9 Things I Wish I Knew Before Getting Lip Injections

Choosing a type is best left up to the doctor based on your needs, but the smorgasbord is vast. For example, Green says a youthful, pillowy, voluminous look is best achieved with Juvederm, while she uses Restylane for an “I got my lips a little fuller but no one really will know” vibe, thanks to its smaller particles. If you’re older, “I always do Volbella, which is good to fill in lines around the face,” she said.

The Insta-look doesn’t come cheap.

We’re all constantly inundated with images of women with really, really big lips, but I had no idea the money it takes to actually achieve it. The one cc, or syringe, of Juvederm we used is technically less than a teaspoon of material, but it was distributed in a way that made my results more visible than they were the first time around—but not wildly dramatic.

When I asked Green how much filler the girls I see on social media get, she, without hesitation, said two to three syringes, if not more. Considering each clocks in at prices from $400 to $1,000, depending on location and practice—well, start saving now.

Filler isn’t forever.

I kind of wish it were, to be honest. According to Green, it depends on the formula you choose, but most usually last around six months to a year. This means that if you love your initial results, take plenty of pics because it does fade over time. As far as anything you can do to prolong the filler, there’s really not much since everybody metabolizes differently.

Before filler; almost five months after

After-care is minimal.

Postinjection, your life can resume—despite some fear-mongering articles you might find online. According to Green, the only thing you should stay away from is aspirin. You can even toast your new look with a glass or two of wine. “Some people say you shouldn’t drink alcohol before filler because you can bruise, but I haven’t seen a huge difference after,” she said. As for ice, the doctor will put a cold pack on your lips after your filler’s been applied and will encourage you to use more if you’re feeling sore, but there’s no need sit with it for hours on end. The real swelling goes down in a day or two.

Another thing both doctors I saw suggested that makes sense: not drinking from a straw right after your injections, and not sipping hot liquids— you’ll still be numb and might burn yourself. Ouch.

Gradual pace of treatment is an option.

Even though I’d told Green what I wanted, she still insisted on saving a little Juvederm from my syringe to add later if I wanted it. “Live with what I gave you for two weeks,” she told me. Of course, I sprinted back for my leftovers, but if you’re feeling nervous or unsure, ask your doctor if you can use what you paid for gradually.

Bruising depends on the person.

For me, there was light bruising that happens naturally—mostly around the top of my lip, which is sensitive—but if you follow your doctor’s advice (use ice, no Motrin, limit alcohol intake, don’t touch, and try to stay and lay propped up for a few hours after the procedure), you should be okay. That said, everyone’s body is different, so it’s hard to predict whether any bruising will surface after your lip injections.

And if you’re really unhappy with the outcome?

“You go back and have it dissolved,” Green said. “All the fillers people use now—Restylane, Belotero, Volbella, Voluma, Juvederm—they’re all hyaluronic-acid-based, so they all can dissolve with hyaluronidase,” an enzyme that melts away hyaluronic acid rapidly and safely.

Six months after I saw Green, my lips still looked killer. I noticed a slight decrease in volume—totally predictable given the time frame. You can probably see it in the above photos, so I’ll likely get another round soon. I won’t be offended if you notice. In fact, I hope you do.

Perrie Samotin is the digital director at Glamour. Follow her on Instagram @perriesamotin.

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