If you want a Kylie-esque pout, there are a few things you need to consider.
If Kylie Jenner has you craving a visit to the doc for a little lip love, you’re not alone. In fact, according to a report from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, more than 27,000 people had lip augmentations done last year alone. But before you take the leap, it’s important to know what’s involved and what to expect. We asked RealSelf.com contributing dermatologist Dara Liotta, M.D., and New York dermatologist Debra Jaliman, M.D., to give us the lowdown.
The best lip fillers are made of hyaluronic acid, which is a naturally occurring sugar found in the human body, says Liotta. The role of hyaluronic acid is to deliver nutrients and help skin retain its natural moisture and softness. Liotta says she believes these are the four best options available today:
Juvederm Ultra: Liotta opts for this when someone really wants to pump up the volume of the lip significantly, or if they need a lot of structure added to the area of the cupid’s bow or the philtral columns (the two vertical lines under the center of the nose).
Restylane Silk: Thinner than Juvederm Ultra, this filler offers a more subtle plumping for someone in search of a gentle difference.
Belotero: Similar in thickness to Restylane Silk, Belotero is another good option for someone who wants a less detectable augmentation.
Juvederm Volbella: Brand new, this filler is also thinner, like Restylane Silk and Belotero, but has been shown to last twice as long.
Juvederm Ultra, Restylane Silk, and Belotero all last five to six months in the lip area before they’re absorbed. Juvederm Volbella can last up to a year, says Liotta.
It’s important to stop taking aspirin, ibuprofen, fish oil, and vitamin E one week before your injection appointment to minimize bruising because they thin the blood; many dermatologists add drinking alcohol to that list for the same reason. But if you do get a big bruise and are in a pinch, Jaliman says derms can zap them with a YAG laser and by placing the patient underneath red and blue light to help fade it.
Expect some swelling or bruising after injections. Your dermatologist may give you arnica, a natural supplement, beforehand to help decrease bruising and swelling. For patients who really don’t want to swell up, Jaliman gives them the steroid pill prednisone to take the day of the injections and the day after. Icing afterward is always recommended, and Liotta says that using a cannula to inject the lip, rather than a needle, makes a huge difference in reducing swelling and bruising. Some patients can have small bumps they feel with their tongue after injection; gentle massage can break these up.
5. Not Everyone Is a Candidate
For patients looking to minimize the space between the bottom of the nose and the lip, a lip filler might actually exaggerate this area. These patients benefit more from a quick surgical procedure called a lip lift that is performed in the office under local anesthesia, says Liotta. Dr. Jeffrey Epstein, M.D., FACS, says lip lift and lip injection patients are totally different. "Typically those who complain of an absence of upper teeth show and a droopiness to the upper lip are the best candidates for the lip lift," he says. You also can't compare the results. "Injectables are wonderful for their temporary but usually wonderful results for defining the upper (and lower) lips and creating a fuller look," says Epstein. "The lip lift permanently shortens the upper lip, allowing for greater upper teeth show, with a secondary benefit of increased poutiness."
Prices vary depending on location and training level of your injector, but you can expect about $500 (small town) to $900 (New York City and Los Angeles) for Juvederm Ultra, Belotero, and Restylane Silk. The longer-lasting Juvederm Volbella can cost about $1,000 to $1,200.