The main reason I started blogging was so I could share the insider tips of the beauty world and all my insights with you guys. Lip fillers are probably the hottest beauty treatment right now, so I wanted to share my personal experience with lip fillers so you guys can have the best experience if you’re planning to get them. But before I go into detail, I just want to stress that with any cosmetic procedure, it’s something you should definitely put a lot of thought into. It should also be 100% your decision, and if it’s your personal choice, don’t let other people’s opinions change that. I’ve been having fillers on and off for the last five years, and there’s SO much I wish I’d known before I decided to get fillers. From working with some of the best plastic surgeons in the world, here’s everything I’ve learned that you should know before you make an appointment:
1. Research the doctor
This is probably the most important thing, and it’s definitely something I should’ve looked into more for my first time. My first experience was actually a total disaster – the doctor inserted way too much filler, and in all the wrong areas, so instead of a perfectly plump pout, my lips just looked uneven. Please learn from my mistake; read the reviews, study the pictures, and most importantly make sure it’s a board-certified surgeon or board-certified dermatologist specializing in aesthetics. A good doctor will be able to ensure your smile remains in balance and that you look authentic. We know it’s tempting to go for that Groupon deal, but you really want to make sure your surgeon or doctor knows what they’re doing.
2. Take it slow, you can always get fillers topped up
When it comes to fillers, take it slow so you avoid having overly filled lips that you might regret. Some surgeons allow you to use half a syringe and come back a couple of weeks later for the rest if you decide that’s what you want.
3. You really need to think, how big?
Before you even make the appointment, you need to think long and hard about how you want your lips to change. For me, I wanted both my upper and bottom lip to look fuller for a ‘juicier lips’ look. A lot of the time, people feel as if they’ve wasted their money as their lips haven’t changed enough or have changed too dramatically. If you do want a noticeable difference, make sure you communicate this with your cosmetic surgeon. For a juicier lip, they should insert the filler directly into your lips, but if you want something more natural, they’ll most likely insert the filler on the rim of your lips.
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4. Prep before your appointment
The week before your appointment you can’t take any aspirin, anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen or aleve, fish oil, multivitamins or vitamin E. Each of these vitamins or medications will thin your blood and can cause major bruising post-appointment. This is why it’s also best to avoid alcohol or caffeine 24-hours before and after your appointment as this will help reduce swelling. I like to take Arnica tablets – a homeopathic herb that helps reduce bruising – pre and post-appointment.
5. Carefully choose the type of filler and how much
If you rewound ten years, the only real type of filler on offer was collagen. But now there are loads of variations; the most common type is hyaluronic acid fillers like Juvederm and Restylane, which I would definitely recommend. For a plump, pillowy pout try Juvederm, which is a newer variation of the Hyaluronic acid filler. Or, if you want a more natural look, Restylane is a great option. The usual amount of filler per session is one syringe, which is normally 1 ml. If you want that “Kylie Jenner lip” effect, you would probably need to go up to two or three ml.
6. The procedure is super quick and the results are almost instant
The appointment usually only takes an hour and tbh a lot of that hour is just speaking with your cosmetic surgeon so they can get an idea of what you really want. Your doctor will then pinpoint using a white marker where they’ll insert the filler. I personally think it’s better to insert into the lip, rather than the rim, as this can cause that indentation above the top lip, which can be a bit of a giveaway. But regardless of where they insert it, you’ll be able to see the results pretty much straight away, but do expect some bruising – they won’t be snap-ready immediately, although any swelling should go down within three days.
If you experience any bumps in your lips, that’s a sign that the filler is too close to the surface: It usually goes away, but it can be corrected. If you’ve had Juvederm fillers, after 48 hours you can very gently massage your lips with a lip balm to smooth out bumps, but it’s best to consult with your surgeon first.
7. Avoid numbing cream… if you can bear the pain
Most people get a numbing cream before the filler is inserted to help cope with the pain – trust me, it’s painful, especially on the Cupid’s bow! But if you can take it, I would advise against it because the numbing cream naturally swells your lips. This means it’s a lot harder to gauge the true effect of the filler when it’s being done. To help see the real impact the filler is having, I find it really helpful to snap the process, to see what it looks like in photos – I once got fillers that looked great in real life but in photos, it was just too much.
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8. Know the risks of fillers
As lip fillers are often referred to as a lunchtime procedure, people assume it’s completely risk-free. There’s still a possibility of an allergic reaction and it could lead to an infection. If you’re prone to cold sores, having lip filler could trigger one, so it’s best to take cold sore medication three days before your treatment.
9. Expect to splash the cash – it’s not cheap
The thing is, lip fillers aren’t permanent and they usually only last for six months. If you like the effect and continually get your lips plumped it can get super expensive. One syringe can cost anywhere between $400 to $1000, and it can actually be quite an addictive process; it’s usually never a one-off, so consider how much you could be spending if you’re paying that much once a year.
10. You can reverse the effects of fillers
I’ve got to admit that the first time I ever got fillers, I hadn’t put anywhere near as much research into it as I should have. I wish I’d known that if you opt for hyaluronic acid-based fillers (which are the most common), you can get the effects dissolved with hyaluronidase, an enzyme that speeds up the degradation of hyaluronic acid, quickly and safely.
Dr. Doris Day’s Top Tips:
For some final words of wisdom, we spoke to cosmetic and surgical dermatologist, Dr. Doris Day, known for her natural approach to beauty, for her top tips on how to have the perfect filler experience:
- Go slow. Doing relatively smaller amounts of filler over two or three, or even more, sessions will help your lips maintain and enhance their shape, and avoid that duck-lipped look.
- Know that your teeth support your lips so uneven teeth can make for uneven lips, so consider speaking to a dentist first.
- Look at the face as a whole and try and work out how fuller lips will affect the overall proportions of your face. Sometimes volume loss in other areas can affect the way the lips look, and especially the chin can affect how you see the lips and the balance of lower to the upper lip.
- The most common side effects are bruising and tenderness but there are also important vessels in this area. It’s very important that the person injecting understands anatomy very well and knows how to avoid hitting or getting any product into those vessels to help avoid permanent scarring and disfigurement.
Let us know if you’re tempted to get fillers or if you’ve already had them done. If you’re not sure fillers are the right option for you, you can easily fake fuller lips with a little lip contouring. Check out our lip contouring guide here.