Our lips are a blindingly obvious feature on the face, as when we speak to people our eyes automatically gaze toward the mouth. Naturally we may already have thin, pale and shapeless lips, but as we get older our skin begins to thin, droop and lose their shape and volume which adds to the appearance of wrinkles and ageing. I’ve always wanted fuller looking shapely lips and have had semi-permanent makeup tattoo’d to enhance my lipline and surface area of my lips, so now I’m taking it one step further and trying temporary lip fillers for the first time.
When making any changes to the face it is essential to seek a specialist in their field in order to minimise the risk of something going wrong, having an allergic reaction from poor quality products or being left with a botched up treatment. You cannot put a price on your own health and safety and should never be lured in by cheap deals or marketing gimmicks as you can be left scarred for life and facing extensive medical bills in order to put right an unprofessional procedure. And under the most extreme circumstances you could also be risking your life. So my thought process when looking to buy something I want for my home, wardrobe or even making changes to my body is to go for the best quality possible because in the long run it looks better, lasts longer and is less likely to need a replacement or repair than a cheaper less well made or administered alternative. And if I can’t afford the best then I don’t settle for second best, I wait and save up for it because if you buy cheap you always end up buying twice.
Lip fillers are becoming ever more popular and available to all, yet shockingly the regulations over who can administer the treatment in England are extremely slack compared to America. The problem with visiting a salon or mobile therapist to have treatment is their lack of expertise in administration, facial tissue and aftercare; as they’re capable of injecting the treatment but don’t have the medical background or knowledge in how to deal with varying individual cases, complications or side effects, with many people seeking out surgeons and expensive clinics to have their failed treatment expensively corrected. A botched treatment for a few hundred pounds that takes several minutes to do could cost you hours of surgery, thousands in medical expenses, months of healing and a lifetime of scarring. Larger clinics and hospitals also have the established client base and good financial standing to only ever use the highest quality equipment and products to achieve a flawless reputation and optimum results, with individuals and smaller establishments understandably opting for the cheaper and lower quality alternatives that simply can’t compete. The long and short of it is that you get what you pay for, and if you want the best results then only use a professional.
I have chosen Beyond Beauty Cosmetic to administer my lip fillers because of the experience of their UK trained surgeons who administer cosmetic procedures as well as surgical and have over twenty years of experience in lip filler treatments. I have booked in for my treatment in a few weeks time and will be having Juvéderm injections to subtly reshape and redefine my upper lip. The filler is a specifically developed smooth gel that provides a soft, natural feel with long lasting effects, although the treatment itself is not permanent and will disperse gradually over time until it is completely gone. The gel is injected using an ultra fine needle directly into the lip whilst its content of hyaluronic acid helps to retain moisture. The results of lip fillers are immediate and can last between three to six months, with the longest being up to a year, however everybody is different. Directly after treatment it is common to experience redness, swelling and bruising around the injection sites but this should subside within a week, and twelve hours after treatment you can safely cover any skin discolouration with makeup if you require.
Juvéderm has a 98% success rate from patients who had lip filler treatment reporting that their lip appearance goals have been achieved, hailed for it’s VYCROSS™ technology to deliver a natural look and feel within the skin, helping to avoid lips looking unnatural, unrealistic and disproportionate to the face which gives me the confidence that this is the right treatment for me. The procedure itself is minimally invasive and needs no recovery time as you can return to normal activity the same day, with swelling subsiding within seven days to experience the final result. Lip fillers are suitable for men and women alike, providing you are in good health and over the age of eighteen.
I am having lip fillers for the first time because I feel that my top lip is lacking in lift and volume as my mouth protrudes from my face quite heavily and leaves the pink of my thin lip to disappear at a downward angle like a ski slope. I love the shape and fullness of my bottom lip and would really like to try to bring the two lips more closely together in size so that my mouth doesn’t seem quite so bottom heavy and disproportionate as it does now. I want to maintain a natural lip shape without looking like I have a trout pout or blow up doll, as it isn’t my intention to look false or obviously enhanced. You can have up to two syringes of filler at a time to achieve maximum results, however I’m scheduled to have one syringe because I’d like to assess the results before deciding if I have have more next time if I’m happy with the procedure, pain and healing. It’s far easier to add later than take away prematurely if you’re unhappy with results, however I’ve been advised that this temporary procedure is reversible by administering a solution to the lip to disperse the gel if I wish to have it removed, although this is rarely the case in temporary fillers. As with every procedure, cosmetic or surgical, you should always be aware of the risks involved and the worst case scenario of what may happen to you. I have been advised to avoid permanent lip fillers as these are most likely to cause an allergic reaction causing severe swelling and needing surgery to remove the hardened and uneven lumps that can infuse into the lip due to the materials used, for the majority of cases they provide permanently flawless results, by equally int he minority of cases can leave you swollen and scarred for life. Thankfully I have never had an allergic reaction to a beauty, cosmetic or surgical procedure, but it’s always best to air on the side of caution.
So now the countdown begins until my treatment in just a few weeks time and I will be keeping a log of every aspect of it here, from the procedure itself to the healing and aftercare, and I’ll post daily photos to show you how my lip swells and deflates over time. I’m hoping that I’ll be one of the lucky ones where the results are what I expect and last for several months; at the very least seeing me through the entire summer with a lusciously luxurious plump pout, if not until after Christmas and even the New Year if I’m lucky.
UPDATE: 29/05/15 Treatment Day
Finally it’s arrived and I caught the train into London this afternoon to have my treatment at the main Beyond Beauty Cosmetic clinic in Welbeck Street, London, which just a short stroll from Marylebone station. As the time grew closer I started to become more and more nervous, and walking up the steps to the period building to ring the buzzer my hands were admittedly a little clammy. I was greeted kindly by the staff at reception and asked to take a seat in the bright and airy waiting area next to the window where there were magazines and chilled water. Within minutes I was called upstairs to meet my surgeon Mr Nick Percival who warmly shook my hand and invited me to take a seat at the his desk in his roomy office.
Nick talked me through my current health and expectations of the treatment before deciding if I was a suitable candidate and answering my questions. He advised that fillers in general come in different densities to suit different areas of the face with some designed to plump and add volume to the face whilst others rebuild structure and remove gauntness from hollow areas through ageing. Juvéderm is the best filler for lips for which it is movable and can be massaged into position within the lip, confirming that a single syringe would be adequate for my needs. He also assessed my attitude and reasons for wanting the treatment and decided that I was of good understanding with emotional stability and not looking to change myself to seek unrealistic happiness, but enhance what I naturally have; as surgeons can decline treatment if they believe you are doing it for the wrong reasons, which I think is very important as they consider your health and wellbeing as an individual rather than counting you as a number or monetary value and giving you something that would make you look disproportionate just because you ask for it. Nick was able to bring his aesthetic experience as a surgeon into play and recommend what would best suit my needs and leave me with a naturally plump pout.
Once I was happy with all of the information and Nick deemed me suitable for treatment I signed a consent form before being led across the room to a surgical bed much like a dentist chair. After putting on surgical gloves Nick prepared the needles and gel in front of me on a metal tray where I watched him connect a tube of fluid to a packet sealed needle. Seeing it in front of me gave me the reassurance that it was new sterile equipment, hygienic and that the brand that was advertised was indeed the brand being used. At the same time it also made my stomach do a little somersault through nerves as I made eye contact with the needle that would soon be making its way into my lip.
Nick then used a sterile wipe to cleanse my top lip and surrounding area before applying a white thick numbing cream across the pink of my top lip with a cotton bud. After a few minutes he wiped it off and was ready to begin the treatment. I asked him if it would hurt and he advised that everybody is different and some can handle pain more so than others, but in general it was a rather uncomfortable procedure that is over with quickly, and if needs be I could have a numbing injection like at the dentist to help with the pain if I find it too much. I swallowed so hard, took a deep breath and closed my eyes as the needle was placed against my lip, and then I waited with baited breath. I could feel a pushing sensation against my lip, but it wasn’t painful or sharp so I presumed it was the needle getting into position. I opened my eyes to see what was happening and because I was laying down I could only see the top of Nicks hand as he moved the needle slowly forwards and back, he was already injecting my lip and I didn’t even realise!
When he paused to ask me how I felt as he wiped away the dot of blood from the needle hole I literally couldn’t stop smiling at how pain free it was and asked if that was it. He told me there was a little more of the same to come and that he could stop whenever I needed him to. I’m amazed at how comfortable the procedure was, as it took no more than ten minutes to inject a whole syringe and I laughed and chatted throughout without flinching at all. When Nick was injecting me I tried to keep my face still so as not to snag the skin, but because my lip was numb from the cream I couldn’t feel if my mouth was open or closed, twitching or still, just the sensation of his hands touching against my face and a pushing feeling on my lips every now and then.
When Nick finished my treatment he wiped my lips and held a soft gauze against the underside of my lip to stop the bleeding, which was no more than you’d have from a small scratch. And that was it, my treatment was complete, no further ointments, creams or aftercare and I was free to go about my day as normal. I sat up and looked in the mirror to see my new lip for the first time and was absolutely amazed at what a difference it made so immediately. Like a peacock strutting and preening I just couldn’t stop twisting and turning my head at different angles in the mirror to see the fullness and volume he had created. I looked like me, but a more polished and perfect version of me, and my lip had so much more height and lift to it that it really showed off my teeth and made my smile so much more balanced and flawless. It totally exceeded my expectations and thankfully didn’t add any extra bulk to the protruding area of my mouth, but instead slimmed it down by adding height and volume to my top lip as it had turned upwards to bring my face better into proportion.
On the train home I had no pain, no throbbing or discomfort at all, but within a few hours a small purple bruise appeared on one side of my lip. Nick explained that the swelling and bruising would come out over the next day or so and then gradually die down by the end of the week to reveal what my lip will finally remain as, and I can’t wait to see how it changes as the days go on. I really cannot recommend Nick and Beyond Beauty Cosmetic enough, from start to finish the staff were polite, helpful, considerate and generous and from visiting their London clinic it was clear to see the high level of expertise and exclusive clientele that they accommodate as whilst I was there they were filming for a television show about beauty and boast an impressive list of celebrity clients.
I hope that if you are thinking of having lip fillers that you will take my advice on board to always seek a professional and reputable clinic, and hopefully in seeing my procedure first hand you now have a better idea of what to expect. I believe in sharing my experience of beauty and cosmetic treatments that I can show you how safe and reputable practices should operate, and if you find yourself somewhere that doesn’t meet these same excellent standards for health, safety and hygiene then please do not go ahead with your treatment; it’s far better to be safe than sorry as undoing a botched procedure is far more painful and expensive than going to a specialist in the first place.
If you should find yourself needing a botched procedure repaired then join the queue alongside the TV cameras who have appointed Nick as their leading surgeon to correct cosmetic and surgical disasters for their show. I can personally, and very highly, recommend Beyond Beauty Cosmetic following my lip filler treatment as an excellent practise for cosmetic beauty in the South East of England.
UPDATE: 30/05/15 Day 1
It’s the morning after my treatment and I slept perfectly with my pillow as usual without my mouth being tender or hurting, I finished my breakfast and brushed my teeth as normal and when I looked in the mirror I noticed the bruising is coming out to the surface of my lip with two purple splodges proudly on either side. There is no scarring, scabs or tenderness at all and for all intents and purposes my lips are very much normal. When I run my tongue over my lip I can feel everything as before and have no numbness or loss of sensation, but I can tell that there is something slightly firmer than just my skin inside my lip, although it’s not in any fixed shape like a sausage or strip, just a little more dense than skin.
My lip doesn’t hurt at all, it isn’t hot or cold in temperature to the touch and I’m fine to eat, drink and speak again as normal. Following the needles I’ve had no further bleeding, throbbing or any pain at all and I think I’ve either been very lucky with the treatment and healing or it’s just a very quick, straight forward and painless procedure to have done. I can’t tell if my lip is swollen or in fact the size that it will now remain, but I’m very happy with the shape and fullness of it at present, as I think once the bruising has gone down it will be difficult to tell that I’ve had anything done.
UPDATE: 31/05/15 Day 2
Day two and my lips are pretty similar to yesterday, the bruising is possibly slightly darker today and as I’ve not been out out I haven’t put anything on my lips at all. Normally I’d wear a slick of clear balm or a bright lipstick depending on my mood, but day to day I don’t really do much to my lips as I’ve already had them tattoo’d with a coral pigment and like the colour its created.
I’m loving the shape and size of my lip and looking forward to my bruising going hopefully by the end of the week. I’m also drinking green tea fine, although I’ve never had hot drinking boiling hot. I had an ice cream yesterday because it was nice and sunny so I sat my lip on it for a second to see if it would reduce any swelling or bruising but I don’t think it’s made any difference. Possibly because I’d eaten it within a few minutes anyway! Yum!
UPDATE: 01/06/15 Day 3
Today I’ve been wearing a clear lip balm and my lips are looking rather juicy and plump! I find myself wanting to run my tongue over my top lip just to feel how squashy and full it is, although I’m sure I’d get a few funny stares doing it in public. I can certainly notice the swelling going down today as my lip doesn’t feel quite as squishy and filled on the inside as it did yesterday. I can squeeze my between my fingers and feel the gel inside which I can massage around. The bruising is fading nicely and isn’t as big or dark as it was so I think a few more days and it could well be gone.
I’m loving getting used to my new smile and it makes me feel so much happier about showing my teeth and pulling a proper Cheshire cat grin from ear to ear. When I smiled before my top lip would tighten against my teeth and look even thinner than it naturally was, making it almost disappear entirely, so I always smiled with my mouth closed; but now it’s full on Hollywood central with my pearly whites and pout and I couldn’t be happier!
UPDATE: 02/06/15 Day 4
Today is another lip gloss day, clear and shiny and juicy and plump, just how I like it. My bruises are very nearly gone now – hoorah! And I’m using my lip just as I usually would to lick peanut butter off of a spoon, drink hot drinks, eat apples and kiss my children goodnight.
UPDATE: 03/06/15 Day 5
I think my swelling has completely gone now as my lips have remained constant for the past day and not changed in shape or size at all, so it’s just the slight bruising to go now. I can’t help but smile for how much I love my new pout, and even when I’m looking serious or lost in thought with an open mouth my lips still look perfectly peachy and kissable.
UPDATE: 15/06/15 Day 17
It’s been just over two weeks since I’ve had my lip fillers and I think it’s pretty safe to say that any swelling has well and truly gone down. I no longer have any bruising, which totally cleared by day 7 and now I am left with the most beautiful and naturally plump looking lips. On first glance it might not be obvious that I’ve had anything done to my top lip as I don’t feel that I have a stereotypical enhanced trout pout and it isn’t out of proportion to my face.
When I look at my before and after pictures it’s incredible to see the difference, my top lip has almost doubled in height and volume and I literally haven’t stopped smiling for the past two weeks straight. I feel so much more confident and feminine with my features finally balanced out, and I’m absolutely thrilled with the results. The entire process has been so quick and easy with the results of my lips excelling my expectations. I’ve had no complications or pain at all and hope that in sharing my experience with you that you now have an idea of what to expect should you want the procedure yourself.
UPDATE: 28/06/15 Day 30
So now it’s been a month since my treatment and my top lip feels so natural and plump, I don’t think it’s obviously fake looking, but it’s certainly made such a difference to my appearance and the balance of my face. I’m still very pleased with my results and wish it could stay like this forever. Don’t forget to check back soon to see how long my filler lasts.
If you have any questions you’d like to ask about my treatment, thoughts on fillers, comments or to share your own experiences then please leave them in the comment box below.
Beyond Beauty Cosmetic
The London Welbeck Hospital
27 Welbeck Street,
0207 486 6778