Here it is – the complete guide, explanation and answers of all things lip filler related. Get a hot drink and find somewhere comfy; it’s gonna be a long one! I’ll start off by running through my experience of getting lip fillers (and oh boy, I’ve had a lot!) followed by some important info such as ‘how much does lip filler cost?‘, ‘how much lip filler do I need?‘, amongst other key questions.
To give a little history, I first got lip fillers aged 18, so 3 and a half years ago at the time of writing this post. Since then, I’ve probably had around 6/7mls. So much so that I’ve actually lost count… but anyway, I think this definitely qualifies me as somewhat of an expert on the topic! I naturally had paper thin lips, especially my top lip, which meant that any time I so much as spoke, they went completely AWOL. I also hated my nose growing up, I felt like it looked so big compared to the rest of my features, particularly my non-existent lips. Even before the whole ‘Kylie Jenner lip filler‘ craze, I’d always wanted lip filler and nearly got them when I was 16/17 but kept chickening out, so by the time I finally committed to getting them, I was actually 18 (which I believe is the legal age to get them anyway).
I did plenty of research, as although I wasn’t rolling in cash, I wasn’t about to pick the cheap option when it comes to injecting random shit in my face. This definitely paid off, as I still go to the same woman nearly 4 years down the line, and she’s absolutely fantastic! The amount of times I’ve gone in wanting a full ml and she’s only let me get half, because she doesn’t want to overfill them and give that ‘fake’ look a lot of people have. Make sure you go for a practitioner who’s like this too, rather than one who encourages you to get more than you need purely so they get extra cash in their pocket.
For my first injection, I got 1ml which is the standard amount. Before the procedure, you should be given numbing cream – be sure to rub this past your lips to also cover the wider area around your mouth, and right inside your lips, to ensure everything’s covered. The procedure itself literally takes a matter of minutes; your practitioner will inject around the vermilion border (outer line of the lips) to define, and then inject in the centre cushion part of the lips to increase the size. They will go swollen and potentially bruised at first, but this is completely normal, so don’t stress! Bruising varies person to person, and time to time – I’ve had times I haven’t had so much as a mark, and other times I look like I’ve been chewing biros. For the first week or so they’ll be super plump and pouty – I personally love this, and always get a little sad when they go to normal afterwards – but if they are looking a bit crazy, rest assured this will go down after the initial swelling subsides.
In terms of how long they last, people usually say 6-9 months, although this very much varies. Some people’s body hold the filler well, while others break it down much quicker. Unfortunately, I was the latter! Within about 3 months of my first ml, my lips were pretty much back to square one. Loving how they looked and not prepared to throw in the towel, I was getting 1ml top ups every 3 months or so for the first 3 times. Expensive, but it worked! Eventually my body learnt to not break the filler down so much, and it started lasting longer, meaning I didn’t require as frequent top-ups. I also needed to do these more frequent injections initially to build the size – my lips were tiny before, so for me just 1ml wasn’t gonna cut the mustard. After getting a few of these top-ups slightly spaced out, my lips could grow to the desired size while learning not to break down the filler. From this point on once I’d achieved the size I wanted, I started getting 0.5ml top-ups once every 6 months, or just 1ml top up once a year. 0.5ml is a great amount for a little boost, but doesn’t make too much difference – so the typical amount is 1ml.
My practitioner also did a lip filler technique called ‘tenting‘ a few of the times, because I mentioned I wanted a poutier and more defined cupids bow – read more about that here. That’s why it’s always best to go to a practitioner who really knows their shit, so when you describe what kind of look you want, they can use a technique that’ll achieve the best results for you personally.
However, although filler is gradually broken down by your body over time, it also can migrate outside of your typical lip shape. I found that my filler started to rise upwards, above my top lip – @gravity, what you playin’ at? This looked slightly strange as you can imagine, but wasn’t a huge problem and probably only really noticeable to me. However, when the time came for my yearly top up a month ago, I decided that before injecting any more filler, I was best to remove some of this older filler that had gone walkies. The lip filler dissolving process was really simple – first, my practitioner injected the dissolvent above my top lip into the problem area. This went quite swollen at first, and looked like I’d had more fillers if anything! But over the course of the next few days, the dissolvent breaks down the filler in your lips, and by about day 3 I was almost back to my no-lips days. Eek. Luckily, I had an appointment booked for a week after I’d had the dissolvent injected (enough time for it to do the job but long gone so it wouldn’t break down any of the new filler), and then I had a 1ml top up, mainly in the top lip as my bottom lip hadn’t been dissolved. It was a super easy process, and has definitely made a difference in removing that migrated filler and overall looking more natural again. It’s also great to know that if I ever did want to get all of my filler removed (totally not happening, but good to know!) there’s a quick and easy way to do so.
So to conclude my lip filler experience, and without meaning to sound overly dramatic, it’s honestly been life changing. Prior to getting fillers I was so self conscious about my nose and lips, but since getting them not only are my lips a nicer shape, but they make my nose look so much more suited to my face. I’ve also heard this from other people, that since getting lip fillers done, their side profile seems more in proportion and they no longer hate their nose – who’d have thought! Getting them has improved my confidence so much, even for such a small tweak by enhancing a feature. Be warned though, getting fillers is an addictive game – realising your ability to easily change yourself can lead to people then wanting cheek filler, chin filler, jaw, nose, under eyes – you name it. Of course, do what makes you happy – but try not to get carried away changing your face for the sake of it. Trust me, I’ve felt the urge many a time!
Now here’s a big juicy FAQ to cover any points I may have missed – but if you still have any burning questions, just let me know in the comments below and I’ll do my best to answer those too!
Does lip filler hurt?
Hardly at all. Especially with numbing cream, I’d say about a 3 on the pain scale (out of 10, that is). You can feel the needle going in but as it’s numbed, this is a muted feeling rather than a typical sharp needle pain. As the procedure itself is over in matter of minutes too, it’s honestly not bad at all. Afterwards the swelling/bruising can be a bit painful I guess, but again, nothing major. Probably less painful than you’re imagining!
How much does lip filler cost?
Of course this will vary between practitioner and countries, but for my practitioner in Leeds, it costs £120 for half a ml, and £180 for a full ml.
How much lip filler will I need?
As mentioned previously, 1ml is the standard amount, half a ml is only for minor top ups – as a starting amount, you need 1ml to see a difference. I remember being super scared that 1ml would make such a huge difference and I’d hate it, but it really doesn’t – it’s enough of a difference for you to notice, but don’t expect to go from 0 to Angelina Jolie in one go!
Lip filler gone wrong?
To avoid this, you should always throughly research different practitioners first before you make your decision. If it sounds too cheap to be true, it probably is – and no offer/deal is worth risking your face for! Check from their pictures that their style is what you like, ensure they’ve got all the right credentials, and do detailed research to find out if all their reviews are legit. If you do go for a trustworthy practitioner but the result just isn’t what you wanted, don’t fret – dissolvent is the answer to your problems! Most practitioners will do this for free, especially if it’s because you’re not happy with the shape/look of your lips. This just feels like getting injections again, and over the course of a few days will break down the filler, taking you back to your natural lips.
Lip filler aftercare?
No exercise on the day, but I usually avoid working out for a couple days – any excuse, right? Avoid sun-beds for 2 weeks. Don’t drink out of straws, or generally engage in any activity that involves you having to overly pout/change the shape of your lips.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this post, and if I can help any more don’t hesitate to drop me a message!