Dr Motox has A’Whora, Tayce, and Bimini Bon Boulash on his books – here, he brings us inside his namesake clinic to discuss trends and providing treatments for different gender identities
Last week, A’Whora, one of the major stars to emerge from season two of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, posted on Instagram about their face, addressing the criticism that they had received online for their appearance out of drag. “I’m just doing me and if your (sic) not comfortable with it then that’s on you, because I’m happy and that’s all that matters!”, A’Whora wrote. “I have to thank @dr.motox who has helped me along in this process of being content in my own self!”
In fact, Dr Motox – a facial aesthetics clinic based in London and Bournemouth – also works on A’Whora’s co-star and housemate Tayce as well as Bimini Bon Boulash, who won the Miss Congeniality title for their kindness on the show, providing the nation with some of the most uplifting television ever broadcast in the process.
Dr Motox is the namesake head practitioner of the clinic, which prides itself on providing injectable treatments for people of all gender identities. From Botox to filler, Dr Motox works incredibly closely with his clients to achieve wide-ranging results tailored to a client’s personal journey. Whether it’s a ‘tweakment’ – something subtle yet equally life-changing – or a dramatic look for a drag persona, such as A’Whora, he does it all. Here, he speaks to Dazed Beauty about moving from dentistry to facial aesthetics, the shifting trends he has spotted in injectables, and how saying ‘no’ to a client can often achieve the best results.
How did you end up working in facial aesthetics?
Dr Motox: I grew up on a council estate in West London and went to school nearby. Eventually I went to university to study dentistry and I am a dentist by trade. I then worked in a hospital in a maxillofacial unit. We did a little bit of Botox there, mainly for teeth grinding, but also for people who had Bell’s palsy or paralysis on one side of their face to make things more symmetrical. After I left there, I began training in facial aesthetics. I did more training and more training… and now here I am, running a fully fledged clinic of my own.
What treatments do you specialise in?
Dr Motox: So, we do the absolute basics, which is Botox, fillers – lips, cheeks, chins, tear troughs, etc. We also offer Profhilo skin treatments, which is an injectable hyaluronic acid that helps your body produce collagen and gives you a real glow. Now we’re offering liquid face lifts for people who have lost a lot of volume in their face. By placing filler in the right areas, it gives you a slight lift. We usually use 6 to 7ml of filler for this, which on paper sounds like a lot, but actually spread across the face it gives an amazing result. We also do fox eye thread lifts, and liquid nose reshaping.
“I will never just take someone’s money if I don’t believe something is right for a client” – Dr Motox
What are the most common procedures that clients will come in and ask you for?
Dr Motox: It really changes quite a bit. For a while, it was lip filler. Everyone wanted lip filler, as soon as Kylie Jenner admitted she had it. But, we’re at a stage now when a lot of people are really overfilled. So I often suggest that clients have their lips dissolved. It’s so, so important to say ‘no’ as well, and I’ve developed a reputation with my clients that I will always tell them when I won’t do a procedure – I will never just take someone’s money if I don’t believe something is right for a client. And that always encourages them to come back to me, because they know I will be honest and give them something that works for them personally.
So you really see trends when it comes to facial aesthetics?
Dr Motox: Absolutely. While lip fillers are still a huge market, it’s dropped back a bit recently. A lot of influencers are having very exaggerated filler work ‘dissolved’ and redone into something more subtle and natural that will suit their faces – Molly Mae from Love Island is a great example. My practice also does a lot of tear troughs and noses, as I mentioned before. Noses are now a massive, massive market and I absolutely love doing them. It’s such a big insecurity for people. My happiest clients are often my nose clients – some will get very emotional when they see the result because what you can achieve with it is amazing. I always say that surgery is an option, but this procedure takes me ten minutes to do and if a client doesn’t like it it will go away by itself or I can dissolve it (although I’ve never been asked to do this!)
Does your clinic cater to all gender identities?
Dr Motox: Absolutely. That is something that I pride our clinic on: we welcome cisgender, transgender, and non-binary identifying people. I have a lot of cisgender male or male identifying clients who want to look more masculine – or, I have clients who want to exaggerate certain features for their drag performances to look more feminine. So this is what I do with A’Whora, Tayce, and Bimini Bon Boulash. I was introduced to them through some other drag clients of mine. With A’Whora, we go for a masculine look as she wants to look masculine as George. But Tayce and Bimini, for example, want really lifted high cheekbones to place their makeup on. I love being able to tailor and personalise treatments for looks that would work in and out of drag.
And what if a certain look – something really exaggerated, for example – is part of someone’s identity or brand?
Dr Motox: That is a great question. It really depends on the person. One thing I try to hone in on is finding the root cause or the reason why they want a certain procedure done. I will often have clients with body dysmorphia, and there I have to be very careful and sensitive. I have to be honest with them and say that they are trying to chase something that I can’t give them – or they aren’t perhaps seeing what I’m seeing. But then, there is the other side, particularly with drag performers, who want extreme looks for their brand: super juicy lips, super high cheekbones… If that is your brand, and that is your identity – and we have a discussion and you’re in the right mental space to have it done – I am always more than happy to help you on that journey.
“I won’t ever be able to make someone look like an airbrushed Instagram filter. I can only enhance what you already have” – Dr Motox
What would you say to a young person who hadn’t had any work done but was considering it?
Dr Motox: I get a lot of messages from people who are under 18, asking me if they can have procedures done if they bring their parents or guardians with them. The answer is always: absolutely not. It’s actually very recently been made illegal to inject anyone under 18. But aside from the law, your face is still growing and changing. Even 18 is very young and you don’t really want to meddle too much. However, with noses, for example, it can be different – people often count the days until their 18th birthday to be able to get their nose reshaped. I understand that. But it’s just very important to be realistic about what you can achieve. For example, I won’t ever be able to make someone look like an airbrushed Instagram filter. I can only enhance what you already have. This is definitely a message that needs to be broadcast by influencers, too. I think this is definitely starting to happen more, which is great.
And what would you say to someone who is interested in becoming an aesthetician?
Dr Motox: I think it’s important to have some sort of medical background or training and to be knowledgeable about anatomy and physiology. So, study any relevant courses as the first step. And once you become an injector, most importantly, you have to be trained in what happens when complications arise. That’s something I’m launching for new injectors at our training academy, which is coming very soon – it’s going to be the most comprehensive complications training on the market.
What does the future hold for you and the clinic?
Dr Motox: Well, working with the UK Drag Race queens who are on the next season of the show, all being well. I also want to keep growing the clinic and keep spreading awareness of what facial aesthetics means: the different results that can be achieved, and also that procedures are everyone – no matter what gender you identify with.
Dr Motox has clinics located on London’s Harley Street and in Chiswick and also in Bournemouth and the South Coast.