The recession has taken its toll on everyone and to that end there are sales, sales, sales. But one sale you shouldn't take advantage of involves cosmetic procedures.

A., a thirty-something woman living in Manhattan, saw an ad for a seemingly reputable NYC medical spa offering a Botox special -- about $250 per vial. She had been thinking about trying it for a while and at these prices, she couldn't resist. Unfortunately, the results were less than stellar -- "It wasn't just swelling! They ruined the next two months of my life. They put the Botox so close to my eyes that it prohibits me from squinting! I won't take my glasses off. I actually look older!"

Shocked by this report, we turned to Dr. Yan Trokel, a New York City cosmetic surgeon, who explained, "Virtually any 'licensed practitioner' who attends a two-day training seminar can be authorized to administer Botox -- or in some cases, designate a nurse to administer Botox." According to Dr. Trokel, injections performed incorrectly can lead not only to droopy eyelids or the surprised look, but also to double vision and muscle paralysis that can prevent people from performing normal daily functions.

Dr. Audrey Kunin, a dermatologist in Kansas City, MO, strongly recommends seeing a board certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon, not just any practitioner who has completed the certification. "No optometry offices or nail salons!" says Kunin, who also stresses the need to ask how many milligrams are being injected and what the dilution of the drug is. If you're concerned, she suggests asking to see the actual vial to be sure that it's really Allergan Botox Cosmetic.

Botox injections are usually priced higher at dermatologists' offices because you're paying for the doctor's time. Medical spas can get away with charging less because doctors are not actually administrating the injection, so they'll charge by the amount of Botox used instead -- which can sometimes be less then half of what you'll pay at the doctor's office. But help is imminent: Botox is priced so highly because it owns the US market, and competitors are on the way. The FDA has agreed to evaluate an anti-wrinkle injection by France-based pharmaceutical company Ipsen. If approved, the injection, which is already used in 23 countries, could be available later this year. But until then ...

If a Botox deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. Like two-for-one sushi, the risks usually outweigh the benefits.

Age-Defying Beauty - Expert Tips

    Who says it's all down hill after 40? Many of Hollywood's leading ladies reach their career - and beauty - peaks at at 45, 55, even 65. So we asked four beauty experts, who are over 40 themselves, for advice on the cosmetic needs of mature women - like hair styles that shave years off your look, the best makeup shades for older women, and skincare that can reverse aging (really!). Read on to get your biggest age-related questions answered, and look absolutely fabulous at 40 and beyond.

    OUR EXPERTS: Rona O'Connor (left), Celebrity Colorist and Co-Owner of Lukaro Salon in Beverly Hills. Sandy Linter (middle), acclaimed makeup artist and Lancôme Beauty at Every Age Expert. Luke O'Connor, Suave Celebrity Stylist and Co-Owner of Lukaro Salon Beverly Hills. Dr. Doris Day (not pictured), author of Forget the Facelift and Clinical Assistant Professor of Dermatology at NYU Medical Center.

    - Melissa Goldberg

    Stephen Lovekin, Getty Images

    "It's so much easier to prevent the aging process with daily sunscreen use than to try to repair it after the fact," says Dr. Doris Day. For an optimal anti-aging skincare routine to ensure gorgeous skin like Meryl Streep's, Dr. Day recommends looking for products that contain wrinkle-fighting retinoid, anti-oxidant vitamin c, anti-inflammatory niacinamide and skin-soothing caffeine.

    Mark Sullivan, WireImage

    Simply using sun protection and avoiding excess ultra violet rays allows your skin to naturally repair itself. An anti-aging skincare routine will amplify results, for skin that looks taut and even like Vanessa Williams'. "Adding dermatologic procedures like chemical peels or laser treatments can then dramatically improve your skin further," says Dr. Day.

    Joe Corrigan, Getty Images

    Choosing the right doctor-administered treatment depends on your age, and if done correctly, can give spectacularly age-defying results (Exhibit A: Madonna's complexion is better than that of most 30 year olds). In your 20s, Botox prevents aging by freezing muscles from wrinkle-causing motions. For moderate aging, injectibles like Restylane and Juvederm beautifully though temporarily fill volume loss. For older pigmentation damage and wrinkling, the Fractional CO2 laser known as the "Total Fx" is the gold standard for skin resurfacing, with downtime as little as five to seven days, says Dr. Day.

    Anita Bugge, WireImage

    We asked Dr. Day for her favorite age fighters: "Olay's new Pro-X Hydra Firming Cream contains peptides, which increases collagen production for firmer skin, and niacinamide, which accelerates cell renewal to both treat and reverse past skin care damage. Clinique Superdefense Age Defense Moisturizer SPF 25 combines an anti-oxidant punch with full spectrum sun protection, and comes in special formulations for different skin types."

    Clinique | Olay

    Stick with muted taupes, coffees, creams and blacks to enhance the shape of your eyes, and be wary of high shimmers that can accentuate lines. For a pop of color, choose either your cheeks or lips to highlight – but be careful not to choose a vampy dark lipcolor as it can age you, advises Sandy Linter, Lancôme's Beauty at Every Age Expert.

    Leon Bennett, /

    Take a cue from Jane Seymour and pay attention to texture, not just color in your products. Lip items should be moist and facial products like foundation and concealer should be creamy instead of thick so they don't migrate into lines. "You have to like the way it feels when it goes on," adds Linter.

    Jason Merritt

    For lipstick that lasts like Sophia Loren's, always line with a neutral pencil first, and then fill in your lips to provide a base for color to adhere to. Next, apply a moisturizing lip color that is rich, not runny, to the lip. If you want to add a smidge of gloss, apply only to the center bottom lip so as not to over-gloss, says Linter.

    GREG WOOD, AFP/Getty Images

    The biggest cosmetics mistake older women make is to not wear any makeup at all, says Linter. Age draws some of the natural color out of skin, so even a light application can do wonders to refresh and re-engergize a face, a la Christy Brinkley's glowing complexion. "Products have improved drastically over the years – don't be afraid to go to your local beauty counter and experiment!" adds Linter.

    Jason Kempin, WireImage

    "Bangs can make you look younger," says says Luke O'Connor, Suave Celebrity Stylist and co-owner of Lukaro salon in Beverly Hills. "Pick a style that accents your face to soften and bring out your best features." A soft fringe or side swept bangs, like Angela Basset's, are both very youthful.

    Brendan Hoffman, Getty Images