Lip augmentation is a cosmetic procedure that can give you fuller, plumper lips. These days, injectable dermal filler is the most commonly used method of lip augmentation. There has been an explosion in the popularity of this procedure over the last few years fuelled by high profile internet celebrities such as Kylie Jenner along with the social media/selfie/photo sharing app culture. It is always worth doing your research and being well informed before making any decisions; at Live Young Cosmetics we offer any clients considering lip augmentation with a thorough consultation, I will discuss some of the most common points raised here:
Are lip fillers safe?
As a procedure, lip enhancement is clinically very safe; however I always treat the lips with more caution than anywhere else on the face. We will use only FDA-approved Hyaluronic Acid-based filler such as Juvederm or Restylane as not only is HA a naturally-occurring substance in the body meaning that any adverse reactions to it are extremely rare, it’s also dissolvable which can be reassuring should the patient be unhappy with the outcome.
What about the dreaded ‘trout pout’?
Examples of certain celebrities sporting what’s become known as a 'trout pout' is mainly due to the type of filler that was used, in Leslie Ash’s case for example a permanent filler was used that she then had an allergic reaction to which is extremely unlucky. That very unnatural aesthetic can also be due to practitioners not managing their patient’s expectations and injecting regardless of whether their particular lip shape and size is suited to it. The method of injection and where the filler is placed (for example if the vermillion border is enhanced or not) will impact the final result and whether the look is natural or not.
How to find a reputable practitioner?
Do your research, take your time to speak to the practitioner and never feel pushed into anything. A reputable clinic will encourage a consultation procedure which will focus on you as an individual rather than showing you generic before and afters of what can be done. Everyone’s lips are different and it’s the practitioner’s job to manage your expectations. The procedure is a combination of science and art therefore the injector needs to be skilled in both these fields.
The pain factor?
Injections are never going to be totally painless but they’re also not quite as eye-watering as you might think. We use a topical numbing cream on the lips and the fillers themselves usually contain a small amount of local anaesthetic which makes the discomfort levels very manageable.
How long do they last?
Hyaluronic acid (HA) fillers such as Restylane and Juvederm typically last 6-9 months.
Juvederm Volift differs from earlier HA products and can last 18 months in the lips. Like Voluma and Volbella, Volift utilizes unique Vycross technology; combining both high and low molecular weight HAs into a highly cross-linked gel. The cross-linking of these products results in a soft, but very robust and long-lasting filler. As a results, Voluma (cheeks) can last up to 24 months, Volift 18 months, and Volbella 12 months.
After two or three procedures there is inevitably a tissue stimulation response which means that your lips may never truly return to their original pre-treatment size.
What’s the downtime?
How your lips will react to being injected varies, but there is typically some swelling and discomfort that lasts a day or so. Immediately after treatment the area may feel numb due to the anaesthetic and is likely to appear slightly red and feel tender so I generally recommend that our clients don’t plan a special event in the few days after a treatment. It is safe to use make-up to disguise any possible bruising.
Occasionally the initial swelling may appear slightly uneven, despite the fact that the final result is symmetric. Cool compresses can be helpful for the first 48 hours in helping to reduce bruising and swelling.
How big is too big?
I often get patients coming in clutching pictures of celebrities’ lips that they love but a good practitioner will be able to advise you on what will best suit your face and lip shape. There's such a thing as a scale of lip fullness from one to five and I personally would never go above one or two points bigger than your natural lips. Your practitioner will take into account your profile and the natural projection of your lips as well as how they look front-on. Respecting your natural lip-shape and the ratio of your top and bottom lips is also an important part of the assessment and in my opinion shouldn’t be tampered with too much as that’s when it starts to look fake.
How much do they cost?
Prices vary greatly depending on the clinic, at Live Young Cosmetics we offer lip augmentation for as little as £190 and it is always administered by a fully qualified and GMC registered medical doctor.