Lip Love

Ok, so let's all be honest for a minute.  When you hear the words "lip filler", you immediately think of Kylie Jenner, right?  Don't get me wrong, I am not hating on Kylie at all.  I think her lips are beautiful and she pulls off her look very well.  While there are a few people out there that want nothing more than to have Kylie's luscious lips, not everyone wants this extreme of a look.  In fact, most people want a more subtle enhancement, and ending up with this look is their biggest fear.  Unfortunately, the majority of people believe that lip filler means ending up with larger than life, overfilled lips.  Well, I'm here to educate you on this issue.  There are a lot of really horrible injectors out there.  They may be technically good at giving injections, but have no aesthetic sense whatsoever.  I personally feel that a good injector can enhance lips while still keeping their shape.  Lip filler doesn't have to look fake or over the top.  And it definitely shouldn't look like you have two sausages for lips. The truth is, lip filler doesn't even have to look like you got filler at all.  

Filler can add subtle or noticeable volume to the lips, define the lip line, and treat lines around the mouth.  It restores that youthful look to the lips that is lost with the aging process. Lip injections can be customized to fit your desired outcome.  But remember, the most important thing when considering lip injections is choosing a highly skilled injector.  

What filler is best to use for lip injections?  All of the fillers used for lips are hylauronic acid based.  HA is a natural substance found in our bodies that adds volume, retains moisture, and plumps.  HA fillers are all dissolvable, which is a good thing if you are unhappy with your result.  

Different injectors have different preferences on which fillers they like to use.  But fillers have different properties that make them good for treating different issues.  For example, Juvederm Volbella and Restylane Silk are soft, pliable fillers that are good for adding subtle
volume to the lips or for filling in fine lip lines.  Restylane is a filler that holds it shape better than Volbella or Silk, and it works great for redefining the lip border and oral commissures.  Juvederm Ultra is a great filler for adding more substantial volume to the lips.  Once again, all of these fillers are great choices, and are often used in combination with one another to achieve the best results.   It all comes down to trusting your injector and what the suggest for your specific concerns.  

What to expect at your appointment?  If you are new to lip filler, it is a good idea to set up a consultation along with your appointment to discuss what you are looking for.  This will give you a chance to talk to your injector about what you are wanting to achieve.  They should also be able to tell you how much filler they would need to use, and give you a price quote as well.  

Some injectors apply topical numbing prior to injecting.  We use a frozen metal device to hold on the area prior to injecting to help numb the treatment area.  This may help with the initial stick of the needle going in, but most of the uncomfortable feeling comes from the pressure of the filler going into the tissue.  Luckily, fillers contain lidocaine.  So once you get past the first couple of sticks, the numbing in the tissue starts to work, and the process is more tolerable.  I'm not going to lie, the upper lip is a very pinchy spot to inject.  It brings tears to your eyes no matter how tough you are.  But at the end of the day, the small amount of pain is TOTALLY worth it, and you'll keep coming back for more.  

What can be expected for downtime?  If I can give you any advice, it would be to be prepared for some swelling.  Slight swelling starts almost immediately, and will continue for the next 24-48 hours.  Typically swelling is the worst the night of treatment, and the next morning.  Some bruising can occur as well, but bruising on the lip itself can be covered with lip color.  Swelling can make the size and shape look distorted too.  Whatever you do, don't freak out the night of your treatment.  The swelling will eventually go down.  Any tweaks or touch ups can be made after the filler has settled, which is approximately 2 weeks.  To avoid excess swelling, ice ice baby!!!  And maybe think twice about drinking that bottle of wine!  Check out the images below to get a visual for what you can expect with swelling.  Image below: 1.  Before treatment  2.  Immediately after treatment  3.  4 hours post treatment  4.  8 hours post treatment (after consuming some wine)  5.  Immediately after waking up the next morning  6.  2 hours after waking up the next morning  7.  Late afternoon the day after treatment  8.  2 days post treatment

Cost?   Cost really depends on how much filler is used.  That is determined by the size of your natural lips and what look you are trying to achieve.  Typically a treatment costs between $625-$1190, depending on what you need.  This is where a consultation helps so you know what to expect prior to your treatment. 

How long does it last?  This is one of the most common questions that we hear.  We like to measure results by how long the patient is happy with how things look.  I like to touch up my lips every 4 months, that way the volume never goes down and they stay looking the same.  Typically 4-6 months is a good time to retreat or touch up.  

Things to remember:  It is extremely important to have realistic expectations about what lip filler can do for you.  Before you go in for your treatment, know what look or outcome you are wanting to achieve and communicate that with your injector.  When the injector and patient are on the same page, the outcome is a satisfied patient.  

Once again, I cant stress enough how important it is to find an injector who is qualified and experienced in giving injections and one whom you trust. Do your research. When making a decision about who to use, ask about training and education. How many injections has he or she given? Is he or she board certified or a member of their specialty's medical association?

Also, ask to see before and after photographs of patients the doctor has treated. If you are less than impressed with the results, run away quickly and find another injector.

And P.S.-  Dr. Russo LOVES injecting lips and he his amazing at it.  He is truly an artist, and creates natural looking, gorgeous lips.  If you're looking for an injector, please come and see us!!!


  1. This is such a great walk through of what to expect! Seriously every question I thought while reading you answered in the next paragraph! Thanks for the great info! ~ Carissa


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