Story and Photography by Elizabeth Skenes Millen
Meet Alison Meeks:
A delight to be around, Alison Meeks is bubbly. Her personality and smile has a way of brightening a room just based upon her entering. She is open to life and adventure, and she is sincere and kind. With all of these exuberant qualities, there was one thing weighing Alison down. “I feel so much younger on the inside than I look on the outside,” Alison commented. Alison knew her main problem area—her eyes. “They make me look tired and older. In fact, I have gotten to the point where I avoid mirrors and cameras. I don’t like what I see,” she explained.
Enter Lux Medical Spa, a new state-of-the-art luxurious medical spa in Bluffton, specializing in skin care, cool sculpting, laser and injectables, such as Botox, Juviderm, Dysport, and Voluma. Owned by plastic surgeon Frederick G. Weniger, M.D. and dermatologist Carmen A. Traywick, M.D., Lux Medical Spa opened earlier this year, as we waited with anticipation to partner with them for a Pink Magazine Extreme Takeover. Usually, Pink’s monthly makeover includes haircut, color, makeup and clothing. It becomes extreme when treatments such as facials and injectables are added to the mix.
Alison had an initial consultation with Susan Coker, PA-C, the Botox Queen, to see what could be done for her sags and bags. While a surgical eyelid and brow lift is the ideal long-term solution to Alison’s issue, Susan explained what her possibilities were by taking a non-surgical route. Satisfied, Alison was excited to proceed.
The first step was a deep cleansing facial with licensed esthetician Rebekah Mullin. With 16 years of solid experience, Rebekah cleansed Alison’s skin to exfoliate dead skin buildup, allowing new skin and collagen to flourish. To take it a step further, she added a blended chemical peel, which gently, without redness or irritation, addresses age spots, reduces fine lines and deeply cleanses the pores.
Next Alison was off to spend some time with Queen Coker. The goals: Open the eyes as much as possible, fill in “tear troughs” to reduce bags under eyes, add lip volume, increase cheek volume and lift forehead to help lift the eyes. Susan definitely had her work cut out for her; this wasn’t just a squirt or two here and there. In fact, the work done by Susan is an art. She is gifted with envisioning the results she wants for a client before she begins, always with the goal of maintaining the most natural look possible. After drawing out the master plan in red ink on Alison’s face, Susan numbed her with a dental block and went to work.
Treatments included Botox in the forehead, around the eyes, in the “bunny” lines at the top of the nose and in the “11” lines at mid-eyes. While it takes almost two weeks to get the full effects of Botox, Voluma can be seen working right away. Susan injected Voluma into Alison’s cheek area, giving her instant “cheek bones.”
“I never realized I didn’t have any cheeks,” Alison smiled. She can’t believe the difference when looking at her before and after pictures. In addition, Susan also added Juviderm to the ultra fine lines above Alison’s top lip, giving her good, natural looking lip volume. Now, Alison gets asked all the time if she is wearing a new lipstick color. Ahh, that’s the sign of good work: People realize something is different and that you look fabulous, but they can’t figure out what you’ve done.
Although Alison admits it wasn’t painless, she said, “Don’t be afraid to try it. I’ve never been one for needles, but Susan made it enjoyable. She’s just so good with people. I didn’t feel like it was a procedure, I felt that it was an experience—a treat! I was entertained.”
Allowing two weeks for the injections to work their magic, we set up a hair appointment for Alison with Amber Luppino Gale, a hair stylist at Platinum Design Salon. Having Alison’s “before picture” in advance, Amber and salon owner Dawn Campbell researched new styles that would enhance Alison’s features and work with her baby fine, stick straight hair. Deciding on a layered inverted bob, which is a little shorter in the back than the front, Amber began by adding blond highlights to Alison’s hair. “She needs a change. The highlights will brighten, lighten and flatter her features, especially for the summer," Amber said. Next was an all-over glaze to add shine and reduce brassiness. By the time Amber cut and blew-out her hair using a large metal round brush, Alison’s hair had more volume than ever. Basically, baby fine had never looked so fine.
That afternoon, we returned to Lux Medical Spa for makeup. Spa Manager Jasmine Lawless paired Alison with esthetician Maggie Silver to teach her some new techniques in applying makeup to get out of her old rut and begin focusing on enhancing her new features. Using the Jane Iredale Mineral line, Maggie spent most of the time preparing the skin with foundation, concealer and primer, especially in the under eye area. From there it was simple to highlight with color and make Alison glow with beauty that radiated from both inside and out.
The final step was adding some style. Being an executive, Alison is often called to wear professional clothes to meetings and dinners. She found a perfect, classic, navy blue dress and jacket at Worth New York Outlet. Manager Sharon Swartz and her staff are experts at putting outfits together and knowing what will look good on certain body types. They make shopping a pleasure.
With all the details finally in place, Alison looked amazing. With a big smile, she confidently said, “What a treat it is to see myself young again. I have such a fresh look now. You forget what you looked like when you were younger; when you have it, you don’t appreciate it. It’s wonderful to have my outside matching my inside and reflecting who I really am.”
Book Your Own Extreme Takeover:
Lux Medical Spa specializes in: Laser treatments; Cool Sculpting; Customized facials; Dermal fillers; HCG Diet and Botox/Dysport. They carry medical grade skin care lines including Obagi, SkinMedica, ZO Skin Care and more. To make an appointment or schedule a complimentary consultation call 843-757-FACE (3223) or log on to luxhhi.com. Lux is located at 350 Fording Island Rd. Suite 101, Bluffton.
Platinum Design Salon, located at 840 William Hilton Parkway in the Atrium Building, specializes in hair design, color and wedding parties. Open Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Call 843-342-4600 to make an appointment. For more information log on to platinumdesignhhi.com
Shop Worth New York for luxurious and modern women ready-to-wear, coats, dresses and accessories. Worth New York Outlet is located in the new Tanger 1 Outlet Center at 1254 Fording Island Road in Bluffton. Call 843-837-1907 for more information.
A special thanks to Jessica Long, Marketing Director of Lux Medical Spa and Weniger Plastic Surgery for coordinating the details of this takeover.