Before I worked as a beauty editor, I swore off injectables (think: Botox) because I didn't want to mess with my face. And if I'm honest, the topic was still taboo for me. Primarily due to the messaging I grew up with about being a Black woman and aging. All the women around me have aged "gracefully" and used minimal skin care products. So why should my beauty journey be any different?
Well, that ideal has changed for me. And I see beauty and aging from a less critical and judgmental lens. One valuable piece of information I've learned in my beauty career that changed my perspective is most of the people we admire in the public eye are using preventive treatments. And, I'm not talking $400 creams and serums.
My Entry to Botox
Remember how I said I vowed never to get anything injected into my face? Well, those days are over. I'd been invited to try Botox a few times because of my work, but I kept avoiding it. But recently, turning 36, I've had a change of heart out of pure curiosity.
Will I still be able to move my face? Spoiler alert: Yes. Will I look overdone? Is anyone going to know I've been treated? So, I visited The Atlanta Injectors at Lemmon Avenue Atlanta and consulted with Allie McAllister, NP-C, DCNP, the founder of The Atlanta Injectors, to see if I could confirm or bust these myths.
First things first: the consult. Allie asked me first, "What do you see?" I loved that she didn't look at my face and give me a laundry list of things that needed fixing. In fact, she validated me and my natural beauty during the process, adding that I didn't need much done. But, I wanted her to tell me what she saw. Her suggestions were to treat my crow's feet and glabella—the area between the eyes and the nose. For her, less is more. And that was what I needed to hear.
Courtesy of Bianca Lambert
Next up, she marked the injection sites with a white pencil. And it was time for my first ever Botox treatment. I'm sure you're wondering if it was painful. Not really. It was nothing above a slight pinch. But it also helped that they gave me Mr. Buzzy: a white vibrator held onto tightly I kept on my chest that helped me focus on something else. Before each injection, she'd ask me to either frown or smile to get the Botox right where it needed to be. And in what felt like a few minutes, I was done. Aside from the Botox, she did have more suggestions, chin filler, which I also said yes to and will share more about soon.
Courtesy of Bianca Lambert
There are a few post-appointment do's and don'ts:
- Do ice any swelling.
- Don't lie down for the first four hours after treatment to prevent Botox from migrating (So no naps unless you can sleep straight up).
- Don't drink any alcohol for 48 hours.
- Don't do any rigorous exercising for 48 hours.
- Don't massage your face for at least 72 hours.
Ok, so what is Botox?
To answer this question accurately, I chatted with cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Michele Green. "Botox is the name of a medication derived from botulinum toxin type A, a toxin produced by the Clostridium botulinum bacterium," Green tells xoNecole. Botox is an Allergan product and has been FDA-approved since 2002 for cosmetic purposes to reduce fine lines and wrinkles (think: areas on the forehead, glabella aka the elevens, and crow's feet around the eyes. Botox is also used to treat chronic migraines and muscle spasms. But there are other cosmetic neurotoxins, too: Dysport, Xeomin, and Jeuveau.
Is there any downtime with Botox?
"The best thing about Botox: there is little to no downtime with Botox injections," Green shares. However, she does note that with any injections, whether cosmetic or medical, there may be temporary swelling or bruising for a few days post-treatment.
"If you are prone to bruising or have an important event that you want to prevent bruising for, there are steps you can take to minimize the risk of bruising and swelling,” she adds. “Avoid blood thinners and blood-thinning agents such as aspirin, Motrin, vitamin E, and fish oil for at least one week prior to the injections. Refrain from drinking alcohol for one day before the injections."
And one final tool to minimize bruising and swelling: a good ole ice pack.
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Bianca Lambert is a proud Atlanta native soaking up the Los Angeles sun. She is the founder of Mae B: a stationery company for women of color and a digital content creator on a mission to elevate the voices of women of color everywhere.
How Content Creators Hey Fran Hey And Shameless Maya Embraced The Pivot
This article is in partnership with Meta Elevate.
If you’ve been on the internet at all within the past decade, chances are the names Hey Fran Hey and Shameless Maya (aka Maya Washington) have come across your screen. These content creators have touched every platform on the web, spreading joy to help women everywhere live their best lives. From Fran’s healing natural remedies to Maya’s words of wisdom, both of these content creators have built a loyal following by sharing honest, useful, and vulnerable content. But in search of a life that lends to more creativity, freedom, and space, these digital mavens have moved from their bustling big cities (New York City and Los Angeles respectively) to more remote locations, taking their popular digital brands with them.
Content Creators Hey Fran Hey and Maya Washington Talk "Embracing The Pivot"www.youtube.com
In partnership with Meta Elevate — an online learning platform that provides Black, Hispanic, and Latinx-owned businesses access to 1:1 mentoring, digital skills training, and community — xoNecole teamed up with Franscheska Medina and Maya Washington on IG live recently for a candid conversation about how they’ve embraced the pivot by changing their surroundings to ultimately bring out the best in themselves and their work. Fran, a New York City native, moved from the Big Apple to Portland, Oregon a year ago. Feeling overstimulated by the hustle and bustle of city life, Fran headed to the Pacific Northwest in search of a more easeful life.
Her cross-country move is the backdrop for her new campaign with Meta Elevate— a perfectly-timed commercial that shows how you can level up from wherever you land with the support of free resources like Meta Elevate. Similarly, Maya packed up her life in Los Angeles and moved to Sweden, where she now resides with her husband and adorable daughter. Maya’s life is much more rural and farm-like than it had been in California, but she is thriving in this peaceful new setting while finding her groove as a new mom.
While Maya is steadily building and growing her digital brand as a self-proclaimed “mom coming out of early retirement,” Fran is redefining her own professional grind. “It’s been a year since I moved from New York City to Portland, Oregon,” says Fran. “I think the season I’m in is figuring out how to stay successful while also slowing down.” A slower-paced life has unlocked so many creative possibilities and opportunities for these ladies, and our conversation with them is a well-needed reminder that your success is not tied to your location…especially with the internet at your fingertips. Tapping into a community like Meta Elevate can help Black, Hispanic, and Latinx entrepreneurs and content creators stay connected to like minds and educated on new digital skills and tools that can help scale their businesses.
During a beautiful moment in the conversation, Fran gives Maya her flowers for being an innovator in the digital space. Back when “influencing” was in its infancy and creators were just trying to find their way, Fran says Maya was way ahead of her time. “I give Maya credit for being one of the pioneers in the digital space,” Fran said. “Maya is a one-person machine, and I always tell her she really changed the game on what ads, campaigns, and videos, in general, should look like.”
When asked what advice she’d give content creators, Maya says the key is having faith even when you don’t see the results just yet. “It’s so easy to look at what is, despite you pouring your heart into this thing that may not be giving you the returns that you thought,” she says. “Still operate from a place of love and authenticity. Have faith and do the work. A lot of people are positive thinkers, but that’s the thinking part. You also have to put your faith into work and do the work.”
Fran ultimately encourages content creators and budding entrepreneurs to take full advantage of Meta Elevate’s vast offerings to educate themselves on how to build and grow their businesses online. “It took me ten years to get to the point where I’m making ads at this level,” she says. “I didn’t have those resources in 2010. I love the partnership with Meta Elevate because they’re providing these resources for free. I just think of the people that wouldn’t be able to afford that education and information otherwise. So to amplify a company like this just feels right.”
Watch the full conversation with the link above, and join the Meta Elevate community to connect with fellow businesses and creatives that are #OnTheRiseTogether.
Featured image courtesy of Shameless Maya and Hey Fran Hey
How A Taurus Pairs With Each Zodiac Sign In Matters Of The Heart
Taurus is ruled by Venus, the planet of love, and this is exactly the type of energy they exude. Taurus values loyalty, stability, beauty, and romance in a relationship, and they are willing to give this type of support to their partners as well. Being in a relationship with a Taurus is like having a safe space with you wherever you go, and they are the type of partner to ride or die for you. Once a Taurus is in, they are all in. They are all about their loved ones, and their loyalty rarely wavers.
Taurus is not the type of person to rush into a relationship, and if you have caught the eye of a Taurus, you can expect them to take a slow and steady approach to the relationship. They want to build a connection from the ground up, making sure there are no loose ends or surprises that can shake the foundations they are building. This is also an extremely sensual sign, and they need a lot of affection and care to feel loved and valued.
A Taurus takes their love life and sexual chemistry in a relationship very seriously, and if they aren’t both emotionally, physically, and spiritually attracted to the person, it won't work for them. A Taurus is all in or all out. If you are on a Taurus’ bad side, then you can get a different version of them which is a more stubborn, unmoving, and egotistical side.
This earth sign’s love languages involve physical touch, quality time, and gift gifting. If you like to be spoiled, a Taurus is a good partner for you. They love to treat their partners and give them the best of the best, and expect this type of receptivity in return as well. A Taurus will romance you with fine dining, roses, candles, massages, the whole deal- just because they feel like it. Physical touch is also very important to Taurus, and they like this type of reassurance in a partnership.
A Taurus is the type of partner you marry or create a life with, and they love to be in love.
TAURUS + ARIES
A Taurus and Aries relationship can feel like a rollercoaster. The sexual chemistry is off the charts. However, communication between the two isn't their strong point. Aries' bold demeanor can feel abrasive to chill Taurus, and it's difficult for them to understand each other's motives and intentions. How these two come together is that they are both fixed signs, and once they are in a relationship, they are extremely loyal to their partners. Aries may want to rush into the relationship, however, and Taurus likes to take things slow, so they will have to listen to each other's wants and needs to make this work.
TAURUS + TAURUS
A Taurus and Taurus relationship is not a relationship for the weak but a relationship that is intriguing nonetheless. Taurus is known for their stubbornness, and two Tauruses together lead to a lot of butting heads. The thing about an earth sign/earth sign duo is that there is not much room for spontaneity in the relationship. This relationship can become dull all too quickly, and there isn’t much enthusiasm to stay together. What works for this couple is that they are more responsible, reasonable, and caring than most, and they will put this type of energy into their relationship, making them both feel safe and comfortable.
TAURUS + GEMINI
Taurus and Gemini aren’t the most recommended for Taurus. However, anything is possible. What this couple has working for them is that they are two signs next to each other, and there is a unique connection with the sign next to your own on the Zodiac Wheel. So, it’s not like these two have zero compatibility. However, oftentimes this is better off as a friendship than anything. Gemini’s curiosity isn’t something Taurus wants to explore, and Taurus’ slow and steady approach to life isn’t something Gemini is too fond of either. These two are like apples and oranges, and they have to be willing to put in the work to make this relationship happen.
TAURUS + CANCER
Cancer is one of the best matches for Taurus- hands down. Taurus has a soft spot for Cancer and vice versa, and these two form a sweet, loving couple. Being in a relationship with a Taurus has an undertone of stability and safety, and Cancer thrives in this type of energy. Taurus provides the right atmosphere for the relationship to grow, and Cancer has the right vibes for the relationship to thrive. These two deeply admire each other and are usually in it for the long haul. This is the high school sweethearts type of couple or the couple who knows from day one that this person is special.
TAURUS + LEO
Taurus and Leo are instantly intrigued by each other. This couple may surprise others with their compatibility and there is more to this pairing than meets the eye. Both Taurus, and Leo are empowered souls with a strong sense of self. They both know what they want in life and have clear directions for getting there. They both love the finer things, enjoy art, are protective of their loved ones, and want to enjoy the life they create for themselves. These two can build a life together if their egos don’t clash too much. Leo’s boldness may turn Taurus off from time to time, however, and Taurus’ laidback attitude may lead Leo to spiral. If they meet each other in the middle, they can be a beautiful, long-lasting couple.
TAURUS + VIRGO
Taurus and Virgo are a beautiful couple. These two come together and move in harmony, and something is endearing about this couple. Both need stability, security, and loyalty, and both are willing to provide that for one another. Taurus’ self-assurance is intriguing to Virgo, and Virgo’s care and selflessness are sexy to Taurus. A Virgo will remember everything you say to them and then will surprise you with your favorites. Taurus loves this as their love language is quality time and gift giving, all things Virgo is good at. Dating someone in the same element as yours can lack some passion. However, overall this is a great match for Taurus.
TAURUS + LIBRA
Taurus and Libra are the two signs who are ruled by Venus, and they are the certified lovers of the zodiac. When these two come together in a relationship, there is a lot of compassion and romance here, but they do come from opposite ends of life at the same time. To make this relationship work, there needs to be more good times than bad. Both of these two are about the vibes and will not stay in a relationship if there is constant fighting or misunderstanding between the two. Once they find their balance with each other, this can be a really beautiful pairing full of good food, good love, and good harmony with each other.
TAURUS + SCORPIO
Taurus and Scorpio are soulmates. This is a pairing you see often, especially in marriages, and these two are ride or die for each other at the end of the day. What makes this relationship work so well is that they both intuitively understand each other and like what they see. Scorpio’s mysterious, emotional, and sexy demeanor can sweep Taurus right off their feet, and Taurus’ beauty, sense of security, and loyalty are everything that Scorpio is looking for in a partner as well. These two don’t have to try hard to make a relationship form because it happens naturally between the two. They are opposite signs on the Zodiac Wheel, and opposites attract here.
TAURUS + SAGITTARIUS
Taurus and Sagittarius are a more unusual couple you don't see often. However, it does happen. Taurus and Sagittarius are very different in almost every way, and it can be difficult for these two to honor the differences they see in each other without running away. Taurus finds Sagittarius' energy to be flighty, and they need something they can hold onto. Sagittarius finds Taurus's energy to be a little boring and does not want to be at home as much as this earth sign does. Taurus will have to be willing to step out of their comfort zone to fully be in a relationship with Sag, and Sagittarius will have to learn the importance of balance and quality time in a relationship for this to work.
TAURUS + CAPRICORN
Taurus and Capricorn have a strong compatibility that can stand the test of time. These two are very loyal to each other and leave room for growth in the relationship as well. Both Taurus and Capricorn like to have a solid foundation in life, and this is a strong-willed couple that will build a relationship together from the ground up. They are willing to put the work in, not rush each other, and take the time to get to know each other. These two build a successful life together and financially can benefit a lot within the relationship as well. This is a couple that will always be there for each other and that loves to be in each other’s company.
TAURUS + AQUARIUS
Taurus and Aquarius are a unique couple that you don’t see often, but there is chemistry here. Being both fixed signs, they innately understand each other and have a baseline of compatibility. However, Aquarius is a very mental and logical sign, and Taurus prefers to remain grounded rather than be up in the air about anything. It can be difficult for these two to meet each other where they are, not to mention they have very different interests, likes, and dislikes. This is not the best partner for a Taurus, and to make this work, they need to establish and build a friendship first and see what happens from there.
TAURUS + PISCES
The compatibility between Taurus and Pisces is very strong. These two have a sweet energy with each other and typically have really good intentions for the relationship. Pisces is the perfect balance between sweet and spicy for Taurus, and Taurus provides the type of safe environment that Pisces looks for in a relationship. These two love to spend time together and are an affectionate couple that can build a nice life together. Taurus sees Pisces as someone they can go the distance with and is willing to put their stubbornness aside to make the relationship work. These two both have high ideals in life and can see each other in their present and their future.
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