Let me set the scene. Recently I had a mother of the bride sitting in my chair as I’m prepping her skin for makeup when she said to me…
MOB : “Do you mind if I tell you something without it sounding creepy?”
Me : “Sure, go for it.” (as I prepare myself for anything)
MOB : “You have the most beautiful LIPS.”
Me : “Well thank you SO much! You have no idea how much that means to me to hear!!”
After this, I was smiling inside and outside because up until that day, that was a compliment I have NEVER received. And it was all thanks to a recent beauty treatment I decided to try….LIP FILLERS.
And yes, I did admit to her after that to having them done.
Back it up to this inside scoop on me : I have ALWAYS had this want for a slightly bigger canvas to paint my lip products on.
And yes, even BEFORE the whole Kylie Jenner lip craze. I have always wished I had fuller lips. Specifically my tiny almost non-existent upper lip. (note before pic right above to see what I mean)
I have tried “faking it till I make it” by purchasing every lip plumping gloss that comes on the market and even drawing slightly outside of the lines of my natural lip line with a liner to give the illusion of it being bigger than it is.
But those methods and products just hadn’t been cutting it lately.
Ever since I turned 40, I have known that one of the
many things that happens to us as we age is that our lips get THINNER. It’s just a fact. Kind of like the hair on our heads will go gray and our earlobes will elongate, because yes that’s a thing.
And with already thin lips, I started to wonder if I’d have any lips left in the next 10 years. Okay, so maybe that’s a bit dramatic but it has crossed my mind. I even have the finest of lines creeping around my mouth that I thought only people that smoked were destined to have, but apparently it happens to non-smokers too. Ugh.
I would guess that 90% percent of us women are overly critical of ourselves, and I’m including myself in that number.
Now this is not a hard fast fact or percentage found online. This is just a guess because I am a female and I interact with females everyday. We could ALL be a little more forgiving to ourselves for sure and I get that.
But the point is I’m no different from anyone else & the thinning lips were that facial feature annoying me to the point that I wanted to do something about it. I knew there were more extreme options than the $25 lip plumping gloss that only gave me the illusion of fullness for maybe 30 minutes and I was ready to explore it…LIP FILLERS.
INVESTIGATE, RESEARCH, DO YOUR HOMEWORK.
I got them done almost a month ago.
That’s right. If you’ve been following me for the last month, on Instagram or Facebook, seen me in person, then I’m surprised you haven’t noticed or said anything. But honestly, that’s kind of how I wanted it.
I didn’t want the day it happened to be like BAM! I’ve got big ole fish lips! Slow and steady wins the race right?
All I really wanted to get out of lip fillers was a bit more volume. Nothing crazy obvious. And that’s just what I achieved. Nice and natural to where they just look extremely hydrated (no more lines) and I have an actual upper lip!
And no one looks at me and goes, “Woah, she had something DONE!”
So how did I come to the decision to do this?
Well it has been a long time coming. I have been reading every website and blog post about lip fillers and lip injections I could get my hands on. I even spoke multiple times with nurse injector Charlotte at Pittman Plastic Surgery here in Athens (where I had my treatment done) for at least a year prior. I’m sure she got to the point where she just wanted me to DO IT already!! Ha!!
- What are the pros and cons?
- Does it hurt like crazy?
- Do I want a needle in my face?
- Which filler should I use?
- When it’s all gone away will my lips look like deflated balloons?
- How does it work?
- Soooo many questions I had!
After talking about it and researching for over a good year, I did it. I got my lip fillers.
I was a little nervous deciding to write this post and share this about myself. But I find that being an open book with my readers, followers, clients, and friends when it comes to my beauty regime is a source of trust. I couldn’t very well say that my new fuller lips are the result of a fancy new lip gloss, when that would be misleading.
And I don’t mind being a guinea pig for beauty treatments anyway! At my age, nothing really scares me anymore and I’m willing to try almost anything.
I like to think of my JennySueMakeup site and social media channels as a community of women who support and share their love of makeup, skincare, beauty treatments, and anything really that makes us feel more confident in ourselves. That’s why this lip filler post made sense to me. It’s something that quite a few women are curious about, but no one is really talking about it.
LET’S GET TO IT…THE LIP FILLERS.
I found a plastic surgeons office who came HIGHLY recommended, Pittman Plastic Surgery, talked with their nurse injector Charlotte, & went in to give it a shot (literally!) after multiple consultations about it.
Pittman’s office is in the TOP 1% of Allergan accounts in the NATION. Meaning they know their fillers and get great results for their clients.
What sold me on actually pulling the trigger?
How confident Charlotte was about giving me realistic fullness and not making me look like like an overdone Real Housewife of Orange County. I mean I definitely was over my thinning lips and didn’t want them to get worse either!
So I’m going to share the pros, the cons, the good, bad, and the ugly. The truth!!
WHAT ARE LIP FILLERS?
They are dermal fillers of hyaluronic acid (a sugar found naturally in the body) that adds temporary volume and definition when injected into lips. As one who regularly bathes in hyaluronic acid-rich moisturizers on my face, I was not the least weirded out about shooting it into my lips as well. It’s really just the actual injecting part…
ARE THERE DIFFERENT KINDS OF FILLERS AND WHAT DID YOU USE?
Yes, there are quite a few formulas and you have options.
I went with the Volbella which is an FDA approved injectable that is a part of the Juvederm family of dermal fillers. Volbella is commonly used to define lips (the perimeter of them) and for the correction of fine wrinkles around the lips. The smaller Hylauronic Acid particle size in Volbella allows for soft fullness and to treat fine lines without getting a full look in these delicate areas.
But there are many other filler options depending on how much fullness you are looking for. We went for the Volbella because it is the thinnest and most subtle. And to be quite honest, I was freaked out about it looking too fake!! Charlotte assured me this was probably the best route to go with since I wanted to take this lip thing slow and wasn’t looking for major fullness.
HOW LONG DID THE PROCEDURE TAKE?
After being numbed with a topical gel placed around the lips for about 15-20 minutes, the actual injections took maybe 15 minutes.
GET REAL, HOW BAD DID IT HURT?
I’d compare the first few sticks to that of a bee sting. No sugar coating. Definitely no walk in the park, but it is short lived!
There is lidocaine in the Volbella formula however, so the more shots you get the more numb you become, which was helpful. So as the filler moves through the lips it becomes more so like pressure. I closed my eyes the entire time and did not even take one look at the needle 🙂 You can feel the substance mooovve through your lip line which is a bit odd, but expected.
CAN YOU IMMEDIATELY TELL A DIFFERENCE AFTER THE PROCEDURE IS DONE?
Yep there is immediate volume, which was really exciting to me. Below is a photo progression from Day 1 (all natural lips) to two days after my final injections 15 days later. (They did go down a bit more after this last pic because they were still slightly swollen)
WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT ABOUT ANY SIDE EFFECTS?
Yes, most people can expect bruising and swelling. So schedule your next few days accordingly!! Ha! I made sure I didn’t have any client sessions for a couple days afterwards just in case.
I had some minor bruising on my upper lip after the first treatment and bruising on the lower lip after the 2nd treatment. But they were both gone within a few days each and were easy to cover up with lipstick and concealer. Now the swelling was a bit shocking the first evenings after each session, but after sleeping with my head elevated and lots of ice, it went down after a couple days.
SLOW AND STEADY WINS THE RACE.
Since this was my first experience with lip fillers, I got a little at a time and went back for a second session to get more added.
Like I said, I was freaked out they’d be too big after the first time. So I had Charlotte do only one syringe and then went back to get the second syringe a week later because I realized I wanted more fullness that one syringe just couldn’t give. Glad I did it this way because it wasn’t such a shocking change.
WHAT TO DO BEFORE AND AFTER LIP INJECTIONS.
Before : I took a pill called Arnica, every day for a week before I started the treatment which helps minimize bruising. I think this is a must for anyone doing this type of filler! I don’t know what it would have looked like if I hadn’t taken it, and I don’t want to know.
After : I iced my lips like CRAZY for hours afterward to help with swelling and you should hold off on exercise and blood thinners for a few days. But the office gave me a whole informative sheet beforehand of do’s and don’ts so there were no questions left unanswered.
HOW TO MAINTAIN THEM.
Since dermal fillers are NOT permanent I will need them touched up every 8 months to a year. They last differently on everyone due to which filler you choose and your lifestyle.
WHAT SHOULD YOU EXPECT TO PAY?
This varies greatly on what type of filler you use, how much, and what area of the nation you get them done in. It can be anywhere from $400 – $1000.
Remember as with most things in life, you will get what you pay for. A higher price tag often means you’re paying for an injector’s experience. Charlotte has been doing lip fillers for 5 years and had been through Allergan’s master injector training courses so I knew she was legit. (Allergan is the company that created all of the dermal fillers offered at Pittmans office)
Don’t be swayed towards those medical spas or random doctors offices that offer “special fees” that seem too good to be true because they most likely are. The filler could be cut with water or saline which could make them come out uneven or not last long at all. Or worse, the person doing the injecting doesn’t have the eye to know how to create the perfect lip look that works with your particular face. It’s a definite work of art not to be taken lightly.
Also, don’t expect to get a good amount of fullness with just one syringe. This was a biggie that Charlotte prepped me for. She said lots of people think they can say “just use a litttllle” and then they’re disappointed because you can barely tell a difference. I fell into this category:) I was hoping just one would do the trick, however, it takes more product to get a good and noticeable result. Even a subtle result such as mine.
WOULD I DO IT AGAIN WHEN IT GOES AWAY?
100% YES I’d do it again. No question about it. Gotta start saving up my piggy bank for the next round.
Big thanks to Charlotte and the entire staff at Pittman Plastic Surgery here in Athens for just being so awesome and for my complimentary lip treatment in exchange for sharing my honest thoughts on the experience and my results.
If you live in or around the Athens area be sure to visit their office!! After being super informed and well researching this treatment I am so glad I went through with the decision to have them done and that I used Pittman Plastic Surgery. Their office is super professional, well trained, and most of all, extremely caring to their patients needs and wants. I couldn’t be more thrilled and impressed with my results and Pittman’s office gave me just what I was looking for – not to look overdone!!
Note: I am NOT a medical professional. Obviously;) Please seek medical advice from a doctor before undergoing any medical services or fillers like this.
Okay I’m sure you have them, so what are you specific questions about lip injections? I’d be happy to answer below!
And if you have judgmental opinions on this matter, I’d prefer no negative comments, just curious inquiries. Thanks my friends.