February has become, unofficially, lip augmentation month in my office. I think it’s thanks to Valentine’s Day. The mouth gets a lot of air time in the weeks leading up to February 14. Everyone wants a kissable pout. Nothing is more inviting than full, lush lips…. well, unless those lips are so full that they make the person look like a fish. A well executed lip augmentation is one that subtly plumps up the volume in your lips, but just to the point where they are in proportion with the rest of your face.
Facial Harmony is Always the Goal
The goal of any aesthetic procedure is to restore harmony. This is just as true for a non-surgical modality like fillers as is it is for something surgical like a facelift. The reason that harmony is so important is that the human eye perceives a face that is in symmetry as more:
It literally comes down to a mathematical equation called the “Golden Ratio”. And while many of us are not born with a face that abides by these “perfect” numbers, judiciously placed filler, for example, is a pretty easy way to cheat the system. But sometimes, something is culturally popular or en vogue that is not necessarily in sync with this golden ratio.
Inspiration, Not Imitation
When it comes to the lips, there has been a recent push, thanks to Social Media Influencers, for really full lips. While this may work on some, it is not a look that just anyone can carry off. This is why I always encourage my lip augmentation patients to bring in photos of lips that they admire. But to always keep in mind that these photos are about inspiration, not imitation. Your lips have to be in symmetry with the rest of your face or else the end result is going to look very unnatural.
A patient’s lips are their lips. Augmentation is just a way to make their lips a more refined version of themselves. We have all seen photos of celebrities who have ruined their face with over puffed lips. I call this “trout mouth” because the lips are so overstuffed that the mouth looks perpetually open like a fish waiting for food. I am all about delivering a natural looking lip. Personally, I don’t want the work to ever speak for itself. In fact, the best plastic surgery is something that you never notice.
Fillers Specifically Designed for the Lips
In the past, an imperceptible lip augmentation was somewhat of a unicorn. There were only a handful of fillers on the market and most were not capable of delivering an ideal result for many patients. Today, however, the lip augmentation landscape is completely different. Companies such have Allergan have come out with fillers like Juvéderm Volbella® that are specifically designed for treating the lips. Not only that, but there are now even different fillers for different areas of the lips. The vermilion border or outside line of your lips and Cupid’s bow require a little more structure than the pads of the lips which need more lushness or volume.
The best lip augmentation is one that is customized to the individual anatomy and needs of the patient. Furthermore, I almost always use a combination of fillers because I think it’s the best way to achieve a truly natural looking result. Combining Volbella® and Juvéderm Ultra® is one of my favorite lip combinations. So, a lip augmentation at one of my Boston area offices may include one or more of the following:
Why Get a Lip Augmentation?
A lip augmentation can be a really simple way to rejuvenate your entire face. This is because your lips frame your mouth, and your mouth helps to anchor the lower part of your face. This is an area that can really begin to “age” a patient. With the passage of time, the skin starts to lose elasticity and collagen and the cheeks deflate thanks to volume loss. The end result is “jowling” or drapes of skin on the outside of the mouth. At the same time, your lips themselves lose volume.
Restoring plumpness to the lips while also addressing fine lines and wrinkles around the mouth can help give a “lift” to the lower part of your face. This, in turn, makes a patient feel better. Literally, patients will say to me that they feel as if they have more energy after a lip augmentation. So, this Valentine’s Day, why don’t you give yourself the gift of a lip augmentation? Unlike a box of chocolates, you’ll feel great and not have to worry about the sugar and calories the next day!