Want perfect lips? Lip fillers are on the rise since famous celebs like Kylie Jenner got plenty of attention for a major lip transformation. It has become one of the most requested facial injectable treatment. Nearly everyone desires soft, kissable lips and a plump, youthful pout.
Lip kits and liners can only take you so far. Plus, makeup comes off at the end of the day. That can be a big surprise for your partner the first time they see you without lip makeup. For patients who want long-term results without the hassle of applying makeup every morning, lip fillers are an ideal solution. This article covers the best three lip fillers today and answers all your questions about getting lip injections.
What makes the ideal lips?
There is a science behind what makes lips look good. According to this medical study, the lips must be in correct proportion. The human eye is very discerning, the study reveals. If the upper lip is too big compared to the lower lip, it gives a fake-looking result.(8) If the lower lip is equal to or thinner than the upper lip, it can be considered less attractive. Even the shape of the Cupid’s bow matters. When it comes to lip enhancement, it is all in the details.
There are numerous lip fillers available, but it takes a skilled injector to give you the perfect shape, size, and proportions for your face. A subtle enhancement with natural results is ideal for most patients. When you see Dr. Beldholm for lip augmentation, you will have a consultation to discuss the results you wish to achieve. Your input is essential, so you will have a chance to be part of the process.
Reasons people get lip fillers
The shape and size of the lips plays a major role in facial attractiveness. Even a minor tweak to the lips can make a big difference. There are many reasons that patients choose to get lip augmentation. While some are seeking a sexy, voluminous pout, most patients simply want to enhance what they’ve got or take a few years off their face. Lip filler is a perfect way to do just that. Fillers can be used to improve lips that are thin, uneven, or poorly defined. It can also correct age-related changes to the lips.
Some people are born with naturally thin lips. While there is nothing wrong with having thin lips, many patients feel it makes them look older. This can be especially problematic for younger patients who simply want to look more their own age. It can be an uphill battle every morning trying to correct thin lips with makeup alone. Many women with thin lips know it is not easy to fake full lips with just makeup. Lip filler corrects thin lips to give patients attractive, youthful volume, and the best part is you can skip the maintenance of makeup every day trying to make them look fuller.
Aging and volume loss
It is common to lose facial volume with age. The lips are no exception. Thin lips make men and women look older. (3) Many patients want to get lip injections to reverse signs of aging. Adding volume to the lips can uplift the face and give you a more youthful look overall. It is amazing what a simple injection can do to make you look a few years younger.
Uneven lip contours (vermilion border)
The line where the lips meet the surrounding skin is called the vermilion border. It tends to get blurry with age. Fuzzy contours cause the lips to lost that attractive, defined look of youth. Lip liner can help correct the problem, but let’s face it. It is hard to find a lip liner that lasts all day. And permanent tattoo makeup is well…permanent. Plus, the results often don’t look natural.
That’s where lip fillers come in handy. For patients who want to solve their lip problems for months at a time (instead of just hours with makeup), adding volume can help make the lip contours appear more defined instantly.
Patients who have uneven lips can sometimes feel self conscious about it. Injectables are an easy way to correct lip asymmetry. Many studies suggest that symmetrical faces are rated more attractive than asymmetrical ones. Stars like Amber Heard and Angelina Jolie are not considered attractive by accident. Face mapping shows that facial symmetry is the key to beauty. (Just for fun, you can analyze your facial symmetry here.) Dr. Beldholm can improve the symmetry and proportions of uneven lips in just one visit.
Types of lip filler injectables and proper technique
There are three products that are considered the holy-grail for lip enhancement. They are made with safe materials and give beautiful results that look natural. The injector’s experience and technique also matters.
Top 3 best lip fillers
The best lip fillers available today are based in hyaluronic acid (HA). Your skin produces HA naturally, making HA lip fillers very safe. The filler will be naturally metabolized by your body over a period of time. There are many lip fillers available, and cosmetic surgeons often have their own preferences. There really is no one best lip filler. Many of them are quite similar, with slightly different HA blends and product thickness. They all tend to be safe, effective, and give predictable results.
- Juvederm Ultra: This is considered the gold standard for lip fillers. It adds fullness and volume instantly. The results last up to 12 months.
- Volbella: This is a product by Allergan in the Juvederm range that is perfect for smoothing the lips and adding slight volume. It is ideal for making lips more youthful in a nice, subtle way due to the thinness of the product. Results usually last up to 12 months.
- Restylane Silk: Restylane is one of the most popular lip fillers used today. Results usually last six months. It can take a few days for the full results to be visible compared to Juvederm, which gives more instant results.
The importance of natural lips
Natural-looking lips are important to patients who are not seeking the Kylie Jenner lip filler look. You have to be careful when getting lip injections. Everyone wants a plump pout, but the duck lips phenomenon is not something most patients want. That is why it is important to choose a qualified cosmetic surgeon. The injector’s technique and choice of product can make a big difference in your results. Overfilling the lips can stretch the skin smooth and give exaggerated contours that look fake. Most patients are not looking for this kind of result. Subtle volume can make you look more attractive and youthful. No one needs to know you had anything done.
Technique for natural lips
The secret to natural-looking lips is to not overfill them. There is a delicate balance between just right and too much. You want the results to be noticeable, but not obvious. It is easy to overfill the lips and give patients a poor result. That is why it is important to be patient and work gradually. At the initial appointment, a conservative approach is best. Fill the lips with the minimum amount product, and see how you like the results. More can always be added later, but if you use too much, you will have to live with the results for several months or get an injection to reverse it.
Common questions about getting lip fillers
If you are getting lip fillers for the first time, it is helpful to know what to expect. These are some of the most common questions patients have about lip injections.
How long do lip fillers last?
This can vary depending on the product. Juvederm Ultra and Volbella usually last up to 12 months, while Restylane Silk lasts up to six months. Collagen filler is not common these days, but those results usually last only three months. Permanent fillers should not be used on the lips.
How many vials do I need?
This varies patient to patient, but the average is 1-2 vials. Most patients prefer to start with 1 ml lip filler to see how they like the results. You can use up to 2 ml lip filler at a time. Any more than that, and there is a risk of overfilling the lips. As a note, a “vial” may also be referred to as a syringe. Also, 1 cc is the same as 1 ml.
What if you want really full lips?
The best advice is to build your way up gradually. It is normal for lips to swell during injection since it is such a sensitive area of the face. This can make it harder to gauge the results, especially if you want to keep adding more and more at once. That is why it is a better to add gradually over time. You can always have more lip filler added a few weeks after the initial injection. Once the swelling goes down fully, you can judge the results better and tweak from there.
Lips can be easily overfilled. It is better to be safe than sorry.
Lip fillers cost
The average price is around $500 to $800. Keep in mind the cost of lip fillers can vary for many reasons. The amount of product you need injected varies person to person. If your lips are very thin, you may need more product to achieve the results you want. Different types of lip fillers usually have different prices. For example, Juvederm results can last up to a year compared to Restylane results lasting only six months, which is often reflected in the price.
An experienced injector may also charge more, but that’s because they can give you better results. Plus, you get the assurance of authentic product that is not overly diluted. With lip fillers, you usually get what you pay for. A deal that seems “too good to be true” may be just that. Even your geographic location can make the price go up or down. Lip fillers Sydney and Brisbane are likely to cost more than areas outside big cities Many injectors charge a flat rate per vial aka syringe. Typically, you will get 1-2 syringes.
Are lip fillers painful?
Lips are rather sensitive, some more than others. It is helpful to use a numbing cream. This can help tame any painful sensations so that injections are manageable. Numbing cream really helps quite a lot. Once the lips are numbed, the lip filler will be gently inserted. It is normal to feel a bit of discomfort. Rather than true pain, the sensation can feel unusual more than anything else. Most patients feel a quick prick and pressure. Tenderness is common afterwards.
Can I wear makeup after getting my lips done?
Yes, it is safe to wear makeup after having lip injections. Makeup can enhance your results even more. Adding shine from lip gloss or even the subtle reflection from satin lipstick can boost light and dimension, drawing the eye to the lips and making them appear even more plump. Lip liner can give your pout an even more youthful, defined look. It is recommended to avoid wearing makeup the same day of treatment, however.
For women who prefer the au naturale look, you can put away your lip kits. When you have lip injections, you can skip lip makeup entirely if you want. The choice is up to you. That is the beauty of it! However, there is no reason you can’t add makeup to enhance your results.
Lip filler side effects
It is important to know what to expect with any cosmetic procedure. Aside from the initial swelling and bruising that results from lip fillers, there can sometimes be other side effects and complications. Many of these lip problems are treatable or will go away on their own with time.
How much swelling is normal after lip fillers?
Your lips will be swollen initially. This can range from slightly bee-stung lips to more intense puffiness. The swelling usually goes down in 4-5 days, but it can take up to two weeks to go away completely. Cool compresses on and off can help reduce swelling. (7) You should notice the swelling go down each day. Because lip swelling is so common, you may want to schedule your appointment on your day off or towards the end of the work day when you can go home afterwards, especially if you are concerned with keeping your lip job discreet. It’s also probably best to run errands before your appointment, not immediately after.
Do lip fillers cause bruising?
Temporary lip bruising is common with lip fillers. Bruising does not mean the injector did a poor job. There are a lot of nerves and vascular structures in this sensitive area. In fact, the lip and mouth area is one of the most sensitive zones of the face. It is no surprise that the delicate skin there bruises so easily. Some areas of your lip may bruise, and others may not. Some patients don’t bruise at all. The good thing is that the bruising from lip fillers is temporary and not dangerous.
How can I reduce bruising and swelling after lip injections?
Bruises and swelling after lip fillers usually take 1-2 weeks to go away completely. Arnica is a supplement that may decrease bruising and swelling. (1) Study results are mixed on arnica’s effectiveness, but it is worth a shot. Take it for five days before and after your appointment for best results. Avoiding aspirin and NSAIDs for five days before and after treatment can also limit bruising.
Mild swelling and bruising may be unavoidable. Be sure to schedule your appointment at least two weeks ahead of any major events to be on the safe side.
List of common side effects
Many patients experience mild symptoms after getting lip injections. The following are very common and usually resolve within a few days, or up to two weeks. This may include:
- Tenderness at the injection site
- Mild bruising
- Temporary asymmetry
Less-common side effects
These adverse risks are less uncommon, but they are still important to know. Luckily, these are typically cosmetic defects that are not dangerous to your health. A discussion of possible complications follows below.
Granulomas are dense, stationary lumps that can sometimes form under the skin. They are generally not inflamed and are painless to the touch. Granulomas are a cosmetic concern only, and most patients do not have to worry about them occurring. If they do occur, corticosteroid injections can help. (7)
Blanching that goes beyond the immediate area of the injection site can signal vascular occlusion. This is uncommon with lip fillers, but still a possibility. If it happens, you can usually notice it right away. Vascular occlusion is caused by injecting in or near a blood vessel or artery, causing compression. (2) Nitroglycerin 2% cream and warm compresses can help in mild cases.(5,6) Hyaluronidase can also be used to dissolve lip fillers that are made from hyaluronic acid should vascular occlusion occur. (4) The sooner it is treated, the better. If your physician detects vascular occlusion during your lip treatment, the injection should be stopped immediately.
Since most products are based in hyaluronic acid (which is naturally made by your skin), allergic reactions are rare. However, some patients are sensitive to certain formulations or even the numbing cream. Facial swelling and puffiness can sometimes occur. That is not to be confused with the initial swelling that is common right after the injection. Again, that is a good reason to approach lip injections conservatively, using the minimal amount of product needed to achieve results. If you have sensitive skin, ask to do a test patch with the numbing cream first.
Again, this is very rare. Skin redness, warmth, and aches are telltale signs of infection. Dr. Beldholm takes safety very seriously. The procedure room is kept extremely clean and only brand new needles will be used. You do not want to get lip injections from anyone other than a cosmetic surgeon who has all the right safety measures in place. Again, this is another good reason to see someone reputable.
Formation of white clusters near the injection site may occur. This is usually painless and often takes a few weeks to a month to resolve. White patches typically fade as the swelling goes down. These spots can also sometimes be drained if they do not resolve on their own.
The lips can look a bit asymmetrical after the initial injection because some areas may just react more than others with swelling. That is normal. After the swelling settles down in a few days to two weeks, some patients may notice mild asymmetry. That can occur if the lips were already asymmetrical to begin with and the product was injected uniformly. It is also possible that a bit more product was injected in a certain area, causing asymmetry. Luckily, adding a drop more filler to the side with less volume can easily correct this.
Fibrosis is a kind of tissue scarring that may occur at the injection site. It can be treated with hyaluronidase-based products to reverse lip filler. In extreme cases, surgical excision can be performed, but this would be exceedingly rare. Fibrosis is a cosmetic condition. Aside from not looking and feeling great, it poses no serious health concerns. Still, you want the best result possible. Seek an experienced injector for all your cosmetic needs.
Safety of lip fillers
You can reduce your risk of problems by seeing a trained injector. It can be tempting to try “medical tourism”, but remember that other countries do not necessarily have the same safety standards as back home. Another reason to avoid medical tourism is that you can’t go back and get a touch up if needed. It can compromise your results and your safety.
Stick with a knowledgeable cosmetic surgeon for all your cosmetic surgery needs to avoid regret, especially with an area that is as sensitive as the lips. Doctor Bernard is an expert in aesthetics and uses a cautious approach to give patients natural results in a safe setting. It is also smart to see a plastic surgeon because some less-scrupulous practitioners may dilute the filler more than they should so they can offer low prices. The trouble is your results won’t be as good if the product is diluted too much. It is best to go somewhere reputable. Your health and safety are just as important as your looks!
Are lip fillers right for you?
Lip fillers are an instant way to make the lips look younger and more aesthetically beautiful. The results can last six months to one year depending on the product. While there are mild side effects and possible complications, it is overall a safe procedure. Lip volumization requires the artistry and expertise of a trained cosmetic surgeon since overfilling the lips can be a problem for novice injectors.
- “Arnica.” Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/integrative-medicine/herbs/arnica.
- Boulle, Koenraad De, and Izolda Heydenrych. “[Full Text] Patient Factors Influencing Dermal Filler Complications: Prevention, a | CCID.” Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology, Dove Press, 15 Apr. 2015, www.dovepress.com/patient-factors-influencing-dermal-filler-complications-prevention-ass-peer-reviewed-fulltext-article-CCID.
- Fanous, Nabil. “Correction of Thin Lips.” Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, vol. 74, no. 1, 1984, pp. 33–41., doi:10.1097/00006534-198407000-00005.
- Funt D, Pavicic T. Dermal fillers in aesthetics: an overview of adverse events and treatment approaches. Clin Cosmet Invest Dermatol. 2013;6: 295–316.
- Grippaudo FR, Pacilio M, Di Girolamo M, Dierckx RA, Signore A. Radiolabelled white blood cell scintigraphy in the work-up of dermal filler complications. Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2013;40:418–25. [PubMed]
- Grzybinski, Sarah, and Elizabeth Temin. “Vascular Occlusion after Hyaluronic Acid Filler Injection.” Clinical Practice and Cases in Emergency Medicine, vol. 2, no. 2, 2018, pp. 167–168., doi:10.5811/cpcem.2018.2.37149.
- Haneke, Eckart. “Managing Complications of Fillers: Rare and Not-so-Rare.” Journal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery, vol. 8, no. 4, 2015, p. 198., doi:10.4103/0974-2077.172191.
- Kim, W. “Two-Dimensional Threshold for Perception of Artificial-Appearing Lips.” JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery, American Medical Association, 1 Sept. 2017, jamanetwork.com/journals/jamafacialplasticsurgery/fullarticle/2617184.