My Lips Are *Not* Sealed — Everything You Need To Know About Lip Filler

Cierra Miller
My Lips Are *Not* Sealed — Everything You Need To Know About Lip Filler
Photo: Adobe. Design: Cierra Miller/STYLECASTER.

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Lip injections have always been something I thought about but never thought I would actually get. I watched Kylie Jenner get her first lip filler and it seemed so taboo. Years later and I’m surrounded by all the procedures and products working in the beauty industry, I decided to give it a try. I always wanted bigger lips to even out my facial features and give me a good shape for my beloved Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk lip liner. Now I’m basically a pro and giving you all the lip filler dos and don’ts in case you want to try them, too.

Lip filler has become wildly popular over the years and has definitely made its mark in the beauty and social media world. We’ve got lip plumpers, folks over-lining with lip liner, Kylie Jenner and her lip kits, all trying to achieve a bigger pout. But actually going to get lip filler is a very real medical procedure and one you should have all the information about being taking the plunge.

First, let’s get into what lip filler actually is. “All FDA-approved lip filler is made out of hyaluronic acid,” Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon Dr. David Shafer MD, FACS tells me. There are a few brand names such as Juvederm and Restylane. The fillers differ in their type of bonding between the hyaluronic acid molecules. The bonding gives different characteristics such as being hydrophilic, which gives a more pillowy look, and cohesiveness, which can give a more structured or defined appearance.

The most popular is Juvederm Ultra for volumizing lips and Juvederm Volbella for fine-tuning and perioral line smoothing. There are also other hyaluronic acid fillers that are not FDA approved for lips but often used for enhanced effects such as Juvederm Vollure, which is longer lasting than Juvederm Ultra, and Juvederm Ultra Plus, which is thicker than Juvederm Ultra.

I started with ¾ of a syringe of Juvederm Ultra and have added a bit more to equal about a full syringe since volume was most important to me.

lips My Lips Are *Not* Sealed — Everything You Need To Know About Lip Filler

The most common question I get is whether it hurts. Dr. Shafer first applies numbing cream about 10 minutes before injecting and uses this magical vibrating facial tool close to the lip to distract from any pinching and pain. If you are on the fence about getting lip filler because of pain, I would say it’s a three out of 10 (definitely get numbed). The best way to describe the feeling is like a bee sting or a pinch for a few seconds. I had minor bruising my first time getting them, but every other time I got a touch up I did not experience any bruising.  Another benefit is that you can always get it dissolved if it’s not for you. It’s very customizable.

There are always risks when it comes to medical procedures, though. I asked Dr. Shafer about any potential risks with lip fillers. “Risks are low when patients are injected by experienced injectors,” he says. “It’s best to see a board-certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist who specializes in cosmetic injections. Board certification is important for results as well as patient safety.” Some possible side effects include temporary bruising and swelling.
“In very unlikely circumstances an injection is placed around or within a blood vessel which can lead to tissue compromise,” Dr. Shafer says. “An experienced injector is trained in avoiding this complication and immediate treatment if needed.” Phew!

Because lip filler isn’t permanent, it lasts a different amount of time for everyone depending on how your body reacts and dissolves the filler. For me, it’s lasted more than a year now and I just recently asked for a little plump to define some areas losing some volume. I’ve also noticed the fine lines and wrinkles in my lips have been smoothed out which makes my lipstick look amazing.

Below, some quick Dos and Don’ts I’ve learned about lip filler.

Do: Bring a nice lip balm.

After your procedure, the skin of your lips is stretching and needs some extra moisture. Some of my favorite lip balms include Tatcha The Kissu Lip Mask ($28 at Tatcha) and Summer Fridays Lip Butter Balm ($22 at Sephora).

Don’t: Bring in a photo of Kylie Jenner.

Your lips are unique to your face and someone else’s lips are typically not going to fit your features. Let your doctor do their job and customize the shape perfectly for you.

Do: Go to a reputable doctor.

“An injector should have a busy injection practice focused on cosmetic injections,” says Dr. Shafer. “This is not a time for bargain shopping for special deals. As in most cases, you get what you pay for.”

Don’t: Forget to ice.

There will be swelling and bruising. In my experience, it gets better each time I go. My bruising stopped and the swelling only lasts a day but of course, everyone is different.

Do: Your research on pricing.

Lip filler typically ranges between $500 and $1,200 depending on where you live.

Do: Remember, all lips are beautiful.

You don’t need lip filler. It’s your body and you decide what’s right for it!

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