Thanks to celeb-u-taunts like Kylie Jenner, and their somewhat affordable prices, lip injections have become the latest must-have beauty accessory. But why are so many women flocking to get it done? And why is there still a taboo around openly having the procedure?
To get answers, I partnered with the amazing ladies from Perscription Skin Care, where I not only got my very own lips ‘done’ to see what all the fuss is about, but the very talented Angela Frazer answered everything you ever needed to know about getting your lips done.
What did I just put in my lips and why did we go with that option?
The product was Juvederm Volift. I recommended this as it is a lovely soft product and one of my favorite products to use when treating the lips for enhancing the volume of the lips. I am sure you will agree, that it feels very natural in the lips, and some fillers are firmer which is why I like the Volift (keeps lips soft and kissable). I also often use this, as it is a very versatile product and can be used in other areas on the face e.g. if someone does not need the whole syringe in their lips, the remainder can be used to enhance other areas such as the cheeks, or to soften nasolabial folds (the lines that run from the corners of the nose down to the mouth), or to lift the corners of the mouth.
How long should it last?
Up to 18 months. Even with the regular Juvederm product, we would say results tend to last 6-12 months, but I find these fillers often last much longer for patients than what we say.
How common is the option I went with?
For my patients, I often recommend this product or Juvederm ultra XC when treating the lips. Each patient is different and depending on what their lips are like, and what their goal is, directs my choice of products. I also use Volbella, another Juvederm product in lips, when patients want a subtle enhancement (almost a lip gloss effect) and to define the border/outline of the lips, and treat the surrounding vertical lip lines. We are fortunate to have some great choices, so there is something to suit everyone.
What can be done if you get them done and you hate them?
I have been treating patients with dermal fillers for 20 years, and have NEVER injected a permanent filler into anyone. I always say ‘permanent fillers could result in a permanent problem”. I only use fillers made from non-animal hyaluronic acid, as they have such a well-established safety history and we can use a product called Hyalase to dissolve the filler if someone really didn’t like their result. It would be unusual to have to do this, as if you go to an experienced injector and have a thorough consultation to have an assessment and discuss your goals then you would expect to love the result.
How much would standard lips set you back in NZ?
At Prescription Skin Care, between $735 and $815 depending on which product is recommended.
One thing that drew me to lip injections, was that they seem to be growing rapidly in popularity-yet so many are very secretive about it, even more so than botox. Why do you think this is?
Women have had beauty secrets for years! I think a lot of it is that we fear being judged by friends and family. Judged on many factors such as, wasting money, being vain, “cheating” as far as that you may then look better than friends etc. I do think this is slowly changing. Years ago women used to hide the fact that they had their hair coloured to cover grays(often choosing a colour very similar to their natural colour to get away with it). Now no one hides the fact they colour their hair. With fillers to the lips (and other facial areas), it is about people enhancing their appearance, which of course has always been done with make up and clothes etc. How we look affects how we feel, and patients often report, that although results may be subtle, to keep a nice natural result, it makes a huge difference for them and how they feel.
Of course, I have to ask, have you noticed an increase in clients for this, since the age of the Kardashians? Even possibly younger girls wanting to look like Kylie Jenner?
I think it has certainly raised awareness and made people look into the procedure. This is often the case with celebrities and particularly for younger patients. A few years back I had several young women coming in with pictures of singer Lana Del Rey’s lips. The flip side of this, is that for some reason, a lot of celebrities ( overseas) seem to pick not such good injectors and often have the results we see in the magazines, that in fact put people off having these treatments! I always say, like with anything, things can be done, and things can be overdone!
What is the average age of people getting it done?
I see a huge range of patients from in their twenties to in their eighties! Of course how I treat them is very different. Someone in their eighties is not wanting to look sexy or have a pout. With younger patients it is about glamorising and enhancing natural features ie: creating what they weren’t born with, whereas as we age, the lips are like the forgotten party balloon…..they deflate, so then it is about replacing the lost volume and contour, or as mentioned before softening the lines around the lips (often called smoker’s lines even if someone has never smoked) and treating to prevent lipstick from bleeding. It is certainly not one size fits all and this is the same even within the same age groups. I always say the focus is not just on making lips look bigger it is about making them look better. Enhancing shape, balance, and proportion both with the lips themselves and with other facial features.
It really interested me that apart from wanting fuller lips they can serve other purposes, like covering a gummy smile, in my case!. Any other interesting reasons, someone would get lip injections?
It can be proportion and balance, so not just someone wanting fuller lips. Often people may have a very thin, almost nonexistent top lip and a full bottom lip or even vice versa, that just looks wrong. Patients may have scarring for example from cleft lip surgery that can be softened and improved with dermal fillers or even scars from trauma. Asymmetry is also correctable, where someone may have one side of their lip that differs from the other. As mentioned previously the bleeding lipstick and lines around the mouth are easily corrected, and what I call the “sad clown” mouth with the corners of the mouth pulling down. A filler treatment can turn a sad mouth into a happy mouth.
Do men come too?
Men certainly come for botox and fillers, but the lips are not high on their priority list. Men are not wearing lipstick (well not often) so they are not such an important feature for men.
Would you say lips are now more popular than botox? Or will they be in the future?
Most injectors would say that botox is by far the most popular treatment. However, when I first started injecting 20 years ago, all we had was collagen so I started with fillers. So I do a lot of dermal filler treatments, but I would still say, botox Is probably more popular but that being said I have a large % of my patients that have both botox and fillers. The reason that it seems like we do more botox treatments than a filler is also because fillers last longer than botox, so patients are not needing to repeat their filler treatments as often as their botox.
What is your view on girls going overseas to places like Thailand to get these procedures done?
Some people are much braver than I am! The key no matter where you have a treatment, is to know what you are having injected is a gold standard and safe product, and that the person performing the treatment is an expert and has the skills you need. If you can guarantee the product and needles and equipment being used are sterile and safe, and the person is experienced and has an excellent aesthetic eye then maybe? Would I have an injectable treatment somewhere like Thailand…No.
Do you get many people in who ask for an extreme look – and when you do what do you do?
This is a hard one, as our role is to meet a patient’s expectation and make them happy with the result. If they have a different aesthetic goal ie: what they want is not what I think will make them look better, then it is tricky, as they may be disappointed if we don’t do enough.I am always aware of the fact that my name may be associated with a treatment, so at times it is necessary to say that I don’t think I am the injector for them, as I can’t meet their goals.That being said, I have at times treated someone a bit more than what I would have
recommended e.g. if someone says they like a “frozen look” of the forehead, I may put a few units more of botox than I usually would. This is where a consultation is so very important. With fillers, we schedule a consultation prior to a treatment as this allows us to discuss the goals of the patient, but also educate on what is going to be the best treatment programmed.
So without due, here is a little timeline of my personal experience:
- Before picture: I’ve always been pretty happy with my lips, but (as you can see in the above before image) I don’t love how thin they get from the side view and also how much of my gum they expose when I’m smiling wide. Neither of these ‘issues’ are big to me, I know most of the time I have a fairly decent smile – but thought since I’m here, may as well address ’em!
2. This was the night after I got them done. Angela warned me there would be some swelling and bruising but nothing flared up too much. There are small bruises on the sides of both lips and I felt like I had been accidentally hit in the month. So it wasn’t bad like a punch, but a bit tingly like someone had caught be my accident.
3. The day after. Most of the swelling and bruising have gone down, they are just a little sore to touch. I was impressed with how quickly the bruising faded and how minimal it was. Also loving how there is virtually no gums in a full smile!
4. The next night, out at dinner. They look like I’m pouting, but I wasn’t.
5.This was about a week after getting them done (Yes I know same outfit lol) the swelling has completely gone down and I’m feeling happy with my subtly fuller pout.
7. This is two weeks later, where I’m actually wearing makeup. They feel completely natural and I have nearly forgotten I had them enhanced!
8. And finally, a picture from 1 month after getting them done. This image has been photoshopped for colour, but I haven’t touched my lips. They are noticeably fuller, but not drastic.
Things to remember:
– Angela emailed me 2 weeks after I got them done, just to see how I was going. I replied with “ah I think my lips have sucked up all the Juvederm Volift and nothing is left”. Angela replied, promising me that they hadn’t, and there was very much still an obvious effect. looking at before and after pictures, she was obviously right. That kind of scared me because I could see how easy it was to get carried away with how large you make them. Luckily for me, I had an experienced Nurse like Angela to tell me what was what. Imagine if I had someone who would agree because they were inexperienced or just wanted another paying customer! (So do not go overboard – it didn’t work on Lara Flynn Boyle – and it won’t work on you).
-It is a medical procedure, it is on your face, so don’t go somewhere really gross just to save some bucks. For the love of God, just research it before you do it. I know lots of places offer payment plans so ask about that before you decide to get them done the next time you head to Asia.
Prescription Skincare is the most experienced and renowned skin clinic in Auckland. I loved working with them and was beyond impressed with their expertise. If you’re interested in getting your lips (or something else done) I highly recommend. Head over to their contact page and get in touch.