LIP FILLER: PART 2
WHAT TO EXPECT
Fun fact: your lips are approximately 100 times more sensitive than your fingertips, and, just like your fingertips, everyone's "lip print" is completely unique. It's just like your mama always said: you're special!
Before we get into the cupid's bow of it all, let's review:
1. Understand your budget for filler.
2. Understand what you want and don't want from your lip filler.
3. Find a reputable practice, with good reviews, & legitimate before/after photos.
4. Keep an open mind about what practitioner is right for you. It's ok to do a few consultations before you decide.
5. Once you've decided on the clinic/practitioner, schedule your appointment at a good time--far out from any events or social obligations you may have.
6. For about 1-2 weeks out, avoid blood thinners such as Ibuprofen and fish oil (with the ok from your doc)
7. Avoid alcohol for a few days before your appointment (and after, but we'll get to that).
So let's say you've made your appointment, and today is the day. Woohoo! This is the best part. Let's walk through what happens.
First things first, you'll check in with the front desk. Make sure you're on time. If you're running behind, that usually means it's going to cut into your appointment. We want you to have as much time as possible, so please show up on time! Most importantly, if you're on time, then...
...you have plenty of time to numb. We apply a prescription strength topical numbing cream that, in my humble opinion, almost works a little too well. Case in point: I had a skin resurfacing treatment yesterday where my entire face was numbed, and it lasted all the way into that evening. Still, this is preferable to no numbing at all! If you're coming to an appointment at Infinity (yay!) I'll most likely be the one numbing you. I give all of the clients a gauze to dab at the numbing as needed, and I always tell them--don't get the numbing on your tongue! It won't hurt you, but it is an extremely weird sensation that makes talking the rest of the day a little tricky. We normally let numbing sit for 15-30 minutes. When I had my lips done I kept the numbing on for 40 minutes because I am spectacularly wimpy. However, because of that, my treatment was very comfortable. If you want to numb for a long time, check with the front desk when you make your appointment and see how early you can arrive to numb.
While you're numbing, just chill. Keep your heart rate low, y'all. You want to get as zen as possible so that way the procedure goes nice and smooth. I recommend going on Instagram and looking at pictures of before/after lip filler to keep your motivation high. I also recommend listening to some boppy music (if it's not already being played over the speakers) to help keep your mood nice and light.
Some notes on anxiety: if you are needle phobic to any degree, and/or think you might faint/throw up during the treatment, let the practitioner and/or assistant know ASAP. I can deal with needle phobes, having been one myself. I will have smelling salts, juice boxes, and squeezy balls ready for you. I will also talk you through breathing exercises and/or babble nonstop to distract you (unfortunately, this is too easy for me to do). BUT, if I don't know that you're terrified of the needle, I can't prep. Just let us know ahead of time and we will make it a great experience for you.
Once you've been marinating in the numbing cream for a solid amount of time, it'll be cleaned off. I usually use alcohol to get the first, sticky layer of numbing off. Then I use Hibiclens (a skin cleanser and antiseptic) and pass over the area a few times to make sure it's completely clean. PSA: don't come into your appointment with a ton of lip product on. We can remove it, but it takes time and more importantly, I think it's uncomfortable to have your lips scrubbed at that much. If you're getting a "V" product (Volbella, Vollure, etc) I'll also use something called Vionex to clean you off pre-treatment.
This is usually where the injector starts, well, injecting! Make sure to keep breathing. I see a lot of people stop breathing because they get nervous, or they feel like they can't move at all as soon as the needle is in. Not true! Keep breathing. As soon as the needle is out for a moment or two, take a few deep belly breaths. I also find that it helps to have your feet planted on the treatment table, knees tucked towards your chest. It keeps you more grounded and feeling in control. During the treatment, I use something called a Vibrata on our patients. It's a vibrating device that confuses your brain and essentially distracts you from the sensation of the needle. If you're the flinchy type, I recommend asking for a squeezy ball. Any energy you have towards flinching away, you can instead redirect into squeezing the ball.
Storytime: we had a client come in who was honestly a modern-day Amazon warrior woman, but relatively afraid of needles despite her rippling muscles. She was getting her lips done, and even after numbing she was still pretty nervous. I'm standing at attention, on her right side, and I'm ready with a gauze and the Vibrata in my left hand, my right hand free. So I'm standing there, ready to go, and the injector comes around to the side of the treatment table. I see this woman's eyes widen and start to become crazy eyes as she looks at the needle (always a bad idea--never look directly at the needle. It's like the giant snake from Harry Potter 2, it will paralyze you). So I'm thinking, oh boy, here we go, and she suddenly turns to me and goes "can I hold your hand?". My heart warms and I think "Aww, I love my job, how cute." To her I go "Of course! Squeeze as tight as you need." Friends. The PAIN.
I swear she ground my bones to dust, just a little. But because of who I am as a person, I didn't say anything until the injector was done on that side. I'm just standing there, tears welling in my eyes, my nerves firing off in pain. So finally she releases my hand, seemingly intact. As the injector goes to change the needle, and I stand there, dabbing at her face with one hand, subtly flexing the other hand as I try to ascertain whether or not I've sustained actual damage, she turns to me. "Sorry," she says, "I'm a power lifter. I hope I didn't squeeze too hard!"
Since then, I give out squeezy balls like they're candy.
After your injector has done their first round of pokes, they'll probably stop and check in with you so you can see how your lips look. I highly recommend actually looking. It freaks some people out when they see blood, but on the flipside, you took the time and effort to get to this point--don't you want to get what you came for?
Some things to keep in mind are:
1) Your lips will be most swollen after the treatment, for up to 48 hours or so, and then will go down. If you like your lips during & immediately after the treatment, you need more filler. I loved my lips best about 12 hours post-treatment, when they were super swollen, and then as soon as they started to go down I was a sad.
2) If you're having the opposite problem, where your lips look and feel huge, give it a while. The numbing causes a teeny bit of swelling, and makes them feel bigger than they are, and like I said, if you think they're too big during & for a day or two after your treatment, they'll most likely be the perfect size within a week or two.
Once you and your injector have both agreed that you've gotten your lips to where you want them to be (for the time-being), we'll probably ice you lips a bit to help ward off any bruising. We'll also apply arnica cream, and some lip treatment, both of which help with the healing process. At this point, you're all done!
What a journey, right? Who knew there was so much to something as simple as a lil' lip plumping?
One of the most important parts of getting filler (lips or otherwise) is the aftercare. That post will be published pretty soon, so check back to see all of my tips for how to heal quickly and easily!
Reach out if you have questions using the contact form located on the home page. Questions & suggestions are always welcome. While you're at it, check out my Instagram for more fun tips & tricks, and to say hi!