Even though I'm Canadian, and can't vote in the upcoming U.S. elections, it's hard not to notice the woman standing by one candidate's side.
I'm talking about Melania Trump, of course—the 46-year-old Slovenian-American ex-model who has been married to Donald Trump since 2005.
To me, her chiseled nose, wrinkle-free forehead and plump cheeks look remarkably similar to many of our previous Before & After subjects, and apparently, I'm not the only one having those thoughts. In an April interview, she told GQ, "I didn't make any changes. A lot of people say I am using all the procedures for my face. I didn't do anything. I live a healthy life, I take care of my skin and my body. I'm against Botox, I'm against injections; I think it's damaging your face, damaging your nerves. It's all me. I will age gracefully, as my mom does."
As always, I'll present the photo evidence and let you decide:
Melania in 1987
Way back in 1987, Melania (born Melanija) was a fresh-faced 17-year-old hoping to launch a modelling career. Her eyes were a lot more wide-open here, and her nose more prominent. I love her au naturel brows!
Melania in 1999
Fast-forward to 1999, and Melania was sporting a lighter hair colour and skinnier brows. She was 29 here, and I think this was still her original nose. The lips, I'm not sure about—the top one looks especially plump, but Restylane injections were far from mainstream back then. Once again, her eyes are larger here than they appear now.
Melania in 2001
It was back to brown hair in 2001, but Melania kept the ultra-thin brows. The way her cheeks jut out looks so much like Restylane, as do her plump, glossy lips—but this was 15 years ago, and she was only 31 at the time. Perhaps she was she an early adopter?
Melania in 2004
This is the photo where I think Melania looked the prettiest. The warm caramel hair colour really suits her complexion, and the light, bronzey makeup is super-flattering. (Notice the lighter touch on the eyes, compared to how she wears her makeup now.) I suspect by this time, she had probably altered her nose.
Melania in 2005
The hair colour and bronzer stuck around through 2005, with the addition of a deep spray tan. This is the first photo where we can see Melania's teeth, which I doubt were that bright white and uniformly-sized without the help of a dentist. But there's movement around her eyes, and a natural hollow underneath them, so I don't think she had touched that area so far (she was 35 here).
Melania in 2008
In 2008, Melania started adopting the same squint as her husband. A photographer once told me that squinting is a good way to pose when you get your picture taken, if you're prone to the crazy-eyed, "deer in headlights" look. So that may be what's happening here and not some surgical facelift (note how her cheeks are more flat, too). This is also when Melania began wearing heavy eye makeup and liner in her waterlines, which no doubt closes off her already small eyes. You can see the difference in her nose here, compared to 1999.
Melania in 2009
Now we're in 2009, and I can't imagine that Melania, at age 39, wouldn't be dabbling with injectables. Her cheeks look more plump and her under-eye area more full than the photo from four years before. That just doesn't happen as you age. It also looks like Botox might've been injected in her forehead and around the lips (and is preventing her from naturally smiling). That said, I do think she looks quite good here, with the fuller brows, smoky eyes and soft blowout.
Melania in 2010
What jumps out most in this 2010 photo are Melania's incredibly sculpted cheeks. Funny how they're even more prominent here than back in 2001! Dermatologists commonly inject filler there to try to "lift" the face, but I think it rarely looks natural—that's what is contributing to the feline look of her eyes. Her lips look thinner, indicating she was probably using injections there, too.
Melania in 2011
The thing about injections is that they can look a million times better once they "settle," and this 2011 photo is a great example of that. Melania was 41 in this photo, and her face doesn't look quite as tight here. Notice how her lips are fuller again, a telltale sign of Restylane use.
Melania in 2012
In 2012, Melania was 42, and now we'll start to see a style transformation from "sexy model" to "politician's wife." Her cheeks still look injected to me, albeit in a less exaggerated way than in the 2010 shot. Even though there's some creasing, her eye area still looks tight, suggesting Botox.
Melania in 2014
It looks like Melania took a break from the doctor's office interventions for this 2014 photo. She was 44 here, and if the creases around her eyes, between her brows and down her cheeks are any indication, the Botox had worn off (and probably some of the Restylane as well). Again, the tip of her nose definitely looks like it has been refined. Shame about the Jennifer Lopez-style visible lip liner!
Melania in 2016
That brings us to the present, and a 46-year-old Melania who looks, once more, like she's dabbling in cosmetic procedures. Her forehead is completely line-free, her eye area looks "pulled," and her cheeks inflated (although perhaps not to 2010 levels, thank goodness). I also think she's getting lip injections, at least in the top lip. Her heavily contoured nose is exaggerating its altered, thinner shape.
Melania may insist she is "all-natural," but I think these photos tell a different story.
"Her face has a stony look from being overfilled and over-Botoxed," Dr. Franklin Rose, a plastic surgeon, told Life & Style. "Melania's forehead is as smooth as a baby's rear end, so she’s had liberal amounts of Botox for sure. Her cheeks, along with the nasolabial lines between the nose and corners of the mouth, likely have fillers. [Her rhinoplasty] is a beautiful job. Whoever is treating her now is just a little overzealous with the injectables."
If true, it's not like she's the only celeb to deny getting cosmetic procedures (Olivia Munn, anyone?). But it can't be easy being Melania Trump—her husband famously told Esquire in 1991, "You know, it really doesn’t matter what the media write as long as you've got a young and beautiful piece of ass."
How do you feel about Melania's beauty evolution?
Which of these looks is your favourite?
What "beauty work" do you think she's had done?