I Tried It: My Experience With Botox {+ My First HydraFacial}

Hair, nails, gym, Botox.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, that’s how much Botox seems to be the norm these days. I’ve personally always been quite indifferent when it comes to cosmetic procedures because…well, I don’t know…just do what you want!

Of course there was some hesitancy sharing this post because even though I feel that way, I know there is still a bit of a stigma surrounding Botox and other cosmetic procedures. But being real and sharing my story with you guys is truly SO important to me, and I know that there are many other girls out there interested in learning about a real life experience with getting Botox. So, I volunteer as tribune.

When I first heard about Botox many years ago, I knew it was something I would start getting, it was just a matter of when. I actually always thought that I was lucky to have the option of Botox at a young age because if done correctly a) you need less of it and b) it is preventative. And since I just turned 30, now seemed as good of a time as ever!

That was really the main thing to me – the PREVENTION of wrinkles forming. More specifically, I’ve been a brow “scruncher” ever since I was a kid (my mom swears it’s been ever since I was a baby). No matter how much I try not to, whether I’m stressed or not, I tend to furrow my brow. I began to think I actually even started doing it in my sleep. So when I started noticing that slight indentation in my brow area, that was really the deciding factor in getting on the Botox train.

Getting Botox in NYC

I did my research and stumbled upon Dr. Howard Sobel at Park Avenue Skin & Spa. I spent a good amount of time browsing the website and loved that they offered so many great services – not just Botox but also medical dermatology, laser treatments, facials and many more cosmetic procedures. Not to mention Dr. Sobel has years and years of experience, so he seemed like a solid choice as the person who I’d voluntarily let poke needles into my face.

Dr. Sobel’s office is located on the Upper East Side, and the overall experience at his office was a great one from start to finish. The staff was all so incredibly nice and accommodating, and Dr. Sobel himself is just the nicest guy!

…it doesn’t hurt that he’s also been named one of the best doctor’s by New York Magazine over a dozen times!

The actual process of getting Botox was short, easy, and quite painless (in my opinion). I told Dr. Sobel exactly what I wanted (AKA my problem areas but also that I didn’t want to look “frozen”), and he told me how much he thought I needed. After cleaning and sanitizing my forehead, the injections lasted just about a couple of minutes.

Let’s get down to the the nitty gritty

Since I know I wanted allllll the info before getting Botox myself, I figured I’d get even more TMI for you. Here is the rest of what I’ve learned from the entire process that I think is important if you’re considering getting Botox for yourself.

  1. Who you go to matters. Yes – you can find Botox deals all over on websites like Groupon and what not, but just because Botox is more normal it doesn’t mean just anyone can do it. In order to get your money’s worth and avoid any weird complications, read your reviews and go based on referrals. If you couldn’t tell, I definitely recommend visiting Dr. Sobel if you’re in the NYC area.
  2. Start small. To save money and avoid the “frozen face” everyone fears, start with a small amount of units. You can always get more next time. Be honest with your doctor/technician, and if they’re a good one they will listen to you and accommodate.
  3. Avoid lying down for a few hours after receiving your injections so that everything sticks in place. That’s like, totally a medical term.
  4. Avoid strenuous exercise for at least 24 hours. I like to play it safe and stick to 48.
  5. Bring a hat or something if you want to cover up the redness after your injections. My redness went away in under 30 minutes.
  6. I did not experience any bruising, but it is common and nothing to be worried about.
  7. Botox can take a few days to go into effect, so don’t get nervous if you don’t notice anything right away. 
  8. If you aren’t happy with the results, let your doctor/technician know! If they’re a good one, they should be more than happy to give you a “touch up” to make sure you’re satisfied.
  9. Proper skin care is still SO important. In other words, Botox is a great addition to your beauty routine, but make sure to still take great care of your skin! Moisturize, wear sunscreen daily, and take your collagen, girls 😉

As for my results, I couldn’t be more pleased! I don’t feel like I “look” different at all, except that my forehead is smoother and the crease in my forehand is completely gone. Considering how painless and effective it was, I definitely plan on continuing to get Botox.

Getting a HydraFacial in NYC

Despite my low-key obsession with skincare products, getting facials is not something I have much experience in. I’ve had maybe 3 in my entire life! I used to think it was more of a luxury/pamper yo’self sort of thing, but since learning more about facials I’m realizing that they can actually make such a huge difference in the look and overall health of your skin.

About a week after visiting Dr. Sobel for my Botox, I went back to Park Avenue Skin & Spa to try one of their facial treatments. I went on a Saturday, which was really nice because it did feel like a little weekend treat! I met with my esthetician Zahra, who off the bat was super kind and accommodating. She started by asking about my skin history & what I was looking for. I told her about my skin/problem areas and how I had my sister’s wedding coming up in about a week, and she said a HydraFacial would be the perfect fit.

Zahra Hashemain Esthetician | Botox NYC | HydraFacial NYC

Some more deets on HydraFacials:

  • Not only do you get immediate results (HELLO glowy, vibrant skin!) but it restores youthful, healthy skin
  • Works for all skin types
  • Targets specific skin concerns like sun damage, wrinkles, redness, blemishes & oily skin
  • The Vortex-Fusion tool is the “secret sauce” of the HydraFacial – a vortex effect to easily dislodge and remove impurities while simultaneously adding hydrating skin solutions and potent antioxidants

Zahra Hashemain Esthetician | Botox NYC | HydraFacial NYC

One of the biggest takeaways for me was that by removing dead skin, the HydraFacial allows skin to more effectively soak in the “good stuff,” making all those skincare products I use way more effective, which makes me think I should prooobably make getting facials a more regular thing.

Zahra was also kind enough to give my eyebrows and eyelashes some tinting! For my fellow blondes/light featured gals – you know how important this is. It’s especially amazing in the summer when you don’t want to wear as much makeup!

Botox NYC

Lastly, I love that Park Avenue Skin & Spa also carries a ton of great skincare products. Combined with all of their services, it really is a one-stop-shop for beauty services!

If you have any more questions about Botox or HydraFacials, shoot me an email at hungryblondenyc(at)gmail(dot)com. I’d love to provide more insight and connect you with Dr. Sobel and his amazing team.

UPDATE: 9.12.17
Here’s a quick Instagram Story Q&A with Dr. Sobel from my last visit answering some of your top questions since I first posted this.


If you call to make an appointment tell them Gracie at Hungry Blonde sent you, and get 20% off your first visit! 


Please note that I am NOT a doctor or medical professional. All opinions herein are my own. Please consult a doctor before making any changes to your health.


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