By Carrieanne Reichardt, as told to Jolene Edgar. Note: This article contains images of a surgical procedure being performed.

I love so many of my features. For instance, the green eyes I got from my mom, my naturally full lips, and smile, but my nose has been a source of insecurity. Around 15, as puberty hit, my nose just…changed. One day, it suddenly looked large and awkward, with a pronounced bump and protruding tip that I simply didn’t identify with. I’d catch my profile in the mirror and be uncomfortable with the face staring back.

I felt particularly insecure about my nose when starting college, as I was presenting myself to the world, independently, for the first time. Whenever I met anyone new, I’d be very careful to talk to them only head-on, so they couldn’t glimpse my profile. By 19, I was researching rhinoplasty surgery, and my dad even took me for a nose-job consultation, but I didn’t feel the surgeon was a good fit, so we decided to table the idea.

rhinoplasty before and photos for allure.com's life in plastic column
Hannah Choi/Allure

When I moved to New York City after graduation, and began establishing myself and building a career, I suddenly felt the time was right to revisit the procedure. I met with Adam Kolker, a well-known plastic surgeon here in New York City, and immediately felt safe and heard. I respected his delicate, conservative approach and appreciated how he spent real time listening to my concerns and making sure I felt comfortable.