‘Injectionist’ goes (skin) deep on new series

Rand Rusher, R. N., is used to seeing the fruits of his labor in movies, on television and in magazines.

But now it’s his turn to be on the business end of a camera.

On the reality series “Pretty Hurts,” cameras follow the openly gay, self-proclaimed “injector of the stars,” as Los Angeles residents and celebrities seek him out for the kind of aesthetic improvements that can only be found in a syringe full of fluids with really intimidating names.

“Pretty” is indeed painful and pricey, judging from what we’ve seen on the show so far (bleeding, drooling, swelling, numerous injections in the same face, etc.) but, according to Rusher, he has no shortage of clients eager to play the pincushion for his beautification services.

“This is a Mecca of this kind of stuff,” he said of Los Angeles. “A lot of people out here rely on their looks to get parts or job in modeling in acting. I think it’s safe to say on either coast, Miami, New York, L.A., these things are extremely popular and I think they’re becoming popular everywhere. This is kind of the non-extreme makeover. It’s what people can do for $300 or $3,000, not $30,000, on a facelift. It’s something you can do and look great in a few days or a week or even later that day.”

For the record, we can barely afford Noxema, but the rest of you can go on ahead with your bad selves if your wallets can swing it.

Like the “injectables” Rusher uses in his profession, there are some side effects he has had to contend with in putting his business on television.

“What we’ve had to say on the show is ‘freezer’ and ‘filler’ because the FDA wouldn’t allow us to say Botox or Juvederm or Restylane,” Rusher explained. “So we had to be generic, which made me crazy because I sound like an idiot in my mind when I say I’m going to put freezer in your face. But any kind of dermal filler, I can do. The only thing I don’t really do is fat or silicone.”

Not so long ago, most people wouldn’t be so candid about any work they had done to improve or maintain their looks. But Rusher said these days the average person on the street (who can afford these treatments), as well as celebrities, are more open about the subject.

“When you see someone else who is close to your age and they look great, you want to know why,” Rusher said. “People are starting to finally realize that there are things that they can do. You’d fix you eyes or teeth if they were bad. If you don’t like that frown line, you can now get rid of that without too much of anything: 20 units of Botox and a couple hundred dollars, and in about a week it’s gone. I think I’m taking the stigma out of this. It’s something that lot of people make fun of. And like anything else, what can be done can be overdone. We’re not going to be overdoing people. If anything, I show a woman that has had too much stuff put in and I’ve removed it.”

Rusher added that while there are people who come to him with either impossibly high expectations of what he can do or have had too much work done already, those cases aren’t as common as they used to be.

“I explain things a lot better after doing this for 14 years,” he said. “Also people are not wanting as much or they are concerned about that look of ‘being done.’ But I still get one every once in a while who is trying to get a facelift out of it or has something that only surgery is going to fix. A lot of people will go find people that will promise them anything. There’s an old saying: If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. That’s why you see these people with so much stuff shoved into their face.”

Rusher also warns about trying to get the kind of work he does outside of a medical facility or with less than fully trained professionals.

“A lot of it has to do with monetary issues; someone is doing it cheap,” Rusher commented on the increasing cases of people getting bargain treatments. “Even some of my celebrity clients were going to someone who was doing silicone in the kitchen of some other movie star’s home. That ended up being a bad deal because they weren’t using human-grade silicone. People do need to be careful where they’re going.”

Pretty Hurts is on at 8 p.m. Saturdays on Logo. For more information, visit www.randrusher.com or www.logoonline.com.