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The seven giveaways you’ve had work done to your face

Cosmetic surgery has moved on a lot from the days of rich women with rigid frozen faces, and shiny, tight skin. 

People are now looking for a natural, ‘untweaked’ look, as they move away from puffy lips, immovable features and large breasts, which are all a giveaway.  

Plastic surgeon Dr Paul Banwell, who operates in London’s Harley Street, revealed that he is seeing a move towards the natural look and that many of his patients just want small adjustments to improve their confidence. 

He said: ‘Many clients are coming to me to change previous breast surgeries which have looked too large for their bodies or too fake and the natural silhouette is definitely what clients are looking for.’ 

Dr Banwell coins this the ‘untweaked’ look, putting it down to women no longer stopping the ageing process but desiring to look the best they can at the age they are now. 

So, if you don’t want anyone to know the secrets of your fresh-faced looks, here are the signs that will give you away. 


This is one of the most obvious signs that someone has had a facelift, according to Dr Banwell. 

He said: ‘The earlobe can become attached to the cheek and is pulled slightly towards the mouth, giving a pixie look.’ 

The plastic surgeon explained that this is common problem, frequently associated with facelift surgery and can be a telltale sign of going under the knife. 

‘It is difficult to correct but it is possible as the earlobe can be released surgically, and inset back in the higher, non-pulled position. 

‘The space created from releasing the earlobe can be closed underneath the earlobe, leaving a very small scar.’

The best way to prevent pixie ear is with newer facelift techniques, which incorporate the underlying tissues into the facelift and thereby the pressure on the skin is relieved.


A decent practitioner of Botox will aim to avoid overarched eyebrows, commonly seen as a surprised or angry expression (stock image)

A decent practitioner of Botox will aim to avoid overarched eyebrows, commonly seen as a surprised or angry expression (stock image)

Botox can be tricky to spot if it has been performed well. Yet if you are in your forties or older and don’t have any wrinkles at all, it’s likely you’ve had some form of Botox.   

We all recognise the ‘frozen’ look but you need to continue to have some movement in the face and a good practitioner will know the right amount to avoid a robotic expression.

Dr Banwell said: ‘Another indicator that someone has had Botox is if you look at a photo of them and see an area of the face that is very smooth and also shiny. 

‘The art of Botox lies in making the results subtle.’ 

He explained that a third sign that a decent practitioner will aim to avoid is overarched eyebrows, commonly seen as a surprised or angry expression.

To correct this, Dr Banwell suggests adding small amounts of Botox to relax the muscles, which are pulling the brows up in an unnatural way.   


A giveaway for having fillers is a bigger upper lip than the lower one. 

‘Usually the lower lip is a degree bigger than the upper lip so if it’s the other around, it’s a sign of lip fillers,’ explained Dr Banwell.  

‘If the natural double-arch shape of the lips, also known as the Cupid’s bow, has been altered by too much filler, it is really obvious and leads to an unnatural look.’

A good lip filler will not be noticeable as the aim will be to make it look natural, and a good practitioner will be able to balance the lip filler with the rest of your facial features. 


Side-breast wrinkles can be due to ripping, which can occur in every girl who has breast augmentation surgery. 

Yet, according to the plastic surgeon, there are good quality tissues with coverage of the implant then rippling is less likely. 

He said: ‘It is more common in women who are very slim, with minimal body fat or those who have thin skin or do not have a lot of breast tissue. 

‘A latest generation well-filled silicone implant with rounded edges minimises this and I therefore always recommend Motiva implants. 

‘Silicone implants have a firmer texture, rather than saline implants.’

It is a misconception that going under the muscle can always minimise visible rippling, although this does hide upper pole visibility and rippling in this area more.

But it can be improved post-surgery by fat grafting to the breasts or exchanging the implants for a larger size.  


It is important to keep in mind that lip fillers are not just about volume, but that they can be used to refresh ageing lips and add definition to thinner lips. 


A real giveaway is sometimes incomplete rejuvenation, when you see a wrinkle-free face with a youthful glow on a wrinkled and brown-spotted neck. 

This is the same as when someone has a wrinkle-free forehead but crows-feet around the eyes. 

To avoid it being obvious that you’ve had treatments, you need to look after all areas.

For the neck, Dr Banwell would recommend a good skincare routine as people tend to forget about their necks. 

Yet, it is so important and should be moisturised daily at the very least and, according to Dr Banwell, you should use a high factor SPF.

He explained: ‘Your neck is one of the first places where the sigs of ageing reveal themselves. 

‘We often associate a youthful neck with a distinct jawline but as we age, the jawline begins to fold into the neck. 

‘However, there are treatments that can help with this, such as Botox.’


Too much filler in the face can make you look puffy and overdone. It’s an unnatural look that will wear off in a few months, but it can be very obvious at the time. 

Not only can this make the eyes look smaller, but overly puffy cheeks can look unnatural and inappropriate for someone’s age.  

Many people opt for fillers to create volume in the face or hands, and neck to improve their overall appearance. 

But, Dr Banwell said: ‘The phenomenon of “filler face” or “pillow face” occurs when the face becomes overly puffy after a patient receives too much filler.’ 

He advises to avoid this happening by choosing a physician who believes in natural results and enhancing what is there rather than turning you into someone different. 

He said: ‘If you don’t see immediate results from filler, don’t ask for more as it can take a while for results to become more obvious.’  


‘While non-surgical Rhinoplasty has become very popular in the search for the perfect nose, where filler is injected to reshape and straighten an individual’s nose, it can lead to an unnatural high and broad nose bridge as there may be a tendency to do too much,’ explained Dr Banwell. 

As always, less is more. More people are aware now that the majority of bumps on the nose can be disguised with filler rather than removing them with surgery. 

You are able to add dermal filler to the nose and reshape it and smooth out any bumps. 

However, you should always seek a consultation with a practitioner to discuss everything as there are risks of bruising, bleeding, contour irregularities, asymmetries, resorption of filler over time, dissatisfaction and importantly, vascular compromise of the skin with necrosis.  

Dr Banwell explained:  ‘Filler rhinoplasty can be susceptible to spreading because of the way the nose protrudes away from the face and this can lead to the so-called Avatar nose.’