Lip fillers are probably the most popular cosmetic treatment right now, and even if you haven’t got them, chances are you’ve thought about trying them. The thing is, it’s kinda scary – what if you don’t like them? They’re not cheap either, they can cost between $400 to $1000, so making sure you’re happy with the final result is really important. So, to make sure yours look as natural as possible and flatter your face and balance with your unique facial features, we spoke to one of New York’s leading dermatologists, and author of Beyond Beautiful, Dr. Doris Day. She told us her pro tips for how to use lip fillers for the most natural and youthful appearance.
1. Consider EVERYTHING not just your lips
Dr. Day told us that “Before I address the lips I evaluate the face as a whole; the teeth and the area around the mouth, including the chin in particular.” She also told us that for beautiful lips you need to take into account your genetics, age group, personality and life style, because “it’s all about attention to details because it’s the little difference that makes the big difference.”
2. If you want more even lips, it might not be filler that you need
For most of us, if we’re not happy with our lips, our first thought is to get fillers, but Dr. Day explained that it could actually be the teeth that are the reason you don’t like your lips, “Very often when lips are flat or uneven, it’s due to the lack of support of underlying teeth. I often see a strong overbite, crooked teeth or teeth that are angled inward and therefore not supporting the overlying lip. We can try to correct the lips, but the results won’t be as good or as long lasting if we don’t address the underlying cause.”
3. You can improve your lips without using filler
Depending on your reason for lip fillers, it could be that fillers aren’t the best option, Dr. Day says “I always study the lips at rest and the lips in animation. Some people have beautiful full lips, but they become small and flat or roll under when they smile, exposing their gums. This can be corrected with a neuromodulator like Botox and the results are fantastic. It is an area of advanced injection technique because there are different types of gummy smile causing the changes you see and also because the treatment can affect the way you speak and pronounce certain sounds like the letter ‘p” or “o”. The results are fabulous when done well!”
4. Use the right type of filler
There are so many types of filler these days – hyaluronic being the most common – and different types have different purposes and you can even layer different fillers for better results. Dr. Day explained that “some fillers are thicker and give more of a fill or augmentation while others are softer and more flexible and help enhance.”
5. If you have smaller lips you should have more sessions
If you have smaller lips, it’s better to have several sessions to achieve your desired level of volume. Dr. Day recommends using “small amounts of a more robust filler to reach the final result and avoid having too much projection and that ‘duck lip’ look. Your doctor can also use a softer filler to enhance and balance the lips and surrounding area. It takes time for the product to settle and there may be swelling for a few hours to a few days after the treatment. There can also be bruising, which can be treated with a laser to speed healing if needed.
6. Your upper and lower lips may need different filler:
Doris recommends that the majority of the lip filler for your top lip should sit between the nasal ala, aka the area between either side of your nose, whereas “the lower lip should be slightly larger than the upper lip, and the bulk of the filler for the lower lip should be within the lines that would drop straight down from one inner eyelid to the other, called the intercanthal distance.”
7. You may need to use filler in your chin
One thing we never thought about before? Well, Dr. Day told us that “as women age, our chin recedes and gets smaller. This can make the lower lip slip back and look smaller and it can make it more difficult to keep the lips together, which forces us to use the muscles that surround the mouth more to push our lips together. This ends up creating upper lip lines.” Mind blown!
“Filling the lower lip without addressing this area makes the lips look unnaturally larger and out of proportion to the face.” So to improve the lips without even touching them Dr. Day says “By adding a filler right into the center of the chin, we can help bring this area back into balance and change the look of the lips before even injecting any product there at all. This has to be done carefully in order to create the proper look. Injected too low it can make the face longer, injected too high and it will look like a bump. There is a sweet spot to inject that looks beautiful and natural and gives lasting results.”
Ultimately getting lip fillers shouldn’t just be about having bigger lips, the goal is to have balance and harmony of your lips and your face for the most natural look. Dr. Day recommends having “a proper aesthetic evaluation along with using the right filler for the right area is very important to restore, reflate and rejuvenate this very sensitive and important part of the face. There is a science to the art of lip injections and for beautiful lasting results see a doctor trained in aesthetics, such as a dermatologist or plastic surgeon.” Lesson learned!
Check out 10 other things you should know before you get lip fillers here.