You know what’s controversial in the spiritual world: what we do with our vanity. So let’s unravel it.

Women and men often share their opinions about what is acceptable – and what is over the top – in the world of vanity. More often than not the unanimous vote is: your body your choice but this comes with many many exceptions (and many more biases).

It seems the argument is – why fight nature? If we’re going to wrinkle and sag, let life do its thing and honor the path you’ve walked especially if that path has left its mark on your face. Another popular opinion is: age as gracefully as you can afford – be it through laser treatments, fillers or botox because god knows once you accumulate only a few of these treatments you’ve paid as much as you would have for a facelift. None of that matters, however, because this is my opinion and I’m broadcasting it – not in my defense – but for the sake helping others who value looking good and feeling great to feel more empowered in doing whatever they choose.

I did the opposite of self-care for over two decades. Despite eating well and exercising, I never wore sun screen or a hat in the blazing sun and it wasn’t until my mid thirties that I used anything other than Bronners on my face & in my hair. I was a hippie living on Kauai. I felt terribly haggard not to mention I was drinking alcohol to decompress after laborious days farming and raising children. As we know there’s no faster train leading to aged skin than the absence of sunscreen and terrible coping skills. 

Fast forward to Oahu where my lifestyle took a 180. My went from breastfeeding babies, private cheffing and planting trees to pursuing graduate school in the city. Oahu afforded me access to new resources plus I was finally making consistent money. Call it vain but once I started taking my career more seriously and forged single motherhood, I felt like my life begged for a glow up. Not because society told me so but because I know looking good is a tango and feeling good is its toe stepping dance partner.

So I started doing research and rather than just jump on the Botox band wagon I looked into what skin needs to flourish – elastin, collagen, proper skincare and a supportive diet full of hydrating and cleansing  foods. I began doing things that build collagen from the inside such as eating a plant based diet loaded with vitamin C, building muscle using strength training exercises and working to rebuild my skins barrier considering how badly I had neglected it. 

I began investing in treatments like sculptra, ultherapy, thermage & clear and brilliant (in fuller detail below) and spacing them out 4-6 months apart. I also began massaging my scalp and doing oil treatments because pregnancy and post partum can cause hormonal fluctuations that unfortunately cause our hair to thin and fall out. Everything from my skin to my hair to my mood began bouncing back and I – like most women who go from milky and tired to empowered and vibrant usually feel more confident, am I wrong? When we feel confident it’s a HELLUVA lot easier to 1. Be in front of a camera, 2. Expose ones life to the world, 3. Share more shamelessly and let’s be honest, attract more happiness. (Don’t confuse happiness for a man. Happiness will more often attract partners who love our company because we have now begun loving our own company). 

My first Thermage Treatment – Mapping the face

I post my treatments online because rather than secretively self improve and change in the backstage of my life, I’d rather be transparent about what’s helped me improve in entirety. I’ve prioritized investing in myself and owning my authentic interests and taking care of myself on all fronts. We need to remember that people can and should do whatever they want for their outsides (notice I said for, not to) BECAUSE what’s inside will always remain the most important. Those who have judgements will come to wonder why they don’t feel as good and continue to attract superficial unfulfilling relationships (and none of that will ever be the one who got treatments fault).

I do believe there is a difference between some treatments and others – so I am not without bias. I believe it’s more advantageous to focus on treatments that support the body in doing what it was designed to do: regenerate and heal. I’d be nowhere on this journey if I was drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes which is also why the vain approach, while it can also reach dangerous extremes, can be the healthier approach.

Here is the down and dirty of everything I do and have “gotten done:”

  • Ultherapy 1 treatment. Very painful (8 on the scale) but I enjoyed the process and definitely felt my skin tightening after the first session and noticed results 6 months later. No down time. 1k
  • Clear and Brilliant 2 treatments, 1 coming. Very gentle, surface layer laser that treats pigmentation and scarring. 3 days to heal sandpapery skin texture that is a result of renewing the skins surface layer. No real downtime. 1k 
  • Thermage 1 treatment definitely doing more in the future. Painful (6-7 average on the scale) but not as painful as Ultherapy (my pain tolerance is very high). 
  • Sculptra 1 treatment. I can’t say whether I’d recommend this. I was doing it for lifting my neck area but had it injected in my jaw/cheek zone per the nurse’s recommendation. 1-2 days down time, must massage the face, you look like a chipmunk for about 36 hours. I was going off reviews and considering it helps to boost collagen production and lasts a very long time 2-5 years of continued improvements, I felt it was worth a go. 3k
  • Jaw exercises – “Jawsersize” daily strengthening – 40 lb pressure between the teeth, I use it in the shower $30
  • The omnilux red light therapy treatment – yes safe for kids (actually research reports it’s soothing).

    Red Light Therapy, daily for 10 minutes. Omnilux created a wrap around face and neck + chest mask which brings the lights closer to your skin. From inflammation to being part of an overall selfcare regimen (there’s also some cool research on red light helping with depression). $750 for the two masks

  • Lip filler, .5 syringe every 6 months. I always buy deals. Ever since I started plumping my lips (I use 1/2 rather than a full syringe) I feel like my face has more structure. This is shameless. I love my lips and how fuller lips compliment my face. Some lips are too lippy and women tend to go really overboard but I’ve found a good balance. Roughly $200-$500 depending on the deal.
  • Breast implants – April 26th 2023 best decision ever as a mother, woman and overall person in a body. DISCLAIMER – I believe boobs are better later in life as opposed to early due to the impacts on mental health and requiring the maturity to handle the changes. I love love love my chest. I feel sexier fuller and more womanly than I did without them and I think that’s enough of a reason. You can read my other blog posts for further info. 
  • Hair Oiling – 30 minutes, 1x a week or 2x month. Double wash it out. Helps hair grow longer, thicker, faster. Doesn’t do much for grays. I’ve got em’ and I’ve highlighted once. I loved the results but it’s so expensive to upkeep I can’t say I’ll be doing it regularly unless I find a place that does it for cheap! Clearly I make investments in my vanity but I also go for things that last and help to regenerate. Dying hair does nothing but cover up 🙂 hence why this isn’t a makeup tutorial.
  • Rhinoplasty in 2014. My surgeon, Dr. Schlesinger (he was great, just old) appears to be out of practice now. The size of my nose is the same however the dorsal hump was shaven down and the tip of my nose was sculpted using cartilage from my ear. Best decision next to having kids. 
  • Daily regimen: cleansing, hyaluronic acid and vitamin C serum, moisturizing and sunscreen. I DO NOT USE expensive creams, treatments or cleansers. You can’t sell me on these. I use Cerave and Cetaphil mostly and buy them from target. They’re cheap, hypoallergenic and dermatologist recommended. 
  • The habitual things: HRT – bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (this requires it’s own blog post so I’m not going into detail here), strength training, infrared yoga, plant based food, conscious sugar consumption, minimal to zero alcohol drinking and HEALTHY relationships paired with lots of laughter.

Final disclaimer and maybe the most important: I post these things to be accountable – not out of pride. You’re amazing with or without treatments. I just happen to value these things and honoring what I value is part an parcel of being an honest person, which heals in and of itself.

with love, Katie