Jill Zarin, before and after her "liquid facelift"
Rob Loud/Getty, Michael Loccisano/Getty
04/19/2011 at 12:00 PM EDT
When Jill Zarin showed up at the TV Land Awards last week, her fresh face and narrower nose sparked speculation that the The Real Housewives of New York City
star had plastic surgery.
What's her secret? "I have a liquid facelift every six months," Zarin tells PEOPLE. "It really works. No knives!"
A "liquid facelift" is "just using injectables," says Zarin, who started visiting Dr. Patricia Wexler a year ago to get the procedure. Rather than using a filler to tackle individual smile lines, the dermatologist says she lifted Zarin's face by injecting Restylane along the jaw line and up along the sides of her face. The procedure can cost between $1,000-$3,000 per visit.
"I won't say it doesn't hurt," says Zarin, 47. "But it's 100 percent worth it. She took ten years off my face."
The Housewife says she's been getting Botox in her forehead and between her eyes for 10 years – and more recently, in her neck. "I'm scared I'm going to get a turkey neck," she says. "It runs in my family."
As for her new nose, Zarin says it's not needles or knives, but rather the work of her new hair and makeup artist, Jim Crawford.
"He put brown contouring makeup on my nose and thinned it out," she says.
Crawford explains the makeup magic: "We also made her face look thinner by airbrushing the sides and hairline two shades darker," he says. "Before she was just using TV makeup, which didn't give any dimension."
Getting rid of bangs also changed up the Housewife's look. "With the bangs down, the nose takes up the largest percentage of her face," Crawford explains.
Though proud of her surgeon-free makeover, the TV star doesn't claim she'll stick to injectables forever. "All the sudden if I woke up with jowls, that's it," she says. "I'm going under the knife."