Want Lip Fillers? Here’s Everything You Need to Know
Ten years ago, most women interested in lip fillers were over age 40. But today there’s a growing trend for women in their twenties to get fillers — not because they’ve had volume loss, but because they want to experiment with their features.
Due to celebrity spotlight, “selfie culture,” and society’s increasing nonchalance regarding cosmetic procedures, lip injections are becoming more commonplace — in women of all ages.
But there is an interesting divide in the trend. Older women generally prefer an enhancement to rejuvenate their lips, while younger women go for an enlargement. This could be because younger women are using fillers as signifiers of social status.
Injectables aren’t cheap, and require constant maintenance — so in many circles, the “done” look has become a signifier of affluence.
“Girls in my office have repeatedly said, ‘I want lips like Kylie Jenner’s,'” says Norman Rowe, M.D., a New York City plastic surgeon. The link between wealth, celebrity, and desirability here is apparent. It leaves one wondering… have lip injections become the new designer handbag?
Whatever your motivations are, if you’re considering taking the plunge into fillers, there are a few important things you should know.
Read on to find out how much lip injections cost, how long they last, how they feel, and most importantly… how big you can expect your lips to turn out.
Everything You Need to Know Before Getting Lip Fillers
1. Lip fillers are temporary
Unless you want your lips to deflate back to their natural size, you’ll have to continue getting fillers. Lip injections generally last 4-6 months, but this varies depending on the type of filler and how your body metabolizes it. People who are thinner usually metabolize filler faster — and have to get touch ups more frequently.
2. You have to go up in size gradually
Full lips do not happen overnight. A good doctor will rarely put more than one vial of filler into a new patient. If you’re looking for anything more than a very subtle increase in size, it takes multiple sessions and about 18 months to achieve your desired look.
3. Lip fillers cost thousands of dollars to maintain
One vial of filler costs anywhere between $600-$1,000. Keep in mind that if you want to achieve a significantly larger look, it will take 2-3 syringes per session. Ultimately, price depends on where you live and how much your doctor charges. Don’t go to someone just because they are cheap — otherwise you’re risking having a poorly trained provider inject you.
4. Hyaluronic Acid fillers are the most common
Collagen fillers used to be the norm, but hyaluronic acid (HA) fillers have taken over because they look more natural and are easier to work with. Because collagen fillers are sometimes extracted from bovine (beef) sources, there is a smaller chance of rejection or irritation with hyaluronic acid fillers. Some of the most popular HA based fillers include Restylane, Juvederm, and Volbella.
5. You will bruise and swell
Swelling usually lasts 24-48 hours after the injections and bruising lasts up to a week. Both are very common, even with the best doctors. To minimize bruising and swelling, take arnica tablets before the injections, and ice your lips immediately after. Wear dark lipstick and concealer for the next few days to cover up any bruising.
6. HA fillers can be dissolved
If you don’t like the way your Hyaluronic Acid fillers look, you can get them dissolved with an enzyme called hyaluronidase. But hyaluronidase can potentially dissolve the naturally occurring HA in your lips as well, so you might be left with thinner lips than when you started. Collagen fillers can’t be dissolved and you would have to wait for your body to fully metabolize them.
7. It doesn’t hurt… that bad
You have two choices when it comes to managing pain at the injection site — dental nerve blocks and numbing gel. Dental nerve blocks are lidocaine (anesthesia) injections into the dental nerve that numb your mouth and lips. This numbness generally lasts a few hours — similar to when you go to the dentist — and you won’t feel anything during your session.
Numbing gel on the other hand, is applied topically and only lasts during the procedure — so you may still experience some discomfort. Your lips will feel tender for 2-3 days after the injections regardless of how you numb them.
8. If done correctly, they will feel real
They might feel a little bumpy at first, but the filler should settle after a couple of days. There shouldn’t be a difference between the way real and enhanced lips feel (yes, even when kissing).
9. It can be an addictive process
It’s hard to go back to “deflated” lips after experiencing a fuller pout, so you’re likely to get hooked on getting fillers. It’s not unusual for people to become depressed as their filler metabolizes and their lips decrease in size. “There is an addictive quality to cosmetic surgery that can alter, not just the body, but the perception of what is natural, artificial or beautiful,” says Alexander Edmonds, professor of social and medical anthropology at the University of Edinburgh.
10. Avoid any blood thinners 2 weeks prior to the procedure
Anything that thins your blood can increase your chances of bleeding more during and after the injections. This includes aspirin, ibuprofen, and aleve (although tylenol is fine), fish oil, and vitamin E. Also, do not drink alcohol 24 hours before and after your injections.
11. Don’t exercise for 24-48 hours after getting fillers
You should avoid anything that causes extra blood to flow to your face, or anything that puts pressure on your lips — like facials and massages. Because filler doesn’t fully settle for two days, it has chance of moving if you touch your lips too often after the procedure (which can lead to noticeable bumps).
12. The consultation takes longer than the actual treatment
Expect to spend about half an hour in the doctor’s office, with only ten minutes for the actual procedure. During the rest of the time you’ll discuss your desired look, receive your anesthetic of choice, and ice afterwards. Many call this a “lunchtime” treatment, but make no mistake, there is downtime. You’re very likely to swell and bruise for up to a week after.
13. There are risks
As with any procedure, there are potential side effects. Aside from the possibility of developing lumps, bleeding, and bruising, getting fillers can also trigger cold sores. But it’s not the filler itself that may cause cold sores — it’s the trauma from the needle that aggravates an outbreak.
14. Choose your injector carefully
Legally, injectables do not have to be administered by a trained medical professional. This means you really need to your research to make sure your provider is either a doctor, dermatologist, surgeon, dentist, or nurse.
Don’t just choose the person who offers you the cheapest price — this is your face after all. Lip fillers are pricy, so expect to spend some money on a properly qualified provider with an eye for aesthetics.
15. Keep your expectations realistic
A good injector will create your new lips to be proportional with the rest of your face, which might mean your lips won’t come out as big as you’d hoped. “Most people do not have the face, bone structure or natural anatomy to carry a big or full lip,” says Sydney-based Dermatologist, Dr. Natasha Cook. Often times, a subtle plump not only looks more natural, but actually enhances your beauty instead of distracting from it.
Alternative Methods of Achieving a Plumper Pout
If you’re not quite sure about making the commitment lip fillers require, there are non-invasive methods of achieving a fuller pout — the most popular being lip plumping glosses.
Lip plumpers have been around for many years, but until recently, they’ve been formulated as novelty products that didn’t deliver much volume increase. Some of the most recognizable brands today still use irritating agents like capsaicin (red pepper extract) to temporarily swell the lips. Unfortunately, this often leads to chapped, dry lips — leaving the glosses impractical for those looking for long-lasting, comfortable plumpness.
Luckily, the beauty industry has been shifting away from irritants, and focusing more on restoring lip volume with ingredients that promote cell rejuvenation.
City Beauty is a leader in this innovative type of approach. Its leading product is a lip gloss called City Lips that uses oligopeptide technology and Hyaluronic Acid spheres to noticeably increase lip volume. City Lips comes in 20 gorgeous shades, ranging from opaque, shimmer, and the best-selling clear.
If you recall, Hyaluronic Acid is the same compound used in lip injections, but recent developments in science made it possible to shrink HA into nanomolecules — so it no longer has to be injected to be effective!
Not only that, but the City Lips formula actually continues increasing your lip volume the longer your wear it (users report an average of 3mm increase in 30 days!). It does this by stimulating your own collagen production, replenishing moisture levels, and promoting cell turnover.
Thanks to this innovation, you can now enjoy gorgeous, full lips with no downtime, pain, or discomfort.
And the best part is, City Lips costs only $35 — a tiny fraction of the thousands of dollars you’d spend on lip fillers.
Of course, City Lips won’t give you the same result that 2-3 syringes of filler would, but it’s the perfect solution for those looking to subtly increase their lip volume.
It will give your lips just enough plumpness, without ever leaving them looking fake or “overdone.”
Try it for yourself with a 60-day satisfaction guarantee. You have a full two months to see if you love its plumping benefits, or your money back. (You can find it on the City Beauty website here).
Ultimately, the decision to alter your appearance is up to you. If bigger lips make you feel more confident, that’s something you deserve.
P.S. Do lip fillers look better when they’re undetectable, or are plump lips meant to be shown off? Let me know in the comments below! And please share this post with a friend who you think would find it useful.