You’ve definitely heard of Dr. Simon Ourian. If you want to pretend like you don’t know who he is, here’s a brief reminder. He’s the ubiquitous Beverly Hills plastic surgeon who officially “did Kylie Jenner’s lips” and maybe, unofficially, other things as well. He also works on several of Kylie’s family members in similar capacities, that is both officially and unofficially. Additionally, he’s done work of countless other celebrities. A few months ago, in fact, he did Amber Rose’s chin. Imagine the power of being the who’s who MD of Instagram’s most famous faces, and two of which, specifically, have been in relationships with Kanye West. It would get you a nice office. A really nice office.
I have a 10:45 a.m. appointment in this said nice office, and I don’t even know what I am about to let Dr. Ourian do to me, really. I had a consultation call with Dr. Ourian a few weeks beforehand and I told him that while I was interested in having him do something to my face or body, I had two very strict conditions: nothing would get sucked out and I wouldn’t get anything injected in, either. Dr. Ourian told me he could do plenty of other things that were comfortably outside of the range of forbidden and he suggested that I undergo his custom laser treatment that he developed himself. From the comfort of my new office I happily agreed, but by the time I got to LA and walked across the 90210 located doormat, emblazoned with his signature prestigious logo, I was just a tad bit nervous.
The décor in the waiting room is probably exactly what you’d expect from the infamous zip code. It was ornate, reflective and obscurely French. There were tiny dishes of candy, wrapped conspicuously in gold placed all over the waiting area. There were Madeleines and macarons and pitchers of hibiscus tea. In terms of other clientele, there were famous bloggers who I won't out, local wealthy-appearing couples and me. There was also a lot of paperwork, which is to be expected at a doctor, and as more and more waivers appeared, I started to get just a bit more nervous.
After about 20 minutes, I was ushered into a bright room with numbers all over the walls and a hexagon in the middle of the floor in front of a circle light. A nurse coached me through the complicated choreography of taking all of my “before” images. I then was shown into a glamorous checkup room where I met and gave my medical history to a doctor and esthetician. Then the good doctor met me in person, and Dr. Ourian assured me that I was in the best hands. I mean, duh, he did have very nice hands, and these hands work on about 50 to 60 patients per day. Roughly 20 of them opt to do what I am about to do. When the nurse came back she said that I would need to eat cookies since I skipped breakfast and she was apprehensive about my reaction to the nitrous. “Uh, nitrous? For What?” “Oh, just for the pain, if you need it,” she said before escaping to get me chocolate chip cookies and an almond biscotti.
I wouldn’t say that I was in full panic mode, but I was not all the way gung-ho about doing some painful procedure that meant I had to stay out of the sun for a good month. At the end of July, that was not…thrilling to me. After thinking it over, nibbling on the cookies with my face covered in numbing cream, I chickened out. I escaped to a lunch in Beverly Hills with a friend and let anxiety chew away while I scavenged the internet for stories of people who had already done the laser. It was a mixed bag, so I’ll add my nuggets to the mix, since, predictably, everyone’s experience is totally different and I did actually go back to have it done the next day.
Take two, I am back in the procedure room, covered in numbing cream. I had preemptively eaten a healthy breakfast, but I was actually informed that the nitrous was optional and that I might not even need it. Still, after my face got numb, I was pretty scared. Everything went the same as the day before, but instead of staying in the room where I was initially examined, we went to yet another room with the actual laser machine.
I lay back, and blackout goggles were placed over my eyes for protection? “Will it hurt?” I asked, still squeezing my eyes closed in spite of the goggles, mostly out of fear of pain and a bit out of laser’s ability to possibly burn out my eyes. My esthetician replied with a coy, “Not too bad. And we have the nitrous if it’s unbearable.”
Not exactly what I wanted to hear, but I was already on the table to bring it on, I guess. What you’ll want to know now is: did it hurt? And I won’t drag it out. Yes, it hurt. A lot. But I would also say that if you got your hair permed, ever, it’s kind of the same thing. It's at least in the same family of pain. Women generally are familiar with pain, especially if at the end of said pain is the promise of a smaller waist, or straighter hair or a poreless skin, which is what was promised to me at the end of this treatment. The esthetician working over me told me that she’s had this procedure done herself nine times. My eyes flew open under those goggles. I was shocked. The scent of burning flesh was filling the room, and it was coming from my face. I could not imagine doing this nine times. I was barely making it through the one.
After about 15 excruciating minutes, I was free. Well, free-ish. I had the strictest instructions to not let a single beam of sunlight touch my face for the next month, which, according to Dr. Ourian, is not only aftercare but also simply good life-practice. It was necessary for after the laser, but if you want your skin to look good, just basically never go in the sun. Luckily, earlier in the summer I had purchased a cotton bucket hat from Amazon. That hat was my saving grace.
For the next week or so, I had tiny black dots all over my face as if I had fallen asleep on a window screen. My skin was not painful afterward, but it was a bit tender to touch. After the numbing cream wore off, I guess I felt the full force of essentially burning off the top layer of my skin. Dr. Ourian gave me two creams to aid in my recovery. One that I used only one night, and then a week after, a nightly cream to improve the texture of my skin. It slowly returned back to normal. I did not have any exceptional problems with my skin to eliminate to begin with, but who doesn’t want to just generally improve it? This was just maybe the most extreme facial I have ever gotten.
It’s now been three months, and while my skin is looking pretty great, and since I could never afford a $5,000 treatment, I feel grateful and happy with my results. If you can stand the pain to your face and wallet, go for it! If nothing else, it’s pretty priceless for the experience of seeing your favorite YouTubers, Instagrammers and Beverly Hills power couples in the Epione waiting room.
(Photo: Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic)
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