Creating the Perfect Jawline with Injectables
Fun fact: according to US research, women who have a more defined, masculine jaw shape are more likely to cheat because they have higher levels of testosterone, while a Dutch study found that when people were shown photos of faces with a small or receding chin, they automatically labeled them as shy and indecisive.
In my humble opinion, the most important aspects of the face come down to just a few components. When it comes to makeup, I think having glowy, clear skin, following by a good brow, a subtle lip color, and flirty lashes are really all you need. By focusing on these four (skin, brows, lips, lashes) you create balance throughout the face.
When it comes to injectables, I think it's even simpler: focus on the mid-face, and the jawline. Every face is different, and has different needs, but I would go so far as to say that everyone can benefit from at least a bit of Voluma in the cheeks (to help accentuate the cheekbones and lift any sagging), as well as sculpting of the jawline, whether through reduction (fat removal) or contouring (filler).
The other benefit to emphasizing treatment in these areas is that it can create a very natural youthful look, without appearing overdone or overfilled. Plus, just about anyone at any age can get both of these treatments. I've talked about the benefits of treating the mid-face (namely in my under-eye filler blog, where I talked about treating the mid-face first) but I haven't talked quite as much about the jawline.
As you can see under the "fun facts" I listed a the beginning of this post, jawlines are weirdly definitive when it comes to first impressions. If the eyes are the window of the soul, then the jawline is the flooring. And everyone seems to be very into flooring these days. Going with my analogy, if you don't have a strong base, then everything else you do is becomes a Band-aid. Painting the walls a new color won't help if you don't have a good foundation.
I'd also like to add a side note here: I'm all about accepting natural beauty. I'm not saying anyone needs to get these treatments; rather, if you are into aesthetics and balancing facial symmetry through injectables, try to align your wishlist to treating the big picture first, and work on the small details later.
Creating the perfect jawline takes three steps: defining, contouring, and refinement. Let's start with the first.
First things first: we've gotta see the jawline. As in, the actual line, of the jaw. Surgery aside, the two most popular options for this are Kybella and CoolSculpting. One of the first blog posts I did was in-depth about Kybella, so I recommend checking that out if you want all the deets. In the meantime, let me give you a short summary of both Kybella and CoolSculpting:
Kybella is a fat-burning acid. It's injected into what we call the submentum, which is basically just the area under your jawline, but above your neck. Once it's injected, it's permanent--there's no getting your fat cells back (although I'm not sure why anyone would want that). Depending on how much fat you have there and how much is injected each time, you may need anywhere from one to six treatments. Try to be patient with Kybella; it takes time for the fat to dissolve, so when you start treatments, make sure you understand you're in it for the long haul--and it's worth it.
CoolSculpting also focuses on removing fat cells, albeit a different method. The technical name is "cryolipolysis" which is a nerdy way of saying "fat freezing". Basically, fat cells don't like to be cold (hear hear). CoolSculpting freezes the cells to the point of no return, and your body naturally eliminates them within two to six months, resulting in a 20-25% reduction of fat in the treated area.
Either or both of these treatments is a great option. Some people like to combine them by using CoolSculpting first, and then using Kybella to spot-treat any remaining fat. Honestly, your best bet is to chat with someone at a consultation and see what they recommend. At the end of the day, you really can't go wrong.
Once you do either or both of these treatments and your jawline is nice and defined, you're ready to move onto the next step.
Once you've revealed your jawline and you have a sense of its overall shape, you can move forward with accentuating where you need to. PSA: if you've skipped the whole fat-removal step because you think you don't need it, that's just fine. Bear in mind, however, that most people have a little something extra in their submentum, so if you're looking for an especially clean cut jaw angle, you should do at least a bit of fat removal. Even if you do filler first, don't rule out fat removal; some injectors even like to do filler first, and then something like Kybella, so really anything goes.
As I said earlier, everyone's face is different, so exactly where the filler is placed will depend on what you and your injector decide. The most common placement I see is the back of the jaw, where you can feel the tip of the jaw ("angle of the mandible") an inch or two below the earlobe. This helps "separate" the jaw from the neck. Think of a ballerina: their jawline is extremely defined from the neck. Some ballerinas look like they could cut a block of cheese with their jawline which is the look we're aiming towards, without having to do all of the pliés.
The second most common place I see filler along the jawline is on either side of the chin. As we age we lose fat in the face, and it's common to see "dimpling" around the chin. This can create a chin that appears very pointy and separate from the jaw, which we don't want. We want the entire jawline, including the chin, to appear as one smooth entity, separate from the neck and defined from the rest of the face. That's why I call this part "contouring": just as you would with makeup, you're literally sculpting the face, but with filler. And speaking of makeup...
This part is easy. Once you've defined and revealed your jawline by slimming it out with Kybella or CoolSculpting, and sculpted it with filler, you should be all set. However, sometimes there's muscle or bone deficiency on one side, so even if the filler is injected evenly, there can be remaining asymmetry post-injection. Slight asymmetry is normal, because faces are rarely, if ever, perfectly symmetrical, but if you notice one side you love and one side you feel "meh" about, definitely go back in and chat with you injector.
To really make your results pop, I recommend investing in a good bronzer (I like Tarte and Charlotte Tillbury, and Nars has a great liquid bronzer for those skilled enough). Use the bronzer (lightly!) on the sides of your neck, and the hollows of your cheeks. This will help create shadowing that will highlight your jawline, but make sure to blend, so you don't look like you have dark orange spots on your face and neck. I also know some makeup artists like to use a dark, grey toned color to create more "shadowing" beneath the cheekbones and under the jaw. Play around and see what you like--if you experiment, you'll find out pretty quickly.
And last, but not least...
1. Does filler in the jaw hurt?
As with any other filler, there's a bit of discomfort. It's pretty similar to getting filler in the cheeks, except it can be slightly more nerve-wracking, since there can be some crackling sounds that are loud (since it's right by the ear). Know that your jaw will definitely be sore and achy afterwards, but if you have any severe pain, let your injector know immediately.
2. What if I hate my results?
Unlikely. But with all hyaluronic acid fillers, if you realllly regret getting it even after a few weeks, it can always be dissolved. Just call the center you went to and schedule an appointment with your injector.
3. Is there anything special I need to do to prepare?
Nope! Just the usual. Avoid blood thinners (alcohol, Advil, etc), apply arnica for bruising, take an anti-histamine for any excess swelling, ice intermittently if you want, and make sure you plan ahead--don't get filler the day before a wedding. Make sure you give yourself at least a few weeks to a month. Also, even if your jaw is achy, don't massage it. This can displace the filler and affect your results.
4. Anything else?
Make sure you don't try to talk during these injections. People get chatty when they get nervous, and try to talk while they're getting injected. Not a problem for some Botox in the forehead...but a bigger issue when you've got a needle in the jaw. Instead, focus on your breathing and/or ask your injector or their assistant to distract you if you need it (we use anything from essential oils to squeezy balls).
That's it for this time! As always, if you have any questions, feel free to reach out and ask.
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