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Women 50+ Know: Jeans that fit us now
Fashion & Beauty
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1. Cambio
Dianne Morris, in Jeans that fit our figures now
“The middle area of our bodies seems to have changed a bit so we can’t buy just any brands. They can’t be too low below the belly button and not too tight but still cut straight, tailored well with good sturdy fabric… Cambio is one of my favorite brands. The ‘Sharon’ version is a little bit more forgiving than the others. ‘Nora’ comes in several lightly different leg widths and lengths, and they’re a little more fitted.”

2. Gloria Vanderbilt Jeans
Karen Lentini in Jeans that fit our figures now
“You don’t really have to spend a fortune for nice jeans. Gloria Vanderbilt puts out the ‘Amanda’ style which fits women’s curves quite well.”

Sunblossom in Jeans that fit our figures now
“I have very good luck with Gloria Vanderbilt also. Not pricey at all!”

MirrorWoman in Dreamy Jeans
“Gloria Vanderbilt is back in style! After several years of the same ‘unflattering but they fit okay’ pants, they’ve brought better fabrics – lightweight for spring – (with a bit of Spandex to keep their shape) and definite shapes to market. Check out bootcut ‘Allyson’ in the dark wash. Flattering boot cut balances my wider hips, a bit of tummy control with reinforced stitching in wide front pockets, a comfortable rise that almost comes to the waist (and looks smoother with overblouses or great with tuck-ins) and minimal stitching on back pockets. Plus they’re really inexpensive! I paid less than $20 on sale a few months ago.”

Golfwidow4everr in Jeans that fit our figures now
“I love the Chico’s Platinum jeans for more dressy occasions, but for everyday wear, I like the Gloria Vanderbilt Amanda jeans.”

3. CABi (Carol Anderson by Invitation) Jeans
Jan Cullinane in Jeans that fit our figures now
“If anyone you know sells CAbi (Carol Anderson by Invitation), their jeans are great – comfortable, stylish, and flattering. I’ve attended a few CAbi parties – their clothing is sold in the home.”

AprilDiva in Jeans that fit our figures now
“I also love anything CABi. The styles are cut for our age and shape. My 23 year old daughter always comments on how young I look in these clothes. I am about to host my third CABi party and can’t wait to save on their new line. I live in Los Angeles and there is now at CABi outlet near downtown at the Citadel outlets. Great savings if you’re in the area!”

4. Reitmann’s Jeans
Irish77 in Jeans that fit our figures now
“Reitman’s of Canada’s comfort fit jeans are amazing. I have access to all the jeans out there and for anyone with a few extra pounds on them, these fit like a glove. No zippers or buttons and they are styled so you just pull them on like a pair of leggings. The waistband is about 2 1/2 inches wide so it fits flat on your hips and meets your waist just in the right spot so there is no muffin top ever. They are so comfortable to wear and I always look well put together. The price: just $36.00, even better.”

5. Wrangler Jeans
Carolyne in Jeans that fit our figures now
“Wrangler Aura’s have fit me well for a few years. They have 3 rise lengths and come in lots of leg lengths. And I have just found another Wrangler that I love — the Jet. It has a little elastic hidden in the waistband, and long enough for me to wear heels with them. This is a first! (I have no booty, no curves, short waist length, and very long legs.) And the price is reasonable.”

6. Citizen’s Jeans
AgelessJen in Jeans that fit our figures now
“I have splurged on a pair of Citizen’s. I get compliments every time I wear them.”

7. Not Your Daughter’s Jeans
Judi50+ in My New White Jeans
“According to NYDJ, their jeans with the ‘Flatten Your Tummy’ double criss-cross feature also lifts my buttocks and allows me to look and feel one size smaller.” I am a size 4, so the one size smaller isn’t the biggest benefit, but the buttocks lift is a definite plus. These jeans are the best. I will have to purchase another pair of these jeans in blue denim and maybe black denim too.”

Dianne Morris, in Jeans that fit our figures now
“Cut just a little bit looser, comfortable.”

Judy Steinberg, in My New White Jeans
“I, too, stumbled unknowingly into the dressing room with a pair of NYDJ. Mine were blue denim, but a very soft denim, not the cardboard fabric most jeans seem to be made of. When I caught a glimpse of myself in the 3-way mirror and realized that I looked like I’d had a recent butt lift, I immediately ran back out to the rack where I found them, desperate already for a whole closet full of these miracle jeans, and was lucky enough to score the same lightweight blue denim with a gold lurex thread running through. Bonanza! A dress-up pair of jeans! This is my new favorite label, for sure. Best news of all….my daughter wouldn’t be caught dead in these jeans. Yesssss!!!”

Vibrantspirit in My New White Jeans
“I too have recently found NYDJ and I love the way they fit. I am petite and it’s always been so hard to find jeans that fit me. So I am extremely happy to have found this brand and I highly recommend them. The material is high-quality and the workmanship too. I don’t pay retail for them since they are so expensive but I have been lucky to find them discounted on e-bay or in a consignment store.”

Kiki12 in My New White Jeans
“I went to Zappos and ordered a pair of dark denim NYDJ – OMG as the kids say, what a terrific fit, I absolutely love them and will be my jean of choice from now on. A little pricey for my taste, yet, I think they are worth it!”

8. CJ by Cookie Johnson
oneshiela in My New White Jeans
“A good fit for women with larger hips and behinds. I actually receive compliments when I wear them. The best compliment came when I was in a clothing store in New York and a very young salesperson came up to me and expressed how much she really liked my jeans. I was elated that at 58 years old, young women were complimented me on of all things, jeans.”

9. DG2 Jeans (HSN)
SavageGrace in Jeans that fit our figures now
“I am very curvy and petite, and often have trouble with gapping at the waist because my hips are large, but DG2 on work great! Also, 2-way stretch jeans! Both are under $50.”

Auddie in Jeans that fit our figures now
“DG2 (Diane Gilman) jeans sold on HSN (are the best for jeans!”

10. Miraclebody Jeans
Dianne Morris, in Jeans that fit our figures now
“They claim you will ‘look 10 lbs lighter in 10 seconds.’ Not sure about that, but since they are cut looser you might take a smaller size and feel better.”

11. J. Jill Jeans
Malarkey in Jeans that fit our figures now
“I really like J Jill’s ‘boyfriend’ jeans right now. Great fit for my bod, very comfortable and soft fabrics. Comes in both corduroy and denim.”

Munz in Jeans that fit our figures now
“I bought a pair of white jeans from J.Jill last fall, then another pair just last week, because the fit was excellent and I wanted a dark-wash pair. They’re called J. Jill skinny jeans, and you cuff the bottom to the length you need, so no tailoring needed! They have a bit of stretch and are full and high enough in the waist to accommodate my 5’1″ 130-pound body perfectly!”

12. Dreamer Jeans (Old Navy)
KarenT in Dreamy Jeans
“I don’t usually shop for myself at Old Navy – their target customer is of course younger than I am. However, I was there over the holidays and saw jeans called “Dreamer.” The description: tummy panel and bottom lift, plus a bit higher rise to keep things covered in back. I tried on a pair and bought two on the spot. They make me feel fashionable and comfortable in my size 12′s!”

13. Talbot’s Trouser Jeans
Debbie-deb in Dreamy Jeans
“Cut so that my ‘muffin top’ isn’t bulging. No pockets on the tush, more of a relaxed boot cut and a little more tailored, but cool-looking. The final judgment came from my 26-year-old daughter who stopped by this afternoon. I tried them on and she gave them two thumbs up! Definitely not ‘Mom’ jeans!”

What’s your favorite jeans brand now? Recommend it below!

The Makeover Guy
8 lessons from 8 makeovers of women over 50
Fashion & Beauty
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As women age, the more beautiful they become–but often, the less attractive they feel. Who they are isn’t coming across in how they look. And so, they feel invisible.

I wrote a makeover book for women over 45 because I like them. We “get” each other. Younger women tend to gravitate towards the trendy and trivial whereas women who’ve sort of “been there, done that,” like I have, are impatient with hype. My clients are smart and they’re ready to hear it. I wrote my book, Staging Your Comeback: A Complete Beauty Revival for Women Over 45, as a labor of love–focusing on techniques I’ve used for over 20 years in my professional career, and addressing the specific challenges women face as they grow older and as their bodies change.

Here are some of the lessons women 50+ can learn from makeovers in my book:

1. Growing old is optional

Rici is the perfect illustration of what happens when you do next to nothing because “it’s just too much work.” Looking natural does not mean doing nothing, especially after 60! It takes makeup to look naturally attractive.

Rici’s “before” look evoked granny in the rocking chair with the knitting–but that image simply didn’t match the Rici I met. With a great hairstyle and highlights, shaped brows, and yes, makeup–we see the true Rici, a woman who wants more from life, who wants to live.

2. Your hair speaks volumes

Nancy has a great personality that her “before” look didn’t come close to capturing. Technically, there was nothing wrong with Nancy’s look–but, as I suggested, she might want to save it till she’s 70.

Much of Nancy’s transformation had to do with simply getting rid of her grey and going for a cut that truly suits her. Short, blond, and bangs all promote a youthful look. The spirit of who Nancy really is radiates in her “after” photo, and that’s what any makeover is all about.

3. Classic doesn’t have to mean boring

Linda’s “before” look was classic to the point of failure. Her hair and clothes were shapeless, her makeup colorless, her workbag completely lacking style. Did someone say “schoolmarm”?

Her “after” look is still classic, but it lets Linda’s vibrant personality shine through. To me there is nothing sexier than a woman in a straight black skirt, a beautiful silk blouse opened one extra button with a killer pair of heels. Plus, the matching hem, hose, and heel work together to elongate her legs. Bam!

4. Give yourself a liftBy age 40, about 40% of women have experienced some hair loss, and the hair loss accelerates during menopause. The right haircut and styling can make a big difference.

For example, Carol thought she needed shorter layers on top for height. In truth, she needed color for texture and more length on top for support. Take control: Give yourself some lift and keep it there by back-combing and using a fine mist hairspray, preferably aerosol.

5. Dress the woman you are today

As you try to find the balance between growing older and looking modern, don’t fall into the trap of becoming “mutton dressed as lamb.” You won’t look younger, you’ll simply look vulnerable and insecure.

Cheryl’s transformation shows the importance of dressing age-appropriately. Rather than tell a story about our past, our image must declare the person we’ve become. In her “after” photo, Cheryl shows just a hint of cleavage (all that’s needed!) and her skirt length, just below the knee, is flattering as well as sexy.

6. Build a foundation

Maybe in the 1960’s and ’70s you burned your bra and let it all hang out, but as time passes, the spirit may still be willing, but the flesh does become weak. It’s time to recognize that the single, most important garment you can wear under slim-fitting clothing is the appropriate foundation.

Lynette’s makeover shows how the right shapewear smooths, slims, and firms. Also, choosing an outfit that creates a monochromatic line slenderizes and balances.

7. Minimize

Lynda told me she hadn’t really “gone out” since the 1980’s because she’d been self-conscious about her weight. But after weight-loss surgery, she lost 155 pounds. And although I thought Lynda was beautiful, she couldn’t seem to see it.

In Lynda’s makeover, warm colors brighten her face while monochromatic color blocking is slenderizing. The lapels draw the eye up and out, away from her midsection. The V-neck elongates, and the necklace draws the eye to Lynda’s face. Finally, fuller leg pants help balance a bigger top.

8. Keep it current

Gail started out with home hair color from hell and a dated hairstyle, plus dark makeup that was aging–and a little scary. Part of the problem was that Gail had spent her life spending money on her children’s clothing, makeup, and haircuts–but had trouble feeling that she deserved those things for herself.

Gail’s makeover stayed true to her beauty buzzwords–simple, clean, and natural–but the softer hair and makeup are much more feminine and the trapeze silhouette works well for her A-shape body.

VN members
Women 50+ Know: Hair color that covers the gray
Fashion & Beauty
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1. Aveda
From gardenangel in I’m not ready to let my hair go gray
“I go to an Aveda Spa for my hair. It seems less harsh than other hair colors and looks very natural. It does take upkeep, but it’s worth it.”

From amy phillips in I’m not ready to let my hair go gray
“May not be the cheapest avenue but my hairdresser uses Aveda hair color. She uses foils and two colors. Works really well for about two months.”

2. Clairol Beautiful Collection
From martijoyce in I’m not ready to let my hair go gray
“I use Clairol Beautiful Collection Dark Warm Brown, found at beauty supply stores, not at drugstores, Target, etc. It’s not a dye but a semi-permanent color. I wash my hair every day so I have to color my hair every week cause it fades. But it’s not hard on your hair and doesn’t have ammonia, etc. in it but things that are good for your hair…aloe vera, jojoba and vitamin E…and my hair feels great after!”

Clairol Natural Instincts
From bhc in I’m not ready to let my hair go gray
“I use Clairol Natural Instincts. I like it because it looks natural, leaving the greyest hairs a bit lighter – like multi shades. However, it is not that permanent. I have to use it often to keep my hair looking its best.”

Clairol Nice ‘n Easy GraySolutions
From KariNYC in I’m not ready to let my hair go gray
Nice ‘n Easy GraySolution really works for me. My hair is about 80% gray and it really covers better than anything I have tried.”

3. Garnier Nutrisse
From nancyen in I’m not ready to let my hair go gray
“I have been coloring my hair for years. I’m 60, and a 40-year-old asked me why I’m not grey. I told her that I color my hair and she said that in a million years she never would be able to tell. I use Garnier Nutrisse and I vary the colors. I’m a light brunette and sometimes I use a dark blonde, sometimes a light brunette. I do only the roots, leaving it on for about 40 minutes and cover the remainder of my hair for the last 5-10 minutes. My hair has a lovely texture which I attribute to the coloring. Once in a while I use a root touch-up product if I’m in a hurry. I definitely don’t agree with the “don’t try this on your own” comment as I’m proof that you can do it and succeed.”

Garnier Nutrisse
From Raffila in I’m not ready to let my hair go gray
“I started to cover the grey twenty years ago. For many years I went to a professional stylist/colorist. In between visits I experimented. For the past ten years I have been on my own and tried every hair color product on the market. Yes, I actually tried to work my way through every brand, even some I found in health stores. Also tried mixing my own chemicals in the same way as my stylist did.

In the end I became a staunch believer in Garnier Nutrisse. It gives even coverage, lots of shine, does not damage hair and most importantly does NOT fade. Some dyes from L’Oreal which look great fade away. Others tend to change color to brassy notes with each hair wash. Garnier promises 100 percent grey coverage and delivers.

Read the directions and follow exactly. They recommend you leave on longer. The directions explain how to dye the first time and how to handle root coverage. Follow those directions to the letter.

Do part your hair in small sections and use the bottle to drip down the part and your gloved finger to lightly spread the dye cream onto the hair on each side of part to cover the roots. This is key to having an allover even job. in the front. Be sure to go around the hairline with the creme and use finger to cover the roots (this tip is Not in the directions.) If you do it this way you won’t miss any spot in the front, which is critical. I wish you good luck…and add that I have no connection with this product line. It is simply the Best!

(A small vial of avocado oil goes into the dye mix, and I think it’s one reason why your hair shines and feels soft–you can save some of the included conditioner too, to add in a few weeks.) I also use their shampoo/conditioner. My daughter’s hair grows slower than mine so she dyes every 7-8 week and I do mine every six. Don’t let these pros scare you into salon color. I honestly look better with longer lasting Garnier color than I did with my stylist’s formulas. Now that I have practice in application, I feel confident I look terrific.”

4. L’Oreal
From comgal in I’m not ready to let my hair go gray
“L’Oreal has been my choice since it came out. I had my hair burned off in a flash fire when I was 16 and started coloring it to add body when it was growing back. I guess I have tried every brand there is and keep coming back to L’Oreal. There are some greys that won’t color but try putting the color on the worst of the grey a few minutes before adding the remainder to the rest of the hair.”

L’Oreal Excellence
From REDHEAD57 in I‘m not ready to let my hair go gray
“I like L’oreal Excellence products. It has the color that most matches my previous strawberry blonde color and leaves my hair silkie. I for sure am not ready to not be a redhead yet!”

L’Oreal Excellence To Go
From maggiel52 in I’m not ready to let my hair go gray
“I use L’Oreal To Go. It’s fast (10 minutes) and covers all my gray.”

L’Oreal Féria
From debbie in I’m not ready to let my hair go gray
“I use Féria. It leaves your hair nice and soft, covers your gray and leaves highlights in your hair so it doesn’t look like it’s colored. Good stuff.”

L’Oreal Natural Match
From Tink in I’m not ready to let my hair go gray
“I’ve used L’Oreal Natural Match for quite some time now, and I like the results. I have found that going one shade lighter gives me better results. I especially like this one because of its no ammonia formula, since I have a sensitive scalp.”

L’Oreal Preference
From Sherrie Mathieson in I’m not ready to let my hair go gray
“I like the L’Oreal Preference product line to achieve gray coverage.”

5. Redken
From suzy in I’m not ready to let my hair go gray
“If you want natural looking color, ask your hair dresser to use Redken. Professional color always looks better or maybe it’s because you paid for it. And always color a shade or two lighter than your natural color.”

Redken Shades EQ
From steelmagnolia in I‘m not ready to let my hair go gray
“My hair has been going gray for years and for years, I have gone to the salon & they use Redken Shades EQ. I have not had any problem with it. It covers the gray & leaves my hair feeling very healthy and in great condition.”

6. Revlon Color Silk
From Lynnette in I’m not ready to let my hair go gray
“I have been coloring my hair for the last 20 years. Basically any hair color will cover gray. I use ColorSilk from Revlon because i am all gray and have to do it every 3 weeks or so. I did the salon thing for a while, but could not afford it anymore and it was every 3 weeks just the same. Hair color products are amazing nowadays.”

Erica Manfred
10 mistakes that guarantee you’ll get screwed in your divorce settlement
Family & Relationships, Love & Sex, Work & Money
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1. Fail to plan ahead.
Men who are planning to leave tend to clean out bank accounts and hide assets, which are extremely difficult to recover. Women need to pre-plan for divorce just as men do. When the marriage starts to go bad, when he stops having sex with you or stops coming home at night, don’t make excuses, go to a lawyer and find out how to protect yourself.If you’re the one who wants a divorce, figure out the family finances before you even tell your husband you want out. If your husband has been handling your finances, you may not know enough about what you have. Visit a divorce lawyer and a financial planner (preferably one who specializes in divorce planning) and get your financial ducks in a row before you even ask for a divorce.

2. Assume your lawyer will take care of everything.
For many women in our generation, getting taken care of was the norm. So when divorce strikes, our first inclination is to put our fate in the hands of a white knight, another protector, our lawyer. Yes, you need a lawyer, but before you even walk into that lawyer’s office, you must educate yourself about divorce law in general and your state’s laws in particular. Get on the Internet or buy a book and start researching. If you’re not fully educated and proactive, you will wind up with a settlement you’ll regret for the rest of your life.

3. Choose the wrong lawyer.
Don’t let desperation lead you to settle for the first lawyer you consult. When choosing a lawyer, consider his or her experience. You want a lawyer who specializes in divorce in your jurisdiction. The best way to get a good divorce lawyer is through a recommendation from a satisfied customer, preferably another older woman. So many women end up hating their attorneys that a satisfied customer is your best source of recommendations.

4. Fail to consult a lawyer at all.
If you can’t afford a lawyer, but your husband has substantial assets, you can ask the court to order that he pay your legal fees, which is not unusual in cases of extreme inequality of assets. If there is a possibility that you may get a substantial settlement from a wealthy husband but can’t pay your lawyer a retainer up front, an attorney may agree to accept payment on contingency, as with a personal injury case.

5. Rely on a mediator.
Mediators are supposed to resolve issues without conflict and save legal fees, but savvy divorce lawyers are adamant that you should not go to mediation unless the playing field is totally level between you and your husband. In order to get a settlement, mediators push the person most likely to agree – and that’s usually the woman. Mediators are supposed to be impartial and also inform both parties of their rights, but mediators are human and sometimes inadequately trained. If there are any contested financial issues, you may lose out big-time in mediation.

6. Fail to ask for enough alimony.
Marriage is a legal and economic partnership and should be viewed in the same way as a business partnership. A woman who stayed home has invested in the skills of her husband for twenty years. Instead of putting money in the bank, she put it into a person. Women need to calculate what that investment was and negotiate from that. Run the numbers: what would it have cost your husband to pay someone to take care of the children, clean the house, cook the meals, and facilitate his ability to work overtime and get better training? Project the numbers outward so you know what your income is likely to be in the future, before and after you start collecting Social Security and/or your husband’s pension. If you can’t run the numbers yourself, see a certified financial planner who specializes in divorce.

7. Insist on keeping the house.
Some houses can be more of a liability than an asset. Older divorcees need to run the numbers again before deciding to stay in the house. You may be better off selling the house and splitting the proceeds with your husband. Emotionally, it may also make sense to get out of a place you’ve lived in with him for twenty years and start fresh in an apartment or condo, where the maintenance is taken care of.

8. Get bogged down in the Tchotchke Wars.
Too many older women get obsessed with fighting over furniture, antiques, knickknacks, and other possessions, losing the big picture in the process. It’s easy to waste your time and worse, your attorney’s time, in petty battles, but fighting over minor possessions just makes negotiations on the important issues, like the house and support, more difficult. Follow the usual rule for splitting possessions: you both get what you came into the marriage with, and split the rest. As for things that you acquired jointly that you really want, be a savvy negotiator. Make a list of your must-haves, making sure to include some less important items that you’re willing to let go. Then “compromise” on the non-essentials.

9. Be overly anxious to get closure.
As attorney Elizabeth Bennett says, “If a woman hasn’t expected the divorce, she has a three-year learning process to deal with the three major issues: relationship and identity; home; and career. It can’t be done in six months and she can’t be pushed.” Too many women rush into divorce settlements that might be ill-advised because they’re seeking “closure,” but sometimes the desire for closure can mean the difference between a comfortable retirement and a marginal one. Remember, a piece of paper does not give you closure. Only time and working on yourself can do that.

10. Believe your husband about his assets.
Women who have let their husbands handle the finances for twenty-five years have enormous resistance to finding out what the family’s assets really are. It may seem easier just to believe what your husband tells you, but as attorney Lynn Gold-Biken says, “When he decides to leave, he’s been to a lawyer and taken the financial documents out of the house.” She recommends not signing anything you don’t have a copy of, ever. Don’t sign anything without legal representation either. If you suspect your husband is hiding assets, talk to your lawyer about your options. You may be able to order him to produce financial documentation in court, or you may have to consult a forensic accountant to uncover his assets.

VN Editors
How much does breast reduction and lift surgery cost?
Fashion & Beauty
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Breast reduction and lift surgery is beneficial to emotional and physical health for many recipients. Women may choose to reduce their breast size to relieve pain or improve the aesthetics of their bodies, or for some combination of both. But health insurance companies may not cover the costs of what many consider to be an elective surgery, and plastic surgery is expensive. Is breast reduction and lift surgery at all an affordable option for you?

Surgery costs

Plastic surgery is not cheap, but breast reduction and lift surgeries are very common procedures. Statistics show that mature, older women are getting more plastic surgeries than ever before. As plastic surgery techniques become more common and technology becomes more affordable, the price of the surgeries adjusts accordingly. Nationally in 2010, a breast reduction for women costs around $5,500. A breast lift procedure costs around $4,000. However, many different factors go into the cost of individual breast reduction and lift surgeries.

  • Size of breast. The size and shape of the breasts will affect the procedure and the outcome, which of course will affect the cost. More time may be used in an operation involving extremely large breasts, for instance.
  • Procedures. Having a breast reduction and lift surgery at the same time may increase the total cost. By most plastic surgery catalogs, breast reduction surgery and breast lift surgery are two different procedures.
  • Geography. A breast reduction and lift surgery in a posh clinic in the heart of Manhattan is likely to cost more than the same procedure at a facility that caters to moderate-income patients in the middle of Des Moines, Iowa. Where you live and where you choose to have your surgery will factor into the overall cost.
  • Type of procedure. More than one type of breast reduction and lift surgery is possible. The most traditional method involves making a 12-inch incision around each breast. Newer techniques use liposuction to reduce the size of the breast, making much smaller cuts into the skin to facilitate the procedure. Women over the age of 50 make some of the best candidates for this type of breast reduction, which may be slightly more affordable than more traditional techniques.
  • The surgeon. A world-renown plastic surgeon has the reputation to charge more for his or her surgeries. Physicians’ fees make up a huge chunk of breast reduction and lift surgery cost. By no means should you choose to go with a more inexperienced surgeon in order to save money; do this, and you may be unsatisfied with the final results. However, always use good judgment. You do not necessarily need to have a plastic surgeon fly in from Edinburgh because he pioneered the plastic surgery movement.
  • After care. If you have additional surgery to address scarring from the procedure, this will cost extra unless it is initially included as part of the surgical agreement.