Love your lips...
QUICK HOW TO GUIDE TO LIP FILLERS
Getting injectables for the first time is a lot of things: it's scary, exciting, confusing, fun, overwhelming, and rewarding.
As a medical assistant to the practitioners at the center I work at (Infinity Wellness Spa, in the Bay Area--it's no secret;
& come see us!), my job consists of two things: answering any and all questions you have, and holding your hand through the procedure.
This is a list of things you should know & understand before you become extra-kissable. Knowing these factors will make you more comfortable, and help you decide whether or not lip fillers are right for you.
First things first, let's get the less-fun stuff out of the way. Is lip filler affordable? It depends. Our least expensive syringes of filler run at about $450, and go up to $850. Keep in mind you have options--many of our clients participate in a program called Brilliant Distinctions, where you sign up, at no charge, and every time you receive a treatment you get points. These points turn into money off--and they add up pretty quickly. Always be on the lookout for specials. The clinic I work at has specials every month, and this is a great way to save money. Also keep in mind that filler lasts anywhere from 6-24 months, depending on the filler, how fast you metabolize (more on that later), etc. It's not permanent, but for how much you spend, you get plenty of bang for your buck, so to speak.
Ok, let's start with the basics. How do you know who the heck to trust to stick a needle in your face? I've heard all sorts of stories, so trust me, not everyone you find on Yelp is guaranteed to give you good results. What should you look for?
For starters, the clinic you go to should be run by a doctor of some sort. Please, please, please, do NOT go to some random person claiming to be a nurse, working out of a back room in a business office. Remember the stories I mentioned above? Yes, a client came in who had this happen. Why was she coming in? Because she got terrible results. Probably not a coincidence. Do your research!
However, you don't need to see a doctor in order to get great results. Aesthetics is incredibly artistic--just because you see a doctor doesn't mean you'll get better results than a nurse. Physicians may have more years of training in medicine, sure, but that doesn't account for the artistic component of injectables. In other words, don't get hung up on ONLY seeing the doctor running the clinic, and boycotting the nurses. You might miss someone who's a better fit for you. So, dare I say--don't be a snob about someone's title, keep an open mind, and just make sure you find someone who has plenty of training, many before & after pictures for you to look at, and makes you feel comfortable. I say this only because I have seen people walk out of appointments, because they wanted to see a doctor, and only a doctor--missing out on a great nurse.
So in summary: look for an established clinic, with reviews from actual clients, and make sure the practice is run by someone reputable. Whew. It's a lot, but it's worth it! Injectables is serious business. This is your face we're working with! If there was ever a time to be high-maintenance, this is it.
So you've made your appointment, and you're ready to get #plumpy. Next: WITH YOUR DOCTORS GO AHEAD (please don't go off meds without checking to make sure it's ok), avoid all blood thinners a week or two ahead of your appointment. This will reduce how much you bleed, but more importantly, it's going to reduce your chance of bruising. What are blood thinners? Ibuprofen, Excedrin, Aleve, Vitamin E, fish oil, etc. It's also a good idea to avoid alcohol for about three days ahead of your appointment.
Also, please clear your calendar and/or schedule your appointment so you have 1-2 weeks to recover. Not in a, I-just-had-major-surgery sort of way, because, here's some good news--no downtime! Lip fillers are a relatively simple procedure; aside from some minor discomfort and potential bruising/swelling, you're on your way in 30-45 minutes with a very kissable pout. BUT, and this is a major but, everyone reacts differently. You may develop fairly severe bruising, in the sense that it's particularly noticeable. For this reason, I recommend scheduling your appointment at least a week or two out from any major social events. We have people come in who want their lips filled before a wedding or party...in just a few days. Just say no, friends. You don't want to deal with bruises and swelling forever remaining in photos taken at the event. Plan & schedule accordingly!
So, you've done your research, made an appointment & scheduled wisely, and have been avoiding blood thinners. Yay! Now here's the fun part.
What kind of filler should I get? Oof. Tough question. It depends on three things: what look you want, what your budget is, and what your lips are built for.
Let's start with what you're built for. Although all fillers are just about made for everyone, not all fillers are created equal--literally. One syringe of filler is only 1/5 a teaspoon of product, but some are "heavier" than others. For example, Juvederm Ultra Plus is a great filler, but it's one of the "heaviest" fillers around. Conversely, Volbella is a "fluffier" filler. Just take a peek on Instagram--Juvederm tends to increase volume pretty dramatically, but the lips tend to look slightly stiffer, while a product like Volbella tends to give a more "pillowy" look. At the end of the day, it's something you and your practitioner need to discuss. The best way to do this is by knowing....
What look do you want? Most people who come in to our practice want a very "natural" look, and this is what we specialize in--just a natural lift, some added volume, and essentially a look that says, "I went to the spa and now everything is hydrated". Now, if you want a "Kylie Jenner look", that's cool too. Just be clear on two things: one, it can take time and many syringes of filler to achieve a more dramatic look, and two, even if you have big lips, you won't look like Angelina Jolie or Kylie Jenner. Look at yourself in the mirror for a few minutes: what looks good on YOUR face? You should focus on that, instead. Maybe it's a slight imbalance between your upper and lower lip; maybe you love your lip shape, but just want more volume; or maybe you're not really sure what you want, but you're looking for a change. All of this is great! Just go in to your appointment with an idea of what you want (and don't want), keep an open mind to suggestions from the practitioner, and get excited! This should be fun! No more over-lining your lips--after your appointment, you'll be able to just put on a swipe of gloss and look fabulous. What a dream, right? But, keep in mind the last little tidbit...
How much can you spend? As we talked about earlier, sometimes it does come down to this. This is your discretion. However, keep in mind that although your practitioner wants to work with you on budget, at the end of the day, it is still a business. We can't accommodate someone who wants a syringe of filler for $100. However, every nurse or doctor I've worked with always tries to work on a sliding scale. Just try to remember that filler is an investment! And, it may be better to save up for the filler you really want, for the results you really want. At the end of the day, just keep an open dialogue with your practitioner. We hear about all sorts of budgets; as long as we know what we're working with, we can help you!
Eek! Ok, it's time for the actual injecting to begin. What should you expect?
Well, ladies, stay tuned--that's the second part of this series. In the meantime, here's a quick summary of what we discussed.
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).
Cheers! Happy researching!
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!