When clients sit on Dr Vicky Dondos’ clinical bed, the first thing she does is hand them a mirror. ‘Tell me what you see,’ she says. It’s less of an instruction; more a friendly inquisition. She watches as women (it’s almost always women) pore over their faces, pointing to a pigmentation mark here, an almost invisible crease there. But it’s when, and more crucially how, they speak about their faces that Dr Dondos (known to her regulars as Vicky) really takes notice. She will make notes. She will remember that Client X feels ‘sad’ when they look in the mirror. Or stressed. Or, God forbid, ‘too much like their mother’. That’s when things start to get interesting.
‘I’m fascinated by those people who come in, sit down and immediately tap into the emotional side of things. They explain that their face makes them feel a certain way, as opposed to coming to me with a highly researched shopping list of procedures they think they need.’ With these clients, she is more therapist than cosmetic doctor, as intrigued by the workings of their minds as she the voluminosity of their lips.
Dondos, who at 47 looks at least a decade younger, is one the UK’s pre-eminent cosmetic doctors. A practising aesthetic specialist for over 15 years, there’s nothing she doesn’t know about the ‘tweakment’ business – and there’s nothing she doesn’t know about how women feel when they submit their faces to cosmetic intervention.
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