"I actually feel better and more comfortable showing my face," Daniel Martin, 50, tells PEOPLE exclusively
Renowned makeup artist Daniel Martin, whose clientele includes Meghan Markle, Michelle Yeoh and Jessica Biel, has spent the past 25 years helping people feel confident in their skin. Now he's doing the same thing for himself.
In an exclusive interview with PEOPLE, Martin opened up about his recent decision to undergo lower lid transconjunctival blepharoplasty — a plastic surgery procedure that corrects puffy or sagging eyes — before his milestone 50th birthday last month.
"I've always struggled with my skin, even as a kid," Martin says. "I had really bad cystic acne and then when I learned how to take care of it and keep it under control, aging started to happen, and I started to see bags forming underneath my eyes."
When he first noticed bags under his eyes, Martin says he began wearing wide-framed glasses to maintain his confidence. But as his eyesight changed, it became a bigger issue.
"I had to take off my glasses to see closer, and I would notice the bags even more," Martin says.
"I've tried everything from eye creams to devices — I just thought it was fluid, puffiness or poor lymphatic drainage around my eyes," he continues. "Then I met a plastic surgeon at a job over a year ago and I asked him if this was something I could take care of. He told me it was heredity and that it was fat and explained the treatment process."
"As time went on, I felt like the bags got bigger and I started seeing them more. It was this past year that I was like, 'This is going to be my birthday present to myself,'" says Martin, who turned 50 in September.
Dr. Edward Kwak, who performed Martin's procedure, tells PEOPLE that his "treatment plan was pretty straightforward."
"The lower lid has three defined deep fat pads, which are not susceptible to weight gain or loss," Dr. Kwak says. "These fat pads can herniate, either due to genetics or the aging process. When it does so, it can create a fullness around the lower lids commonly causing 'puffy eyes' or 'bags' under the eyes."
Kwak tells PEOPLE that during the procedure he makes a hidden incision in the eyelid to remove excess fat or reposition the fat pads to create a more youthful appearance.
When working with patients, Kwak says helping people feel better about themselves is one of his main goals.
"The best outcome for plastic surgery is when the procedure augments one's inner confidence," he says.
"Plastic surgery procedures have high success rates and are very safe to perform, however, patients need to understand prior to surgery that all procedures require time for healing, are permanent changes and have risks," he adds. "A decision to have plastic surgery should be well-thought-out and not made on a trend or whim."
"Working with Daniel was great," he continues. "His eye for fashion and beauty is so amazing and unique. It was neat to see how Daniel and I, coming from different paths in the world of beauty and aesthetics, converged to address a common goal."
Looking back on his surgery, Martin says that although he was nervous, he's so glad he went through the process.
"The actual procedure took about an hour," Martin says. "It was so quick and easy. They told me this procedure is also really easy to recover from. Two weeks off is what they recommend, but I honestly could have gone back to work in three days."
Now that Martin's results have taken effect, he wants to share his experience on social media to help break the sigma around plastic surgery — especially for men.
"Men are afraid to ask about information on plastic surgery, so just being able to read this and see the photos and help them judge for themselves is great," Martin says. "Even when I was trying to research this issue online, I saw more photos of women getting this procedure done than men."
"Having that allowance to take care of something that you've always wanted to deal with, and it being okay, it's liberating," Martin says. "Guys don't talk about that. They don't share stuff like this. I've had more guy friends reach out to me about this procedure than my female friends, and these are guys who I would've never thought to have this discussion with."
"I think people have this thing that plastic surgery equals change, and it should just be about feeling better," he adds. "I not only feel better about how I look, I actually feel better and more comfortable showing my face."
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