Birthday Face



{Wearing: Dress: American Apparel. Bag: Kate Spade New York Outlet at c/o Sawgrass Mills. Earrings: Herba c/o Tarbay. Shoes: Steve Madden. Hair: c/o SassoonPhotographed by Jorge Camaraza at Boca Raton Resort and Club, a Waldorf Astoria Resort. Photographed by Jorge Camaraza}


Fact: 38 is closer to 40 than it is to 30—whether or not you feel it. That’s just the God’s honest truth. But just because you’re closer to one decade than another doesn’t mean you have to look it. I knew I was going to be shooting for my 38th birthday, so rather than stick a camera in my face and break out into a cold sweat wondering what age lines, marks, spots, dots, holes, cliffs and ravines the lens would pick up. I just wanted to take pics and feel good about them afterward. Not dissect all the flaws time gifts you along the way and curse myself for not remembering anything from my college Photoshop classes. So, I made an investment in something to help me put my best face forward: Some quality time with Dr. Shaun Patel at Miami Skin and Vein. The plan of attack: Make me look and feel great. Stat! First of all, let me just say, Dr. Patel has the patience of a saint. I do realize when it comes to my skin that I have crazy expectations and zero time. “Just make me pretty now” should be a menu option, right? I have to shoot now. I need to go to dinner now. I want this pimple to be erased with the snap of a finger. These are things I actually think in my head, hoping with every fiber of my being that they are possible. If only technology could keep up with my expectations. Sigh. But Dr. Patel comes as close to making that happen as possible. He might be a magician in addition to a dermatologist. A few weeks back he started me on a regimen to deal with an adult acne situation I’ve been dealing with lately. (Cue me rolling my eyes. Who turns 38 and has acne? It’s like I’m aging backward. But more to come on that sooner than later). For this little predicament, I took his advice and ran with it. And guess what? It’s working.

About 10 days before my big 3-8, I headed back to Dr. Patel for some maintenance. I was all set to get Botox, when he suggested I make time for a facial. The word caught me a little off guard. You see, the first time in my life I got a facial (a million moons ago at a janky local spa) I broke out so badly I needed meds to get my skin back on track. And that lasted way longer than I wanted it to. I rued the day I ever got the facial and refused to get one with extractions ever since. Until now. If Dr. Patel said it would help my adult acne sitch and make me 38-ready, well, I trust him. After all, he hasn’t steered me wrong in the past. Dr. Patel sent me into the hands of his facialist at Miami Skin and Vein and not only did it erase my fears, it may have created my latest addiction. Not only did she open my pores and purify them, I also did dermaplaning, where the aesthetician uses a scalpel to exfoliate your skin and remove all the peach fuzz on your face. Sounds way scarier than it actually is. What it yields is skin so soft and smooth, babies everywhere envy your complexion. My skin felt so new I didn’t even want to put makeup on, which, for me, in all of my 38-year-ness, says a lot. I don’t even walk out of my bedroom in the a.m. with at least BB cream on. And after this latest treatment the last thing I wanted to do was taint my skin with makeup. Plus, I was glowing. Who needs makeup when you’re glowing? After proposing to my aesthetician, I headed to the chair where Dr. Patel worked more of his magic: Botox.



I’ve mentioned I’m no newbie to Botox before. What I like about it is how it makes a more confident you. Why walk around with lines and wrinkles if you don’t have to? It honestly doesn’t hurt any more than getting a flu shot. And trust me, I’m a disaster when it comes to needles. But when those needles come with results, I can stomach the bee sting. It takes around a week to see the results and those results make having a lens inches away from your face tolerable, enjoyable even. So, fire away. Make me feel great about being 38. And Dr. Patel did, with a gentle hand and a kind of precision that keeps me coming back to him again and again. And that’s how I got ready for my 38th year, feeling good about my skin, feeling confident about the clocking ticking another 365 days. I realized heading into another year only makes you feel old if you let it. And there’s no way I’m going to let that happen.