TLS Mini Edition: Wrinkles, Botox?, & Turning 30


Today I’m opening up about the hardest thing about turning 30 was for me.

This is a very vulnerable episode for me, as I share openly about my decision of whether or not to get my wrinkles filled.

I hope that my story helps others who might be struggling with a similar issue feel less alone.

This episode is perfect for anyone who is struggling to accept an aspect of their physical bodies.








  • The hardest thing about turning 30 for me.
  • My struggle with the decision to fill my wrinkles or not.
  • The decision I’ve made for myself at this point in my life.




 None today!








Photo and art direction by Becky Murphy

This Post Has 34 Comments

  1. Tanya Seal Grant

    Jess, thanks for being so open and honest about this. I, too, am nearing 30 and I am noticing the wrinkles cropping up. I chalk it up to laughing every day, and try to see them as a mark of a life spent smiling. All that aside, you look beautiful. Happy birthday!

  2. Holly Johnson

    Hi Jess, thank you for this amazing post! I love the discussion and just want to say you are NOT ALONE!! I have had “thin skin” for my whole adult life and my sister and I struggle with accepting it in ourselves. But when I look at her (I see a beautiful person who’s face has changed and gained character over the years that only makes her more beautiful (hard to see that so positively in myself, of course). My husband and his family have “thick swedish skin” and he never seems to age, even at 49—uggh, so unfair!!

    The only thing I can say is that you are who you are and you have to love yourself and embrace your inner beauty, because ultimately you are going to start aging and it is unavoidable! You are lucky to know someone you can trust for botox–that is the biggest hurdle, indeed! There is nothing wrong with getting botox, but the most important thing is to be sure you find love and kindness for yourself throughout your changing process because you are still very young and beautiful!! Try not to be critical of yourself in photos and definitely keep smiling!! (I discovered photoshop for my wrinkles and it is amazing! Why not just touch your photos up lightly?)

    Anyway, you speak to me when you talk about these feelings, and at 46 I have lots of wrinkles that are here to stay. Thank you for making me feel less alone too and sharing your thought process.

  3. Lacey

    Hey Jess,
    This is about your yoga mat question. I have Le Mat from Lululemon and I really love it. It’s definitely thick and has really good grip. I’ve used it in all kinds of yoga, including hot yoga, and I haven’t ever felt once that I was going to slip or fall or feel unstable. It is kind of expensive and there is a very distinctive smell that can take a while to go away, but I do think that it’s still a great purchase.

    1. Jess Lively

      Thank you, Lacey! I’ve gotten a lot of responses so far and they are all either the Lulu mat you’re talking about or Jade. I’m going to have to check them both out! Thanks for the recommendation and the tip about the smell. : )

    2. Graylin Porter

      The struggle to find the right yoga mat is so real. This one is my new favorite:

      And this one is my old stand by…these are the ones I have on hand for students at my studio:

      I’ve never tried The Mat from lulu but have heard great things. I’m not a fan of Jade mats. I know they are environmentally friendly, but that biodegrade over time (crumble apart) and can get kinda grungy.

      1. Jess Lively

        Thanks for this! I’ve gotten so many Jade recommendations, no one has mentioned the crumbling thing.

        The other one you mentioned looks good too. I don’t need it for hot yoga, but it probably couldn’t hurt to have it work there, too.

    1. Bethan

      Ah Jess, sorry I didn’t come back here to see your response until you mentioned facial massage on this weeks mini edition! The benefits I’ve found include those frown wrinkles looking a little less obvious, the breakouts I was getting FINALLY clearing up and the old scars fading and generally an improvement in texture. My skin feels really smooth, and a friend recently asked what I was doing because I looked “glowing” so other people have noticed too. And besides I just find it a really relaxing and lovely gift to myself at the end of the day. I’m glad you’re enjoying it too!

  4. Jess Lively

    I’m glad this helped you, Annie! It was definitely scary coming out about it, but if it helped you, I’m glad I did. : )

  5. Christy Purington

    To be completely honest, I was surprised to hear your podcast on this! At first it seemed so counter-intuitive, since you talk so much about accepting yourself, those upper case Values, and less about the inadequacies and surface-level stuff. With that said, concerns over vanity are totally normal and, well, unavoidable! I appreciate you talking openly about such a personal topic that many struggle with (who doesn’t?!)

    My two cents: While the physical changes of aging are less than thrilling, aren’t there so many wonderful things about getting older? Knowing who you are, familiarity and confidence in your intentions, a life you have worked hard to build. Why not focus on that? Over the next 50 years, there will only be more “flaws” to focus on, and trying to fix them all is going to be exhausting and, well, futile. I love it when I see an older woman with wrinkles – it reminds me how many times she has laughed or smiled. I hope after some time you will come to love those small signs of a life well-lived, and can do another podcast about the beauty of aging – acceptance rather than avoidance. I wonder if even a Lively Show with an older woman wouldn’t help to reframe this topic for all of us? 🙂

    Thanks again for sharing. You’re beautiful, wrinkles or no!

    1. Jess Lively


      I shared this because although I might understand, on a gut level, all of what you shared that doesn’t mean I still don’t have an ego that is there whispering the doubts, the frustrations, etc.

      That’s what I was hoping to share. To liberate. To show that we are all still going through – and are learning new and different lessons along the way.

      And everything positive you shared is so valid. I just happen to take pictures of myself almost weekly for the blog, and in those times, I have these doubts creep up. It’s a “santosha” kind of thing:

      I’m grateful for all the good things AND I still have issues with the changes in my face that I’m still working through.


  6. Jess Lively

    “For me, the concern over these changes has less to do with vanity and more to do with identity.”

    Thank you, SEM, for sharing so beautifully a lot of what I’ve been working through and discovering in my own life lately. : )

  7. Linda Mendible


    Loved this! I also found some pictures of me with slight bags under my eyes, as one going on thirty this coming year!Grrr. Thank you for sharing this!! Please also post your experiences with creams! I’m lost to know what creams work the best!

    1. Jess Lively

      I hear you with bags… those were actually the first to pop up for me, followed by this other whole thing.

      So far I’m liking a prescription retinol cream (from a dermatologist), beautycounter eye cream, and cerave eye cream. I’m not sure how much they are helping since I still see that whole situation, BUT maybe it’s preventing further issues?

  8. Eliza_Ceci

    Jess, you’re beautiful! I know what you mean though having celebrated my 32nd birthday last week! We all have things we become hyper conscious of as we get older and I support you in your vulnerability. One thing that comes to mind though – there is this incredible woman named Jean Haner who teaches about Chinese Face Reading. The last few years I’ve learned that every mark, wrinkle and line on our face means something. That helps me to feel empowered and proud of how I look. She calls ‘crows feet’ ‘joy lines’ and it’s a sign that you’re a kind and loving person! And the lines that form around your mouth are a sign that you are living your purpose. (I thought I’d share she has a book that’s awesome if you want to learn more). Big hugs!

    1. Jess Lively

      Very nice! I like the symbolism there. The lines I’m worried about aren’t technically crows feet, they are right on my cheeks, actually, which is a little more uncommon (from what I’ve noticed in people). BUT, now you have me interested in finding out what the cheek lines mean according to Jean. Thank you for the resource!!

  9. Kendra

    Thanks for your candid thoughts on this sensitive issue! I turned 30 earlier this year and have been really struggling with the wrinkles that suddenly seem to be popping up all over my face. Combined with body changes I’m experiencing now in my first pregnancy (not to mention acne!), it’s made for a tough several months. I appreciated hearing that I’m not the only one dealing with this. I thought wrinkles only happened to “old” people; I definitely don’t feel old enough to have a wrinkly face! But it feels better to know that I’m not alone.

    1. Jess Lively

      Amen! I can only imagine who pregnancy adds to the whole equation – so many changes seemingly all at once!

      Please know you aren’t alone. Not at all.


  10. Diane

    Its a brave and vulnerable discussion. I think photographs can make us see ourselves in such a critical way. Its a moment frozen in time and we can pick away at what we see. The truth is when the rest of us see your pictures we don’t see any of what you are seeing. I see a beautiful confident young woman whose inner light shines through your eyes. I know when I see photographs of myself I am taken aback and embracing it can be a challenge but we are all in the same boat. I think the first time it happens its shocking but it will get easier, I promise.

    1. Jess Lively

      Thank you, Diane!

      I have to say, after finally just sharing this whole thing on the show I feel SO MUCH MORE PEACEFUL about it. And I appreciate you saying that the shock wears off and gets easier, now that I’ve shared it, I can definitely see that could be the case sooner than I would have thought a week ago. : )

  11. Katie

    Thank you for having the courage to open up to us about this. I’m 28 and I feel this way this year in particular. I was tan all my life with bright blonde hair and since cleaning up my health I have stopped tanning and dying my hair. Obviously now I have to adapt to being so pale and sometimes I feel sad that my whole head is basically one color. I’ve been debating if I should just high light my hair again to feel better. What’s the point in “suffering” when it’s such a personal decision.

    1. Jess Lively

      I hear you! I say: go with your gut. The great thing is that neither decision needs to be permanent, right? : )

  12. Marisa Lerin

    Thanks so much for posting this! I’m not 30 yet, but my hair is going gray fast, and I’ve spent a considerable time considering what to do. On one hand I’m super low maintenance and rarely do things to my hair, so dying it seems a bit extreme. But on the other hand, it’s rare to see a woman with gray hair in her 50s, let alone her 30s. I’m worried people will think I’m much older than I am due to the fact that gray hair is rarely allowed out. But then I think how much I would love to see women my age with gray hair, so I could keep mine, the trends have to change somewhere…The debate continues with myself, but I really appreciated you sharing your story!

    1. Jess Lively

      I totally hear you, Marisa! I have a friend who grayed in her mid-20’s, too. I think it’s more common than we may think it is.

      I understand your debate on both sides of the issue! I can only say: Go with your heart.

      And hey, if you decide to keep all or some of it, remember that Stacey London has had that really awesome grey streak in her hair for a long time and looks awesome with it. : )

      Love on either side of the dye decision,

  13. Martha

    I was SO RELIEVED to get to the end of the podcast and find out you didn’t fill those adorable wrinkles! NOTHING is wrong with you. But everything is wrong with a society that makes us feel bad for aging. Which reminds me, I don’t know if you are interested in non-profits, but I’ve been following Beauty Redefined on Instagram for awhile and they are changing my perceptions about beauty on every level. They would be an inspiring duo to have on your very positive podcast (they are twin sisters)! (Here’s their website Love your show, keep up the positive vibes. And please, please, don’t do anything to your face! Face cream your heart out (I’ve started using Mary Kay’s aging skincare line and am liking it and am also a devotee of daily sunscreen) but don’t do anything permanent. We’d hate to lose the real deal Jess.

    Solidarity from a 32-year-old with melasma, rosacea, and forehead wrinkles. Fist bump.

    P.S. Let Renee Zellwegger’s unfortunate new face (that looks NOTHING like her) be a lesson to us all.

    1. Jess Lively

      Thanks for the kind words, Martha. I checked out the IG you mentioned and it’s really great. : )

  14. Aimee

    Aw, I felt like hugging you after listening to this one. I’m 38 and looking forward to 40 which is kind of odd to say, I know…I’m SUCH a late bloomer that I’ve always “felt” younger than my age number. I have insecurities about the way I look that I KNOW have held me back in my life and career and with 40 around the corner I just am so ready to let all that crappy stuff go, be comfortable in my own skin and live a fuller life. Thank you for posting about this, I value your point of view. ((hug))

    1. Jess Lively

      Thank you so much for the hug, Aimee!!

      I have to say: after sharing this podcast I feel SO much better about it! I think I really just needed to share where I was at in order to move on from there and not be so worried about it.

      I love that you are looking forward to 40, too! Or heck, just living like you’re “40” now! ; )


Leave a Reply