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 one of the most common cosmetics procedures, 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 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. Also, remember that there is a little swelling from the procedure, so it may take a few days to a week to see the final results.
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 look. 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. Make sure you communicate this with your cosmetic surgeon whether you’d like a natural or a more voluptuous look. Depending on how you might like to correct or alter the shape of your lips, or if you simply want them to look a little plumper, this will alter the technique that your doctor uses.
4. Prep before your appointment
The week before your appointment, you shouldn’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 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 go back 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, however, your doctor will know which is best depending on the type of look you would like to achieve. The usual amount of filler per session is one syringe, which is often 1 ml.
If you want that a really full pout, you might need to use more than double the usual amount, but again, this depends from person to person. I definitely recommend that if you do want to go a lot fuller, that you do this in more than one session. You never know, you might prefer a more subtle look.
6. The procedure is super quick and the results are almost instant
The appointment usually only takes an hour, and honestly, 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 might then pinpoint using a white marker where they’ll insert the filler. 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. You can hold a little ice (wrapped in tissue) on your lips to help with the swelling, post-appointment.
If you experience any bumps in your lips, that’s a sign that the filler is too close to the surface, and although it usually goes away, 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 often, a numbing cream is applied 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 using the numbing cream, as sometimes this can cause your lips to naturally swell, which 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 looked way too much.
8. Understand 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. This is another reason that it is especially important to seek a reputable professional who will be able to minimize any risks and talk you through proper aftercare.
9. Expect to splash the cash – it’s not cheap
Lip fillers aren’t permanent, and they usually only last for six months. For some people, they last longer, but depending on your body’s metabolism, they can disappear quickly. If you like the effect, repeat treatments can become 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 or twice 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.