*I never thought I could feel so miserable, sitting so close to peanut M&Ms.
I recently shot a campaign for Bellafill, the injectable filler that lasts 5 years, and prompts your own collagen to kick into high gear. But when I got the audition notice, I was like….whaaaaaaa? I don’t need fillers! I’m thirty-uh…yeah! I don’t need fillers!
Even though I was sure I wasn’t gonna book it, I headed to the casting in Santa Monica, thinking, I’m obviously too youthful and glowing for this. My scene partner was a woman in her 60s, who had had things done to her face (no judging). Around here, who hasn’t. Kindergarteners are already five years into regular preventative Botox.
Not I, though. It’s me! I’m from Pennsylvania! I smile, and I ugly-cry, and I sleep on my face, and sometimes I furrow my brow because I’m a real lady with emotions and crap!
Even so, I mentally clocked the lines on my face. You can’t get through life with no evidence of your journey. (But I was grateful that, according to my smile lines, there were some funny parts.)
As always, my first instinct was to turn the audition into an SNL sketch of itself. When my direction was to quietly hold a piece of birthday cake while my scene partner blew out the candles, I wanted to whisper in her ear “Happy Birthday Grandma” — which I imagined would have thrown this woman completely off her game.
Instead I smiled and held the cake, then we swapped roles and she held my birthday cake, and a couple days later, I booked the job. I would be doing a two-day paid photoshoot, and getting free fillers. I mean. Win-win. Right?
You know how they put the actual filler into your face? With needles. It’s non-surgical, but to me — clinical weenie — it might as well be medieval torture. I had no novocaine, and instead used ice packs to numb my face. And then Dr. Jennifer did the needle part. Ho. Lee. Fudge. Balls.
First of all Dr. J is gorgeous, so I was like, “I am down for this, I can do it, I want to look like you.” She jostled my jowls so I couldn’t feel the needle as much. But daaaaaang there are a lot of nerve endings near my nose. Or my brain. Whichever place the needle was actually penetrating. (Definitely my brain.)
My face felt a little hot, and the Bellafill client was taking fun behind the scenes pics, and it was all going great, until I was finished.
Then…Balloon. For. Face.
For some people, it’s normal to swell up. I don’t want to brag, but I probably swelled up more than anyone ever. And I had to shoot photos immediately after. So while everyone else was picking at the Peanut M&Ms, I was alternating hot and cold compresses. For hours! My lips were untouched, and they were swelling up so much I thought I had gotten them done too. (It was my first time getting fillers. Did I mention that?) Shout-out to Molly Crist for jumping in as my nurse and savior — and also rocking prop styling — all at the same time.
We ended up chilling my face out enough to get the “after” shots, but as soon as I stopped with the compresses, PUFF FACE. On the drive home, I texted Ervin: MY FACE IS SUPER SWOLLEN. DON’T MAKE FUN OF ME. [SERIOUS FACE EMOJI]
The next five days were total balloon face. And I think I legitimately had a small breakdown. I was looking in the mirror at myself, crying, asking mirror-me, “Why do you value yourself at [rate I got paid]! You’re a priceless person!” (Ugh, dramatic much? It was the puffiness talking). Then I was scrolling through my phone pics, reminiscing about my “before” face, from a stupid selfie I had taken pre-needles, thinking, “Look at her. She had a future. What did you do to her!” I hid in my apartment, I avoided mirrors like a vampire. Like, it was sad.
I was about to apply for the next season of Botched, when the swelling finally went down. WHAT THE ACTUAL FACE had happened to me!! Within two weeks, everything had relaxed back down to my natural (a.k.a., HUMAN) face structure, with only the slightest hint of “filler.” I looked like me, but…freshened up! (It was then, that I finally realized why people loooooove this stuff. And so did I.)
I’ll be honest, the balloon part certainly hasn’t led to a newfound filler addiction. But. A little here and there? Why not! Do you. And somehow the filler made me appreciate whatever my face just is. Kind of a cool bonus.
Here are some shots, and behind the scenes, from the lifestyle shoot portion of the day (NOT the day I was Annoying Orange face) Everyone was super pro and upbeat, and I’m always grateful to be part of a talented team who lets everyone around them shine. It ends up feeling like family. So, here’s my Bellafill fam!
This is Christina Buzas who did my hair and makeup for a million different looks. But the whole time I just wanted her bangs and her rock tees (all of it — perfection).
Jackson Marshall played my husband for the shoot, and made the days fly by with his killer sense of humor. Also he’s an actual model. I’m like, tryna hang in there, thinking about what pinky finger position makes my hands look the most dainty (— true).
Proof of actual model-ness. That’s Jackson posing with (some of) the super fun Bellafill client. Whatever, abs. [Eye roll].
I don’t have a sample-sized head, so this hat is actually CUT in half, up the back, so I could wear it. And I kiiiiiiiinda wanna do it with all my hats. It was really comfortable! (The badass Jay Watson took these photos for the campaign materials, and then I bedazzled them with ridiculous commentary — just for you guys).
OK, that one’s just in here because my boobs have literally never looked better. Photoshop? Push-up bra? All of it? Don’t care. I’m zooming in and printing out a poster for over my mantle, when I have a mantle.
This is what I imagine it’s like to have a low-key birthday party and one of your friends is 007.
Wanna see it all in action? This is the commercial for Bellafill 2018! Fill ‘er up! Just kidding. That would be like the least sexy injectables slogan. Plump it up! Ok, at least the client knew what they were doing.