I flogged items on eBay to pay for a £10k ‘mummy makeover’ in Turkey – I can’t wait to unveil the new me this Christmas
WE all want to look good at Christmas . . . but these three mums have spent thousands on cosmetic surgery to ensure they feel fantastic on the big day.
They are not alone. During the pandemic many of us have been unhappy with our appearance.
The demand for tweakments — from “Zoom face” to a full-on mummy makeover — has soared, with the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons reported a 70 per cent rise in virtual consultations.
Psychotherapist Andre Radmall, who specialises in issues of self worth, says: “There is no doubt people see Christmas as an excuse for opting for self improvement in the form of ‘tweakments’.”
Munir Somji, a cosmetic surgeon and founder of Dr MediSpa, adds: “Patients have taken advantage of working from home to book procedures where it wouldn’t be noticed they’d had a procedure.”
These mums tell Yasmin Harisha and Alley Einstein why they splashed out on a new body for Xmas.
'I HAD GASTRIC SLEEVE…GYM DIDN’T APPEAL'
KATHLEEN HUGHES, 33, went from size 22 to size 10 and lost nearly 8st after going to Turkey for gastric sleeve surgery in September. The single mum, who is an aesthetic practitioner, lives with son Jimmy, nine, and daughter Tiannie, six, in Poole, Dorset, has also had facial tweakments.
She says: "It was last year’s lockdown that made me realise I needed a mummy makeover. Locked inside with my two kids , I was eating all the time and hated myself.
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"When I married my former husband in 2010, I was a size 10. I was a stay-at-home mum, cooking and cleaning. Eating became my happy place and I slowly started to pile on the pounds without realising.
"But my marriage ended in 2015 and I returned to work as a beautician. I spent all my time making other people look amazing. I played the role of the happy, fat, beauty consultant and it was a role I felt safe in. In lockdown work dried up and, despite trying to lose weight, I was back indoors, home-schooling and eating all the time.
"Soon I was 18st and a size 22, hiding myself in tracksuit pants and super-sized tops. I knew I needed a drastic solution and joining a gym didn’t appeal to me. My next-door neighbour had undergone a gastric bypass in Turkey and I couldn’t believe her transformation.
"She told me who her surgeon was and I used savings, sold items on eBay and Facebook and worked extra hours to pay for the £4,000 gastric sleeve surgery. I had it in September this year and within a week the weight started falling off.
The surgery wasn’t painful. I was up and about and had a hair blow dry two days later.
"Eating was harder. I had to re-learn what my body would and wouldn’t tolerate. I went from big to tiny portions. It was a slow process. But it was the kick-start I needed. I spent £2,000 on a PDO thread lift – where they put temporary stitches inside the face to give a subtle lift.
"It gave me a totally new look. I didn’t have to go to the hospital, and it only took an hour. The perks of my job meant I had a colleague do cheek, chin and under eye filler, plus I was able to top up on my own fillers and Botox as I am qualified.
KATHLEEN’S XMAS LIST
- Gastric bypass: £4,000
- Cheek filler: £800
- Chin filler: £1,000
- Under eye filler: £500
- PDO thread lift: £2,000
- Eyebrows tattooed: £100
- Teeth whitened: £200
- Permanent lip liner tattoos: £100
- Lip blush tattoo: £100
- Hair extensions: £300
- TOTAL: £9,100
"I got permanent make-up on my face, as well as teeth whitening and hair extensions.
"I spent an extra £3,000 on the procedures and they gave me a fresh glow. This Christmas I’ll unveil the new me. It’s been worth every penny – it’s my gift to myself."
'LIPOSUCTION WAS AN INVESTMENT'
HAIRDRESSER Nicola Kirkpatrick, 33, lives with her son Leeon, nine, and husband Dale, 40, who is a shift manager for an online retailer, in Edinburgh. She decided to get a tummy tuck and breast augmentation for Christmas this year because she hated her post-pregnancy body.
Nicola says: "I have always tried to look after my body by working out and eating healthily. But pregnancy meant I gained a few pounds, which I was never able to budge.
"My boobs were hit the hardest, though. I used to love wearing V-neck tops but after I had a baby, my boobs ended up sagging around my tummy. They had no shape and made me feel like an old woman.
"During lockdown, I gained more weight and didn’t feel comfortable in my own skin. I knew I shouldn’t be feeling like this. Last Christmas we were locked up, and this time round I wanted to make a real comeback so decided to use my savings and work extra shifts for some surgery.
"I did my research and decided on Murrayfield Hospital in Edinburgh. In August I had a breast lift and minor augmentation. It gave me back a perfect set of 36EE boobs.
"I also had a tummy tuck and liposuction. I wasn’t overweight but was bumpy and lumpy in all the wrong places. The results were amazing. In total, it cost £15,000.
"It wasn’t about losing the weight, it was about reshaping my body, improving my breasts and giving me a body to take me to 50 years old. I felt fine after the surgery. I just had to wear a post surgical bra.
"I was glad we were in partial lockdown as it allowed a slightly easier recovery. I also had Botox and fillers, costing £800, to revive my face. The total may seem like a lot but it’s an investment.
NICOLA’S XMAS LIST
- Breast lift and augmentation, tummy tuck, liposuction package: £15,000
- Botox: £800
- TOTAL: £15,800
"I plan a second mummy makeover at 50, probably with a facelift. The recent makeover has revived my confidence, and now I do pageant catwalks.
"This Christmas I will feel like the fairy on the Christmas tree."
'I HAD TUMMY TUCKED AND MY GRANNY BOOBS LIFTED'
CLINICAL support worker Nina Ragnars, 37, is mum to Isael, 18, Nadia, 16, Jayden, 11, and Manuela, six, and has spent more than £15,000 on surgery over the past year.
Single Nina, from Manchester, says: "Each of my children was born via C-section so I was left with weakened stomach muscles and scarring, which caused lumps and bumps.
"Before I had them, I was a size 12. However, after each baby the weight became harder to shift and my focus was totally on my children. I was soon a size 22 and hitting the scales at 20st.
"It made me feel dreadful. I hid underneath oversized clothes and hated my body. In May 2018 I was having trouble walking up stairs and even just playing with my kids in the park. I couldn’t go to theme parks because I was too big to go on the rollercoaster.
"That’s when I decided to lose weight. Over three years I lost nearly 8st by eating healthier, but the weight loss left me with swathes of loose skin around my face and my boobs sagged down to my belly button. In lockdown last year I planned a surgical mummy makeover in time for Christmas 2021.
"I knew I’d need time to recover because I didn’t know how successful each procedure would be. Lockdown and working from home offered more surgery downtime because I wouldn’t need to see people. In June I flew to Turkey. In one operation, I had my internal stomach muscles, which were damaged by four C-sections, repaired. The surgeon then did a vertical and horizontal tummy tuck.
"I had excess skin cut away and extensive liposuction on my front and back to give me back my natural curve. This cost £4,500. During the eight-hour procedure I had a breast lift and rebuild which was £5,000. It was gruelling and painful and I felt like I had been hit by a truck.
"When I woke up my granny breasts were replaced with perfect 36EE boobs. Three months later I flew back and paid £4,000 for my teeth to be done. I had seven implants where I had gaps from teeth removal and 24 crowns inserted to give me a perfect smile.
NINA’S XMAS LIST
- Eight dental implants and crowns to give the perfect smile: £4,000
- Lip filler: £1,500
- Vertical and horizontal tummy tuck: £4,500
- Breast uplift: £5,000
- Eyebrow tattooing: £100
- Cheek fillers: £400
- Hair extensions: £300
- TOTAL: £15,800
"During all my pregnancies my teeth had weakened and crumbled. I had undergone six extractions leaving me with gaps. I also spent a further £2,000 on fillers and permanent make-up.
"I was no longer a frumpy mummy, I was back to a size 12 with curves in the right places. This Christmas I can’t wait to put on a party dress and see friends and family, Covid rules permitting. I feel like I am starting a new chapter.
"But it’s important you don’t expect to look like Kim Kardashian. Set reasonable surgical goals and be prepared for pain."
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