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A Sensible Approach to Getting Lip Fillers

On the fence about getting lip fillers? Not sure if lip fillers are for you? You have come to the right place!

Have you ever come across something you didn’t know you wanted? Of course! It goes without saying that we have all had that experience a time or two (or maybe 10). For me, I didn’t really know I wanted lip fillers until, by happenstance, I met Dr. Shin and learned that it was actually realistic for me. Let me explain. It wasn’t that long ago that lip fillers seemed like something only celebrity’s get. Then, in recent years, Instagram photos of young girls with over-plumped lips exploded on social media. We can mostly thank Kylie Jenner for that. Truth be told, plump lips look really good. While I am not a fan of super plumped lips, I do think subtle lip fillers can make a woman look dynamite.

The Downside of the Current Lip Trend

What’s happening right now is we’re seeing a lot of young girls who have become addicted to extremely plump lips. However, I’m not sure women are being warned that if you stretch your lip tissue to the max (and beyond) they’re going to remain stretched after the lip filler dries up. An article in Allure Magazine explains, "When you repeatedly enlarge the lips — pumping them up as big as possible — the filler can act as a tissue expander, permanently stretching the skin, and causing the lips to sag and deflate when the filler eventually degrades, leaving you in worse shape than when you started." Bottom line, our lips aren’t designed to be repeatedly overstretched, and any negative outcomes can be permanent.

A Reasonable Approach to Lip Fillers

I think any approach to lip fillers has to start from a place of reasonable expectations--in other words, what is reasonable and appropriate for your facial structure. Dr. Shin and I both agree that too much lip filler isn't reasonable--or sustainable for that matter! When I went into see Dr. Shin for my lip filler appointment, of course I was excited because I know how good lip fillers can look when done correctly. Additionally, I didn’t feel nervous because I know Dr. Shin isn’t a proponent of over-filled lips. She explains, “Those girls you see--they’re using two-three syringes of filler, one on top and one on bottom, and then more after that. That is a lot!” As for me, we have done my lips twice, and we’re still on the first syringe with plenty to spare.

For my lips, Dr. Shin uses Restylane. Restylane is a hyaluronic acid-containing dermal filler used to plump up the skin and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. The first time I had lip fillers done, we applied a topical numbing cream. I will tell you, the lip injections were hard for me to endure, especially on the top lip. I have fairly thin lips as is, and while I like to think I have a decent tolerance for pain (I gave birth naturally with no epidural) those first injections were tougher than I thought. It may also be that I wasn’t mentally prepared because I didn’t know what to expect. Well, the second time I did, and Dr. Shin was kind enough to give me a local anesthetic for the procedure.

How Much Lip Filler?

Since we had already done my lips once, we were able to evaluate how my lips responded. We both agreed that a little more filler the second time would get my lips to just the right amount of fullness--which amounted to a few ccs. My goal is to enhance the way I look subtly, which only requires a few ccs of filler. I like to lean more toward looking natural and less toward looking plastic and overfilled. That’s just my preference. Admittedly though, I can see how people get addicted. It’s very tempting--when you see such great results--to want to keep doing more, but you have to moderate yourself. When is comes to lip fillers, err on the side of conservative.

Shaping the Lips with Filler

Dr. Shin is very skilled, and carefully and strategically injected filler in my lips until we settled on the right look and shape. She always says, “It’s much easier to add—much harder to take away.” The overall process took less than 15 minutes and was completely seamless for me the second time because I was totally numb! Perhaps I can handle it with typical numbing cream in the future, but for now, I appreciated being numb. In the days to follow I did experience a little bit of bruising, but it was fairly subtle and I wore tinted moisturizer that mostly disguised it.

Lip Filler by the Skin Strategists
Lip Filler by the Skin Strategists

For me, the injection process is worth it because I love how my lips look! Until this past year, I just thought that thin lips was it for me. It was what it was. But now I know otherwise—and absolutely love my fuller lips!

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