2 min

Pre-Pride primpin’

Some technical suggestions for facial rejuvenation

Dr Asif Pirani explains pre- and post-injection appearance and feeling. Warning: does not include increase in sexual prowess. 

Do we really need facial expressions? In theory, we could all carry on like an Easter Island statue. Did Maslow even include facial expressions on his hierarchy of needs? Freezing your face is only one of many measures gay men explore to spruce up their exterior for the two-week debauchery known as Pride. For this year’s multi-week WorldPride, primping has become an art form. With the advice of Dr Asif Pirani, top plastic surgeon at the Toronto Plastic Surgery Center, one can more easily work toward resembling the bronzed, taut, gents shimmying around the beer gardens.


Botox is a relatively invasive option that can take as long as two weeks to show results. “You could theoretically have the procedure done over the lunch hour,” says Pirani, who stresses the importance of being treated by a board-certified physician. While the procedure may run $500 in an office, Groupon has deals at tanning salons for $99. And if you have terrible decision-making abilities, the latter might be perfect for you. Under either deal, Pirani advises not to bend over face-down for a few hours following the procedure (cue Dionne in Clueless: “Well, there goes your social life . . . ”).

Vitamin C creams

“Vitamin C creams are well suited to fighting free radical formation in the skin, which is often the result of excessive partying and/or alcohol consumption,” Pirani says. Aim for higher doses and products that are “photo stable” as vitamin C can oxidize when exposed to air, destroying its punch.

Sun damage and retinols

“The thing about retinols is that, unlike many other skin creams out there, they actually work,” Pirani explains. You’ll need a prescription, unless you can navigate through some online “pharmacies.” Pirani advises only a pea-sized amount and to keep your freshly exfoliated skin out of the sun to avoid sporting a beef carpaccio face.    

Under-eye circles

Under-eye circles can result from lost fat or thin skin due to aging or from all-night circuit bashes. “There haven’t been many great advances in this arena, unfortunately,” says Pirani, who cites one cream that uses trickery to deflect light wavelengths (hello, SkinMedica TNS illuminating eye cream). Ironically, it’s the same line that was endorsed by Oprah and came under fire for using foreskin cells in one of their products. It might not be the first time the sight of foreskin makes you go blind.

Fat transfer  

“This is a same-day procedure that the patient can be awake for in which we harvest your body’s own fat and inject it into certain areas to restore volume,” Pirani explains. The procedure can run anywhere from $2,000 to $6,000 and could answer the question, “Does my fat look phat in this?”