Unfortunately, I cannot solve my insomnia. I've had insomnia from as far back as I can remember, and it basically became full-on bad starting 2016. I already was born with a sunken under-eye area, and having weird sleep all the time made my dark under-eye circles worse. I actually can sleep well but still have dark under-eye circles––the sunken part tends to cast shadows and therefore look darker.

This is why I was excited to try out Restylane fillers! I had a session to fill in the sunken parts of my under-eye area for a more youthful look, and to lessen the shadows that make it unnecessarily darker. 

For the curious folks, Restylane is a range of cross-linked hyaluronic acid + lidocaine fillers and is designed to act like your body’s own naturally produced hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid keeps our skin hydrated and firm through its ability to bind water molecules. Restylane can be used on the under-eye area, on marionette lines, nasolabial folds, lips, nose, cheeks, and generally on any wrinkled area that needs some filling. 

For those who wish to see it in video and want to see updates from June 2020, check out my vlog!

I had my Restylane done at Cosmedics Dermaster at BGC. This is basically in the building right beside SM AURA. The entrance to Cosmedics' building is the one across the entrance to SM AURA's department store. This clinic is beside a 7/11 store, so it's located in quite a convenient location. 

Before the procedure, I had to fill in quite a hefty amount of documents. It took 15-20 minutes or so to go through all of them. There were several clearances and waivers that I filled up. While fillers are quick and easy to get, it's not for everyone. Some people have conflicting medications or counterindications, so they try to filter that out for everyone's safety. 

I had consultation time with Dr. Alvin Jorge and Dra. Guia Jorge, and they agreed that it would indeed be ideal for me to get Restylane fillers on my under eye area. Dr. Alvin has also had Restylane done on his own under-eye area (done by no other than Dra. Guia hihi), so he's also a fan. Dr. Alvin also recommended putting a little filler on my cheeks to help lift my cheekbone area and give a younger look overall. 

Dr. Alvin suggested if I wanted Restylane on my chin, but I personally didn't want it as I sorta like having an awkwardly short jaw. I got my grandma's exact facial shape, and that also meant having a short jaw, so I have never wanted to do anything to change it. 

This is the treatment room where I got my procedure done: 

And the Restylane variant used on me was Restylane Volyme. This is one of four kinds of Restylane.

Restylane Volyme is for creating a high volume lifting effect in the face. This is used on the cheekbones and chin.
Restylane Kysse, as the name sorta implies, is for the lips. It's meant to create soft, natural looking lips.
Restylane Refyne is for the areas that have fine lines, but need a good amount of flexibility for a natural-looking result without a stiff feel. This is used on the nasolabial folds and marionette lines.
Restylane Defyne helps smooth out deeper lines around the mouth and is also used on the nasolabial folds and marionette lines. This works similarly to Volyme, but has more flexibility.

It is the healthcare provider (the dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon) who decides which type of Restylane to use, but of course, patients can engage in dialogue about which variant is to be used on them.

Prior to the actual procedure, I was prepped and my makeup was removed. Raquel (the nurse who attended to me) applied topical anesthesia on the injection site. We then let it sit for about 30-40 minutes. 

We started the procedure. The procedure involves alternating local anesthesia shots and filler shots. The anesthesia shots really do sting, even with the local anesthesia. But it's more of just uncomfortable; it's still pretty bearable. Once it also kicks in, the filler shots don't hurt anymore. You do feel the filler flowing in, and with the area a bit numb, it can feel weird at times as well. But it's generally pretty bearable as the duration of each shot is quite short, and most people will be able to bear with squeezing a stress ball or something. If you get waxing done or laser hair removal regularly, you probably will have no problem with getting fillers.  

And the results are immediate! This is how it looked like when my left side (right side of this photo) was done. There are fewer lines, the sunken part is plumped up, and my cheek looks lifted. It's also amazing how a little addition of filler on the cheeks can help to create an illusion of a slimmer face shape.

And this is when Dr. Alvin was filling the right side of my face.

There were some funny moments like this one, too. Dr. Alvin was checking whether the area was plump enough and even with respect to the other side, so he'd ask me to open and close my eyes repeatedly.

And these are the results! The best thing about this kind of treatment is that it's like a built-in filter. I look better slept, the sunken parts are plumped up, and I unexplainably look a few years younger.

This is also another photo I took right before the procedure:

And one I took a few days after the procedure. I have no base makeup in both the before photo and this photo, so the difference can be seen quite clearly. My under-eye area is lighter on its own, more so in real life. Concealer is now just an option and no longer a necessity, and foundation/BB cream will be able to tackle the remaining darkness.

Soooo yeah, that's it! As for the questions on everyone's minds:

How much does it cost?
It can range from Php20,000-Php25,000 per syringe, depending on the clinic you go to. One syringe refers to the contents of an entire syringe, not the number of injection sites, so you can get quite a lot of mileage from one syringe. The kind and amount of filler needed will vary from case to case, so pricing can vary as well. 

How long does the treatment last?
I went inside the clinic at about 1:15PM and left at about 3:45PM. I'd advise setting aside an entire afternoon for this so you don't rush through it. It took me about 15-20 minutes for the documents and clearances, 20-30 minutes for consultation, 30-45 minutes for the topical anesthesia to take effect, and another 30-45 minutes for the actual procedure. The actual procedure is short, but when you factor in bathroom time, briefing/prep time, and picture taking time, it can easily extend to a few hours.

Is there a downtime? 
There's no downtime, and the results are immediately visible. But you cannot wash your face for 24 hours, cannot massage the treated area for 6 hours, and should refrain from exercise and alcohol for 24 hours. They also advise you to not have Radio Frequency treatments for 1 month, and to not have deep RF treatments like Thermage for 3 months. They also recommend an increased intake of water in general to lengthen the effect of the fillers.

How does it feel after? 
The treated areas feel firm to the touch, even if it doesn't seem so visually. You can feel it elevated and all. My cheekbones were sore when touched for a few days, but literally only when touched. It doesn't sting or tingle on its own, so you'll really only remember you had fillers done when you try to wash your face or blend in makeup. 

How long do the effects last?
I was told that effects last from anywhere between 6-12 months. Your body absorbs the fillers over time, so you'd need to get fillers again when they diminish. 

Doll Up Mari: Top Beauty and Female Lifestyle Blogger Manila, Philippines