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What a Top Plastic Surgeon Wants You to Know About Before and After Photos + 7 Do’s and Don’ts of Beauty Consultations


What a Top Plastic Surgeon Wants You to Know About Before and After Photos + 7 Do’s and Don’ts of Beauty Consultations
Tracy Teel
Tracy Teel

Mar 16, 2022

Plan ahead, take your time and ask a lot of questions. 

When was the last time you threw caution to the wind and received a service without reading reviews, scrutinizing photographs, querying experts, or examining someone’s expertise and experience? You can do a lot of things on the fly but haphazardly putting your face, body, and hair in someone else’s hands shouldn’t be one of them. 

Facial Plastic Surgeon and Neck Surgeon Dr. Kay Durairaj  / Photo Source:

Consultations are fact finding missions that ensure you and your beauty professional are on the same page, so we asked Beautytap’s Advisory Board and Verified Beauty Expert community for some do’s and don’ts that you need to know. 

1. Do Schedule a Hair Consultation to Discuss Your Goals

When consulting with a hair stylist, you may know exactly what you want. The trouble arises when your stylist interprets your objectives differently than you envisioned them. To avoid disappointing results, consultations are key. Cosmetologist and Hair Specialist Bailey Anson spends “about 30 minutes to really explain and talk to [her clients] to get their full attention and their full explanation of what they’re wanting –  verbatim – without any interpretation.” The goal, she says, is to “let them know if it’s realistic or if it’s going to be a hair journey.”

2. Do a Trial Session for Wedding Day Makeup

Every makeup artist who weighed in on this subject said testing out your big day look in advance is essential. Makeup Artist Chyla Guerrero explains, “It is always better to ask questions before I apply anything. Like if you want a subtle lip or a bold lip, thick lashes or natural lashes, dramatic eyes or natural eyes.” The trial session has yet another benefit that you might not have considered – discovering skin sensitivities and eliminating potential reactions. With a trial session, Guerrero says, “I'll learn beforehand if the bride has allergic reactions to any makeup products.” That’s the last thing you want to have happen minutes before the I do’s. 

Makeup Artist and Beautytap Expert Chyla Guerrero recommends doing a trial session for wedding day makeup.

3. Don’t Commit to Surgery Without Verifying Credentials 

Most of us don’t enjoy researching. It can be tedious or overwhelming, but prepare to learn everything you can about your chosen cosmetic procedure and the surgeon before going under the knife. For starters, you should never consider anyone that isn’t board certified in plastic surgery. According to Facial Plastic Surgeon and Neck Surgeon Dr. Kay Durairaj, “Make sure you do your homework to find a reputable plastic surgeon.” 

Plastic surgery or any face/body enhancement procedures require a deep dive. Follow doctors on social media. Confirm if they’re board certified. Ask if it’s possible to speak with other patients who have been treated by the doctor about their experience. You can find plenty of additional tips on the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery’s website. 

4. Do Study Your Preferred Provider’s Photo Gallery Beforehand

Social media has a lot to offer, but you can’t always trust it. Visit your surgeon’s website to review real results on regular people. According to Cosmetic Surgeon Dr. Ben Talei,  “The most predictable aid in finding a surgeon is analyzing [his or her] before and after photos. The patient needs to find a pattern to see how the surgeon treats everyone. This involves looking at the procedure that you were interested in as well as other procedures the surgeon performs. A surgeon who seems to be good at the surgery you want may be terrible at performing another surgery.” 

Talei also advises that you make sure the lighting, facial angles, setting/location, and makeup are exactly the same in the before and after images. If the person isn’t wearing any makeup in the before shot, they shouldn’t be wearing any makeup in the after either. A trustworthy doctor who is proud of her/his work should be very willing to share all before and after images. Finding someone who specializes AND excels in the procedure you’re interested in takes time, so don’t rush the process. 

Before & After of Dr. Ben Talei’s AuraLyft with Brow & Eyelid Rejuvenation / Photo Source:

5. Don’t Arrive for a Consultation Empty Handed

Dr. Kay has one of the most active and informative social media feeds I’ve ever encountered, and that pays off when her patients have something specific in mind. “Clients will often use my Instagram as a guide to show me how they want their face to look, as I post previous clients and my specific injection techniques on there. Reference photos are extremely helpful when formulating a treatment plan.”

6. Do Cite Your Source

Many Verified Beauty Experts at Beautytap, like Esthetician and Beauty Expert Jessica Sobolewski, recommend sharing information in advance of a procedure. “Clients should have actual references of where they have seen treatments or products and their results. It helps the professional establish credibility and also further research the request by the client.” Having the details at the ready can help your provider hit the ground running … or steer you toward something more suitable if the procedure seems contraindicated.

7. Don’t Be Disappointed If Your Chosen Provider Turns You Down

Sometimes, patients are turned away before setting foot through the door for a consultation. This isn’t necessarily because they’re asking for something unrealistic. Oftentimes, pre-consultation interviewing reveals a mismatch between a provider and a patient – and ultimately prevents disappointment and heartache. “We say no to half the people contacting our office, says Dr. Talei. “Many of them are just better suited for other offices, but others are asking for procedures that may not benefit them.” 

To ensure things go smoothly, he “always [has] patients send their own photos prior to consultations [as well as responses to] a list of questions regarding their goals, if they’re having revision surgery, and other doctors they’ve been treated by to get an idea of what they would be happy with, and if they’re someone who would be able to tolerate the stresses of surgery or injectables. If we feel the patient is a good fit, we go to the next step of setting up an in-person or virtual consultation.”

Bottom line - communication is imperative during the consultation process with doctors and beauty experts. Always take the necessary steps to educate yourself and manage expectations.


Tracy Teel
Tracy Teel

Tracy Ann Teel is a full-time freelance writer and the owner of Finesse Writing and Editing LLC. She’s a tutorial writer for San Francisco Globe’s beauty platform,, covering everything from skin and hair care to makeup and nail art. She writes for skincare companies, dermatologists, and cosmetic surgeons, and proudly taught at her MFA alma mater, the University of California Irvine, as a member of their adjunct faculty in English. She’s been a textbook reviewer for Prentice Hall, been recognized three consecutive years in the Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers, and has written professionally for 30+ years. Her poetry chapbook Such Dust was published by Finishing Line Press, and her work has appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review, Rattle, Pearl, Kaleidoscope, and Lake Arrowhead Life.



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