By Lindsay Garric Special to Published May 10, 2011 at 8:16 AM

More than ever, age is just a number. But, with 35 around the corner for me, there are certain unavoidable physical consequences to some foolish and ignorant lifestyle choices made in my late teens and throughout my 20s that are manifesting on my face right now. Tanning for half an hour post-gym six days a week, smoking a pack of cigarettes during a bartending shift and general "living life to the fullest" or rather, partying really hard.

I have some factors on my side: all members of my family on both sides look incredible for their age, text book exercise and nutritional habits, more than adequate consumption of pure water and a penchant to get quality sleep when I can.

Yet, an overly expressive face, time, sun damage and life circumstances have caught up to my visage.

Granted, as a licensed esthetician and makeup artist by trade, I notice and am more critical of my personal canvas than others. The etches between my brows, the horizontal furrows across the forehead, the texture around the eye ... I see it ... and I want it gone.

Hence, my trip to Refresh in Whitefish Bay to visit Dawn Sagrillo, BSN, RN, CPSN for a Botox consult.

I am incredibly picky about my aesthetic providers. I'm in the biz, so I am extremely specific about what I want, I give honest feedback and I'm not afraid to give constructive criticism. It's been done to me and I think we owe it to each other as professionals to give each other guidance.

From the moment aesthetic coordinator, Tessa picked up the phone when I called for my appointment, I knew I was in the right place.

Highly recommended by a slew of North Shore gorgeous goddesses, I arrived for my Botox consult and was immediately impressed by the serene ambiance and busy waiting room.

After filling out a thick stack of intake forms, I was offered a bottle of Figi water (there just is something "chi chi" about that bottle) and an array of healthy snacks.

Although she was running late, I patiently awaited the meeting with my Botox destiny. I got the impression, without even meeting her yet, that Dawn was not the type to rush patients for this specialized service and my gut was totally on target.

Dawn's warm, calm energy and the slew of letters after her name make you feel comfortable and confident in her expertise. She's been administering Botox for 14 years and is one of the foremost educators on cosmetic injectables. I like a woman who knows her stuff.

And let me tell you, Dawn is not only the head honcho at Refresh, she is also clearly a client. Her smooth, poreless appearance belies her age, which she freely disclosed to me. Although, she may be a little more enthusiastic about partaking in procedures than your average Milwaukee woman, she still has movement and expression in her face – the mark of great injectable work.

My consultation was more than thorough. After educating me on everything from her qualifications, to quizzing me on what exactly I was looking for, to an in depth study and mapping of my facial muscle function, she even took a series of photos to document my "before" in a myriad of grimaces which I am disclosing in the collage accompanying this piece.

She used terms like "shushing" my lines and "brow brightening." Yes, please.

She then went over her Botox plan of attack for me, complete with a price estimate presented in a tasteful, non-hard sell way. She never made me feel like I was taking too much of her time or asking too many questions.
When I decided not to do the Botox that day, there was no pressure to book a future appointment or do anything else. She assured me she would document our consultation and her injection map, personally escorted me out and made sure I had all sorts of educational materials to take home.

So, now the next step lies with me.

I struggle with wanting to maintain my youthful appearance, aging gracefully and naturally. I mean I don't feel anywhere close to 35, so why should I look it? Plus, with 40-, 50- and 60-year-olds preserving themselves to a perpetual 30-ish, the perception of what age looks like has changed dramatically.

There is still something about injecting a paralyzing toxin into my face that freaks me out, which is what kept me from jumping on the needle.
This is a total "needs to marinate" situation.

I'm pretty sure my vanity is going to win and ultimately my strategy is going to be the very modern combo approach of a "little touch up" here and there to maximize what I've got.

Stay tuned ... "To Bo, or not to Bo?" That is my question.

Lindsay Garric Special to

Lindsay Garric is a Milwaukee native who calls her favorite city home base for as long as her lifestyle will allow her. A hybrid of a makeup artist, esthetician, personal trainer and entrepreneur all rolled into a tattooed, dolled-up package, she has fantasies of being a big, bad rock star who lives in a house with a porch and a white picket fence, complete with small farm animals in a version of Milwaukee that has a tropical climate.

A mishmash of contradictions, colliding polar opposites and a dash of camp, her passion is for all pretty things and the products that go with it. From makeup to workouts, food to fashion, Lindsay has a polished finger on the pulse of beauty, fashion, fitness and nutrition trends and is super duper excited to share that and other randomness from her crazy, sexy, gypsy life with the readers of