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I attempted to get 'natural looking' lip filler and this is what happened...
Believe me when I say, I've tried everything in my quest to a plumper pout.
I'd actively avoided lip filler because I'd seen so many obviously 'done' lips (hello Love Island), and thought that was the only way. Turns out you can get natural looking lip filler - did you know Kendall Jenner had hers done? -you just have to be very careful about where you go.
Contour Clinics to have my lips done by their medical director,
Throughout all my research online, I couldn't find much on how to get the most natural looking lip filler possible, so I decided to take you guys with me throughout the process. Dr Josh was kind enough to answer all my questions, so this article can act as a comprehensive guide for anyone who's thinking about having the procedure done themselves.
As I said above, I was after a look so subtle that I could tell I had lip filler, but no one else could.
During our consultation, I told Dr Josh what I was looking for - a bit of extra juiciness and some definition to my cupids bow, done as naturally as possible.
While I've always been interested in having my lips done, that 'trout-pout' look that's popular on Instagram put me off initially. But Dr Josh assured me that within two weeks, I'd be the only one who would be able to tell I'd had them done. When I asked why, if the natural look is so easy to achieve, does some people's lip filler looks so obvious? Dr Josh said it's down to three different factors:
- Injection technique.
- Amount of filler used.
- Type of filler chosen.
Dr Josh said the biggest mistake you can make when it comes to their lip filler is "shopping for cheap filler. In this industry you really do get what you pay for. Go to an injector that takes the time to assess your lips. At Contour Clinics we take professional photography, and use a six step process to assess your lips including, height, width, projection, golden ratio of top to bottom, shape and filler type. We do not use a cookie cutter one size fits all approach, as used by many other clinics."
When I asked Dr Josh how much filler he recommends for a natural look he said, "this is very dependent on the individual. The type of filler used is even more important. Thicker filler, brings more moisture and plump to the lips. 1ml is a standard amount in most people. We may inject more over two sessions for those with larger faces or bigger lips at baseline, or less in those with smaller mouths. I like to space treatments apart to change slowly overtime. In this field never be in a rush to do multiple mLs in one setting."
As I have a smaller mouth and wanted a subtle look, we decided to go for 1mL of the thinnest filler.
Post-consultation, Dr Josh applied numbing cream to my lips and I popped back into the waiting room for 20 minutes for it to take effect.
Lips before filler
During the procedure
Now that I officially couldn't feel my mouth, it was time to start injecting.
Now while I was scared of the trout-pout look, I was terrified of the pain. I once had a friends mum tell me getting her lips done was as painful as childbirth, so that's what was replaying in my mind in the waiting room. When I lay down, I took a deep breath and... it didn't hurt at all. There was a bit of pressure for sure, but if I had to rate the level I'd say it was about 2/10, and I have a pretty low pain threshold.
Dr Josh kept me in the loop throughout the whole process, asking me if I liked them and if they were what I had envisioned. We didn't end up using the full 1mL, only getting to about 0.8mL before I said I was happy with how they looked and didn't want any more.
Now that was done, I was curious as to how long it would be until I'd need to pop back into the clinic. Josh said "every 6-9 months initially, then after a few sessions this can be spaced years apart as filler tends to hold more overtime."
Lips immediately after filler
I knew swelling after lip injections can be pretty hectic, so I got mine done on a friday evening so I could lay low for the rest of the weekend. In hindsight this was an incredible decision because when I woke up on Saturday morning I looked like this:
Lips the morning after
Luckily, I was warned the swelling would be bad so I wasn't taken aback when I looked in the mirror. In a fantastic twist of fate, it stormed heavily all weekend in Sydney so all my plans got cancelled and I could stay home and ice my face.
By the time I went to work on Monday the looked like this:
Lips three days post-filler
While they were still swollen, I actually quite liked the way they looked. There was still some bruising around the outside, and they felt a little tender, but no one that I hadn't told noticed I got anything done.
Now it's officially been two weeks since the procedure and I have to say, I love it. It's exactly as natural as I wanted, fits the shape of my face perfectly and has just given my lips some very subtle volume. My lipstick looks so much better now that I have more to play with, and they even look more hydrated now that they don't have the lines they did pre-filler.
Lips 12 days post-filler
Another bonus that I hadn't considered is the added volume has made my gummy smile disappear, which I'm a huge fan of.
Gummy smile before and after
If you're thinking of having your lips done my main advice would be to invest in a great clinic that will take your goals into account, and doesn't follow a one-size-fits all approach.
Have you thought about having your lips done?