Mary-Anne’s Middle-Age Makeover

Mary-Anne's Middle-Age Makeover

(Excerpted from Dr. Peter Adamson’s book Fabulous Faces available on and edited for our blog. Names of individuals mentioned have been changed to protect their privacy.)

Mary-Anne was becoming one of the invisible people and wasn’t happy about it. She decided to do something about it and is quite pleased with the results. She shares her middle-age makeover story here.

“I’m going to be fifty-one this year, and I look absolutely gorgeous.

Nine months ago, I had the works—my eyes, face, and neck. I did it for two reasons. The first was vanity, absolutely. The second was anger. I was getting very angry with society. Middle-aged ladies become invisible. You see it in how they treat you in restaurants. I hate it when they say “ma’am.” It’s not that I want preferential treatment; it’s just that I want to stay in the game with the thirty-five-year-olds. You see it in business, and it’s everywhere else. It’s a youth-oriented society. Middle-aged women have a tough time. I don’t condone it, but that’s the way it is.

I was becoming one of those invisible people. My face was starting to look old. My neck was really horrible, and my upper eyelids seemed to be literally covering my eyes. I’d put makeup on, and it would disappear. Sometimes you have a better day and then you pay less attention to it, but sometimes you say, “Okay, this is it. I have to do something about it because society won’t change.”

I went to a doctor to see about getting something done about the lines around my mouth. He used BOTOX near my lip, and I looked like a stroke victim for about a week and a half. I went back, and he said, “Oh well, we’ll use less the next time.” So it wasn’t a very pleasant experience.

Then I saw my friend Philippa, who had just had her eyes done, and she looked absolutely fantastic. So, one day I woke up and said, “Okay, I’ll make an appointment.”

The doctor told me he would probably not be able to do a 100 percent improvement with my eyes, just maybe 80 percent. But 80 percent would be a fantastic result compared to what I had. So I definitely wanted my eyes done, and I felt I needed my neck done. He pointed out that the results would be different if I had a facelift. It wasn’t a sales job; he just matter-of-factly said it. If a professional points it out to you, you see it. And because the recovery time would be virtually the same, I said, “You know what? I’ll probably never go under the knife again, so I might as well do it all at once.”

Philippa came to pick me up the morning after the surgery, and I saw a shocked look on her face. It wasn’t because I looked bad, but because she didn’t see any change. Of course, I hadn’t swollen up yet, but I had no bruising. For the first three days there was discomfort. You feel out of commission, and you’re swollen. You feel like you’re going to burst.

After five days, I was downtown doing my banking, wearing a head bandage and a hood. After eight days, I got a call from Deborah in the doctor’s office to arrange for me to see the camouflage makeup artist. She asked, “Are they purple, or are they yellow?” (meaning my bruises). I said, “Well, gee, I have none.” So I didn’t get the camouflage makeup treatment.

I can tell exactly how many years this has taken off my face: eleven. I belong to a tennis club, and the girls at the reception desk are all young enough to be my granddaughters. I went in there and said, “If you can guess my age, I’ll buy you dinner.” And they said thirty-nine. This has been fantastic. No one has put me over forty.

After seven weeks, I went on a blind date with a surgeon, and he couldn’t tell a damn thing. He’s not a cosmetic surgeon, but he’s still a surgeon who can tell stitches, and there was absolutely no sign after seven weeks. No one could tell, not even him. Incidentally, that’s going fantastically well. We’re moving in together.”

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