Dermal filler for Chin and Jawline: Why I Decided to Undergo My First Ever Cosmetic Procedure

Dermal Filler Talk

Two weeks ago I went to Harley Academy Clinics to get some dermal filler injections in my chin. Here is my first ever cosmetic procedure story.

It’s not easy to talk about one’s own feelings and insecurities. We learn from an early age not to make ourselves vulnerable. “Hey, how are you?” -“Very well, thank you very much”. Always. Even when we’re very bad, thank you very much.

However, with the rise of the internet and in particular social media, a new wave of authenticity has wiped over us. Suddenly, we find ourselves free to discuss just about anything. Somehow, being further apart in body has brought us closer together in truth.

Which brings me to today’s post. For years I have battled with my own insecurities. Like everyone else, there are things about my body that I wish were different. And although I’m fully aware that beauty is fleeting, I am also very aware of its power. Or rather, I am aware of the power that comes as a result of it –confidence.

All The DL

Now, I strongly believe that confidence should come mainly from within. But I would be foolish to think that the outside world does not or cannot influence our interior world and, ultimately, our confidence.

I can distinctly remember the day I realised that I had a receding jawline. I saw it in a side profile picture of myself and I had one of those “is that really what I look like?” moments. So I started researching for ways to rectify the problem.

Most articles suggested jaw surgery but, given that my jaw was not presenting any real health problems,  I opted against such an invasive procedure. I did, however, come across a practice called orthotropics which claims that, through correct tongue posturing, one can improve the shape and symmetry of one’s face. I’ve been practising orthotropics for 3 years now and I’ve seen some surprisingly positive results.

However, despite having achieved some results through practising orthotropics, I was still not one hundred per cent satisfied with my chin and jawline.

During my research, I had read that it was possible to (aesthetically) correct a receding jaw by getting dermal filler injections. So I decided to book a consultation with Harley Academy Clinics.

The consultation

Two weeks before the procedure I met up with Dr Emily Magregor to discuss the treatment where I explained to her what my expectations were. As you can see from the above, I had a very clear picture of what I wanted.

I was slightly concerned that, in putting my face in the hands of a stranger, albeit a medical professional, I would lose control over how I looked. However, Dr Macgregor reassured me that it was not an unusual procedure and that I was in safe hands.

During the consultation, I also had an opportunity to ask about any concerns regarding, pain, side effects and any other burning questions I had. By the end of the consultation, I was confident that the procedure was safe, and that I had nothing to worry about.

The procedure

Most people have asked me whether the treatment was painful. Absolutely not.

I suppose I would describe the treatment as mildly uncomfortable. The dermal filler is placed near the bone with a syringe so it feels a little “scratchy”. But the whole area is numb anyway from the local anaesthetic so it really isn’t painful.

The procedure lasted approximately 15 minutes. I had about 3 ml of dermal filler injected in my chin and a tiny bit in my jawline.

The results

I had very clear expectations of what I wanted my chin to look like and I am honestly so pleased with the results.

Although I would love to have a chin and jawline like Angelina, I have to accept the fact that I will probably always have a petite chin. However, my side profile is now a lot more balanced, making my features more defined.

In terms of side effects, other than my irrational fear of accidentally moving the filler to a different part of my face during my sleep, I experienced a little “chin tightness” for about a week and a half after the procedure.

Here are the before and after pictures:

dermal filler, non-surgical chin enhancement, chin and jawline filler, filler, harley academy clinics, harley academy, botox, filler london
before
dermal filler, non-surgical chin enhancement, chin and jawline filler, filler, harley academy clinics, harley academy, botox, filler london
after
dermal filler, non-surgical chin enhancement, chin and jawline filler, filler, harley academy clinics, harley academy, botox, filler london
before
dermal filler, non-surgical chin enhancement, chin and jawline filler, filler, harley academy clinics, harley academy, botox, filler london
after

As you can see, my chin and jawline are a lot more defined, giving me a more assertive look.

What I love about this treatment is that most people haven’t even noticed I’ve had anything done. No funny looks, no awkward questions. It’s good because it means I still look like myself -just a new and improved version.

7 Top Tips To Double Your Instagram Story Views In A Matter Of Days

Recently I’ve been obsessing over Instagram stories. I couldn’t understand why my follower count, likes and post reach kept increasing, yet my Instagram story views remained the same. So I decided to do what anyone with an undergrad degree and post grad in law would do -I turned to google. But the results were disappointing. All the articles I came across were just clickbait and the tips were mostly pretty basic.

So then I did what only someone with a pathological obsession would do -I started studying. I observed, took notes and applied.  And since applying these techniques, my Instagram story views have doubled in reach in a matter of days.

London blogger, fashion blogger, uk blogger, uk fashion blogger, instagram story, instagram story view, aspinal of London, asos girl, brunette blogger London, Italian blogger, Italian fashion blogger

London blogger, fashion blogger, uk blogger, uk fashion blogger, instagram story, instagram story view, aspinal of London, asos girl, brunette blogger London, Italian blogger, Italian fashion blogger

The Instagram story ‘grab, hold, react’ technique

Instagram’s algorithm may be a bit of a mystery, but one thing’s for sure: high engagement equals more visibility. Luckily, if there’s anything that I have learned from endless hours in front of Netflix, it’s that in every mystery the clues will be right in front of you. And Instagram story insights give us lots of them.

  • Actions:
    • Replies
    • Sticker taps (the users you tag)
    • Link clicks (swipe ups)
  • Back taps
  • Forward taps
  • Away swipes
  • Exits

In all probability, the more replies, link clicks and taps and the fewer forward taps, away swipes and exits, the higher the chance of your content being seen. Not rocket science. This means you need to somehow grab and hold people’s attention with your Instagram story and then cause them to react to it. I call it the ‘grab, hold, react’ technique. Not an easy task though! In a world saturated with media content, it’s becoming increasingly hard to get your Instagram story seen.

1. The basics (grab, hold, react)

I’m going to assume that you already know the basics. But if you don’t here is a quick list.

  • Geotags (grab). Always geo tag to maximise views;
  • Hashtags (grab)
    • Bonus tip: you can hide your hashtags by pinching them so that they become virtually invisible. I once used the hashtag “gaypride2017” at the London gay pride and got 1.5k views just from that. To optimise your chances, use all 10 available hashtags.
  • Tags (react). When you tag someone chances are people will want to know who they are and click on them.
    • Bonus tip: tag new people. My friend Shelley used to get so many taps at the beginning, but now that everyone knows who she is, the number of taps has gone down. Whenever I tag a new person they get a lot more taps;
  • GIFS (grab, hold). I love gifs. a) They are just awesome and fun and you can get super creative with them, and b) they turn a photo into a video. And videos are more likely to end up on the geotag and hashtag stories. Bingo!
  • Post frequently (grab). Instagram stories are chronological, so the more you post to your stories, the more chances of getting your story to the top
    • Bonus tip: post regularly throughout the day rather than all at once;
  • Quality content (hold, react). Don’t post just anything. Your insta stories need to either have a purpose or look aesthetically pleasing.

2. Reccomendations (react)

People love to share their views on things. Think about when you’re telling someone a story about yourself and the recipient starts talking about something similar that happened to them. It’s no wonder social media is so popular -sharing is at the core of our species

E.g. “Does anyone have any good recommendations for a new Netflix series?”

3. Secrets (grab, hold, react)

Who doesn’t love a secret? No one can resist a click bait even when we know it’s just clickbait. People are naturally curious. And curiosity is a powerful tool in the ‘grab, hold, react’ formula.

E.g. “23 Pictures That Prove Glasses Make Guys Look Obscenely Hot

I mean GOLD! I dare you not to click. Another great example was Sophie Milner, Millie Cotton and Chloe Plumstead’s recent podcast about how much they earned through blogging. Genius! Who wouldn’t want to know?! The only “downside” is that you must be willing to share your secrets. At the end of the day, you want people to trust that they will get what they were promised if you want them to keep coming back.

Here, is what you should not do if you want to write a good title.

4. Instagram story polls (react)

Instagram story polls are great because they force people to interact with you, thus provoking an instinctive ‘reaction’. But make sure you make the poll as easy as possible.

Do

This or that?

E.g. “Do you prefer the blue dress or the yellow dress?”

Don’t

Ask sensitive questions.

E.g. “Do I look good in this?”

Some people will think you do. However, others might not  and will therefore just skip the story. Anyone who says no is just socially inept. But the crucial point here is that you’re missing out on a great opportunity for engagement by asking sensitive questions.

5. Time lapse videos (grab, hold)

I love watching time lapse videos. Luke Catleugh is a master at this. He places his phone directly adjacent to him and records simple tasks in time lapse. You will usually see him either cooking, sipping on a coffee, or studying. It’s like playing sims. He even makes packing a suitcase captivating! Which is both ‘grab’ and ‘hold’ in the ‘grab, hold, react’ formula.

6. Celebrating  your success (react)

Hearing about other people’s success is always inspiring, particularly when it’s done in a humble way. And when you share your success with others, people will want to celebrate with you (reaction).

Jamie Cullen posted on his insta stories about the progress he’s achieving in the gym. I DMd him to congratulate him, and I’m guessing many others did too. If he’d only posted a mirror selfie in the gym, he would probably have received half the engagement.

7. Bloggermail (grab, hold, react)

Bloggermail insta stories. I’m not 100% sure on this -some people love them and others hate them (which is a potential for swipe aways). I personally don’t watch them often. However, it is a known fact that haul videos are one of the most popular videos on youtube so I must be part of the exception. Also, most bloggers tend to do them and there is always meaning in numbers.

London blogger, fashion blogger, uk blogger, uk fashion blogger, instagram story, instagram story view, aspinal of London, asos girl, brunette blogger London, Italian blogger, Italian fashion blogger

I hope you found my tips useful. Please do let me know how you get on -I would love to hear what your experience was. And of course, if you have more tips that you’d like to share, I would love to learn all about them!

V.

Top: Asos

Sunglasses: Asos

Bag: Aspinal of London

Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea at Thomas Burberry’s Cafe

Yesterday I was invited to try out Burberry’s special Mother’s Day afternoon tea. The Burberry cafe is hidden inside Burberry’s flagship store on Regent Street in London. Away from the hustle and bustle of the city, it was great to enjoy a quite moment in the cafe before heading out for some Saturday sping.

If you’re looking for some last minute Mother’s Day inspiration, hopefully this post will help you. Afternoon tea is always a lovely way of showing your mother just how special she is to you.

The interior

The interior of the Burberry cafe is elegant and sophisticated. Tall ceilings and windows, white table cloths and art nouveau tiled floors. It’s therefore the perfect place for a Mother’s Day afternoon tea, and a great place to create new memories.

The abundance of natural lighting also makes it the perfect place to take some cute family photos. You will already know from my Paris trip post that gorgeous interiors are a number one priority for me.

Mother’s Day afternoon tea

The afternoon tea at Thomas’ cafe is traditional -crumpets, scones or tea cakes, finger sandwiches and petit fours. There is also the option of adding Nightingale wine if you’re feeling like a little English bubbly.

I particularly enjoyed the clotted cream and Thomas’ jam scones. Speaking of which -do you say scone or scon? And do you prefer your scones with jam and clotted cream, or with clotted cream and jam? Please leave a comment below. This has already caused a bit of a storm on my Instagram lol.

Mother's Day afternoon tea at Burberry

Mother's Day afternoon tea at Burberry

Mother's Day afternoon tea at Burberry

Mother's Day afternoon tea at Burberry

Mother's Day afternoon tea at Burberry

Mother's Day afternoon tea at Burberry

Mother's Day afternoon tea at Burberry Mother's Day afternoon tea at Burberry Mother's Day afternoon tea at Burberry

Mother's Day afternoon tea at Burberry Unfortunately I was not able to treat my mummy to Mother’s Day afternoon tea this year. However, this is definitely somewhere I would love to take her to on her next visit to London. Thomas’ cafe is also open for lunch and dinner, with a selection of traditional British foods.

What are your plans for mothers’ day?

V x

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Wearing:

Burberry trench coat

Topshop belt

Tudor Farmhouse

Wow! It’s been a while guys. What can I say -I am SO sorry and I missed you!

So much has happened since my last post Forest of Dean Magic about my trip with Skirmy and Ollie. The Forest of Dean is a truly magical place. Many people associate it with Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings. But magic is not the only thing that attracts visitors to the forest. I Still need to tell you all about my visit to Tudor Farmhouse.

Tudor Farmhouse

On our first evening, we were invited to experience a 6 course dining experience at Tudor Farmhouse. Walking down the drive towards the hotel was like stepping into a winter wonderland. Inside, the exposed wooden beams and roaring fireplace were second only to the delicious cocktails which we were served on arrival.

Stay

Though we did not stay overnight, the boys and I were really curious to take a tour of the hotel and suites. This independently owned business has the look and feel of a high end boutique hotel. Every room is perfectly decorated and each bathroom has deep, luxurious tubs. Rustic meets modern commodity in a sophisticated and elegant manner.

Dining 

After our tour, our host showed us to a table in small candle-lit dining room. Each course of the meal was paired with matching wines from all parts of the world. Our sommelier did a great job of explaining the different flavours and textures of the wines. Each flight married beautifully with every single course.

I need you to be a little open-minded now. I’m about to explain why my favourite course was the roasted carrot but I forgot to take a picture of it (face palm moment). So I need you to use your imagination. You will no doubt remember growing up to your parents’ persistent requests that you eat your vegetables. Personally, I’ve never had that -my parents would put me in front of a salad and not really care if I moaned that I didn’t like it. Eventually, I learned to love any kind of food. However, I know this was a common issue in most families, so let’s resume my story.

Vegetables are usually served on the side of “something” -that something usually being some kind of superstar meat. They are never the main event but merely the supporting act. However, the chef at Tudor Farm House did an excellent job of turning that paradigm on its head -he boldly removed any distractions from our plates and forced us to pay attention to the Carrot. The result was unexpected. It was the best carrot I have ever tasted in my life, maybe even the best vegetable. I would highly recommend trying it.

The rest of the meal was just as impressive as it’s surprising beginning. Here are a few mouth-watering shots for your to enjoy. Hopefully, you’ve already eaten! Haha

We enjoyed our evening and surroundings at Tudor Farm House so much that the following morning we decided to return to the hotel to take pictures in the daylight. The staff were so friendly and accommodating. We will definitely be back!

 

 

 

London Escapes: A Day at Ham Polo

Samuel Johnson once said that when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life. Well, Sam -try living in London now!

We all enjoy its perks -the constant parties, 24h tubes, trendy pop-ups and restaurants. But don’t you sometimes just crave a bit of peace and quiet? A bit of country life? Most Londoners don’t know that they can enjoy country living without even leaving London. Of course, the royal parks offer much by way of greenery -but it’s the country pursuits that I miss the most. A long walk (in the direction of an old country pub), wild swimming, a bit of polo, maybe? Not as exclusive as one might think.

Richmond’s very own Ham Polo Club is a well-established institution. It’s one of the oldest polo clubs in the country and the last surviving polo club in London. The club is very welcoming and allows non-members to attend the polo matches every week in the summer by paying a very small entry fee of £5 -totally worth the price for what it offers! You can pay for tickets at the gates and even bring your own picnic (and booze!).

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Last weekend, I visited the club with a friend. We decided we wanted to take some photos with the ponies so, between matches, we walked around the stables looking for inspiration. The vibe at the club is so chilled that not one person told us off for cuddling the ponies and taking pictures with them. Of course, being the animal lover that I am, I made a new friend. It’s crazy how you can build such a strong bond with an animal in such little amount of time -it would never happen between humans (not in Britain, anyway lol). I will be back soon my friend!

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This is not a sponsored post, by the way -just me wanting to share my secrets with you!

All the best,

V x

***

WEARING

Jumpsuit: ASOS

Jumper: Similar here

Sliders: Kurt Geiger

Bag: ASOS

Watch: CLUSE

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PHOTOGRAPHY @byollieb 

My 25th Birthday Weekend: Guide to the Most Elegant Restaurants and Bars in Paris

I had my first “fear of old age” dream the other night. In the dream I had a very wrinkly forehead, which I kept trying to iron out. I should probably invest in some botox.

Turning 25 has made me think about what my younger self thought being 25 would be all about. Basically, this super hot, super successful, super human, who is a mature adult, but still young enough to be cool -talk about pressure!

Outfit no. one 

Whilst I am grateful for what life has given me so far, I can’t help but think that 9 year old me would probably turn her nose up at 25 year old me.

Anyway, whilst turning 25 may have been a little stressful in some ways, in other ways, it was actually pretty amazing. If you follow me on IG, you will already have seen -or, rather, been spammed with- pictures of my weekend in Paris last month.

So what better way to celebrate adulthood, than by sharing my wisdom with you on *where to go whilst in Paris* -just like a respectable adult would?

Where to stay 

St Germain

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We stayed in a beautiful studio apartment on the 4th floor of an old building on Rue de Buci, St Germain -so far, so French. Both the apartment and the location were absolutely spot on, but if there were anything I would perhaps do differently this time round, it would probably be checking if the building has a *LIFT* -but no biggie. Lesson learned! Stairs are fetch.

Outfit no. two

window

Now, Rue de Buci was an excellent choice and I would love to be able to claim that it was all part of my master plan. Alas, I have to admit, it happened rather accidentally.

 

Anyway, if you enjoy french wine shops, cute little cafes and bars and a lively yet not too rowdy street (told you this was a responsible adult review), I would definitely recommend staying here.

Where to eat 

Brasserie Vagenade 

Dinner at Brasserie Vagenade on the first night was absolutely divine. The restaurant was just a stone’s throw from our apartment -very convenient considering my choice of shoes.

Outfit no. three

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The food at BV was superb, the staff very friendly. I’d been craving escargot for some time, so I had to give in -when in Rome, after all. But the atmosphere was what topped it all off for me: belle époque interiors, mirrors on every wall and the lively chatter of a very french clientele -it had that je ne sais quoi that I think Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald would have loved.

Ralph

As in, actual Ralph Lauren’s restaurant!

Honestly, when I walked through the elegant doors of this restaurant, I felt like I had landed in the 1920s  -just like in Woody Allen’s ‘Midnight in Paris’.

From the jazz music, to the pictures of horses the walls, to the imposing fireplace in the middle of the room -everything about this restaurant was perfection. Even the butter! I mean, Ralph Lauren butter is gotta be worth a visit -right?

Bars 

Cafe Marly

Outfit no. four

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Café Marly is just view goals all over. It may be a little pricey, but considering the terrace gives you front row seats to the glass pyramid, it is totally worth it.

The 18th century rococo gallery has an elegant and contemporary feel, and the corridor that runs through the tables is practically a catwalk for beautiful waiters -I told you this cafe was all about the views.

 

Cafes 

Cafe de Flore

An old classic and a little cliche -I am aware of that. But I had to pay a visit to Café de Flore, just to see what all the buzz is about.

Lovely crockery and perfectly positioned people-watching tables, but a little touristy and, quite frankly, probably like a million other cafes in the area. Good, but not the one.

Brunch

OFF Paris Sienne

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Basically, the perfect brunch spot in Paris -a floating hotel on the river Sienne with a beautiful outdoor pool. I mean -does it get any more instagrammable than this?

Outfit no. five

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Brunch was the usual all you can eat format, which is perfect if, like me, you like endless girly chats in front of endless cappuccinos.

Shame the weather wasn’t quite as we had hoped, but nothing can stop a girl from wearing gold mules.

WEARING

Outfit no. one

Top: Zara

Jeans: Newlook

Shoes: Zara

Outfit no. two

Pyjamas: Primark

Outfit no. three

Blazer: Zara

Shoes: Zara

Outfit no. four

Coat: H&M

T-shirt: Topshop

Outfit no. five

Jumper: New Look

Skirt: Primark

Mules: Primark