just don't understand that women need subtlety.

"Too much filler can create a very 'Hollywood' look where clients appear puffy, unnatural and older."

The problem, apart from the notorious "pillow face" seen on Madonna, and way too many Real Housewives, is that too much can actually make you look older.

"Because our faces tend to widen around the chin and jawline as we get older," Ms Millar-Shannon said, "too much filler tends to exaggerate that look."

So what can be done?

"There is truly an art to cosmetic treatments, which is why it's important to go to an experienced injector," she said. A skilled injector can provide the highlights along the orbit (the area around the eye socket) and cheekbone while properly creating the shadow in the hollow underneath it.

But the real solution lies in where exactly you get your filler. One place frequently overlooked? The jaw.

"Enhancing the jawline with filler injections can give you a more youthful appearance by filling in loose skin," the cosmetic nurse said.

"Smoothing the contours of the jaw increases the definition of this area and can also decrease the appearance of jowls, or hanging folds of fat and skin drooping beneath the jawline."

So the next time you see a celebrity over 50 with the chiselled look, it might be genetics, or it might be that they've found the right place for their fillers.

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