Summary: Plastic surgery may have developed a Hollywood-assisted dubious reputation in the 1980s and 1990s, but modern plastic surgery has matured—and Hollywood along with it. When you think about your facelift, try for that subtle effect perfected by so many modern Hollywood celebs.

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Excessive Work

We all know about Pamela Anderson’s breasts. Unfortunately. In the 1980’s and 1990’s, plastic surgery developed a not altogether undeserved reputation for going big—too big. When Hollywood stars wanted to “perfect” themselves, it was often by grasping for extremes that didn’t hold up well over time. The result was plastic surgery that looked artificial and, well, plastic.

Modern plastic surgery has matured considerably, and in that maturity, seeks now to achieve results that indistinguishable from your natural look. And in this case, modern Hollywood is a good example of the benefits of this kind of thinking. So, when you’re considering a facelift procedure, let Hollywood of today, rather than the Hollywood of Pamela Anderson, be your guide.

In the 80’s and 90’s, facelifts were all about major work: cheek bones, noses, lips, brow lifts, they were all sort of encompassed in this youthifying movement. The trouble is, they went too big (think I’m kidding? Look at Meg Ryan or Carrie Ann Moss). Cheeks were stretched beyond believability, contributing to a plastic-like, artificial look that robbed the cheeks of a healthy, youthful glow. The internet is littered with mentions of plastic surgery of this era gone horribly awry, especially in celebrities who pushed things too far.

Build a Mystique

The Hollywood of today takes a more subtle approach. Think about it. We don’t read about stars that have had plastic surgery (at least, not often); rather, we read about stars that might have had plastic surgery. Maybe Rumer Willis got a lip injection. Maybe Nicole Kidman got Botox. Maybe Renee Zellweger got a facelift. There’s a mystique: because maybe they did, but maybe it’s make-up and either way they look good. This mystique is achieved by taking a subtle approach, by not stretching those cheeks beyond believable limits, by only making a slight change to the brow or jawline.

This could be your best bet when it comes to a facelift as well. You’ll want to work with your plastic surgeon to take a subtle approach so you can have the joy of being ambiguous when someone asks if you’ve had work done. In fact, many plastic surgeons make it their goal to make sure no one asks you if you’ve had work done. Instead, maybe they’ll ask if you’ve been working out. Cosmetic surgeon Dr. Mark Berkowitz performs facelifts in Detroit and recommends patients keep realistic expectations: that means remembering that facelifts don’t stop the aging process, they just set it back a few years.

When all is said and done, the most important thing is that you ensure your expectations and goals are realistic. A facelift is a great way to make yourself look and feel more youthful, but it’s not going to take twenty years off your face, and only terrible things can happen if you try.

Instead, build that mystique. Even when people can’t agree on what’s changed or how it got that way, they’ll agree on one thing: you look good.