Cosmetic surgery is more popular than ever and the previous taboos surrounding going under the knifer are dwindling daily. And while celebs and consumers are embracing undergoing surgical sorcery, what gets lost in the mix is education surrounding procedure.
Luckily, that’s where pages like @TheCosmeticLane come in to help.
BOSSIP Exclusive Interview With Harmony and Justin from The Cosmetic Lane
BOSSIP: So obviously the first question is how did you both connect and what made you want to start The Cosmetic Lane?
Justin: I’ve been working with plastic surgeons since 2018 after transitioning from the music business to cosmetic surgery because I saw an opening. But I didn’t think it would become as big as it is right now. It really started during the pandemic on Clubhouse with the Tyga’s and Joe Budden. Nobody from our industry was on Clubhouse, we started with a group hosting weekly conversations about different procedures in the industry.
Harmony: I think in December we both got let go from our jobs and decided why don’t we both team up? So we started to get into marketing and had a ton of meetings then COVID locked everything up and we transitioned to Clubhouse. Those weekly talks helped us understand there aren’t a lot of people as educated as we are on surgery. There was a huge gap between people who understood the industry and patients. Especially people of color, which had the biggest gap. You have the suburban mom who gets their kids hip on Botox. For people of color that isn’t what our parents are doing so we just don’t know. We just started posting and it kinda blew up.
We’ve noticed that too and personally I have seen people in their close friends crying after surgery because they didn’t realize what they were getting into.
Harmony: I think the issue with that is people see it so much on social, you kind of forget it’s a surgery with real recovery. That’s why we try to educate them on that a little bit.
When did you guys realize you had something special and knew The Cosmetic Lane would work? The ahh ha moment if you will.
Justin: We took a leap of faith and went to Cali in September of 2021 for a few months just to get our faces out there to meet the surgeons. Then Cardi B interacted with our page going back and forth with our page. You just never know who is watching.
What’s the most shocking thing you’ve learned on this journey?
Harmony: For me, it’s that for some people there is no limit to what they will do. You see cases of people losing their life and think why would they do this? Then you’re in it and see they go to doctor after doctor until someone says ok. Some people think “It won’t happen to me I’ll be fine” and they keep pushing the envelope. So really how little people understand how dangerous surgery really can be.
Have you guys received any pushback in the industry?
Justin: I wouldn’t say like any pushback, we work with some of the top doctors and small clinics. Just me being black covered in tattoos when we walk in some people are hesitant. Originally this industry was very white and Asian so even with the knowledge some people were hesitant.
Harmony: The pushback would have been the Soulja Boy situation where we saw this trending and we did research. We knew it was him so we posted him and the surgeon said “Hey I never said it was him please take it down”. Do I take it down? Do I want to risk getting sued or my reputation?
We get attacked a lot with people saying we’re pushing insecurities on people. It’s like no we are educating people this just might be new to you. People think we are pushing surgery but we’re giving education so you know it’s there.
How has running the brand influenced you guys, have you thought about getting surgery or had any done after being educated? Or is there anything you thought was harmless that you wouldn’t recommend now?
Justin: On my end, hormone replacement therapy to keep up as you age. I’ve definitely changed my stance on it even just from an energy level standpoint. As far as the surgery aspect I don’t think my perspective has changed.
Harmony: For me even something as simple as lip filler and thought I would never do that after seeing girls with duck lips. Here I am I’ve done it twice now. Being in the industry I’ve learned that good work is undetectable. We interviewed a limb lengthening doctor in Vegas and originally I thought it was insane to go through all the work and it’s expensive for three inches. After meeting him I was like it’s bad but not as bad.
How do you feel your brand has shifted the stigma, any success stories? Even familywise?
Justin: All the time we get thank yous on Twitter and people saying “I didn’t know about this, I’ll see if it’s available” and now we do consults online. People who follow us have opened their minds to a different world. Our (friends and family) come on a day-to-day basis we have people debating procedures. One of my friends just got married and was debating Botox because he didn’t want to have wrinkles on his forehead and I was like damn this is crazy and amazing were able to change people’s perspective.
Harmony: Even just posting before and afters I think we’ve done a good job removing the stigma botox will freeze your forehead. People say they would never get Botox but now they will consider it. We’re trying our best, it’s hard but I think the stigma will always be there but we’re trying to shift that.
What’s the best part of running the brand for each of you?
Justin: The industry is pretty nice, the aesthetic industry. I was in the music industry before and now being around surgeons and doctors everywhere we go is super nice. The whole energy we are surrounded with me is the best thing for me.
Harmony: For me, it’s the minimal things you can do to help somebody kinda feel better about themself. A self-confidence boost can make such a difference. A 20-minute treatment for this person made their whole day/month.
Ok now before we go we need the BEST and the WORST testimonials you’ve received and you don’t have to say any names. I know you’ve probably had people ask for your advice on where to go before going elsewhere and coming back with a horror story.
Harmony: Can I say [redacted] in Atlanta? Or any of them? People will ask our opinion and then go there and be like “Oh it was the price” but like they aren’t happy with the work. You’re just like why would you do that to yourself? For great testimonials even Justin’s friend on his wedding day being excited he didn’t have any wrinkles. He was just so happy he was beaming he couldn’t believe it took 15 minutes.
Have you ever posted a celeb who claimed that they didn’t have surgery?
Harmony: There are a few celebrities and we play it off like Sofia Vergara. If we know they have work done we say, ‘Do you see what I see?’ before letting our educated followers comment.
Justin: Yeah that’s the best way because we don’t want to be sued and things can go left fast.
What checklist should people have for surgery, and what kinds of things should they keep in mind to stay safe?
The main thing is research because a lot of the bad places now are using celebrities and influencers for marketing. A lot of people don’t think of the fact celebrities get a different level of care. You’re gonna go there and have a bad experience if you didn’t research and look at reviews. Those are the two main things I tell people cyberstalking the surgeon. You can check their following and reach out to people who’ve gone. Talk to people and get their experience. The price is great initially, you pay $5,000 for a BBL but what you end up paying to maintain or fix it could be way more.
Okay last few questions, what’s the future of The Cosmetic Lane? What do the next few years look like?
Justin: Man just keep growing because our company has two sides one we have the marketing with patients and surgeons. Then our social media community and we will try to make it as mainstream as we possibly can and bridge the gap. We want to be the biggest outlet for cosmetic surgery and do more events and pop-ups.
Harmony: We also want to try and put together a Cosmetic-Con style event. We have to bridge the gap between patient and provider.
What do you think has made men more comfortable with getting surgery?
Justin: In my personal opinion it was and still is a slow grind. People started getting Botox but started calling it “Brotox” and getting facials. You got veneers, and everything else in the face. Men are starting to take care of themselves. Then you have influencers like Bandman Kevo. He was one of the first guys to really come out like I have lipo and etching. It’s still frowned upon and will be a slow grind, it’s going to take a few more influencers. It’s a shame that comes with it as well because surgery is still more frowned upon than steroids.
Harmony: We have some doctors and the majority of their clientele is men. What the mainstream doesn’t see is men aren’t open to getting their procedures documented and showing the before and afters. Even if more men are getting work you won’t see it. I find that men are (more comfortable) because of the pretty privilege that comes with it. I think men really can’t escape the pressure either. The more men that come out it will change. Funk Flex was pretty open and was online during his. With men, there are signs you can pick up they had work but no confirmation.
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