by Deepa Bharat
NEWPORT BEACH – Not many would imagine the words “Botox” and “bash” would go together.
After all, Botox is the brand name of botulinum toxin, a substance that is injected into facial muscles as an age-defying treatment. It is the most popular method performed to remove wrinkles — be it laugh lines, frown folds on the forehead or those unsightly bags under the eyes.
But Botox parties are gaining popularity among bustling socialites in affluent communities. Newport Beach is no exception.
Today, several women will get together at a local doctor’s office for champagne, hors d’oeuvres and wrinkle-removing Botox treatments. That gala affair will be followed by more festivities — topped off with a five-course dinner and wine-tasting at a Downtown Disney restaurant.
The party will be in honor of Star 98.7 radio’s morning talk-show host Jamie White and six of her listeners, who were selected during the course of this week to receive the free cosmetic treatments.
Richard Weiss, who has been practicing plastic surgery in Newport Beach for 15 years, says the Botox parties are a “phenomenon.”
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” says the excited party host.
Weiss said he heard about the concept of Botox parties during a trip to London a few months ago. On his return, he casually mentioned it to some of his patients. And they pounced on the idea.
One of them even hosted a party in her Laguna Beach mansion that was attended by about 50 of her friends.
“What baffles me is people actually like to talk about this procedure as opposed to other plastic surgery procedures,” he said. “Botox gets them really excited.”
And why not? It virtually gives “your wrinkles a sabbatical,” Weiss says. Botox treatments need to be repeated, on average, once every six months. Cost can vary between $250 and $500. Side effects may include bruising or bleeding, but those are very rare or minimal, Weiss said.
Botox parties usually offer huge discounts on the injections, which is what makes them attractive to many.
Newport Beach resident Veronica Thomas, a physician at UCLA, says she has taken the treatment for the last five years and that it has given her a great sense of confidence and well-being.
“I would love to host a Botox bash,” she said. “It’s like having a support group. If it’s something everybody loves and wants, why not do it with class?”