With the rise of the Instagram makeup trends, lip fillers have gained popularity among young women that strive to get Kylie Jenner-inspired full lips enhanced by her signature matte lip kits. Temporary lip fillers help women struggle against their insecurities and instantly get a bigger pout that also looks natural.
Whether you appreciate a woman’s natural beauty or are thinking of plumping up your lips, below you can discover everything you need to know about lip fillers, whether they are worth it, what lip fillers actually are, types of temporary lip fillers and any side effects lip injections may have.
In this article:
- What Are Lip Fillers?
- What Is in a Lip Injection? Types of Lip Fillers
- Lip Filler Eraser Options
- Consultation to Get Lip Fillers
- Is It Painful to Get Lip Fillers?
- Recovery Post Lip Injections
- Side Effects of Lip Fillers
- Lip Injection Costs
- How Long Do Lip Fillers Last?
- Makeup Tips for When You Have Lip Fillers
- Important Information on Lip Fillers
What Are Lip Fillers?
Lip fillers are substances that are injected into the lips to give them a fuller appearance that is more natural than implants. Getting lip fillers is considered ‘lip augmentation’, and it is very popular because it is quick, relatively comfortable, easy, and the visible enhancement is flattering and youthful on nearly every face. Lip fillers are typically applied through injections, although there are other techniques, like using cannulas.
Though minor, a lip injection with what is considered a soft tissue filler is still considered plastic surgery. The procedure itself is considered minimally invasive and is essentially classified as an outpatient surgery. After your appointment, you can just go on with your day as you need to.
Going for lip fillers is a completely convenient and natural looking augmentation that does not require significant downtime, like permanent makeup. This is not to say that you can go for an appointment the afternoon of an event – your lips will need time to settle. At worst, there can be an allergic reaction, but this is incredibly rare, especially with the use of HA fillers rather than other options.
What Is in a Lip Injection? Types of Lip Fillers
There are several different lip filler options that are used in lip augmentation procedures. As cosmetic science and medicine continue to advance, the options will only continue to get better, evolving into a variety of more comfortable procedures and more natural looking results.
There are temporary lip injection options, which is recommended to be tried first, just in case it turns out you want to keep your original look. Let’s start with the contents of a temporary lip augmentation first.
Hyaluronic acid (HA) fillers are designed to create a fuller and more pronounced pout immediately, but the results actually reach the anticipated fullness in 3 to 4 days. This is a temporary lip augmentation that will last for approximately six months.
This is a result of how the hyaluronic acid works. Over the following few days the hyaluronic acid pulls tiny amounts water into the site of the injection for a look just slightly more pronounced and natural than when you left your appointment.
HA fillers are used to erase fine lines and wrinkles as well as create fuller lips. Most of the ingredients for the different brands are essentially the same, and the HA lip fillers in the syringe have a smooth, gel like consistency.
Some of the more well known HA lip fillers on the market are:
- Juvederm is a major favorite that is reputed to be the best option for adding volume to the lips. The appearance post procedure is smooth and predictable, very natural and flattering. Not only will the lips appear fuller, but also subtly smooth. This lip filler comes in two types – Juvederm Ultra and Juvederm Ultra Plus.
- Restylane is said to be an excellent lip filler option for adding structure and definition to lips. This is especially crucial for those who lack definition in their lips, so they appear to have little to no lips at all. This is a great option for those looking to enhance their vermillion border, which is the section of the lips that marks the difference between the surface of the lips and the rest of the surrounding skin. Again this lip filler comes in two options – Restylane-L and Restylane Silk.
- Prevelle Silk
- Belotero Balance
HA lip fillers are the most popular for several reasons.
- You can erase the effects of the procedure immediately if you don’t like the results! If you don’t like how it looks, you can massage your lips (or the injection site), and the results will dissipate or you can have hyaluronidase injected, which will break down and dissolve the HA lip filler. This will actually work for any HA injections in the face.
- HA lip fillers last longer than other lip filler options, between six and eight months on average.
- HA lip fillers create a more pleasant natural look and feel by creating an ideal shape and fullness to the lips. The volume and structure are easier to control and create.
- Hyaluronic acid is a substance that can be found naturally in the body. HA lip fillers are safer because of this.
- Some formulations include lidocaine to make the procedure more comfortable. Others instead use a local anesthetic topical first, then the injection of the HA filler.
- The HA lip fillers can be injected gradually in order to create the desired effect through several treatments.
- Lumps, bumps and bruising with HA lip fillers are minimal, and when occurring, they are quickly and easily resolved without extra treatment.
- Side effects of HA lip fillers are minimal to nonexistent because they are built to mimic and work the same way the hyaluronic acid in your body does. Due to the design of the HA fillers, allergic reactions are also unlikely. Any sensitivity or allergy to lidocaine should be brought up with the administering doctor.
Collagen Lip Fillers
Collagen lip fillers are a tried and true method that works more permanently through multiple visits. The same can be said of fat transplant lip injections for a fuller, more lasting pout that can be built up to create the look that you want. Both filler options are considered to be natural.
If you choose to use an outside source of collagen such as bovine collagen, the procedure is still the same, with the collagen injected into the lips and massaged into place. Collagen lip injections are a perfected option.
Collagen injections, especially on the face, have been performed for decades, and are a perfected technique. Collagen has become a lot less popular, even though it is longer lasting thanks to the comfort and natural appearance of HA fillers.
Fat replacement injections are a more permanent lip augmentation option but can take several treatments. The fat from one part of your body can be extracted and placed into your lips, but just as with any other graft or transfer, the fat will need immediate blood supply.
In many cases, doctors use micro cannulas for fat transfer lip augmentations. These types of lip augmentations can take a few visits, but the results are meant to be permanent.
Permanent Silicone Lip Fillers
Permanent silicone lip fillers are lip shaped implants that can be inserted through two very miniscule incisions in the lip. The silicone can be removed and is much more cost effective than a temporary lip filler or several treatments of temporary fillers.
The silicone is designed to create the perfect shaped lips and to maintain in shape and beauty. They are pre-made, so if your doctor performs permanent lip enhancement as well, they may have a few sets on hand so that you can take a look and feel before they are put into your lips at your leisure.
It is the primary recommendation amongst professionals that you should try living with plumper options of an HA filler and if you know you will continue to do the temporary lip injections, it is time to consider silicone lip fillers. They can range in cost from $3000 up ending around $5000 plus.
Lip Filler Eraser Options
One of the biggest benefits to the use of an HA lip filler is that should you change your mind, no one will ever know that you had lip injections if you don’t want them to. If you don’t like the look, you can choose to massage the filler out over the next few days (during which you would typically be trying not to disturb your lips too much).
If you hate it on sight, you can request the doctor to ‘erase’ the filler by injecting hyaluronidase to immediately break down the filler. The hyaluronidase will completely break down the injected gel leaving nothing behind but your original lip, and perhaps a bit of soreness later on from the injection.
After the body has broken down the filler over a few months, the procedure needs to be done again, as the additional volume and structure will fade and be lost. If you decide not to continue using lip fillers, your lips won’t look deflated, but will return to their normal size and shape perfectly. As the body breaks down the HA, the lining of the lip and the actual lip will retract back to its original state 100%.
There are no worries about looking overdone, being forever regretful or uncomfortable or your lips sticking out past your nose. Everything involved with the use of HA lip fillers is about being as natural as possible.
Concerns about wrinkly, deflated lips are baseless with HA lip fillers. Your lips will never look unnatural with a proper application, and even as the filter is broken down naturally over towards the end of a few months, you will never experience unsightly lips.
Consultation to Get Lip Fillers
At your consultation, you can discuss all of your concerns with the doctor, typically the same doctor performing your procedure. You can have them walk you through the process from start to finish and take a look at photos of other patients.
If you like, bring in a few photos with examples of what you want your lips to look like. Make certain at least one picture is of you in makeup if you normally wear it.
Your doctor at this point will also discuss what size and shape will look most natural or will work most appropriately based on the shape and volume you want, as well as what you already have. You can learn the estimated and possibly even the exact cost of your lip augmentation. You can discuss your intents as well.
Preparations to Get Lip Fillers
If you have decided to get lip fillers and have found the right doctor to perform this, make sure you avoid taking any painkillers, Vitamin E and fish blood ten days prior to your procedure. They usually thin the blood, which can lead to bruising and bleeding post the procedure.
You should also avoid exercising on the day of your procedure, getting a facial or a face massage, which all can increase the blood flow to your face.
Is It Painful to Get Lip Fillers?
If you have chosen the right doctor and the right place to get lip fillers at, the treatment won’t be painful and it’s completely safe to get lip fillers. A numbing cream will be applied prior to lip injections, and you might feel no pain, but just a sharp pinch as the needle penetrates the skin.
Overall, the entire procedure is quite subtle and comfortable, while the results are beautiful lips as long as a great specialist has been involved.
What to Expect at Your Appointment to Get Lip Fillers
The procedure takes 15 to 20 minutes on average, but can go up to an hour with a recovery time that can range from 2 days to a week.
Upon arrival, there will be the paperwork that everyone fills out about their medical history, allergies etc. Once you are taken into the back, the real fun begins!
If you did not already talk about it in depth during your consultation, you will have the chance to discuss how you would like the overall shape and appearance of your lips to look. Be open-minded – your doctor will have your best interest in mind and will tell you whether your goal shape and size will appear obvious or unrealistic. After you have discussed your final appearance goals, it is time for the actual procedure.
Most doctors will offer a local anesthetic, which takes about 10 minutes to fully take effect if you choose it. Once your lip and the surrounding area are numb, the lip injections are started.
The number of injections you will receive is based on how you want your lips to look. Most doctors will massage the gel in after each injection to ensure there are no lumps or bumps and that the actual appearance is smooth, full and even.
Once all of the lip injections are completed, you will most likely get an ice pack and instructions on how to care for your lips for the next few days.
Recovery Post Lip Injections
Post-op you’re going to have rules to minimize the use of your lips for the next 48 hours. No kissing for example, no lip plumpers on your cosmetically plumped lips, so be careful which lipstick you use if you must.
In the great majority of cases there will be bruising and tenderness with a bit of swelling, but your lips will settle comfortably within the first 48 to 72 hours. Once the numbing agent wears off, your mouth can feel tight, sore and swollen, but it won’t last. Once the results are settled, you have anywhere from a quarter of a year to possibly even half a year to enjoy you plump, smooth lips.
Side Effects of Lip Fillers
The lips are one of the most delicate and sensitive parts of the face and as such require a steady, practical hand that can handle this type of artistry. The most crucial element to the possible side effects of lip fillers is the level of experience and talent that the administering physician has.
The best place to start is with a licensed, trained, board certified professional who specializes in plastic surgery and has experience with the product you want. Check out before and after photos of their patients, reviews and experiences by other patients and any additional information you can find.
Lip fillers are an augmentation with little to no poor effects when done properly. The most common negative side effects of lip fillers used in lip augmentation are slight swelling and bruising that can last an hour or a few days. This isn’t a seriously noticeable thing on most people and will not inhibit patients going on with their regular day.
More serious side effects of lip fillers can include:
- Swelling or bruising that lasts up to 10 days.
- Asymmetry where the lips appear different sizes on one side or the other or the top and the bottom lips do not appear to match.
- Tissue loss from the injection being put into a blood vessel
- Stiffened lip
- Allergic reaction (itching, swelling and redness)
Costs of Lip Fillers
On average, lip augmentation can cost anywhere from $500 to $2000. The factors that decide the cost are the doctor, location, and can even include the number of lip injections that you get at your appointment. To get the most accurate pricing you should call the office of the doctor you are looking to get the procedure performed at.
Doing your research when it comes to getting a lip augmentation case could save you a lot of money. Most insurance companies do not cover the cost of lip augmentation, but it is best to check first.
Making a cost inquiry should be a part of your research prior to setting your appointment, and can be done very easily. Most offices can give you the information on the costs of getting lip fillers right over the phone!
How Long Do Lip Fillers Last?
The length of time that your lip fillers will last is subject to how your body breaks down the filler. Most people can see results that last from three months to six months, though some people have actually had appreciable results for close to a year.
Makeup Tips for When You Have Lip Fillers
Testing out the ‘fuller lip’ look is a common thing for those not ready to take the step up for lip injections just yet. You can test out a fuller lip look in multiple ways.
- Step 1: Paint plumper lips! Painting your lips to look plumper is just a matter of technique. You can create an optical illusion in several ways. Line your lips right above your cupid’s bow (on your upper lip) and line under the fullest part of your bottom lip as well. Lightly fill in the space between the two (top and bottom lip) with the lip pencil, and then apply lipstick over it evenly. Add in just a bit of shimmer in the center and top with a gloss. Blending your lipstick to include a lighter color in the center of the lip makes them appear plumper.
- Step 2: Wear a lip plumper! Many different lipsticks include a lip plumper, but if yours does not, no worries! There are many lip plumping glosses on the market as well. There are essentially two different types of lip plumpers.
- The first type of lip plumper works by irritating the skin of the lips, so they can be uncomfortable to wear but they do work. The effect is temporary, with the results disappearing about an hour after it is removed. If you really want to see your look with slightly fuller lips, you can do so with the right lip plumping gloss or lipstick. Look for ingredients like ginger, caffeine, cinnamon, wintergreen, menthol and capsaicin. If you don’t know, capsaicin is the chemical in peppers that makes them spicy. Included in the ingredients will be something designed to smooth the lips as well. Lip plumpers are relatively inexpensive and easy to apply. Be cautious about overuse though as wearing too often can cause your lips to peel and in severe cases, you can develop ulcers on your lips.
- The second type of lip plumper is supposed to work towards long-term results and lasts longer than just the time you are wearing it. These types of lip plumpers utilize palmitoyl oligopeptides in order to trigger natural production of collagen and elastin in your lips. This will ultimately make your lips look fuller and softer longer.
- Step 3: Overline your lips! This is a technique used a lot where you draw outside of your natural lip line in order to create the shape and size that you like. This will not work with a lip-gloss; you’ll have to use a richly colored opaque lipstick for best results.
After Lip Augmentation
After the initial 48 hours of getting lip fillers you should be able to wear your lipsticks, glosses and liners. As long as the bruising has faded, you should be able to take advantage of the rosy aftereffects of the lip injections.
Immediately you will notice that your lips appear rosier after getting lip fillers, so if you are comfortable with it, try out gloss with your first look. Wear a moisturizing gloss, perhaps with a touch of shimmer and enjoy your new lip shape and volume!
It is likely that you will want to put on your lipstick with muscle memory, especially if you don’t wear a lot of makeup, but don’t! Take your time and enjoy applying your liner and lipstick, your gloss, even your chapstick to your new fuller pout. You wanted to adjust your appearance and you have – now enjoy the extended canvas and how beautiful your lipstick looks applied on your fuller pout.
If you were previously afraid to wear darker, richer colors for fear of making your mouth look smaller, give them a try now. You’ll likely love the results.
Try to keep your makeup balanced, as you have lip fillers. A smoky eye and a gloss will still show off your full lips, but won’t overpower your look. A bold red lip and a classic cat eye or even tightlined eyes with lashes can be dynamic and profoundly beautiful.
Test out the new proportions and balance off your facial feature with techniques like adding a dab of highlighter to your cupid’s bow and the center of your bottom lip.
Plastic surgeons, dermatologist and cosmetic facial surgeons are all specialists that can administer lip injections. Make certain the one you visit is board certified and has great reviews.
Ask for before and after pictures of lip fillers during the consultation. Be thorough, because this is work that is done on your face. Who performs the procedure is as important as what the procedure is performed with and how the procedure is performed.
Photos via Instagram