As we become savvier regarding cosmetic treatments, more women (and men) than ever before are seeking out tiny enhancements to refresh and refine their features. If you’ve scrolled through Instagram lately then it should come as no surprise that one of the most common procedures of all is lip injections. If you’ve ever been curious about how they work, whether or not they hurt and what to do if they go wrong, it’s time to stop scrolling through Instagram influencer profiles and time to get informed.
“Seriously though, what does it actually feel like?” I asked Dr Linda Williams of Artisan Clinics here in Brisbane. This boutique salon is known for their concierge-like service and extremely natural results. As one of the most renowned clinics in Australia, they are the go-to for everything from anti-wrinkle injections to lip fillers.
So whether you’re considering trying lip fillers or are just a little curious how celebs like Kylie Jenner perfect their pout, we spoke with Dr Linda to discover everything you’ve ever wanted to know about the treatment everyone is talking about.
Lip Fillers 101
Before we start talking about placement and anaesthetic, it’s good to know what lip fillers actually are. Quite simply, it’s a treatment whereby fillers (typically Hyaluronic Acid based) are strategically added to the lips to achieve the desired appearance.
And if you’re thinking about puffy and unnatural pouts, you’re way off the mark. It’s about perfecting soft curves, natural movement, balanced volume and an ideal proportion. Because Hyaluronic Acid is a complex sugar gel similar to that found in our own skin, the filler has a natural, plump finish. After a few months, the filler metabolises back into water – this is why the treatment can be repeated every 6-12 months.
Achieving A Natural Look
For most considering lip fillers, the fear of puffy, oversized lips can be enough to scare us all off. So how do you ask for the perfect lip? Dr Linda explains that there are a few different ways to ensure a natural look that suits the client: customising the type of filler used, carefully determining the placement of where the filler is injected, and taking into consideration the patient’s face and features.
“Both men and women can be interested in this procedure so of course, the lips need to maintain either a masculine or feminine shape as needed. Defining the lip borders can also add a refreshing clean lip edge and help with bleeding lipstick lines!”
First things first: this isn’t a one-size-fits-all procedure. Dr Linda explains that the procedure is made up of a range of options depending on the complexity of the process involved and the desires of the client.
If pain and needles spook you out, it’s good to know that it’s not as bad as you’d think! “Since the addition of local anaesthetic to the fillers we use at our clinic, some people are happy to tolerate simple procedures without any additional anaesthetic. We can also apply topical anaesthetic cream to the lips for about 45 minutes prior to the treatment which significantly lessens the discomfort."
Overall, the procedure itself usually takes 15-20 minutes making it an easy treatment to slot into your schedule. Occasionally clients may be required to return for a second session to achieve their desired results, but most clients can be treated in just one session. Did you ever guess it could be that quick and easy?!
The question on everyone’s lips is, “what will I look like afterwards?” According to Dr Linda, it’s not as scary as you might think.
“The next day usually brings with it some general swelling and patchy bruising but this will settle down in the next two to three days. Some people swell a lot and some have very little trouble with it so it’s best to be prepared when you first try this procedure. But, by the end of the first week, most people are really enjoying their new lips which are looking soft and natural. Sometimes it can take a little longer for everything to settle so it’s always best to plan around your social calendar!”
Once any swelling or bruising settles down, it’s time for your follow-up appointment. This is a very important part of the process because it allows you to touch base with your injector to make sure you’re happy with your new look. If you need a little extra filler added or a little bit dissolved, your expert can help assess the best way forward.
Once you love your new lips, the process will need to be repeated every 6-12 months to maintain the changes. You can add to them at any time, change them slightly as you get to understand your lips and how they respond to filler and also as you get used to them looking fresher.
As for the easiest way to keep them looking plump and healthy every day? Nothing compares to a good-quality hydrating lip balm and SPF sunscreen. “Using SPF sunscreen and hydrating lip balm and lipstick can assist in keeping the filler hydrated and protect your precious lip skin. We may forget that they are also vulnerable to sun damage!”
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