BY LISA WILLIAMS
Asian superstars long renown for their eternally looking visage have been known to get a helping hand from aesthetic doctors. Articles from Singaporean and Hong Kong Chinese newspapers (Lian He Zao Bao and Ping Guo Ri Bao) have featured renowned Taiwanese makeup artist, Ray Chen, who revealed a long list of Asian celebrities who have possibly undergone facial plastic surgery.
Highly successful examples include the likes of Jolin Tsai, Cecilia Cheung, Barbie Xu, Huang Xiao Ming, amongst many more.
Besides the usual suspects like double eyelid and nose surgery, the most striking difference when comparing the pictures of the celebrities now-and-before is that their face shapes – their V-LINE (a.k.a V-shaped jawline) have all become mysteriously slimmer, sharper and more beautifully defined than they used to be.
In the past decade, intensive research into new ways to rejuvenate the face has led to remarkable advances – dermatologists and surgeons can now perfect the facial contour to up our beauty quotient significantly with mere injections.
That’s a big ‘Hooray’ for celebs as they can now undergo treatment discretely, without the need of telltale severe bruising and swelling for long periods, and still be able to announce that “nothing is plastic” without guile.
The easy availability, good safety profile and public acceptance of Botox and fillers has also led to a dramatic worldwide increase in aesthetic treatments such as non-surgical facial slimming in everyday people on the streets, following the trend set by the pop idols.
So what’s the big deal about face shape, you might wonder.
It appears – everything. 500 years ago, the great Leonardo Da Vinci commented that the facial shape was the most important determinant of youthful attractiveness when drawing facial portraits. His teachings were further validated by modern research centuries later.
In the 1990s, Dr David Perrett began studying perceptions of beauty, compiling composite photos of European and Japanese faces and asking people to judge them. He found that beautiful faces had something in common – they had higher cheekbones, a thinner jaw, and larger eyes relative to the size of the face.
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Then, in 2005, UK plastic surgeon Dr Rajiv Grover further refined the relationship between face shape and beauty through his research. He defined the ‘Angle of Beauty’ as 81 degrees between the centre of the chin and the outer edge of the cheekbones.
In other words, attractive faces are typically heart-shaped – widest at the cheekbones (which should be plump and juicy, like peaches), tapering down a slim and smooth jaw line to a sharp, fine chin like that of Fan Bing Bing, Jennifer Lopez, Kate Moss or Madonna.
NON-SURGICAL FACIAL SLIMMING WITH BOTOX
Overly enlarged chewing muscles (masseters) at the angle of the jaw are a common cause of a wide squarish jaw line. This is especially so in Asians who are genetically predisposed, and it’s often worsened by vigorous chewing (eg. of a high-fibre Asian diet).
This explains why square jaw reduction is so popular in Asia, where a heart-shaped or “goose egg-shaped” face as the Chinese would call it, has long been recognized as the ideal feminine contour. In any case, I would imagine that very few ladies would prefer a rectangular face like SpongeBob’s if offered a choice, as that tends make a girl look chubbier, more masculine and often more mature than she really is.
Interestingly, thousands of Asian men are asking for trimmer jaw lines in the recent years as well, following the trend set by Japanese, Korean and Taiwanese TV serials featuring suave slim-faced male heart throbs.
While surgical jaw reduction used to be the only treatment in the past, Botox microinjection now offers a quick (yes…it’s over in five minutes apparently), safe and virtually painless option to achieve an exquisite jaw line. By reducing overly bulky masseters and bringing about jaw bone remodeling over weeks as it exerts its effects, Botox can deliver jaw-dropping facial slimming results discretely without the nip/tuck, and has zero recovery time.
“The celebrities in the article certainly look like they could have used Botox for facial slimming,” says Dr Kenneth Lee, from SW1 Clinic. “In proper hands, we see natural and great-looking results like in these pictures which are amazing enough to set the tabloids’ tongues wagging.”
The number of Botox treatments required depends on the severity of the condition. Mild cases would just need one session. Severe cases may require a course of 3 microinjections done over closer intervals for impressive results.
“In some cases, we combine Botox jaw reduction with other treatments such as Volume High Definition Lift [the latest generation of Juvederm natural filler] to sculpt and enhance chins that are too small in proportion to the rest of the face. This will achieve a more defined and balanced jaw line without surgery,” explains Dr Lee.
“Patients in their late 30s or 40s may have additional problems of sagging skin too, and that will weigh down the lower face,” he said while looking intently at my jaw line, before flashing his signature charming smile.
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Could it be happening to me too?
“The Ulthera ultrasonic non-surgical facelift along the lower face and neck would turn back the clock and tighten skin up in a flash without using any needles.”
Remarkable what aesthetics medicine can do today. Hopefully in the near future, we will be able to just pop a magic pill to satisfy our pursuit of perfection and ever-lasting beauty. But for now, it looks like it might soon be time for my injections and Ultherapy……