South Korea: land of beautiful people, skin, makeup, and plastic surgery.
There are procedures and treatments I didn’t even have a clue existed. People change their face shape? Really? I had no idea until I arrived here back in 2015.
I know I’m a broken record when I say this, but I’m quite literally light sensitive. Apparently this is because my eyes are light colored, and it could also mean that my pupils are larger than average (although I’m really not sure on that last part). Anyway, florescent lighting and being in the sun without sunglasses is a special level of hell, only competing with getting stuck in most of Daegu. (Yeah, I said it!)
I’ve been a notorious eye squinter due to the aforementioned factors, and gravity and age played a role as well. To me, at about 2 million won (about $1,500USD), I figured why not?
I went to the Me Clinic Seoul as I’ve used them for minor procedures before, had a great experience with them, and received a discount (15%) for the procedure, the correct name being blepharoplasty. I was able to get such a nice discount because they’re a foreigner plastic surgery clinic during a global pandemic. This was just not the year for beauty tourism, but I feel like I lucked out.
Just for frame of reference, here’s what we were dealing with beforehand.
Now, is it the worst thing on the planet? Of course not. However, if you look closely, a simple smile (one even just without teeth!) revealed more bags than a Kate Spade outlet store (R.I.P.). I hated how much they scrunched up. When I applied concealer, it looked cakey, and I just always looked old and exhausted. I was ready to make a change.
So one thing I really liked about the whole experience was that it was considered a “minor procedure”, and I put that in the same category as, say, lip filler or laser hair removal. It was definitely much more than that, but I think you get the drift.
I also really liked Dr. Park. I don’t know how to explain it, but he just felt familiar. Obviously, it doesn’t really matter where someone is from, but he’s from the states, and I felt that he had a fantastic approach towards the whole situation. He had excellent interpersonal skills, and I felt very much at ease. I felt like I was “at home” the whole time. I love Korea, I really do, but there are just some times I’m really excited to feel totally western. This was one of those times.
Andddd now here comes the truth. You go into the clinic, and because it’s supposed to be a “minor procedure” they give you a shot right under your eye. Yeah, I know. I thought that was going to be the worst part, hence the concept of “minor”. So this shot is to numb the pain, and it’s only supposed to last an hour long.
Well, lucky for me! Apparently, 2 out of every 100 people who get the procedure done have an incredibly low pain tolerance. If you haven’t guessed it by now, I’m one of those 2 people. How was I to know this? My goodness, the staff had no idea either! MORTIFYING. This really surprised me, as I usually do quite well with needles. However, the actual procedure has nothing really to do with needles other than the shot before. The shot, by the way, didn’t work for me. I felt so, so much pain.
Oh yeah, you’re awake the entire time. You’re fully conscious. You’re strapped in experiencing this knife sorcery happen to your lower eye bags, and you can kind of half see it? You know, because your eyes aren’t fully closed? Excuse my lack of technical terms here. Obviously, I’m a mere commoner with a now more attractive lower eye area. What more do you want from me?
So, I was able to feel part of what was happening. That’s not supposed to happen. I turned out to be some weird anomaly. I was shaking and sobbing strapped into the chair. I felt horrible. Here I was in this place where the staff was so good to me and I’m physically miserable. They had to knock me out, something that they almost never do for the procedure, for the second eye. I was a little conscious when they were stitching me up, but once I was knocked up, I felt so, so, much better. When it was all said and done, they gave me plenty of time to rest. I was even able to take public transportation home with it, much thanks to mandatory masks, and I just put on some sunglasses for extra coverage. Getting plastic surgery in Seoul is so common that I very highly doubt I was that special to the average train passenger.
I got it done on a Saturday morning, and I spent the weekend just relaxing locally. By the time it was Sunday evening, I felt fine enough to take the dog on a nice walk. This is what I was dealing with over the weekend in my apartment, and again, sunglasses and a mask really helped when I took the dog out.
Totally not ideal wearing that with a mask to work on Monday, but as soon as the work day was finished, I went straight to the clinic and they took the bandages off. Here is what I left looking like for the rest of the week. Obviously, there was a bit of a scar, but I didn’t even think it was that noticeable! I couldn’t wear concealer over it obviously, but any eye makeup not touching it was completely fine. I was shocked how quick the recovery time was. Yeah, it isn’t top quality photography but it was an older camera in a stairwell, but I think you can see the lines. Honestly, it kinda just looks like eyeliner gone wrong.
Let me just reiterate that recovery time went by fast. I was so impressed with the quality, speed, and hospitality of it all! Yeah, it’s definitely unfortunate that I apparently had an incredibly low pain tolerance which made for a lot of awkwardness, but I’m very happy with the results. I have noticed a huge difference in my under eye region. I don’t cover my face in all sorts of foundations and concealers anymore, but I still put a small dab under each eye, really just out of habit.
I got this procedure done in June, and it has 150% healed. I see no scars whatsoever, and there are times I even forget that I had this procedure done. So here’s the finished product: no filter, no face makeup (obviously besides eyes and lips), nothing. It looks and feels much tighter, and I like how it looks brighter, too.
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