Last week I while I was in the apogee of yet another existential crisis, my friend texted me and asked if I could come to her medical injection spa the next day to be a model demo for a “Vampire Lift.” That is upside of being a floundering fuck-up, people think about you not because they feel sorry for you but because they know you have the time in the day and the motivation in case they want to practise tattooing fancy fonts on live human skin or the latest techniques in medical spa treatments. I am so down with being a guinea pig. I will inject anything anytime. Call me!
“Yes! I want a vampire lift!” I immediately texted back. I had heard of it before on one of those lady talk shows like the Doctors. It’s a PLP treatment and the groovy name “Vampire Lift” has been registered trademarked by some douche doctor who didn’t even invent the procedure so don’t look for it on the menu of your favourite injection spa. He probably googles it and is going to demand me to pay him for blogging about so I’m going to tag it and title and write in bold: VAMPIRE LIFT. Catch me if you can. And bring your magic wand with you.
PLP is not like filler per se, so it’s not about trout lips, but it can be used with a filler for multi-tasking purposes. It is as sinister as it sounds: It involves drawing a vial of your own old bat wine-soaked blood, then putting it in a centrifuge for a few minutes, separating the red blood cells and plasma. The red blood cells are the shite part, and get dumped, but the golden plasma (platelet-rich plasma, known as PLP) is the stuff they inject into your old battered skin, tricking the cells into thinking there is injury and thus increasing the production of collagen. Young people produce collagen without thinking about it or even knowing what it is or how to spell it. But when you get old, you and your skin don’t want do anything but hang out on the couch under a blankie. Fuck that tedious collagen production, your skin says, what has collagen done for me lately? I’m so tired.
Sometimes a lady needs a kick in the sweatpants. So off I went to the spa which was on Yonge and Davisville. I always forget that you need to dress up before you go to a place that isn’t the Home Depot, otherwise you will feel like a giant awkward wildebeest that had rolled in a dumpster because everyone there is sleek and beautiful, flittering round in spike heels and black pencil skirts. They all seem to be making barrels of collagen without any labour disputes at all. I am soaking wet from the rain, wearing half pajamas, half saggy jeggings and I had just eaten a 6-inch Subway sandwich and had a black olive stuck in my teeth the entire time. Whatevs. In the corner, there is a cheese platter, hallelujah, and I plunk myself down beside it, digging into a wedge of brie with a plastic fork, I work hard for my snacks. It’s a special event day, and my treatment is going to be in front of an audience.
Another thing I hate about spas, aside from feeling like a circus freak and my arms and legs are on backwards, is that it all your flaws pointed out and discussed so casually.
“What are your concerns about your appearance?” asked the glamourous spa greeter who looked like Veronica from Betty and Veronica. Me so jelly. She had one of those shiny blue reflections when the light her jet black hair just so.
This is me responding: “Uhhh-m, I’m here umm cuz Connie called me for like, the vampire thing like, umm…”
The fugly is just flowing freely out of my pores.
Veronica: “Is there any area you are particularly concerned about? What about redness around the cheeks…rosacea?” (Yet another fucking word old bitches need to spell check).
Me, rubbing my nose: “Ummm, well, no, I just like, broke a blood vessel on my nose once, like when I pushed a baby out, the first one…Like it wasn’t there when I went to the hospital, like ummm…when the baby came out then it like, just appeared…like, it probably burst when I was pushing, it took hours, and that’s why it’s so red there, like, on that side of my nose. Also I like my wine, you know, like, ladies like wine, so, like, maybe the little blood vessels break then. I guess I don’t really care like they will always be breaking because I will either be pushing something out, like sometimes when I don’t drink I get constipated so I have to push hard, maybe not pushing out a baby hard but still maybe I’ll be breaking some more capillaries pushing out a hard poop…or drinking more, whatever, I can’t win either way so I don’t really care if they are there or not…”
It’s one of those times where you know you are talking but you don’t know what you are saying. Luckily she let that one go. One woman’s rosacea is another woman’s drunken diary I guess. Jesus Christ, if I didn’t have rosacea I would look like a dead fish. She did tell me I would benefit from filler on the cheekbones to pull up the jowls. Fuck yes, I want that. That is the secret to Angelina Jolie’s success, people, she has so many injections that she doesn’t need her skeleton anymore. Her cheekbones look like awnings and keeps the rest of her face from getting sun damaged. That is what we call smart hockey.
On we went to the “Injection Room.” A group of ladies were all huddled by the bed I was about to lie on. The nurse that was going to do the procedure was Wes, a tall handsome dude, and super-excited to jab and stab: “We’re going to get those lines on your neck and all that crepey skin around your eyes, and in 3 weeks, you are going to glow!” He was like Edward Needlehands. You could tell he was born to stick things into people. It’s always good to make a career out of your passion, says Oprah.
But first they made me stand along the wall and take a “Before” picture. With her i-Pad, Veronica snapped a photo, and then putting it on a app that should be called “Uglify” she held up my photo….aaaaand it looked like this:
Call me “Monster.” Okay this is Charlize Theron, which makes me feel better because the spa photo would have ruined my day if I wasn’t already so filled with anxiety.
“This shows where all the sun damage occurred and where she will need treatment and what will be most beneficial for her in the future,” she is holding up the i-Pad to the group, who are all surprisingly not vomiting. Wes,in the meantime, was gleefully drawing blood from my veiny hand. Someone in the audience pipes up, “What about her nasal labial folds?’ And that’s pretty much enough of that story I want to tell.
No, it didn’t hurt. It’s a tiny needle and a lot of quick pricks and it’s done in less than 5 minutes, that’s what she said. I left the spa looking a little swollen and puffy with a slightly bruised ego. The next day I woke up and everything was smoother than normal, at least on the outside, still turmoil on the inside. And two days later my skin feels almost slippery, not its usual cat tongue texture, and when I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror above my bank machine where I usually glare at myself in disgust, I actually thought hey! I feel pretty! Oh so pretty! And witty and bright! Collagen is back from vacay and pumpin’ up the volume! Although when I close my eyes I still see the monster in the mirror and my existential angst rages on. If my skin can get its mojo back, maybe I can too?
What’s it all about, Alfie? Ugh, that’s the tune that runs through my head when I get like this. This is a two-parter post because I need to tell you about what my mother said, the book David is reading, and what I found in my basement. Who is David? Just settle down, you’ll find out tomorrow, in the meantime, my rosacea is calling and wants me to break some blood vessels Pinot Grigio-style whilst I centrifuge (word of the day) my thoughts.