Local women editor Kim Kelly visits spires dermal care in Magherafelt where aesthetics expert and dentist Dr Anne Gormley takes her on a journey into skincare.
I always find the best way to judge the skills of anyone who works within the aesthetics industry is to look at their own skin. Surprisingly aesthetics expert Dr Anne Gormley doesn’t look like she has had any procedures done at all. Although she is in her early 50s, she looks at least 10 years younger – but not in a ‘worked on’ way – she simply looks like a naturally youthful lady who takes care of her skin. Her skin is glowing and flawless like she has weekly facials and a stress-free job. But of course, Anne is a busy dentist with a stressful career, she’s also a mum juggling family commitment with her working life and certainly doesn’t have time for weekly beauty treatments. Anne’s own beautiful complexion is a testament to her expertise and her years of research into facial aesthetics. As a dentist, Dr Gormley has always been fascinated by the transformation side of her job and so her work in aesthetics was a natural step in her career. And she is so interested in the subject that she took a master’s degree in it – studying in the evenings and weekends and often travelling to England to attend courses, alongside her daily workload. She built her skillset with over 600 hours of academic and practical experience before she started her own aesthetics clinic.
Now at Spires Dermal Care in Magherafelt, she offers a bespoke service. Today I am going for a consultation and I am looking forward to seeing first-hand her unique work. From our first meeting, it is clear that Anne is an expert in her field. She is brimming with information and ideas – and her obvious enthusiasm for her job is wonderful to see. Before getting any treatment, it’s best to look at examples of their work. Anne shows me some pictures of the most subtle yet effective procedures I have ever seen.
Her clients are often so pleased with their work that they allow her to show potential clients pictures of their procedures, and it’s great to see real-life examples. However, if you don’t want to share your experiences, Anne offers a very discreet service, and no one will ever know that you are one of her clients. One of the nicest pictures is of a young girl who has had her lips filled. Rather than give her the very fashionable ‘overfilled’ look, so loved by the Kardashians, Anne has subtly given this young lady the most beautiful, luscious lips. They are absolutely beautiful – but definitely not overfilled! Anne’s secret is treating each client as an individual and working carefully with them to see what will work best. Anne explains: “I consider myself to be on a journey with my clients. I work with each client to get the best for them. “Sometimes that means doing very little at first until we understand each other better. This is a process, not a quick fix.” As a skilled dentist, Anne also uses her vast experience of oral health to create a better look for her clients. Teeth are such an important part of your overall look and Anne looks carefully at your teeth to see if improvements can be made in that area to complement her aesthetics work.
Kim Kelly – Local Woman Editor
Before we get started Anne goes through an extensive booklet of questions with me so she can understand any medical conditions I might have. This consultation also touches on possible mental health conditions a client may be suffering from such a body dysmorphia, whereby too much emphasis is placed on a procedure, and they may think it will dramatically change their life for the better. Although I have had both fine line & wrinkles treatment and dermal fillers before, Anne carefully talks me through the pros and cons of them, focusing on side effects and any complications that could arise. Safety is of paramount importance and as a medical professional, Anne is committed to putting safety above anything else. People often confuse fillers and fine line & wrinkles injections. Put simply fine line & wrinkles injections freeze the muscles on the face, smoothing out little wrinkles. Although there are fewer medical complication with this procedure poor injection technique can accentuate problem areas.
Meanwhile, dermal fillers (this is what is used for lip injections) do just what their name suggests and fill in the area under the skin, plumping it out. As you age, your skin loses volume and so the filler restores this and gives you are firmer more youthful look. However, with fillers come more complications, some of which can be life-threatening. This is why choosing a responsible, medically trained practitioner is vital. Anne makes sure I am fully aware of all complications before she proceeds with the consultation. She carefully observes my face – she immediately notices that I have ptosis in one eye – what you and I might call a droopy eyelid. She warns me that anti-wrinkle injections may enhance this rather than getting rid of it. I have always noticed my drooping eyelid, but I now have a name for it, and I am going to monitor how it looks over the next few months. My cheekbones, Anne says are good and are ‘holding up’ my face – I am pleased to earn I will age well because of my high cheekbones. It is in the chin area that Anne sees the effects of ageing. She points out two ‘dishes’ on either side of my chin that have lost volume, causing my jawline to look, slacker. As I have aged my chin has become pointier due to the lack of volume – but this can be easily remedied with filler. Anne also recommends a small tweak to my front teeth and she says she can put composite material on them to give a straighter look. She also says she can file down one of my front teeth so that the front teeth are the same length. It will be a simple, painless procedure but she advises it will make a big difference.
After a consultation, Anne recommends that clients have a think about what they want, there is no pressure to proceed. I review her recommendations and decide to go ahead with her course of treatment. Anne preps me for the treatment with numbing cream. She uses a ruler and marks the areas she will inject. Today she will use a dermal filler product called Belotero which she loves working with due to its natural results. She uses 1ml of the product and gives me a series of little injections around my jawline. Getting fillers is not painful, it’s more ‘pinchy’. Anne works quickly and chats with me throughout to keep any anxiety at bay. She carefully explains what she is doing, and the injection process takes around 10 to 15 minutes.
Next Anne does the work on my front teeth – this is a quick procedure and completely painless. Obviously, there is slight swelling and bruising to my face afterwards but when she hands me the mirror after the treatment, I can immediately see the difference. My teeth look great and my chin area looks perfect – the difference is incredible to me. It won’t be dramatic to other people, but I look instantly younger – more like how I looked 10 years ago! Anne carefully explains the aftercare and books me in for a follow-up appointment to check her work. I leave absolutely delighted with what she has done. Anne has listened to what I wanted, but without her expertise, I wouldn’t have known how to proceed. Her knowledge is second to none and I found the whole experience fascinating. In the days that follow my treatment, the results become more visible and I am delighted. People tell me I look good, but they don’t know what I have had done. I look natural and better rested. Two weeks later I return for a follow-up. By this stage, there is no bruising and the results are much clearer. Anne shows me my before and after pictures and the difference is amazing. She carefully checks her work and patiently answers all my questions. Anne is exactly right when she talks about going on a journey with her clients. This isn’t just a one-off, quick fix, this is a work in progress. Your face is such an important asset.
But in Anne’s hands, you know you are safe.