“The way we’re training doctors to use it is not to make the patients look like they’ve had Botox,” says Dr. Joseph Eviatar, a New York eye doctor. “We don’t want them to paralyze the muscle. We want them to use a small amount to raise a brow or to reshape the face in a subtle way.”
Jeff Luce, a 31-year-old New York real-estate broker who’s been getting Botox in his forehead for three years, says, “It’s not like this dramatic change. I look a little more awake. I look a little better.” He recently expanded his regimen to include a filler for his crow’s feet.
People notice he looks good, but they’re not able to pinpoint whywhich is exactly how most guys experimenting with Botox want it.
Andrew hasn’t told his girlfriend, let alone his friends and colleagues, that he got Botox. “I would hate for people to perceive that I was that into my looks,” he says. “My mom would definitely kill me, and my guy friends would beat me up.” Lucky for him, no one’s asked.
No one’s asked Tom (who requested that he be identified only by his first name), either, but the 30-year-old New York public-relations executive is terrified that someone will. For the past two years, he’s been having Botox put into his forehead and the sides of his eyes (“I look a hell of a lot better,” he says), and has admitted it to no one except his girlfriend. “It’s always been my nightmare for someone to notice.”
Paul, a 28-year-old who owns a chain of restaurants in Hartford, Connecticut, and asked that his last name not be used, got a haircut right after he had Radiesse, a wrinkle filler, injected around his nose. He figured that if anyone wondered why he looked different, he could blame the fresh trim.
Even young male doctors who pump other men full of Botox aren’t up front about going under the needle themselves. “It’s not something that I like to share with everyone,” says one 38-year-old New York dermatologist. “I can’t say I talk about it with my male colleagues.”
Men may not talk about it, but they keep doing it. Robert (who asked to be identified only by his middle name), a 35-year-old real-estate appraiser in Venice Beach, has been getting the filler Juvéderm under his eyes for the past year and a half. “It’s nothing that anyone would ever notice,” he says. “This is the only weird cosmetic thing I do. It took off close to 10 years. You just look really fresh, like you had a good night’s sleep or a relaxing weekend.”
There’s only one real hitch in all of this: Once some people have a taste of the drug, they want more. “When that line goes away, you don’t want it to come back,” says Luce, the real-estate broker.