First things first, Claudia Morley, Dr Morley to you and me, looks amazing. Not a wrinkle in sight, just smooth, lightly tanned skin, the complexion of a twenty year old. (She’s 40, I asked).
Claudia Morley is a GP and cosmetic medicine practitioner who has a clinic, Morley Aesthetics
in Farnham, Dorset. Facial contouring, high tech fillers and botox from the heart of a picturesque village surrounded by wild, untamed Dorset on all sides and best known for its gastro pub (The Museum)? As it turns out, yes.
Above Dr Claudia Morley
Claudia, a qualified doctor who has practised in hospitals as well as working as a private GP in Salisbury for 15 years, began training in cosmetics back in 2008 and opened her clinic in 2010.
Her client base ranges from women (and a growing number of men) aged 30 to 70 who come for treatments including botox, dermal fillers, lip enhancement, non surgical facelifts and hyperhidrosis (underarm sweating apparently).
As well as looking great (the shopfront for her business after all) Claudia also seems reassuringly upfront.
She admits that bad botox is everywhere.
‘The classic thing is the frozen forehead, you come across that awful Spock-y look where people’s brows don’t move, a lot.’
However, she also believes it’s completely avoidable and favours a less is more approach, softening lines rather eradicating them and always preserving some movement in the muscles.
It takes expertise, not to mention years of training, to be able to inject a muscle to simultaneously smooth out a wrinkle and yet also retain some movement and it’s a failure to do this or a tendency to use too much filler – pillow face, trout pout, we’ve all seen the pics – which gives cosmetic medicine a bad name. Bottom line, then, if you’re going to dabble, you need to do your research.
Assume that your local dental nurse, lovely as she is, probably won’t have had enough training. You’ll be wanting someone with a professional medical background, plenty of experience and case studies under their belt who is also ready to listen and interpret what you want. A bit like finding a good hairdresser only much more important. Non invasive cosmetic surgery may not be permanent but it is transforming, be that good or bad. At its best, Claudia says, it should be about making people feel better about themselves, ‘enhancing their beauty and softening their lines, but not changing the way they look.’
Her strategy is to take time talking to new clients to get the bottom of what they really want, the things that really bother them and what they can live with. Most people will come for deep frown lines or the nose to mouth lines which deepen with age.
Often the tiniest amount, just half a syringe, is enough, Claudia says. It's a question of working out what people are really going to feel comfortable with.
And how about the long term risks, botox has had a consistently bad press but is it justified?
‘Botox has been used for decades to treat children with cerebral palsy and in much bigger doses, ten times or more. And it hasn’t had any bad effects.’
Consultations with Claudia Morley are free. Botox and fillers start at £200. More information from Morley Aesthetics