Image: Jay Yeo
July 23 2011
Part: 1 | 2
“Please come in!” A diminutive character named Oksana opens the door of the basement apartment office conversion. She leads me into a stylish waiting room – designer purple velvet and chrome sofas.
I was alerted to this miracle doctor while on holiday in Ibiza. A summer in the Balearic Islands may be great for the soul, but it wreaks havoc on your skin. Long lazy sun-filled days on Formentera followed by late late nights in Ibiza’s clubs is a virtual death sentence for a youthful complexion.
That was until one of my house guests let me in on her secret, having endured a week of my bitter-green envy at her magazine-cover complexion, one so natural-looking I could only imagine that she came from a fine line of great collagen-rich stock.
“Darling, not even Superman’s gene pool would get anyone skin like this. Its not genes; it’s Dr Dray,” she said matter of factly.
Feeling stupid and deliriously excited in equal measure, I called my mum to apologise for lambasting her the day before for my inferior genetic make-up. The next call was to the surgery in London.
But despite my initial excitement, I never did make that first appointment. Like many people with this excuse, once I got home I got busy – and it was not until a recent run-in with the very same Stepford Wife – who still looked as good as ever, her skin seemingly defying gravity – that I plucked up the courage, rang again, and got myself on to the waiting list.
It’s been three weeks and 20 minutes since I made that call. “Will I have to wait much longer?”
Oksana, clearly used to hearing this question, indicates just a couple more minutes – which actually proves to be another 15. But when Benjamin walks in to collect me, all is forgiven; he is quite positively the best-looking man I have ever laid eyes on.
“I apologise,” he says smoothly, “but Maurice and I are only in London one day a week, and we have a lot of clients to fit in – we simply cannot cope with the current demand, it’s really gone crazy.”
He sits me on the bed. “You are very handsome,” he says as he examines my face. Ditto, I think, but spot the wedding band and keep mum in case my bit of dry humour is lost in translation.
“What bothers you about your face?” Sebastian stands back to listen.
Well. I’m mid thirties, so the inevitable “sagging” has started; then there are the laugh wrinkles, and a little too much skin under the chin for my liking. I tap under my chin just in case he missed a bit.
“Oui, oui – is no problem, this is all very easy to fix, Dr Dray will be in shortly.”
He applies an anaesthetic cream to my face and leaves me to “numb” for another 30 minutes, which feels like an hour as I think of all the things I should be doing instead of lying here, a pure vanity (and possibly also basket) case.
Dr Dray finally walks in. “Hi, bonjour, sorry for the wait but I cannot cut myself into two people!”
“Sit up!” he commands, pulling on his rubber gloves with a snap!, like a sound effect from an episode of House. He grabs my face by the chin and moves it slowly from side to side.
“Ten-minute facelift; that’s what you need. I need to tighten here and there and here and there.”
“Sir – I mean doctor,” I begin a little nervously, “I have to tell you I am against fillers, and although I do want to freshen up my skin, I absolutely would hate to walk out looking like an extra-terrestrial. I’d prefer…”
Visibly irritated – he must hear this a lot – he finishes the sentence for me: “Yes, yes, natural, dear; always natural.”
Clearly, Dr Dray does not mince about. This is not a Q&A session; he just gets straight on. The next minute I can feel sharp bursts of pain and hear a distinct squishing sound as his signature concoction of phosphate and calcium is injected into my face.
Spa Junkie pays for all her own travel, treatments and accommodation.