Bellafill: the Now and Later of Facial Fillers

Jessica Gilliam
October 17, 2019

Remember Now and Later? That candy that we used to enjoy as kids? It came in about four flavors and was so thick and hard to chew that everyone said you had enough candy for now and even later?  When I was in junior high, I always liked to buy it during lunch and sneak it into my mouth during third and fourth period because it lasted FOR-EVVVV-ERRR. Well now, candy equals calories, so it’s a no-go for me. Like most women my age (did I just say that?!) and for reasons I think all women can relate to,  I have become more focused on ways to improve and/or maintain my looks.  And I thought I was doing a good job. Until. At the ripe age of 37, I was told by a good friend in the industry that I should consider “doing something” about my volume loss around my strong jaw and temples.  Wait. What? Do something??? Someone please uncork the wine.


I’ve been getting fillers and botox for 12 years (yes 12, “an ounce of prevention” as the saying goes), and I thought I looked good….ok, decent. I thought I looked decent. Definitely younger than my real age. One thing I have noticed in the past 5 years or so, that my filler “tweaks” have increased in frequency and number of syringes.  Ok, my face has basically become a pincushion!  Growing up in the industry of aesthetic medicine and having worked as a medical aesthetician for 8 years, I was always under the impression that when you proactively treated something, you would require less maintenance in the long run.  Not the case, my friends.  With traditional hyaluronic acid (water-based) facial fillers, you typically require 1 syringe for every 10 years of life for what the industry considers “optimal correction”.  If your metabolism is higher you may need more touch ups more frequently to keep your face looking like 37 is the new 27 or 57 is the new 47--- you get the idea.  When was my lightbulb moment you ask? I was waist-deep into 2017 with having a total of #7 (!!!!) syringes of filler in my face.  And I look natural!!!!! I mean, what would I look like if I hadn’t had any filler?

Facial aging goes deeper than wrinkles and folds. In our youth our facial contours are well-defined. In the industry we call this the Triangle of Youth. As we continue to “mature,” the triangle becomes inverted. Facial bone structure changes, soft tissues fall, dynamic wrinkles and folds start to show, and we lose volume a.k.a collagen. Genetics and lifestyle choices like smoking (did I mention that I also smoked for 10 years?) and sun exposure (I was a total sun-worshipper too) don’t help matters either. Basically, we have two options: 1. Accept and settle into the aging process and grimace every time we don’t get carded, or every time someone asks us why we look mad or my favorite: “Is everything ok?” 2. We keep fighting. We keep preventing. We keep continuing to look for smarter and cost-efficient ways to look as good as we feel. We keep our confidence up and our friends guessing, “I wonder how old she is?”, and “I wonder what she is doing?” #girlpower #fistbump

But 7+ syringes?!! C’mon!


When lamenting my woes to the ever-empathetic Dr. Schwartz at my last “tweakment,” and reviewing my injection history and my concerns of volume loss (yes, I had become a bit fixated on what my friend pointed out). He gently added to that his observations of my obvious facial asymmetry and kindly said, “Jess, I think it’s time I introduce you to Bellafill.”


Bellafill works differently than hyaluronic acid-based fillers because it’s not water, it’s collagen. Microscopic collagen. Once injected, it causes your body to make more collagen, in a natural-looking way. And by stimulating enhanced circulation to your dermis, over time you get the added benefit of visibly smoother and softer skin (BONUS!) Ok, he had my attention. And the best part- it lasts 5 years. 5 years? “What if I don’t like it?”, I asked. “We start conservatively,” he said. “I sculpt. I tweak.” “We watch your progress and add more if needed.” So, as Julia Roberts says in Pretty Woman, “I say who, I say where, I say how much, I say when!!”-- only I’m talking about Bellafill. I like the sound of this!

He added, “Not only will you love the immediate result, you’ll love it even more as time progresses.” That’s kind doctor speak for I’ll love it even more as I continue to age.  Count me in on that Dr. Schwartz. Sign me UP!  Thanks to his professional recommendation and expert skill, I can confidently stand and stare 38+ in the face knowing that I can have exactly what I want and what my face needs without ongoing maintenance and spending a fortune on fillers that don’t last for me.  And with saving that kind of money in the long haul, I’ll be able to get my boobs done!  #winning

See my before and after pictures below!

jessica gillium bellafill
jessica gillium bellafill

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